GETTING A PET
Where To Get A Pet
The Pet Shop
If you are buying your pet from a pet shop, check on the reputation of the pet shop and only patronize responsible pet shops. To raise the standards of animal welfare and professionalism of pet shops, AVA grades pet shops according to their compliance with licence conditions and their adoption of best practices.
Some dog farms also sell puppies. Dog farms are not graded, as they are not licensed as pet shops, but they are required to comply with similar animal welfare conditions as the pet shops.
It is prudent to do your own research before buying a puppy, which can include checking reviews of pet shops and dog farms written by their customers.
Importing a Pet
Should you wish to import a pet, you must first obtain an import licence from the AVA within 30 days prior to the date of arrival. The import of personal pets must comply with AVA's veterinary conditions which includes requirements such as health certification, quarantine and inspection by AVA. Please visit the Import/Export section on AVA's website for more information.
The Animal Shelter (adoption)
Homeless stray animals do not have a good life. It is estimated that a stray dog or cat lives an average of 2-3 years whereas a pet cat or dog can live up to 20 years. If strays or abandoned pets do not find a home, they will be euthanised, i.e. put down humanely. Around 10,000-15,000 cats and dogs are put down every year in Singapore. Adopting a pet saves a life and helps reduce the stray problem.
Consider adopting a homeless animal from an animal welfare organisation or from someone fostering a pet. Animal welfare organisations usually have a wide variety of pets for adoption. In addition, the animals have all been screened for good health and behaviour and are also sterilised. These animal welfare societies also try to match pets to potential owners and offer advice and information to help guide and support adopters. Also, by taking home an older pet, the adopter can avoid undesirable surprises later, as the personality, size and appearance of the pet is assured. In addition, the pet may already be toilet trained and have other basic training.
There is usually an adoption fee. However, this is minimal and goes towards paying for the medical needs (e.g. sterilisation, deworming, vaccination) of the pet and the administrative cost of the adoption.
Selecting A Pet
- Ensure that you get a healthy pet. To help you choose a healthy pet, look out for the following :
The pet shop should be licensed by AVA to sell the type of pet you are buying and the shop premises should be clean.
The shop owner/attendant should be able to handle the animals confidently and correctly and be knowledgeable about the animals under their care.
In addition, pets are individuals within their own type and breed, so for example, not all rabbits, or all beagles or chihuahuas will behave the same way. Some are more or less affectionate, independent or playful than others of the same type. The best way to gauge is to interact and observe it as much as you can beforehand. Take as much time as you can to make the decision.
The below is a list of contacts from which you can find out more information about pets/animals or find a pet to adopt.
Organisations with animals up for adoption:
Organisations with information about pets/wildlife: