Question: What types of animals are allowed to be kept as pets?
Answer: There are many types of animals that may be kept as pets. These include dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, chinchillas, red-eared sliders (a type of terrapin), and many types of fancy birds and fish.
However, not all animals can be kept as pets in Singapore. Under the Wild Animals & Birds Act, our wild animals should not be caught or kept as pets. Similarly, wild animals such as snakes, lizards, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, monkeys and star tortoises cannot be kept as pets.
The penalty for keeping an illegal animal can be severe. Contact AVA at 6471 9987 if you are not sure what animals can be kept as pets.
Question: What dog breeds are allowed in HDB flats / private housing?
Answer: One dog of an approved breed is allowed in HDB flats. Please visit our Obeying the Laws section for more information.
For private housing estates check with the individual premises on the rules they have on pets.
Question: What rules and regulations do dog owners need to be aware of?
Answer: For the purpose of rabies control all dogs above the age of 3 months have to be licensed by AVA. By law, a dog has to be under leash control when it is in a public place. In addition, some big breed dogs such as the Bull Mastiff, Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd (and related crosses) and Rottweiler must be muzzled when in a public place. Additionally, under the Housing and Development Board (Animals) Rules 1989, HDB allows only one dog of an approved small breed per residential unit.
When you walk your dog, you must also clean up after him/her. Be prepared to do so by bringing along a plastic bag.
Dogs and other pets are also not allowed in eating establishments except pet cafes, unless they are guide dogs.
Beyond the basic regulations, responsible dog owners should also be considerate to others by making sure their dogs are not a nuisance e.g. excess barking, bad behaviour, aggressiveness. The best way to ensure an obedient dog is to train him/her or enroll in a dog obedience class with your dog! Please visit our Obeying the Laws section for more information.
Question: Where can I go to get my dog licence? How much does it cost?
Answer: You can license your dog at AVA's Centre for Animal Welfare and Control (CAWC) at 75 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118507. Applications can be done online, in person or by mail/fax.
The licensing fee for a dog below 5 months of age or a sterilised dog is $14.00/year. The fee for an unsterilised dog is $70.00/year.
Question: I had a dog for a few years but I just found out about the dog licensing regulation. Can I license it now and will I be penalised?
Answer: Yes, you should get your dog licensed at once. You will not be penalised if you apply for a licence. However, should AVA inspectors discover that you are keeping an unlicensed dog, you will be issued a composition fine and be required to take up a licence.
Question: I can no longer care for my pet. What should I do with it?
Answer: Find out why you are unable to care for your pet. If it is because of behavioural problems, try putting your pet through suitable training. You may also obtain help from your veterinarian or animal welfare groups that could help you resolve the problem.
If you really cannot keep your pet anymore, try to get it re-homed. You may also surrender your pet to the various animal welfare groups or to AVA's CAWC at 75 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118507.
Pets should never be abandoned. It is an offence to abandon a pet. Upon conviction, the penalty for pet abandonment is up to $10,000, 12 months jail or both. Find out more about what happens to abandoned animals at our Abandonment and Strays section.
Question: If I come across an abused animal, how can I help? Who should I report to?
Answer: Animal cruelty cases can be reported to the AVA at 75 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118507, Tel: 1800-476-1600. Obtain as much information about the case as possible, such as the date and time of the offence, the location of the offence, the type of animal(s) involved and nature of cruelty involved.
Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be fine up to $10,000, imprisoned for up to 12 months or both.
Question: What is the penalty for animal cruelty?
Answer: Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty can be fine up to $10,000, imprisoned for up to 12 months or both.
Question: What is pet grooming? Do all pets need to be groomed?
Answer: Grooming is what an owner should do for the pet to keep it neat and tidy. This includes brushing/combing its coat, trimming its fur, cleaning the ears, bathing the pet and clipping over grown nails. Most pets benefit from some grooming. Some pets need more grooming than others. You will need to find out what type of grooming your pet needs so that you can give it the best care.
Question: What do I feed my pet?
Answer: To ensure a balanced diet, it is best to buy a reputable brand of commercially prepared food. The label should also indicate that the diet is 'complete' or 'balanced' for that type of animal. This takes the guessing out of what to feed your pet. You could also supplement your pet with small amounts of fresh food. This helps to add variety to your pet's diet.
Overfeeding a pet can lead to an overweight pet. Start by feeding your pet the recommended amount for its age, ideal body weight and lifestyle. Recording your pet's weight is a good way to monitor its weight. Looking at and feeling your pet will also give you a good idea as to whether it is overweight. Move your fingers gently over its ribs. You should be able to feel its ribs when gentle pressure is applied. Seek advice from your veterinarian if in doubt.
Question: Should cats be kept indoors?
Answer: It is actually advisable to keep your pet cats indoors as it is much safer. Outdoors, your cat may get into all sorts of trouble such as fights, car accidents sickness and abuse. Cats may also not return. As long as you provide enough space and distractions like kitty toys and scratching posts (and of course yourself as kitty entertainment), your cat should be content with staying at home.
After all, cats can sleep up to 18 hours a day! Would you rather your cat be at home in safety and comfort (in its own cosy bed) or outside in a dirty wet drain or perched precariously on some ledge? Did you also know that if your cat is outdoors and caught by pest control companies/neighbours, you may never see your cat again? It has also been estimated that an indoor cat might live up to 20 years but the life expectancy of a cat kept outdoors is less than 5 years.
Furthermore, unsterilised cats that are allowed to roam can breed, give rise to more unwanted cats and cause more animals to be homeless. Keeping your cat indoors would ensure this doesn’t happen. Consider sterilising your cats too, as this can help make them easier to manage and contented staying at home.
So, keep your cats indoors! Be a responsible cat owner. Find out more about cats and their care at our Pet Facts section.
Question: How do I know when my pet is sick?
Answer: Pet owners have to be prepared to bring pets to the veterinarian regularly throughout the pet’s lifetime. This means spending money for the medical fees and taking time out to bring the pet to the vet clinic – all part and parcel of pet ownership. Remember that veterinary procedures for a pet can run into the hundreds to the thousands. As pets can’t talk, you need to learn how to tell if your pet is sick by its behaviours and appearance. Some of the things to look out for that may indicate illness include:
• Loss of appetite
• Shortness of breath
• Loss of fur
• Lack of normal activity
• Unusual/bad odour
You know your pet best and when you see anything out of the ordinary for your pet in terms of temperament, behaviour, appearance and personality, you may want to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
You will also need to bring your pet to the veterinarian for procedures such as microchipping, sterilisation and vaccinations. Check our section on consulting a vet for more information.
Question: What is sterilisation?
Answer: Sterilisation, also known neutering, is a well-established and reliable method of preventing unwanted pets. It is a routine surgical procedure to remove the reproductive organs of animals. The pet will be under general anaesthesia during the sterilisation operation and so will not feel any pain then. Most pets recover within 24-48 hours after surgery and are back to their normal selves. Sterilisation can be performed (or carried out) on male and female cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs by a licensed veterinarian. Generally, dogs, cats and rabbits are sterilised at about 6 months. Some veterinarians sterilise pets at a younger age.
There are also health and behavourial advantages to sterilising a pet. Sterilising a pet while it is young reduces the risk of breast cancer and prevents womb infection in the female. In both male and female pets sterilisation can prevent cancers of the reproductive organs, particularly if the operation is done in a young animal.
Sterilised pets are also no longer driven by hormonal demands to find a mate, and are therefore generally calmer, more relaxed and make better house pets. To prevent unwanted breeding in pets eg hamsters that are not suitable for sterilisation male and female animals should be housed separately. So, do not breed your pets. Sterilise them to prevent unwanted litters! For more information, visit our Sterilisation section.
Question: Will my pet give me allergies or asthma?
Answer: Allergies and asthma are inherited conditions. A pet cannot give someone an allergy. However, if a person suffers from an allergy or asthma that is triggered by a particular type of pet, then it would not be advisable to keep that type of pet. Fish for example rarely, if ever trigger allergies or asthma.