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6 Things You Need to Know to Keep A Pet in HDB Flat

Living & Lifestyle

We may not always enjoy sharing our living spaces with fellow humans, especially if you are a human who loves their peace and quiet. But if there is a nagging gnaw in your heart for companionship, you may opt for something a little easier to get along with — a pet. Furkids, fur-mily, the list of affectionate names you can give them is extensive.

However, if you decide to share your home with your pet, there are rules and regulations you need to know before letting your furkids move in with you. Be prepared for if you are unable to let them do so.

Here are 6 things you need to know about keeping your fur-mily member in your HDB flat.


1. Pets You Cannot & Can Keep In An HDB Flat

If you want to have your own four-legged companion, you need to know which animals are allowed in your HDB, and which ones are not. First off, here are the critters you cannot keep in your HDB:

  • Cats (unless you live in Yishun’s Chong Pang neighbourhood). Currently, this is being debated against, with several local organisations lobbying to keep their kitties in HDB flats.
  • Large dog breeds (golden retrievers, labradors, dalmatians, siberian huskies, chow chows, tibetan mastiffs, mongrels, pitbulls, samoyeds, corgis, etc)
  • Exotic/wild animals (snakes, bearded dragons, hedgehogs, crocodiles, sugar gliders, star tortoises, etc)

Now, onto the pets you can keep in your HDB.

To find out which dog breeds are HDB-friendly, the HDB website itself has a list of 62 kinds of doggies you can bring home to your flat. These breeds are of the small to medium size range, making them easier to take care of in such a restricted space.

Other pets you can keep in your HDB are smaller non-exotic creatures, such as:

  • Fish
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Birds
  • Terrapins/turtles
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Chinchillas
  • Mice


Image © SPCA Singapore


2. Know Your Size

This bit is especially for those planning to share their HDB home with a little doggy. Most small to medium-sized dogs are allowed in your flat, but what is the size criteria for that?

99.co mentions that whether your dog is a cross-breed (only between HDB-allowed breeds) or not, it has to be, at maximum, 50 centimetres tall from the shoulders down. It also has to weigh 15 kilograms or less.

If your non-human companion is of a smaller race (chinchillas, rabbits, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, fish, turtles, etc), then size should not be a problem...unless there are way too many of them running around.


Image © Fineline Design

3. How Many Can You Keep?

If you live in an HDB flat, you can only keep one dog. The breed of this dog has to be from HDB’s list of approved dog breeds. If you live in a condo or a landed home, you can have up to three dogs only.

As for smaller creatures, such as fishes, turtles, birds, and rodents, there is no limit on how many pets you can keep in your HDB. Just be sure that you have enough time and resources to take care of them if you are looking to have at least two pets.

And oh, be sure that your pets would not cause any inconvenience to your neighbours.


Image © Intra Design


4. You Need A License

If your four-legged housemate is a dog, you have to bring it to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to get it licensed and microchipped if it is at least three months old. If you bought your furry friend when it was a puppy, you have to get it licensed and microchipped once it reaches three months old.

Getting a license will cost you a fair bit, but it acts as a social security badge for your doggy, should it run into any sort of trouble whether medical or physical. Thus, the importance of getting one for your furry friend.

What happens if you break this rule, or any of the above rules? Next point, please.


5. You Can Be Fined For Breaking The Rules

If you neither license your dog nor keep the one-dog-per-flat rule nor follow the list of approved dog breeds, you can be fined up to $4,000. That’s two trips to Europe down the drain. So, be very careful about following the rules if you want to bring a doggy home to your flat.

Fines are heavier, up to a five-figure sum, if you are caught keeping exotic or protected animals in your HDB flat. There is also the risk of jail-time for up to two years.

In the past year, there have been a few cases of people caught housing or smuggling animals such as hedgehogs, star tortoises, and sugar gliders.


6. They Are Your Housemates; Treat Them As Such

A pet is a long-term, if not lifelong, commitment. As long as they share the same living space as you, they are as much your housemates as your human family. At this point, you may already have considered them family.

Give them plenty of love and attention, and ensure that they do not cause inconvenience to your neighbours. Your neighbours may not like it if your pet is too noisy or leaves their waste everywhere.

If your pet makes a mistake, be patient and gently guide them to behave appropriately. If you need to, sign them up for obedience school.

Make sure they are well fed, groomed, and rested, and you will have a content, faithful friend for the years to come.


Image © Intra Design

To know more, HDB has a section on keeping pets on their website, so feel free to check it out! Also, reflect deeply on whether keeping a pet in your home is the best thing for you, as taking care of pets require plenty of patience and commitment. Fingers crossed for a comfortable apartment life for you and your fur-mily!

   image for 6 Things You Need to Know to Keep A Pet in HDB Flat

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