“I want to get a dog! But I’m not sure how to go about getting one.”
Dogs are known to be the friendliest and most loyal friends and the thought of adopting one has crossed the minds of many people. I mean, it is really nice to have someone welcome you home when you are back from a long day of school or work. Dogs make great companions and can help to reduce stress, improve your mood and make your life more awesome!
However, getting a furry best friend is not a bed of roses. Owning a pet is a significant responsibility and also a huge financial commitment. This is because there are other costs to consider other than their adoption fees. Below are some dog facts, information on the costs of their food expenses, grooming, veterinarian fees and more that have to be added into the budget as well.
Average Cost of Owning a Dog in Singapore
A dog’s lifespan ranges from 10 to 17 years and they will walk with you through the different chapters of your life.
Based on our calculations, the cost for owning a dog in Singapore ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 for ten years. The cost varies depending on whether they were adopted from shelters or purchased from pet shops, grooming services they undergo per year, the type of food they eat and more.
Below is a general breakdown cost of adopting a dog from shelters in Singapore
Adoption Cost – $250 (average value)
Vaccines – $0
Microchips – $0
Veterinary care – $500
Grooming – $100 monthly (average value)
Food – $50 monthly
Pet Stuff (Toys, Water Bowl, Bed) – $700
Total Cost for 10 Years – $19, 450
Common Dog Breeds in Singapore (there are definitely many more)
- Golden Retriever
- Jack Russel Terrier
- Japanese Spitz
- Labrador Retriever
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Shiba Inu
- Shih Tzu
- Singapore Special
Adopting a Dog in Singapore
There are many dog shelters in Singapore with dogs looking for their forever homes. Most of the dogs at shelters were either strays, rescued from illegal breeding farms or abandoned by their previous owners. The general adoption fees for the dogs at the shelters range from $70 to $350.
Adopting is always the cheaper option and the dogs are usually vaccinated and microchipped. A wide range of dogs are available at the various shelters, from purebred dogs to mongrels. A sad truth is that purebred dogs are more popular than mongrels. However, mongrels, otherwise known as Singapore Specials or crossbreeds actually may be more resilient, stronger, make great companions and are very intelligent and loving pets.
Here are a few dog shelters in Singapore:
The average fee for a dog (male/female) is around $180.
For special categories, their fees are
- Dogs above 7.5 years or dogs who have been at the adoption centre for more than a year: $70
- Purebreds and crosses below 7.5 years: $250
The fees include vaccination, sterilisation, deworming, microchipping, registration and licensing.
Puppies: $70 – $120 (Depending on the procedures done) + Compulsory Puppy Socialization Classes at $140 for four sessions at one hour each
Fees include vaccination, deworming, flea and tick treatment and microchipping (excludes sterilisation)
Dogs above 6 months old (Private housing): $250
Dogs above 6 months old (Public HDB): $250 + 6 Sessions of Good Canine Citizen Class
Fees include vaccination, sterilisation, deworming, flea and tick treatment and microchipping
Male local cross breed: $230; Female local cross breed: $250
Male pedigree below 3 years: $300; Female pedigree below 3 years: $350
Male pedigree above 3 years but below 5: $280; Female pedigree above 3 but below 5: $300
Male pedigree above 5: $230; Female pedigree above 5: $250
All of the fees above includes vaccination, microchipping, one health check-up and one sterilization procedure.
ASD also provides post adoption support for their adopters. They keep in contact with them even after the adoption process is completed.
Adoption fees: $300
Fees include vaccinations, microchipping, and sterilisation
For dogs younger than 6 months, adopters will receive a Sterilisation Voucher to be used when the pet is ready.
Adoption fees: $250
Adopters will have to send their pets for full medical and dental check-ups, sterilisation and licensing on their own.
Although the fees are higher for VFA, they are a no-kill shelter and most of their dogs are rescued from breeding farms. Hence, there may be a higher percentage of purebreds at VFA. Although it may be pricier, do understand that the money you give goes to help other dogs.
Other Dog Shelters
Aside from the shelters mentioned above, there are a lot more around Singapore and all of them carry lovable dogs who are looking for a home.
Some of them are:
Most of these shelters allow for adoption and volunteering. Note that there are more shelters than the ones mentioned in this article.
Buying a Dog in Singapore
The price of dogs in Singapore range from $1000 and above. Most of them will require you to pay for their vaccination, microchipping, sterilization, deworming, registration and licensing on your own.
Dogs at pet shops are usually purebreds and they come from breeding farms. Purebreds or pedigrees just means that the dogs’ ancestors are of the same breed.
Vaccination, AVA Rules and Licensing
Getting a dog in Singapore requires a few more procedures than bringing a hamster home. The first step, is vaccination and a check-up.
Going to the vet should be your first stop after getting your furry friend. As a responsible owner, one should get the required vaccinations, deworming, microchipping and other required processes done.
The general costs are:
Vaccinations: $30 – $50
Microchipping: $50 – $80
Deworming: $50 – $100
Sterilisation: $160 – $400
The average cost of a basic visit to the vet is around $30 to $80, excluding medications and any other required procedures.
It is recommended that your dog goes for deworming every three months, a health check-up once every year and vaccinations every 1-3 years to keep them healthy and safe.
Since 2007, AVA (Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore) has stated that all dogs must be licensed for rabies control. Cost of dog licenses range from $15 to $90, depending on their sizes. The cost of the dog license for each furry friend will increase if you decide to get more than three dogs.
If one is caught for not getting their license, they may be fined. Note that HDB owners are only allowed to have one dog per unit and only certain breed of dogs are approved. Here is a list of approved dog breeds for HDB.
It is also compulsory for all dog owners to leash their dogs whenever they are in public areas. Certain dogs may require to be muzzled when they are out. The maximum fine for not leashing your dog is $5000.
Should your dogs be adopted from a shelter, they would have already completed most of the above procedures, saving you some money to invest in other forms of care for your pup.
Food Expenses – Knowing the different kinds of food for your dog
Getting the food that is suitable for your dog is extremely important as it affects both their physical and emotional well-being. If you are overwhelmed by the wide choices of food available, fret not. Below is a quick summary of the different dog foods available.
This is the most popular choice for dog owners in Singapore. Dry kibbles can be kept for a long time and does not have to be refrigerated. Not only that, they can help to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. These kibbles cost around $100 to $200 for 10kg.
Canned Dog Food
These are easily accessible at many pet shops and can be kept for a long time. However, they may be pricier as compared to the other options.
A quick tip if you decide to feed your dog canned food. Most of these canned food contain 75% water and not all of proteins and nutrients can be digested. With such high water content, your dog may have to consume more in order to get the right amount of nutrients it needs. Hence, it is best to purchase those labelled “100% nutritionally complete”.
Semi-moist Dog Food
Semi-moist dog food is recommended to be given as a treat rather than a staple for your dogs. This is because most of them contain artificial flavourings, colourings and has the least amount of nutrients.
Home-cooked Dog Food
Some owners have decided to personally make food for dogs because this is the healthier option and allows them to customize the meal. However, this choice is very time consuming and there might be a chance that the dog’s diet is missing certain nutrients. Nonetheless, if you have decided to cook meals for your pup, it is best to consult with your vet the best food options and choices.
Raw Food or Frozen/ Freeze-dried Dog Food
To keep the food hygienic and safe for consumption, raw dog food will come in either frozen or freeze-dried forms. Raw food is susceptible to bacteria growth if not kept at low temperatures. This dog food is high in nutritional value and recommended by many animal experts. However, they are very expensive and can only last 2-3 days.
Milk (special milk just for dogs)
That’s right, there are milk for your precious dogs as well. These are milk specially made for dogs and not only do they contain high amount of nutrients, they are also easy to digest.
One tip for dog owners is that they are not advised to mix wet and dry food together if you are feeding your dog a special diet. Always consult your veterinarian for the best diet for your dog.
Grooming (Keep your Dogs Looking Neat and Clean)
You will need to bring your dog to the groomer’s to have their fur cut, nails cut and anal glands expressed. You may do this on your own if you know how to or visit a professional.
Grooming prices for dogs usually range from:
Smaller Dogs: $30 – $80
Larger Dogs: $90 – $180
It is also recommended that you bathe your dog once a week to keep them clean and happy. Dog shampoos in Singapore range from $20 to $50 for a 500ml bottle. Most pet stores also carry grooming accessories such as bristle brushes, combs and clippers for your dogs.
It may be tough to handle your dog initially especially if you are a first time dog owner. In Singapore, there are many professional dog trainers that can help you. They offer courses to help with toilet training, behavioural problems and will help to integrate your dog into your family. Most of these centres encourage communication and cooperation and will guide you on how to best handle your dog. Some dog training consultancies also offer home consultations to better help your dog adapt to your home.
Pet Accessories (Toys, Food Bowl, Collars and More)
These are the other dog accessories that you will also need to purchase.
Dog Collars: $5 to $20
Dog Leash: $8 to $30
Water Bowl: $10 – $150 (You may purchase a Food and Water Dual Bowl for convenience)
Food Bowl: $10 – $150
Dog Bed: $40 and above
Dog Cage: $130 and above
Pet Carriers (when you travel around with your Dog): $50 to $300
Dog Toys: $3 to $180
Dog Sitting/ Dog Hotels
Most of us will have travel plans during the year and when you have a dog, you need to be responsible for your lovable furball at all times. If you are travelling overseas, it is not advisable for you to leave your dogs alone. It is dangerous and what happens if your dogs need help?
If you are travelling, you can leave your dogs at dog hotels that provide professional services or with trained dog sitters. Prices range from $40/night and above, depending on the services provided.
Besides, if you are off for a vacation, your dogs should get to relax too!
Spending Time with your Dogs
Getting a furry best friend can be really fun and exciting, but do remember that it is also a form of responsibility and financial commitment. Remember to always spend time with your dogs, be it taking them out for walks or just cuddling with them if your dogs are “homebodies” for you mean the world to them.
Purchasing Dog Products
With technology advances today, most pet shops have online catalogues or delivery services. One of the first shops to offer delivery services were Pet Lovers Centre and Nekojam. There are many more options so do explore around.
If you prefer to purchase from a physical store, Pet Lovers Centre is the largest chain in Singapore with many branches available all around. Another popular area to shop for dog necessities is Serangoon North where there are many pet stores and options.
If you are unsure about getting a dog, why not start with volunteering? Dog shelters in Singapore are always looking for an extra pair of hands. Not only will volunteering make you feel good and allow you to relieve stress, it will also give you a better idea on how to take care of dogs.
Don’t worry if you have a busy schedule. There are many tasks available at the shelters if you are unable to volunteer for long hours. Some examples are dog walking, bathing the dogs, feeding them or cleaning their cages. You can opt for shorter tasks if you are short on time. Working with different dogs will also help you find your perfect companion as you get to learn the personalities of various breeds.
All in all, getting a dog in Singapore is a serious decision. They live an average of 10 to 17 years and will walk with you through the different chapters of your life. Do make sure that you are fully prepared before bringing your furry companion home.
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