Dog ownership in Singapore comes with a lot of rules. From importing a dog into the country to keeping one with you, grooming it and making sure it stays healthy, to taking it out in public; there are a lot of regulations dogs are required to follow in Singapore.
While dog ownership in Singapore may be a bit of a hassle, it is not impossible. You can have and keep a dog with you, whether in private housing or in HDB, as long as you follow the rules regarding dog ownership in these places.
HDB (Housing and Development Board) is the agency in charge of public housing, and they have some pet restrictions if you are going to live in public housing. HDB expressly forbids the ownership of cats in public housing, and large dog breeds are also not allowed.
You are allowed, however, to keep small dog breeds in HDB, but only one dog per housing unit is allowed. As long as you meet these guidelines, you can keep one small breed dog in your HDB unit.
If you want to keep a pet in your HDB unit, you need to have your pet licensed by the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS); once you have done that, and your dog is of an approved breed, you can stay in an HDB unit with your pet. Violation of these rules and regulations will attract a fine of a maximum of $4000.
According to a statement made by the Ministry of National Development, HDB does not allow all dog breeds because the agency is striving to create and maintain a pleasant living environment, as well as good neighbourly relations. This means striking a balance between people who love pets and those who may have some problems with having pets in HDB flats. These problems may be allergies, noise, etc.
You have to be conscious and considerate of those living around you when you are considering getting and keeping a pet. Ensure that you take proper care of your pet and do your best not to cause any inconveniences to your neighbours, such as keeping your dog in your own flat at all times. If it is outside it should be with you and on a leash. Your dog should remain as quiet as possible to prevent disturbing the neighbours with barking. Do remember to pick up your dog’s poop if it does defecate in public. All these will make your neighbours appreciative of your consideration for their needs, and it also makes it easier for them to accept pets in public flats.
According to AVS, following dog breeds are not allowed in Singapore:
Originated in Japan, the Akitas have a reputation for being aggressive. Bred to hunt bears and guard royalty, the Akitas are generally very devoted to and protective of their family members. Common behaviour issues are aggression towards other dogs and overprotectiveness.
Known as the South African Mastiff, the Boerboel is a tough working dog and has strong guard dog instinct. Although the Boerboel are generally affectionate with their family members, they can be dangerously aggressive when feeling uneasy. They are independent but require a lot of attention from their owners- they can be depressed and destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
Originated in Argentina, the Dogo Argentino is a muscular, large-size white dog that was bred for the purpose of big-game hunting. This breed has been used for dog fighting due to their high pain tolerance, great stamina and fearless nature. Although the Dogo Argentino is well-known for their loyalty, they can turn dangerous at times and are stubborn- so proper training is highly required.
Known as the Brazilian Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro is a large-sized working dog that developed in Brazil. This breed is automatically classified as a dangerous dog in several countries because it can turn aggressive when provoked and taunted.
The Japanese Tosas are banned in many countries due to their dog fighting history. They are not recommended for first-time owners, multiple dog households, seniors and apartment dwellers.
Above are the more popular breeds that are HDB approved but fret not, this list is not exhaustive. Click this link to find out the full list provided by HDB!
Checkout these other articles about some of the breeds allowed in HDBs from the “Meet the Breeds Series!”
No, unfortunately, Corgis are not allowed in HDBs.
Why are Corgis not allowed in HDB?
While there hasn’t been a proper explanation, the Ministry of National Development explained that these rules are set “to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations.” One possible reason could be due to research which shows that Corgis are not easy to manage with excessive shedding.
Since living in an HDB flat restricts pet ownership to one small breed dog per flat, it is very difficult to adopt larger breeds, including the breed known as the “Singapore Special”- the local mongrel. These dogs may not be as large as the large dog breeds, but they are larger than the small dog breeds due to their mixed breed status, and, as such, do not fit the HDB and AVA criteria for approved dog breeds in public housing.
A special initiative was created to help large dog lovers who live in HDB flats called Project ADORE – ADOption and REhoming of dogs). This initiative makes it possible for you to adopt the “Singapore Special” and keep it with you, even if you live in an HDB flat. Since some of the shelters are also a part of Project ADORE, you can adopt a larger dog breed from the initiatives, as long as the dog meets the following criteria:
With the revision of the Project ADORE guidelines, bigger local mixed-breed dogs can now be rehomed in HDB flats!
Once the dog meets these criteria, you as the owner will have to do the following:
Living in an HDB household means that pet ownership is restricted, but you can keep a pet as long as you follow the HDB rules for pet ownership. Cats are not allowed, but you are allowed to have one dog per flat, and this dog has to be on the approved list of dog breeds, a list compiled by the HDB and AVS.
Click this link to find out which dog breeds are allowed in HDB flats!
Having a dog in your life brings endless joy. It is up to you as a pet parent to advocate good pet ownership, pick up after your dog and avoid disturbing the neighbourhood peace as much as possible.