When it comes to relocating to a new country, no expatriate would want to leave their best friend behind. And no, we are not talking about that buddy you grab a drink with; we are talking about that loyal furry animal that waits by the door for your arrival each day. It is often a conflict for many expatriates to decide whether to leave behind or bring their pets to their new destination. In Singapore, while it is not too difficult to bring in your dog, there are certain procedures you’d have to abide by before your dog is given the green light to stay in the country. Moving your dog to Singapore can either be done on your own, or you can pay a pet moving company to handle the relocation.
Firstly, you will have to secure an import licence from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). This can be done by filling up a form online from the AVA’s website. This import licence is very important, as your dog will not be allowed on the flight if you are not able to provide the airlines with this documentation.
You will also have to arrange for the necessary health certificate from a certified veterinarian in your home country to give your dog a clean bill of health, i.e. no diseases etc, and to certify that your dog has been residing in your country of residence. It is also recommended that you prepare and collate all other documentations on previous vaccinations that your dog has received in the past to ensure that the necessary paperwork is ready in case you are asked to produce them. Do take note that the health certificate is to be issued no more than a week before your pet’s arrival into Singapore.
Your dog will also be required to go through a series of additional vaccinations, such as rabies and booster shots, amongst others, before its departure for Singapore. The first rabies vaccine has to be administered at least more than four months before being brought to Singapore. Your dog will also have to be fitted with a microchip in accordance to its documentations. Singapore has a series of guidelines applicable to dogs from different countries, which you may conveniently access on the AVA website at this link.
Upon your dog’s arrival into Singapore, it will be initially taken to the Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine Station (CAPQ), where it will be put through a veterinary check. Depending on the situation, it may either be quarantined for a period of time (depending on the location it came from) or released to its owner if it passes the checks. It is your onus to ensure that you make the necessary arrangements with CAPQ at least a day or two prior to your pet’s arrival into the country, especially to arrange its quarantine stay, to prevent unnecessary delays and issues. The cost of a dog’s quarantine stay is to be borne entirely by the owner.
Do also note that in Singapore, depending on the kind of property you are staying in, you may or may not be allowed to keep your dog in your residence. In accordance to the regulation in Singapore, if you are residing in a Housing Development Board (HDB) apartment, you can only keep one dog of an approved breed in your residence. Those in private residences may keep up to three dogs, which is of course subjected to AVA’s approval. As a dog owner in Singapore, you must also ensure that your dog’s licence is renewed yearly, and failure to do so might result in the revoking of your dog’s licence or the seizing of the dog by the authorities.