Owning a Pet in Singapore

Have I mentioned that Singapore is a country full of rules and regulations? And have I also mentioned that making heads or tails (no pun intended for this particular animal post) can be exasperating? In case I haven’t, the answer to both questions is, “it is.”

Owning a pet in Singapore is full of rules and regulations though I’m sadly not affected by them. The girls and I are huge animal lovers and I am definitely the friend you go on a walk with who has to point out every dog we see. Heaven forbid I see a cat being walked which I’ve seen more times here than I have anywhere else in the world because I definitely will stop and either A. gawk at the cat, B. pet the cat, C. take a picture of the cat, D. take a picture with the cat, or E. all of the above.

This is the face of woman who will pay all of the money to spend time with other people’s pets.

So, because we don’t own a pet and because we love animals, I recently shelled out way more money than acceptable for the girls and I to go to “What the Pug,” a cafe with only pugs (it exists and it is delightful). First and foremost, I’d like to state that this is a genius business plan; adopt all of the dogs and then charge an exorbitant fee to pet and play with said dogs. It’s a win=win. Also, quick sidenote, I need everyone back home to start collecting animals so we can eventually start an animal cafe business venture. My mom’s already started (love you, mom!).

I spy with my little eye, 7 little puggies.

Anyway, the pugs at “What the Pug” are all owned by the same gentleman who also runs the cafe along with a few trusted helpers. He’s wonderfully chatty and clearly loves his fur babies. It was through him that I learned how strict pet ownership is in Singapore, especially if you own more than three. Once we got home after loving on all the pugs, I decided to do a little research to see just what it takes to own a pet in Singapore. As is much of my research, it was brief and limited, but the following is what I discovered.

If you live in a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat, which 80% of Singaporeans do and which is a fascinating topic in itself, you can only own one dog from an approved list of 62 breeds. Cats are not allowed as pets in public housing. From what I gather, cats are not allowed because they are hard to keep contained and there was mention of “caterwauling” which I find hilarious as a reason for feline discrimination.

If you do not live in public housing, the restrictions on pet ownership are a little less strict. You are allowed to own more than one dog though there are still restricted breeds and, if you happen to own a restricted breed, there are many rules and regulations that come with that. Also, you can only own three dogs without having the consent of the Director General. If you want to own more than three you have to get permission. Honestly, there’s a 22-page document that comes with owning a dog in Singapore so check it out if you’re super bored interested. It says nothing about cats and private housing.

One thing I found interesting that I was told but can find no supporting documentation for, is that people with more than three pets have to keep a record of their pet’s daily food consumption, veterinarian records, etc. with the government. I kind of like the idea as it surely helps keep the animals safe along with preventing puppy mills and other inhumane situations. And let’s be honest. Pets are 100% better than people so why not protect them as best we can?

Look at that face! I think his tongue somehow unattached and now dangles with a mind of its own.

Published by Lauren Tepaske

I am a full-time mom and wife with a penchant for writing a humorous point-of-view of daily life.

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