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Guide for Owning a Dog in Singapore [Legal Guidelines, Breed Considerations, and Pet-Friendly Parks]

Guide for Owning a Dog in Singapore [Legal Guidelines, Breed Considerations, and Pet-Friendly Parks]

You may have seen that adorable puppy at the pet store that you want to buy or adopt a dog at your local shelter and give it a chance to be loved.

But don’t you know there’s more to consider before owning a dog in the Lion City than just cuddles and tail wags?

So before you dive headfirst into dog ownership, you might want to take some time to read this guide that we’ve put together specifically for first-time dog owners-to-be in Singapore. 

Legal Guidelines for Owning a Dog in Singapore

Singapore has strict regulations about owning a dog. It mandates all dog owners to follow its legal guidelines for leashing, licensing, muzzling, and giving up dogs for adoption.

Leashing Your Dog

In Singapore, your dog must be on a leash whenever you’re in public areas. Failure to abide by this dog regulation can result in a hefty penalty of S$6,747.

Can you imagine a scenario where you’re strolling through your favorite neighborhood park when suddenly, your dog spots a squirrel and decides to bolt after it?

That’s just one kind of scenario leashing your dog helps prevent.

Another reason is that not everyone you encounter on your walks will be a doggy lover. Some people may have allergies or fears or simply prefer to keep their distance from your dog.

Licensing Your Dog

All dogs must be licensed by the Animal and Veterinary Services (AVS).

To get started, you’ll need to gather some essential documents, including proof of ownership, such as a purchase receipt or adoption certificate, and documentation of your dog’s microchip implantation and vaccination records.

Once you have all the necessary papers, you can visit the AVS website or their office to complete the dog licensing application form. 

But why is this so crucial?

Think of licensing as a way of keeping tabs on our furry friends. By registering your dog, authorities can better manage the population and ensure every pup has a loving home.

After all, you wouldn’t want to contribute to overcrowding in shelters or streets, right?

Muzzling Your Dog

Certain breeds categorized as “dangerous” must wear muzzles in public spaces. This is another safety regulation in Singapore that prevents any potential accidents.

But why exactly are these muzzles necessary? They provide an extra layer of safety to prevent any unwanted incidents, especially in unfamiliar environments where your dog may exhibit aggression.

Are you curious if your furry friend falls into the breeds that require muzzles? Here are some common examples:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Bull Dogs
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds

Now, it’s not that the law discriminates against these breeds, but rather, it’s because they are known for their strength and, in some cases, their potential for aggressive behavior. 

If your dog is one of those from this list, don’t forget to muzzle your pooch in public. Otherwise, this can attract a fine of up to $S6,722.75.

Giving Up Your Dog

Sometimes, life can throw unexpected curveballs. Circumstances change, and giving up your dog becomes the only option.

While it might be tempting to let them loose or leave them at a shelter without proper documentation, Singapore dog laws require you to go through the proper channels.

This could mean finding a new loving home through adoption programs or reaching out to a reputable rescue organization like the Animal and Veterinary Services (AVS) for assistance in finding a suitable solution.

Note that selling your pup as an alternative is illegal in the Lion City, and you can be fined up to $S6,722.75 or face a jail time of up to 6 months.

What are some HDB-approved dog breeds in Singapore?

What are some HDB-approved dog breeds in Singapore

If you intend to live in an HDB flat with a furry companion in Singapore, these are the following breeds allowed: Shih Tzu, Poodle, Maltese, Dachshund, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, and Golden Retriever.

However, note that only one dog is allowed in an HDB unit.

Failure to adhere to this dog regulation in Singapore could land you a hefty fine of approximately S$4,000 upon conviction.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog Breed to Keep in Singapore

Climate Suitability

Singapore is known for being the land of perpetual summer. You wouldn’t want your companion to see them panting and miserable in the sweating heat.

That’s why choosing a dog breed that can tolerate high temperatures and humidity levels is essential.

Breeds with shorter coats and those originating from tropical climates, such as the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, or the Singapore Special (local mixed breeds), may be more comfortable in Lion City’s weather.

Noise Sensitivity

With its densely populated urban environment, Singapore can be quite loud, especially in residential areas where homes are often close together.

Can you imagine having a dog barking at every passing car or loud noise – not ideal, right? You might disturb your neighbors who want to take a break from the noise pollution and relax in their homes.

Breeds known for their quiet demeanor or ease of training regarding barking, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or the Greyhound, may be more suitable for urban living in Singapore.

They are less likely to bark unnecessarily and adapt well to apartment living without causing disturbances.

Grooming Needs

Singapore’s warm and humid climate can contribute to shedding and skin issues in certain breeds. This is why you should consider the grooming needs of the dog breed you’re interested in.

Breeds with minimal shedding or requiring less frequent grooming, such as the Basenji or the Boston Terrier, might be more suitable for the country’s climate.

In Singapore, you can expect to pay anywhere from $S67.23 to $S201.68 or more for an introductory grooming session, typically including a bath, brush-out, nail trim, and ear cleaning.

Additional services like haircuts, de-matting shedding treatments, and teeth cleaning may cost extra. 

Initial Costs of Owning a Dog in Singapore

Initial Costs of Owning a Dog in Singapore

Bringing home a new furry friend in Singapore entails upfront costs ranging from approximately $S262.19 to $S470.59, covering basic vet and adoption fees, and essential equipment for your dog.

Here’s a clear figure of the budget you’ll need before you acquire a dog companion in Singapore:

  • Adoption Fees – $S67.23 – S$26.89
  • Vaccinations and Microchipping – $S47.06 – $S107.56
  • Bed, Crate, Food and Water Bowls – $S134.45 – S$268.91
  • Leash and ID Tag – $S13.45 – $S67.23

Ongoing Expenses of Having a Dog in Singapore

Ongoing Expenses of Having a Dog in Singapore

Owning a dog in Singapore entails various ongoing expenses, including food, treats, deworming, grooming care, and licensing fees. These costs add up to $268.91 per month.

Here’s a clear figure of the budget you’ll need once your dog is settled in your home in the city-state:

  • Food and Treats – $S53.78 – $S268.91 (Per Month)
  • Vaccinations – $S47.06 – $S107.56 (As Required per Year)
  • Deworming – $S67.23 (As Required per Month or Year)
  • Grooming Care – $S67.23 – $S201.68 (Per Session)
  • Licensing Fees – $94.12 (Per Year)

Dog-Friendly Parks in Singapore (Off Leash)

Dog-Friendly Parks in Singapore (Off Leash)

Before you start feeling like your pup is being unfairly confined because of the leash regulation in Singapore, let me share a little secret: there are parks in the city-state where your dog can run off-leash without breaking any rules.

Here are some of the best parks in Singapore where you can let your dogs run to their heart’s content:

Media credit: tan.carina

West Coast Park’s vast green expanses and winding pathways make it a paradise for dogs craving off-leash freedom. Here, your canine companion can chase balls freely, sniff new scents, and mingle with other furry friends.

Address:W Coast Ferry Rd, Singapore 126978
Operating Hours:Monday to Sunday
7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Media credit: keepitria

Sengkang Riverside Park features meandering riverside trails and scenic views, making it a paw-some destination for your puppers!

This park also offers a range of amenities to enhance your visit, including paved walking paths, exercise stations, and designated dog runs where your furry friend can play off-leash.

Address:Anchorvale Street, Singapore 544834
Operating Hours:Open 24 Hours

Media credit: bethanybloch

Katong Park Dog Run is another favorite designated off-leash area among dog owners in Singapore.

It’s fully enclosed with secure fencing, providing a safe space for dogs to play without the risk of escaping.

There are also designated waste disposal bins around so you can conveniently dispose of your pet’s waste.

Address:59 Fort Rd, Singapore 439105
Operating Hours:Open 24 Hours

Dog-Friendly Parks in Singapore (On Leash)

Dog-Friendly Parks in Singapore (On Leash)

Not all parks in Singapore allow dogs to run and play off-leash. Certain parks require dogs always to be kept on a leash or in a dog carrier.

If it’s okay with you to walk your dog in the park on a leash, here are some of our best park recommendations in the city-state.

Media credit: the.chunkyman

Kent Ridge Park is a tranquil oasis for you and your leashed companion. It stands as a serene sanctuary for nature lovers.

The park’s well-maintained green paths provide a smooth and easy terrain for you and your leashed dog to roam around.

Address:Vigilante Dr, Singapore 118176
Operating Hours:Open 24 Hours

Media credit: kait.phodography

As you step into Bukit Gombak Park, you’ll be greeted by the soothing sounds of rustling leaves, especially when it’s windy!

This park features beautifully landscaped gardens that feature various native plants and flowers that your beloved companion can sniff. Be careful not to let your dog eat them though, there might be a fine in place for ruining the landscaped flower beds!

Address:Bukit Batok West Ave. 5, Singapore
Operating Hours:Open 24 Hours

Media credit: lilothepillow

Mount Faber Park is a perfect spot for both active pawrents and doggos because of its colorful stairs. These steps will surely add a pop of color to your cardio exercise with your dog!

Its stairs are also Instagram-worthy so you might want to take a snap with your dog there!

Address:Mount Faber Rd, Singapore
Operating Hours:Open 24 Hours

It’s nearly impossible to resist the charm of those adorable puppy eyes, isn’t it? But amidst the overwhelming cuteness, it’s essential to remember your role as the human guardian of your dog, especially as a first-time dog owner.

We hope you’ll always remember this guide to keep your dogs healthy and happy in Singapore!