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What You Need To Know About Getting a Dog in Singapore

owning a dog singapore

Joanne Poh

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Despite all that talk about dogs being man’s best friend, these days man’s real best friend is probably his smartphone. Pfft. But if, inspired by vague memories of Lassie and Homeward Bound, you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a dog, like a real one and not one that barks from your phone, the good news is that this is one baby you won’t need a partner to bring into the world. We add up the cost for you.

Cost of the dog

As with most things in life, when it comes to getting a dog you can choose between the overpriced option made in a cruel, unethical manner or the so-called socially responsible version. Just kidding, but seriously, adopting gives you more value as not only is it cheaper but mongrels tend to be less susceptible to health issues.

Adopting a dog from the SPCA is relatively inexpensive at $180. Dogs above 7.5 years of age cost $70, while pedigrees and their crosses under 7.5 years of age cost $250. The great thing about adopting is that the dog will come vaccinated, sterilised, dewormed, microchipped, registered and licensed, so you’ll save on most of the upfront costs detailed in the next section.

At Action for Singapore Dogs, male dogs cost $230 while female dogs are $250, and the fee includes vaccination, microchipping, sterilisation and a health checkup. Pedigree dogs not more than 3 years of age cost $330 for males and $350 for females.

There are various other animal welfare groups with dogs up for adoption, so visit as many as you can and take your time to choose.

On the other hand, if you have your heart set on owning a dog that can rival Lassie on the big screen, be prepared to shell out at least $800 to upwards of $1,000. In addition, you’ll also have to pay for your own vaccinations, microchipping and so on. Just be warned that some of these shops and breeders are pretty unscrupulous, and purebred dogs are more fragile and will probably need more medical care.

 

Upfront costs

When you bring Rover or Fido home, the first place you’ll have to take him is neither Sentosa nor the Botanic Gardens but the vet’s office. A check up costs about $40 and you’ll also have to arrange for the following procedures if they haven’t already been done.

  • Vaccination – $35-$80
  • Deworming – $50
  • Neutering/spaying – $150 to $500
  • Dog licensing – $70 if unsterilised, $14 if sterilised or under 5 months old*
  • Microchipping – $50 to $80
  • Month’s supply of food – $40 to $200 depending on brand and whether you prepare it yourself
  • Collar/leash – $10 to $50

* Compulsory according to the AVA, although many pet owners in Singapore don’t get their dogs licensed. If you get found out you’ll be fined, so beware.

Cost: $400 to $1,000

 

Recurring costs

While you won’t exactly have to pay for tuition and ballet classes for your dog, there are some recurring costs you’ll have to foot each and every month.

  • Food: $40 to $200 a month
  • Vaccinations – $35 to $80 every 1-3 years
  • Deworming: $50 as needed
  • Licensing: $14 or $70 per year, as above
  • Dog shampoo: $10 to $20 every few months
  • Visits to the vet + medication – $40 to $100 if your dog falls sick

 

Optional costs

The above are just the bare necessities in order to keep your pooch up and running. But what’s the fun in having a pet if you can’t dye its fur pink and dress it up like a princess, right? Just kidding, but seriously, there are numerous additional activities you might want your pet to participate in that will cost you quite a bit, like:

  • Obedience classes – from $350 to $1,000+ for 6-8 sessions
  • Grooming sessions – $20 to $110, might be necessary if your dog has long hair
  • Dog cafes – at least $10 per visit

 

Are you still planning to welcome a furry addition to the family? Let us know in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.