When you are about to move to another country with your pet, it’s smart to learn about what to expect. Different cultures and religions regard pets differently, so you’ll need to know the laws that govern pet ownership and also the local rules of “petiquette.” That way, you and your four-legged companion will be welcomed a great new neighbors. So what’s in store for you in Singapore?
First of all, if your pet is a dog, you should be aware that some breeds are not welcome in Singapore. That list includes full-blooded or crosses of:
- American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Perro De Presa Canario
Certain other dog breeds are considered potentially dangerous are allowed but are Scheduled. If your pooch is listed here (or is a cross of one of these breeds), he will have to wear a muzzle in public:
- Bull Terrier
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd Dog (and related breeds such as Belgian Shepherd Dog and the East European Shepherd Dog)
- Mastiffs including the Bull Mastiff, Cane Corso, and Dogue De Bordeaux
Where will you be living?
Your dog may be allowed in Singapore, but if he’s a larger breed, that will dictate where you can live.
No dog breed on the Scheduled list is allowed to live in apartment complexes owned and managed by the HDB. However, you may have one dog of an approved breed or a cross of one of these breeds. It cannot be taller than 40cm (about 15.5 inches) at the shoulder or weigh more than 10kg (22 pounds). No cats are allowed in HDB housing. If you skirt the rules you could face a hefty fine.
Dogs are allowed in some non-HDB residential complexes (you’ll want to get prior permission from the estate management). However, you may have just one dog from the Scheduled list.
The Code of Animal Welfare
Pet owners in Singapore are expected to take good care of their dogs and cats and other pets. In fact, the country has a formal Code of Animal Welfare that outlines what good pet parenting means. You are expected to be considerate of your pet at home -- providing clean, comfortable space to rest and play, a safe and secured environment that prevents escape, and clean drinking water. You are also expected to provide veterinary care as needed, especially to ensure your dog or cat has received appropriate immunizations.
And you’re expected to be considerate of others when in public with your pet. You’re accountable for their whereabouts, and expected to report to the police if your pet becomes lost. The Code of Welfare highly encourages obedience training for dogs. You can learn more about this from the Animal & Veterinary Service, which is part of Singapore’s National Parks Board as of April 2019.
Canine petiquette starts with licensing
If your pet is a cat, no license is required. But Singapore requires all dogs to be licensed. You can do this online (and even get a 10% discount), but if your dog is on the Scheduled list, note that there are additional licensing requirements. Licensing is not expensive:
- Under 5 months, S$15 for one year only
- Adult dogs, S$15 for one year, S$25 for two-year license, S$35 for three-year license. Fees are considerably higher if your pooch is not neutered.
However, if you fail to properly license your dog, you could be fined as much as S$5000.
Once your pup is properly licensed and you know the basic rules of petiquette, you’re ready to get out there and explore. Remember that Singapore is near the equator, with the tropical climate you’d expect in those latitudes. So, before you leave home, bone up on the signs of heat exhaustion and how to keep your dog cool. The weather is just one thing your pet will have to adjust to after moving to Singapore. But there are things you can do to make that adjustment easier and more fun for him.
Singapore has a lot of strict rules about many things, not only the kinds of dogs that are allowed or must be extra-diligently controlled. The entire process of relocating to Singapore with your dog (or cat or other pet) is complex – and this is no time to make a mistake or overlook a crucial detail. You’ll be less stressed and fully confident if you team up with our pet-loving pros at Starwood to accomplish this move.
We can’t help with relocating your human family members or your belongings, but we can make sure your beloved pet has the most efficient, safest, and most comfortable journey possible.