Move Your Pets into Singapore in 7 Steps

You can still have your faithful companion, even when you're home away from home.

Imagine having your beloved dog or cat frolicking around your living spaces, wherever you are. But before that, there’s work to be done to move your pets into Singapore. It takes a bit more to do than just taking off on a business trip. There are a dizzying list of things to find out: import requirements, health certificates, inspection appointments. So planning is necessary for pet relocations, especially when you want your pet to travel and arrive in Singapore with you. There are a slew of details and time frames to go through. But fret not; we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to start:

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Step 1: Figure out Singapore’s Pet Import Laws

This is the most important, and most time-consuming, step of all. Some countries can have stricter pet import rules than others. Some don’t even allow specific types of animals. In New Zealand, for example, restricts ferrets, birds, reptiles (including snakes), as well as mice and rats (unless they’re lab animals).

In Singapore, you can keep pets in HDB flats and private properties, such as Singapore condo rentals and serviced apartments, so long as they’re not considered a protected wildlife species. Though the rules vary between the different residential properties. To start, you can check out these pet-ready Singapore serviced apartments. Not to mention, most of those serviced apartments come with flexible leases too.

There are certain breeds of dogs and cats that you can’t bring too:

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Step 2: Consult Your Vet

They’re the best place to get advice before you move your pets into Singapore, especially when there are critical veterinary conditions that your pet has to fulfil. In Singapore, dogs and cats are categorised by the risk of contracting rabies in the countries that they’re from. There are four categories: Categories A through D.

 If it’s too much, fear not. The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) has a nifty Pet Import Requirement Calculator (though it works only on cats and dogs) The calculator tells you what to do and when you should do it. The flowcharts and the calculators also show when you need to get treated for parasites, and when to get a veterinary health certificate from your vet too. You can simply consult with your vet to see how to meet Singapore veterinary conditions. 

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Not to mention, moving abroad is already a big deal for humans, let alone our furry friends. Talking to your vet could help check if your pet can handle the stresses during the move too. Your furkid may get anxious about going on a long flight and all the different environments, and your vet could prescribe some medication to help with that. When you’re there, you should stock up on your medications in case you need more time to find a new vet as you move. That opens up more head space for all your business meetings as you start a new job too.

Your vet could also help with meeting the quarantine requirements for pet relocations into Singapore. They should have a record of all the health certificates and rabies vaccinations of your pet. You can use that for the new vet that you’ll have to find when you’re moving abroad. You can even ask for a referral to shorten your search.

Step 3: Get Rabies and General Vaccinations

And since you’re at your vet, you might as well check if your furkid has a valid rabies vaccination (and with the records to support it!). The records should show both current vaccinations and booster dates too. As for general vaccinations, dogs and cats have to be vaccinated against the common diseases in each of their own species. Dogs have to be vaccinated against canine hepatitis, canine distemper, and canine parvoviral infection. Our feline friends, on the other hand, have to have valid vaccinations for varieties of cat flu and cat enteritis.

Before you move your pets into Singapore, the AVS recommends indicating your pet’s microchip number in all vaccination records. And just like our COVID-19 vaccine records, the records should show both current vaccinations. Rabies vaccination would need to show booster dates too. Phew, we think pets would need something like the TraceTogether app sooner or later.

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Step 4: Obtain an Import Licence

If you’re moving your dog into Singapore, you should be getting a dog licence even before you apply for an import licence. Then, you have to get the Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (Personal). You can apply for it via the GoBusiness Licensing Portal, and you need to have a SingPass account.

The licence is only valid for 30 days from the date it’s issued. And if you’re bringing a dog that’s a mixed breed or a cross breed, you’d need to attach a colour photo of your dog. The photo would need to show the dog’s face and body too, so that the AVS can check if its a prohibited breed.

Step 5: Call the Airline

There are a couple of airlines that could provide some assistance on your flight as you move your pets into Singapore. It’s best to call and ask about their options for guidelines, because each airline might have their own. The airline might even have extra rules that Singapore doesn’t have. You could also find out the specific crate or carrier size, as well as the other documents and equipment the airline needs.

There could be additional notes to keep in mind too: if your pet is flying in cargo, what happens when the flight delays and you miss your connecting flight? What happens when the plane can’t accommodate your pet in cargo because it’s too hot or too cold? Best to get it from the horse’s mouth.

Step 6: Book an Inspection

Before you get to Singapore, you’d need to book an inspection for your dog or cat via the Intelligent Food Approval & Safety Tracking System (iFAST). You’d need to create an account too, and here’s a guide to book an inspection.

The appointment should be scheduled five days ahead of the animal’s arrival, or earlier. If you didn’t make an appointment, you’d be subjected to an S$80 fee. Your iFast booking would require your AVS import licence, flight details, and contact number. 

If you and your pet are entering Singapore via air, the inspection would be at the Changi Airfreight Centre. The available timings are on Mondays to Saturdays, 8am-1pm and 2pm-10.30pm. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. And the inspection has to be an hour and a half upon your arrival in Singapore.

On the other hand, if you and your pet are entering Singapore via Malaysia, you can only enter from the Tuas Checkpoint from 8 to 10 am from Mondays to Saturdays.

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Step 7: Crate Training Your Pet

Before you do, do make sure that the animal container is suitable. If your pet is travelling with you in the passenger cabin, you need a suitable one so it’s easier to transport your pet from Changi Airport to the AVS quarantine facility that you chose.

And start getting your pet to get used to being inside it. Because they’d be the ones spending hours on end in them. It might take some time, but you can make things easier for you and your pet by creating positive associations with it. You can encourage your pet to explore the crate by feeding treats and meals from inside the crate. Then, you can add their favourite blankets and toys.

The key is to find ways to get them to spend more and more time alone in the crate. But you need to be gentle. Start with closing your pet in the crate for five minutes, and slowly work your way up. You can talk to your vet to see what’s the longest period to get your pet ready for the move.

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Adopting A Dog in Singapore

But if you’re already staying in Singapore and don’t have a pet to move into Singapore, do consider adopting a dog instead of buying one. It can be incredibly fulfilling to take care of an adopted dog because they wouldn’t have found their forever homes otherwise. Although, adopting a new dog can be daunting, especially if you have never had a pet before. There are all the regulations you have to follow, not to mention the preparations too. Fear not, this extensive guide for dog adoption in Singapore by Micherlley Muses is here to help.


Looking for Pet-Friendly Singapore Serviced Apartments After You Move Your Pets into Singapore?

Consider MetroResidences Singapore serviced apartments as you move your pets into Singapore. We have a couple of pet-friendly Singapore condo rentals and serviced aparmtents ready for you and your furkid. All our units have spacious living spaces and working spaces–perfect for when you’re staying for a longer period. They are conveniently located, with hassle-free access to public transport. It all comes fully furnished too, so you’ll be enjoying amenities like wi-fi, air-conditioners, and even fully-equipped kitchens.

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