HDB flats are designed for family living. Well they must be, since it’s so much harder to buy one when you’re single. But it seems pets are not considered part of the family as far as government policy is concerned. There are many restrictions on keeping pets in HDB flats.
So as an animal lover, what must you know before taking Rover or Whiskers home? Here are 4 things to take note of:
1. You can keep no more than one dog in your flat
Are you worried that Woofus is going to get lonely when you’re at work without another furry companion to keep him company?
Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to keep more than one dog in your flat. So if you’re hoping to welcome another animal into the family, your dog will need to be prepared for some inter-species bonding.
2. Only HDB-approved dog breeds are allowed in HDB flats
Your dog might be the gentlest, quietest creature that ever lived, but HDB doesn’t care.
Your dog’s breed must be on the list of HDB-approved breeds before he’ll be allowed to live in your flat.
The list seems to have been curated to include only smaller-sized dogs, many of which are actually extremely yappy. Doesn’t seem fair, but some bigger, gentler breeds are excluded from the list.
The list of HDB-approved dog breeds is as follows:
- Australian silky terrier
- Australian terrier
- Bichon frise
- Bohemian Terrier
- Brussels Griffon
- Bichon Havanese
- Border Terrier
- Boston Terrier (lightweight/middleweight)
- Cairn Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Chinese Crested dog
- Chinese Imperial chin
- Chinese Temple Dog (classic/miniature)
- Coton de Tulear
- Czech Terrier
- Daschund (light/miniature)
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- English Toy Spaniel
- Griffon Belge
- German Hunting Terrier
- Griffon Brabancon
- Hairless Dog
- Italian Greyhound
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
- Japanese Spitz
- Lhasa Apso
- Little Lion Dog
- Lakeland Terrier
- Manchester Terrier
- Miniature Pinscher
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Norfolk Terrier
- Norwich Terrier
- Poodle (Miniature)
- Scottish Terrier
- Sealyham Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Shih Tzu
- Silky Terrier
- Small Continental Spaniel
- Small English Terrier
- Small Spitz
- Smooth Fox Terrier
- Toy Fox Terrier
- Toy Terrier
- Tibetan Spaniel
- Volpino Italiano
- West Highland Terrier
- Wire-haired Fox Terrier
- Welsh Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
3. Cats are not allowed in HDB flats… except maybe in Chong Pang
Cats are not allowed in HDB flats, despite the fact that they are generally more suited to indoor-living than dogs. Go figure. HDB claims they are “difficult to contain within the flat”, and that they make caterwauling sounds that can disturb the peace. Okay, if you say so.
That being said, a lot of people do secretly keep cats in their flats and don’t get into trouble unless they let the cat out of the unit. And definitely consider installing cat screens on your window, or your cat risks falling to its death.
Unbeknownst to most, there is a programme called the Love Cats Pilot Cat Ownership Project helmed by the Cat Welfare Society and involving about 120 HDB households in the Chong Pang area. Participating households have been allowed to keep one cat provided they agree to microchip, sterilise and keep them indoors.
While there were initially rumours that the project would be extended to other HDB estates, it’s already been running for over 6 years with no mention of including other areas.
4. Small animals are allowed, but make sure your pet isn’t illegal
Small animals are generally allowed in HDB flats, but you must make sure you’re not buying an illegally-imported or sold animal, and that it isn’t classified as a wild animal that shouldn’t be kept as a pet (eg. hedgehogs). The police do sometimes carry out raids for illegal exotic pets.
The following animals are permitted as pets.
- Guinea pigs
- Red-eared terrapins
- Birds (but make sure they have been legally imported)
- Fish (but make sure they have been legally imported)
- Land hermit crabs
- Green tree frogs
- Malayan box turtles
Of course, just because the HDB allows you to keep a pet in your flat doesn’t mean you should run out and buy the cutest, cuddliest critter you can find at the pet shop.
When you welcome a pet into your home, you’re making a commitment to care for it for the rest of its life, so take the decision very seriously. And consider adopting or fostering an animal rather than getting one from a pet shop or breeder.
Do you have any pets in your HDB flat? Tell us in the comments!
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