Bringing home a cute little puppy or a kitten may seem like a no-brainer decision — but being a pet owner comes with a set of huge responsibilities.
It’s never a walk in the park to take care of a pet (apart from literally), they can be very mischievous and have a mind of their own. From scratching your curtains to urinating on a new carpet, these are things you have to prepare yourself for.
As a responsible owner, it is crucial you’ve ensured that your new friend will be in good hands. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of important things every pet owner should know to keep your buddy healthy and happy.
Choosing to buy or adopt?
For those looking for a purebred, purchasing a pet might be the route that you’ve to go for. However, this can be especially expensive. Prices for purebreds usually start from the thousands and are often not inclusive of vaccination, sterilization, registration, licensing, microchipping, and deworming.
If you are open to any type of dog/cat breed, you can begin your searching adventure at the numerous pet shelters in Singapore. Most of these cute dogs and cats are mostly strays, rescues, or sadly, have been abandoned by their previous owners. Adopting your pet from a shelter, it’s another way of giving love and joy to these furry friends.
Some of the popular pet shelters in Singapore are:
Keepcats are a small, self-funded animal welfare groups run by volunteers who are passionate about giving stray and abandoned cats a better life.
SPCA is a well-known animal welfare organization and probably the first name that pops into your mind when you think about adopting and volunteering.
Animal Lovers League
They house more than 500 over rescued dogs and cats and they are the place you should definitely look out for when it comes to adopting.
Causes for Animal Singapore
This group has at least 30 years of experience and is heavily involved in animal welfare too. Here, for them, they do not only take strays in, but they also get them rehabilitated, vaccinated, and fostered!
Purchasing pet insurance
Many pet owners would have missed this out and think that there is “no point in getting insured” or “it’s just a waste of money”. But do you know that the healthcare costs for your pet could go from S$300 to more than SS$1000 depending on the condition each time? Unlike humans, your furries are unable to benefit from MediSave, MediShield, or subsidies. Since there is no coverage for hospitalization or accidents, they also do not receive vouchers or subsidies in their lifetime. That means you will be the one paying for any potential hospital bills if your pet falls ill.
Most pet insurance in the market usually covers only dogs and cats, if it’s a different animal, make sure to check with your insurance company.
You can now purchase pet insurance for dogs & cats through Baoxianbaobao Pte. Ltd. and enjoy 5% cashback in PolicyPal Credits.
Although pet insurance isn’t a legal requirement, with vet bills rising by around 12% a year it could be a very costly mistake if you choose not to have insurance.
Affordability of having a pet
Did You Know? – It could potentially cost you about S$20,000 to S$35,000 to own a pet dog over a period of 10 years. Here’s a brief rundown on some of the costs that you have to be prepared to pay for. Do note that some of the cost of owning a pet is not limited to the ones mentioned below. There are other recurring costs such as food, medical and dental fees etc.
#1 Cost To Adopt Or Buy
As mentioned earlier, the cost to adopt one is definitely cheaper than purchasing it. The adoption cost usually runs between S$180 -S$320, which varies depending on the different shelters. While adopting a dog is cheaper, the adoption process is stricter and involves a home visit to ensure your new pet is in a good home and hands.
For Licensing, it may cost around $15 to $90 per year but differs for puppies, sterilized and unsterilized. Whereas for adopted pets, the adoption cost usually includes the licensing.
#3 Sterilisation & Vaccination
It is important to give your dog vaccination and sterilization. The average cost for sterilization goes from S$150 – S$400 (may cost more for females dogs) and for vaccination, it goes from S$25 to S$50. Both sterilization and vaccination are usually included in the adoption costs as well!
The use of microchipping is to store a unique ID that is used to retrieve a pet parent’s contact information in cases where you lose your pet. The average cost for microchipping ranges from S$50 to S$80 and is also included in the adoption costs.
The cost of deworming is to keep your pet healthy and strong and is recommended to be done once every three months. The cost is about S$50 to S$90 and is also included in the adoption cost.
There can still be many miscellaneous expenses when you own a dog. These may include cleaning, pet sitting, or boarding if you’re planning to be away.
Meeting their basic needs
Your pet would definitely need proper nutrition, adequate shelter, physical care, and social interaction just like you and I. Plan out a daily routine and stick to it, from their mealtime to even playing with them. You need to stimulate them and give them lots of love and care!
Apart from spending time and committing to them, you need to make sure that you are meeting your pet’s basic needs. Make sure to get your pet groomed to maintain their hygiene.
Also, do not forget about your pet’s medical and dental care as well. To ensure that your pets are healthy, you should take them to a trusted and reputable veterinarian for wellness check-ups at least once a year. It is also important for your pet to get vaccinated regularly.
Does your living estate allow for pets?
Did You Know? – You are actually breaking the law If you live in an HDB and own a cat.
Yes, you read it right: As part of your lease agreement with HDB, you are prohibited from having cats as pets. While authorities tend to keep a blind eye to it, you may be fined if someone lodges a complaint against you.
However, cats are allowed in private condominiums. As there aren’t any laws that prevent cats from being kept in condominium apartments but there also isn’t any legislation to ensure that they can be allowed in private residences. So, it’s entirely up to your condominium MCST to decide if you can keep a cat.
Whereas dogs, they allowed in HDB but there is a strict requirement for them. If you stay in a HDB flat and own a dog, you are restricted to one of 62 breeds of dogs, and you can only keep one dog at any one time in your HDB flat. Moreover, for a crossbreed one, the dog must not be more than 50 cm at the shoulders and must weigh 15 kg or less. HDB dwellers who violate these rules can be fined up to S$4000.
Additionally, AVA has a specific rule for condominiums. It puts dogs into two categories: Scheduled and Non-scheduled. For those living in private condominiums, you can own up to 3 non-scheduled dogs or a maximum of 1 scheduled dog and 2 non-scheduled dogs. Here’s the link for the list of scheduled dogs.
Consider first, before making a rash decision!
Having a pet would be a lifetime commitment. They provide priceless companionship and act as our best friend and confidante. Both have to give unconditional love without expecting anything in return. If you aren’t ready to welcome your pet into your home, don’t. It is also not cheap to own a pet and their expenses could go more than $1000 a year, considering that.
Moreover, if you are adopting a pet of your own, you will also be giving them a new lease of life. They do need food, water, and shelter, and feel physical pain just like a normal human being. At no time you should be thinking of abandoning your pet at all!
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