In Singapore, there are many dog lovers. Be it on social media or in nearby parks and beaches, it’s hard to not see people fawning over adorable dogs, gushing over them and volunteering to spend time with them (just like our volunteers!). But owning a dog and spending time with them are entirely different things, and there are some things dog owners must know in Singapore.
Get your dog from a reliable source.
The most important step to getting a dog is to make sure you get your dog from a reliable source. When purchasing a dog, it is essential to note that your dog is from a licensed breeder or a certified pet shop. While there are many people selling dogs and puppies online at cheap prices, do note that it is illegal to breed and sell dogs without proper licenses. Furthermore, some of these dogs and puppies might be at risk of diseases or other health conditions due to improper breeding or a harmful living environment.
Of course, we strongly encourage adoption and not buying of puppies, which can be easily done across many of the dog and animal shelters in Singapore. Not only is it perfectly legal, reliable and cheaper, but our shelter dogs are also well treated and well trained by volunteers. Through adoption, you will be contributing to a good cause and making a dog happy by giving it a new home 🙂
License your dog.
In Singapore, it is required by the government to license your pet dog so as to help the government in rabies control. All dogs above the age of three months will have to obtain a license from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore, and it is an easy and hassle-free process: just apply and pay for a license online here at the Pet Animal Licensing System (PALS). You are also required to re-new your dog’s license every year.
Microchip your dog.
You are also required by the government to microchip your dog. This is one of the necessary preconditions your dog must meet before it can obtain its license. Microchipping is a fast, painless process which can be done at the vet. Your dog will be inserted with a microchip, containing a unique identification number, that can be tracked to the government’s database. By obtaining a microchip for your dog and remembering the identification number, it is easier for you to find your dog in cases when it goes missing or gets stolen.
Check what dog breeds and how many dogs are allowed at your home.
The Singapore government also enforces strict rules & regulations regarding what types of dogs can be kept and how many dogs are allowed at different types of housing.
In HDB flats, only one small-sized dog is allowed in each apartment unit. This dog needs to be one of the approved breeds as listed here on the Housing & Development Board (HDB) website. Other than these approved breeds, mongrels up to 15 kg and 50 cm in height are also allowed as pets in HDB flats under Project Adore. This makes it easier for dog lovers to adopt shelter dogs!
In non-HDB housing, a maximum of three dogs are allowed at each house.
Owning a dog also means taking up responsibility and ensuring that your dog does not lead to inconveniences or discomfort for others.
Many public places such as shopping malls do not allow dogs, so it is important that you do not bring your dog to these places to prevent unwanted attention. Even when you bring dogs to public places, they should be kept leashed at all times. To keep public places clean, you should also clean up after your dog after they have defecated or urinated in public.
Particular breeds of dogs are also under the AVA’s Scheduled Dogs list, and these dog breeds are subjected to further restrictions under the government, such as being muzzled in the public and undergoing obedience training.
Other helpful things to do: vaccination & sterilisation
Last but not least, doing these things are entirely optional, but are beneficial for both you and your dog. Vaccinating your dog at a young age prevents it from being exposed to certain harmful diseases. There are different types of vaccinations a dog can get, and it is best to check with your local vet to see what types are available and most suitable. Sterilising your dog is still up to debate (some dog owners believe that sterilisation is harmful to a dog’s health in the long run), but it also helps lower the risk of certain harmful health conditions and most importantly, it prevents unwanted pregnancies among female dogs and unwanted breeding.
By doing all (or most of) these tasks, you will be better able to take care of your dog in Singapore and be a responsible dog owner!