What you need to know before moving your pet to Singapore


Singapore is well-known for its very stringent guidelines on certain things. Pet import is one of them. If you’re looking to travel to Singapore and want to take your four-legged family with you (and what kind of pet owner doesn’t want that?), your first call should be to an international moving firm specialized in relocating pets to Singapore.

Now is not the time to even aspire to make your pet travel plans. The stakes are high, and the rules are not only rigid but complex and time-sensitive. Seeking competent help right upfront will save you untold anxiety and tension and ensure that your pet moves easily. Make this call as soon as you know you will transfer because this is a long process.

Airline-approved kennel. All animals traveling as freight must be registered with an IATA-approved carrier. They are built for optimum protection and have plenty of ventilation. Your shipper will have a new kennel that matches your pet form and size specifications.

Arrangements for flights: Your pet travel professionals would use the most pet-oriented airline to plan your pet’s flight schedule to be as convenient as possible. But traveling to Singapore can be a very long-distance travel experience, in which case they can also arrange for a “rest stop” along the way so that your babies can get a little exercise, as well as food and drink.

Can your pets go to Singapore?

Only because you want your furry family members to be with you doesn’t mean Singapore needs them. Pit bulls, Akitas, tosas and a few other breeds are not approved. Such “dangerous” breeds may be imported, although they are subject to special criteria. This collection includes bull terrier, Doberman pinscher, Rottweiler, German shepherd and similar breeds, mastiffs (except the Neopolitan mastiff) and crosses with all of these dogs.

If you have a kitty, it can’t have “wild” ancestors like a serval. However, whether he is a cross of Bengal or Savannah, and you can show that he is at least the fifth generation, you can bring him with you.

It boils down to where you’re going to live.

More than 80 percent of Singapore residents live in apartments provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB); most of them own their apartments. This is not “public housing” as it is known in the United States.

If you’re renting or buying an HDB apartment, here’s what you need to know: Cats are not permitted to do so. Small pets such as hamsters, birds or fish are all right. You could have one dog if it’s an “allowed breed.” Though there are quite a few dogs on this list, they’re all one thing in common – they’re tiny. On the other hand, not all small breeds have been accepted. Your pet travel professional will help you find that out.

If you live in a non-HDB residence, pet approval varies enough that you want to be straight upfront. Generally speaking, cats are allowed, and you can have up to three dogs. Just one of your dogs could be on the “dangerous” list above.

All dogs must be registered (you must apply for this before you move) and limited to your house. A leash is required in public, and “dangerous” dogs must be muzzled. If your dog is one of those breeds, you will still need personal injury/damage protection and a banker’s statement as extra cover.

No matter where you live, note that Singapore’s tropical climate is hot. This will make it harder for your heavy-duty dog to adapt, as it is likely to impact whether they can exercise outdoors safely.

It sounds scary. And still, people are heading to Singapore with their pets in tow, and you may as well. Working with a reputable shipper right from the start means that your pet’s paperwork is in order and ensures that your pet has a personal travel agent to monitor their success. If the transport provider offers door-to-door service or you take your pets to the airport and pick them up from quarantine yourself, you’ll know that your pets are in good hands.