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HDB Approved Dogs, Cats, and Pets in Singapore: What Animal Breeds and Types Are Allowed (2023)

HDB Approved Dogs, Cats, and Pets in Singapore: What Animal Breeds and Types Are Allowed (2023)
HDB Approved Dogs, Cats, and Pets in Singapore: What Animal Breeds and Types Are Allowed (2023)

Note: This article has been edited to reflect the latest news on the allowance of cats in HDB flats. On 2 December 2023, the government announced that people who stay in HDB flats can keep up to two cats per flat, effective from the latter half of 2024. Read on for more information.

The 2023 existing list of HDB-approved dogs and pets means that animal lovers cannot rear any pet they wish if they live in an HDB flat. That’s one of the downsides of living in public housing in Singapore.

The penalty for keeping an unauthorised pet in an HDB flat can be hefty, with fines of up to $5,000 for flouting HDB pet rules. To avoid being penalised, here’s a guide on what pets you can and cannot keep in your HDB flat.

HDB Approved Dogs: Questions and Answers

How many dogs can I have?

1 dog per HDB flat

What dog can I keep?

Refer to the list below of 62 approved HDB dog breeds

Can I keep a ‘Singapore Special’?

Yes, so long they have a maximum shoulder height of up to 55cm, are at least 6 months old, are registered and sterilised

Must I register my dog?

Yes, you have to via PALS; refer to the NParks page for more information

How much does it cost to license my dog?

$15, but refer to the NParks page for terms and conditions

If you’re fond of canines, please keep in mind that you are only permitted to have only one dog in your HDB flat. Moreover, it should be one of the Housing Board’s 62 permitted breeds or a crossbreed from the ones listed. If it is a mixed breed, it should have a maximum shoulder height of up to 55cm.

That said, you could get an exemption to the physical attribute rule under Save Our Street Dogs (SoSD) organisation’s Project ADORE (ADOption and REhoming of dogs), where you can adopt a local mongrel or “Singapore Special”. Project ADORE, which began in March 2020, saw great success and in July 2022, AVS expanded the criteria of keeping larger-sized dogs in HDB under the Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) programme.

Your designated dog should also be registered and licensed by the authorities. For dogs below five months of age, it will cost $15. Do note that a dog license by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVA) is not approved to keep a dog in an HDB flat.

List of HDB Approved Dogs (2023)

Here’s the full list of the 62 dog breeds allowed in HDB flats.

  1. Affenpinscher

  2. Australian Silky Terrier

  3. Australian Terrier

  4. Bichon Frise

  5. Bohemian Terrier

  6. Bolognese

  7. Brussels Griffon

  8. Bichon Havanese

  9. Border Terrier

  10. Boston Terrier (lightweight/middleweight)

  11. Cairn Terrier

  12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  13. Chihuahua

  14. Chinese Crested Dog

  15. Chinese Imperial Chin

  16. Chinese Temple Dog (classic/miniature)

  17. Coton de Tulear

  18. Czech Terrier

  19. Daschund (light/miniature)

  20. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

  21. English Toy Spaniel

  22. Griffon Belge

  23. German Hunting Terrier

  24. Griffon Brabancon

  25. Hairless Dog

  26. Italian Greyhound

  27. Jack Russell Terrier

  28. Japanese Spaniel (Chin)

  29. Japanese Spitz

  30. Lhasa Apso

  31. Little Lion Dog

  32. Lakeland Terrier

  33. Maltese

  34. Manchester Terrier

  35. Miniature Pinscher

  36. Miniature Schnauzer

  37. Norfolk Terrier

  38. Norwich Terrier

  39. Papillon

  40. Pekinese

  41. Pomeranian

  42. Poodle

  43. Pug

  44. Poodle (Miniature)

  45. Schipperke

  46. Scottish Terrier

  47. Sealyham Terrier

  48. Shetland Sheepdog

  49. Shih Tzu

  50. Silky Terrier

  51. Small Continental Spaniel

  52. Small English Terrier

  53. Small Spitz

  54. Smooth Fox Terrier

  55. Toy Fox Terrier

  56. Toy Terrier

  57. Tibetan Spaniel

  58. Volpino Italiano

  59. West Highland Terrier

  60. Wire-haired Fox Terrier

  61. Welsh Terrier

  62. Yorkshire Terrier

Are All Dogs Allowed in HDB Flats?

Unfortunately, not all dogs are allowed in HDB flats. Some popular breeds which are not permitted include Corgi, Beagle, Chow Chow, Siberian Husky, Golden Retrieve, and German Shepherd. On the other hand, living in a private property unit allows you to keep a dog that’s not on the approved list.

Browse cheap condos on sale for under 800k in Singapore or read this article for freehold condos with units under 700k.

Are Cats Allowed in HDB Flats?

On 2 December 2023, the Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How announced a proposed framework on cat management that would allow people staying in HDB flats to own up to two cats per flat and people staying in private properties to own up to three cats per property. This comes after a 34-year ban on cats in public housing.

The proposed cat management framework will be available for further input before being officially implemented in the latter part of 2024. There will be a two-year transition period to allow cat owners space to fulfil licensing requirements. During this time, cat owners can get their licenses for free.

Once cat licensing is fully implemented, all cat owners must get a license to legally keep their pets at home. They will also need to microchip their cats, among other cat management rules. Penalties for illegal cat ownership will be similar to illegal dog ownership, which currently comes with an up to $5,000 fine.

What Other Kinds of Pets Can I Keep in HDB Flats?

Keeping small pets is generally permitted within HDB flats, as long they don’t cause inconvenience to neighbours or mess up common areas. But more importantly, they must not be part of the illegal wildlife trade (i.e. smuggled or illegally imported animals). They also cannot be classified as wild animals. In fact, the Singapore Police Force conducts occasional raids and inspections, particularly acting on tip-offs.

Below is a list of other pets allowed in HDB flats:

  1. Birds (except house crow, white-vented or Javan myna, common myna, feral pigeon, and birds which are protected wildlife species)

  2. Chinchillas

  3. Fish (except piranhas and fish which are protected wildlife species)

  4. Gerbils

  5. Green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea)

  6. Guinea pigs

  7. Hamsters

  8. Land hermit crabs (Coenobita rugosus)

  9. Malayan box turtles

  10. Mice

  11. Rabbits

  12. Red-eared sliders (red-eared terrapins)

For birds and fishes, please note that those listed in the CITES Appendices must be imported with CITES permits or Certificates of Origin. If you require more info on what other pets can be raised in Singapore, please check the NParks website of the Animal and Veterinary Service.

List of Illegal Pets in Singapore: Pets Banned From HDB Flats

There is a list of illegal pets in Singapore that are not allowed to be kept as HDB pets, such as:

  1. Hedgehogs

  2. Bearded dragons

  3. Star tortoises

  4. Sugar Gliders

  5. Snakes

  6. Crocodilian Reptiles

  7. Salamanders

  8. Iguana

  9. Tarantulas

  10. Scorpions

According to NParks, Singapore does not allow keeping wildlife as pets, as they are known to introduce and spread diseases to humans and lead to ecosystem imbalance. Illegal pets in Singapore tend to be exotic too, which are non-native to Singapore that went released in the wild may affect Singapore’s biodiversity.

Buy or Adopt HDB Approved Dogs and Other Pets Responsibly

Of course, even though the authorities permit you to raise a pet within your HDB flat, it doesn’t mean you should immediately go out and buy one at the nearest pet store, or adopt it from the nearest dog shelter.

Pet ownership entails a big responsibility. When you bring one into your home, you are shouldering a huge responsibility of taking care of it. You should also be aware of the dos and don’ts of raising particular pets. For instance, do you know that grapes and chocolates are poisonous to dogs?

But if you lack the time or resources to commit to an animal, try rearing indoor plants instead. After all, as this meme says, “Pets are the new children. Plants are the new pets.”

Need Help Keeping Your Home Clean or Cleaning up after Your Pets? Contact Sendhelper

Keeping your home clean is important when you have a pet at home. Having a clean home can positively affect your health and your pets’ health. As a general rule of thumb, vacuuming and sweeping to get rid of your pet’s fur should be a regular chore. You’ll also have to clean up after them should there be any accidents, and keep their general living areas clean.

If you find it difficult to maintain your home’s cleanliness due to your busy schedule, you can contact Sendhelper, a professional home service provider, for help. Through the Sendhelper app, you can engage the aid of trained professionals.

For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.

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