With the easing of travel restrictions around the world, it is a good time to relocate your pet to Singapore. Pet relocation can be stressful for both you and your furry friend as they are in an unfamiliar environment. Relocating to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but it can also bring about its fair share of challenges—especially when you have a beloved furry friend to accompany you.
Singapore has specific regulations and requirements for bringing pets into the country. To help ensure a smooth and stress-free transition for both you and your four-legged companion, we have prepared a comprehensive guide to relocating your pet to Singapore.
Why it is important to follow the right pet relocation process
Apart from legal compliance with various national regulations, following the right pet relocation process helps to make sure that the welfare of your pet remains a priority to minimise the stress that they encounter. Unlike people, who can make the active decision to travel even though they are afraid, your furry friends have no control over the relocation process. This can leave them feeling confused and helpless without a grasp on why their environments and routines have suddenly shifted. Here are some challenges that animals undergo when they are being moved.
Change in Environment
Animals are creatures of habit and thrive on familiarity. Moving to a new environment disrupts their established routines, familiar scents, and surroundings, which can cause anxiety and stress. In some cases, pets may need to undergo quarantine upon arrival at the destination country. The isolation coupled with changing environments can make the animals anxious.
Travel and Transportation
The process of travelling can be physically and emotionally taxing for pets. Whether it involves air travel, long car journeys, or even crate confinement, it can be overwhelming for them. The noise, motion, and unfamiliarity of transportation can cause fear and discomfort.
Separation from Owners
Pets have a strong bond with their owners, and being separated from them during the relocation process can cause distress. The absence of their trusted companion can trigger feelings of abandonment and anxiety.
Sensitivity to Routine Disruptions
Animals are creatures of habit, and any disruption to their daily routine, including feeding schedules, exercise routines, and social interactions, can cause stress. Throughout the moving process, changes in their routine can affect their sense of security and stability.
To minimize the stress of pet relocation, it is essential to provide them with as much comfort, reassurance, and familiarity as possible throughout the process. This includes maintaining their routines, providing familiar items such as bedding and toys, and offering plenty of love and attention during the transition. Engaging in a professional pet relocation service can help you take care of your pet and comply with all regulations so both you and your pet can have peace of mind.
Overview of the procedure of bringing dogs and cats into Singapore
The Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) defines the regulatory process to bring animals into Singapore to ensure that they are kept safe during the process and do not bring viruses to Singapore. Check on the documentation, health requirements, and quarantine procedures and licensing involved in bringing your pet to Singapore. Depending on the rabies risk status of the export country, there are different levels of testing and vaccination needed. Start this process well in advance to allow sufficient time for completing the necessary preparations.
Understanding Regulations for Breed and Residence Type
Before embarking on the relocation process, familiarise yourself with local laws on the breeds of dogs and cats that are allowed in Singapore and which breeds are allowed in specific residence types. For example, those living in an HDB flat cannot keep cats and can only keep one dog at their residence.
Importing pets to Singapore need to be microchipped according to international standards and have stayed in the export country for at least 6 months or since birth. Check the latest breed and residence regulations on the AVS website so you can focus on getting the right procedure.
Veterinary Care and Health Requirements
Apart from rabies vaccination and serology test, dogs must have a valid vaccination against canine distemper, canine hepatitis and canine parvoviral infection. Similarly, cats must have a valid vaccination against cat flu and cat enteritis supported by vaccination records upon arrival in Singapore.
Dogs from high-risk rabies regions will need to be quarantined in the Animal Quarantine Centre (AQC) for 10 to 20 days depending on the risk level. Before booking a space at the AQC, animals need to have been through the full vaccination regime so they are protected even before arrival.
Within the same week of being imported, the pets need to be sent for external and internal parasite treatments. These treatments need to be recorded on the veterinary certificate to show that they are fit to travel.
Obtain the Necessary Licences
Dog owners are required to obtain a dog licence before applying for the pet import licence. The application process typically involves submitting the required documents, such as veterinary health certificates, vaccination records, and an import permit. Check the timeline to get the licenses ready so you get them in the right order.
Once the import licence has been issued, the next step is to book an inspection for your cat or dog. For dogs and cats that are being flown, the time of the inspection is at least one and a half hours upon arrival in Singapore. To be exempted from paying GST for your pet, you may also submit the declaration of facts to SIngapore Customs.
Pet Travel Arrangements
When making travel arrangements for your pet, it's essential to prioritise their safety and comfort. Select a reputable airline that allows pets onboard and offers pet-friendly services. Factors to be considered include checking for direct flights, climate control, and the availability of designated pet travel compartments or cabins. Discuss the details with the airline to ensure you meet all their requirements for pet travel.
Depending on the country that your dog or cat is coming from, you also need to obtain a signed captain's declaration form endorsed by the transporting airlines. Your pet import license must also be shown during check-in.
Getting your pet accustomed to Singapore
Singapore has a warm and humid climate that will need time and patience for your pet to get accustomed to. Apart from the difference in climate, the novelty of the surroundings sights and smells can make your animal feel anxious, especially if you are their new owner. Here are some tips to assist your furry friend in adjusting to their new environment:
Create a Familiar Environment
Give your pet a sense of comfort and security by setting up a routine and space in their new home to get familiar with. Decorate the space with familiar items such as their bed, toys, and blankets that they can make their own. Additionally, try to maintain a similar daily routine for feeding, exercise, and playtime as they had in their previous location.
Introduce Them to the Neighborhood
Let your pet make Singapore their new home by taking them for short walks around the neighbourhood. This will help them grow familiar with the sights, sounds, and smells. Once they are more comfortable. increase the duration and distance of the walks.
Introduce Them to More Furry Friends
When your pet is more ready, you can bring them to meet your friend’s dogs or seek out pet-friendly parks in Singapore. Popular dog runs and parks include Bishan Park Dog Run, Mayfair Park, West Coast Dog Run, Simpang Bedok Dog Run and Tampines Central Park. These socialisation opportunities for your pet can help them build confidence and reduce any feelings of isolation. With friendly interactions with other pets and their owners, your pet can feel a sense of belonging to the local pet community.
Positive Reinforcement and Training
A good way to help your pet feel secure is to establish clear boundaries with them. This can be done through positive reinforcement techniques to reward your pet. Sending them to pet daycare for training while you are away at work can help them to develop their social skills and provide mental stimulation.
Engage in Enrichment Activities
To help calm your pet down, you can give them toys and that will keep them occupied. Engaging your pet in mentally stimulating activities can help alleviate any stress or boredom that they cannot communicate. Options include interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and playtime activities to keep their minds and bodies active. This will help to reduce their anxiety and encourage a positive association with their new environment.
Veterinary Care and Health
Adjusting to a new environment can take a toll on both the physical and mental health of your furry companion. With regular veterinary check-ups for good health, you can monitor their health with up-to-date vaccinations, parasite prevention, and any necessary treatments. A healthy pet is more likely to adapt well to their new surroundings.
Seek Support and Information
As much as your pet is adjusting to the new environment, you are also adjusting to being a new fur parent. If you feel unequipped or confused about how to give your pet the best treatment and environment they need, you can get the support of fellow pet owners.
Join local pet communities, online forums, or social media groups specific to pet owners in Singapore. These platforms can provide valuable information, tips, and support from those who have experienced similar adjustments. Exchange advice, ask questions, and share experiences to help you navigate the unique aspects of pet ownership in Singapore.
As you and your pet adjust to your new life together, keep in mind that every pet is unique and may require different adjustment periods and methods until they are finally comfortable. If you have other pets at home, this can also impact how safe and cared fur your new pet feels. With plenty of love, reassurance and time they will gradually become accustomed to their new home and thrive.
Why hire a pet relocation agency?
The above summary of the procedure to bring cats and dogs into Singapore covers the main steps of the process. As mentioned, the breed of the animal, the airline, and the export country can have an impact on the procedure as it might need special considerations or licenses.
It can be difficult to keep track of the AVS regulations especially since there may be changes to the regulations if there are new outbreaks. A professional pet relocation agency will stay on top of every phase of the procedure so you can stay assured that you are not missing any steps to keep your animal safe and healthy during the travel.
At Jason’s Pet Relocation, some of the import services we offer include:
- Consultation & Coordination services
- Animal Quarantine Reservation
- Application of Permits
- Custom Clearance
- AVS Clearance
- Airline Clearance in Singapore
With the help of an agency recognised by AVS as a pet agent, your pet will benefit from proper planning, familiarisation with the travel crate, and adherence to recommended timelines. This can help create a more predictable and controlled environment for your pet for a smoother transition into their new home.
At Jason’s Pet Relocation, we have been in the business of uniting pets with their owners across seas for over a decade. We can relocate pets into and out of Singapore with step-by-step consultations to help you and your pet feel at peace during a big move. You can focus on making your pet comfortable by providing them with toys and blankets for their pet crate while we handle all the administrative work. With our help, expect to receive the latest global procedures and entry requirements involving the export and import of pets
We are a proud member of various associations including the International Pet and Animal Transport Association (IPATA), Animal Transportation Association (ATA), and IATA’s Live Animals Regulations (LAR). As your pet travels thousands of miles away, we go the extra mile to ensure safe, smooth and compliant relocation.