Virtually all dog owners will attest to the fun and unwavering emotional support that a dog provides. If you are considering having a dog in your life and planning your budgeting, you are at the right place.
While a furry friend is undeniably great, we cannot deny that owning a dog in Singapore will come with a financial responsibility. This article breaks down the cost of owning a dog in Singapore, so you can decide better if you are really ready for one.
There are many places to get a dog in Singapore, from pet stores to adoption homes. Before you start your search, ask yourself the following questions:
Your answers to the above will help you narrow down your options – for example, if you wish to get a newborn mixed breed, then you likely have to look for a pet store that specialises in certain breeds.
Conversely, if you have no breed preference, are on a budget and do not mind giving an older dog a second home, consider adopting.
The short answer is yes – the price of dogs in Singapore have soared since the Covid-19 pandemic. You can expect to pay anywhere from thousands for a puppy. The younger the pup, the pricier it is; so it is not unusual for pet stores to adjust their prices as their dogs grow older.
Apart from the age of the dog, a few other factors affect the cost of a dog.
In pet stores, dogs are either certified pedigree or not. Pedigree dogs are considered a higher grade and can command a much higher price, while non-pedigree (but equally lovable) dogs generally cost lower.
Lineage, as well, plays a very big role. Imagine being the descendant of show dogs! The pup is bound to inherit some very fine qualities and features that are hard to find in “average” dogs.
After adopting or purchasing a pup and excluding the one-time fees, a realistic estimate of raising a puppy would set you back by minimally $1,000 a year.
Let’s look at some costs below.
Looking for puppies for sale Singapore? The most straightforward way is to approach a pet store. Some pet stores specialise in certain breeds — think Shetland Sheepdog, Border Collie. Japanese Spitz. These are some breeds you don’t find up for adoption very often because they are in very high demand in the market.
They do, however, come at a hefty price tag; on average, be prepared to spend from $2,000 when you purchase a dog.
After which, other factors go into the cost of owning a dog:
In Singapore, it is required by the law that your dog be licensed. The licensing fee very much depends on how old your dog is and whether it is sterilised.
If your dog is sterilised, all you have to do is apply for a one-time license that will be valid throughout the life of your dog. If your dog is not sterilised, its license is renewable every three years but will automatically be converted to a one-time license when you update your dog’s sterilisation status. You also get a 10% rebate if you make payment via GIRO, online, or via AXS.
|Category||One-year License||Two-year License||Three-year license||One-time License|
|Dogs below the age of 5 months||$15 per dog||N.A||N.A||N.A|
|First three dogs||Sterilised: $15 per dog|
Non-sterilised: $90 per dog
|Sterilised: $25 per dog|
Non-sterilised: $165 per dog
|Non-sterilised: $230 per dog||Sterilised: $35 per dog|
|Fourth and subsequent dog||$180 per dog|
A reduced fee of $15 for the fourth* dog
*Dog has to be a sterilised, obedience-trained mongrel adopted from a animal welfare rehoming partner.
A microchip implant is a radio-frequency identification tag placed under the skin of your dog. It is just about the size of a large grain of rice and the procedure itself is painless. A microchip is designed to last about 25 years, which is equivalent to a lifetime for most dogs.
In the event your dog goes missing and a kind Samaritan picks it up, any vet will be able to scan this chip and return it to its residence.
Cost: From $50.
Dogs, too, are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to food. The most convenient food option would be off-the-shelf kibbles or canned food that you can find from most supermarkets and pet stores. In most cases, you will have to upgrade your dog’s kibbles as it gets older.
Note: These off-the-shelf options are often filled with chemical preservatives.
If your pup’s nutrition is a concern, your best option would be a home-cooked meal. Places like Furry’s Kitchen, Pawmeal, and Omakase sell individual home-cooked meals starting from $4.30/serving to $8.10/serving, depending on the flavours you choose.
Pawmeal and Omakase also offer subscription packages starting from $190.40/month (for minimum 8 months) to $283.22/month (for minimum 12 months), based on 2 meals a day at 200g each.
Note: Fresh, home-cooked food have shorter shelf-lives. To save costs, order only what you need.
Cost: Between $7.05 to $283.22 a month depending on food choice and size of your dog.
In Singapore, basic dog grooming cost is estimated from $35 to $50 for smaller dog breeds. For larger dog breeds, the cost could start from $90 or more.
How often you should groom your dog really depends on your dog’s needs. It may not require a full spa every month but you would likely look for individual services like ear cleaning or nail cutting.
If you don’t have the time and/or means to physically ferry your dog to the groomers, some groomers offer transport services to and from your home at an additional cost of $25 to $60 per trip.
Cost: From $35
As soon as you bring your dog home, you should schedule a visit to the vet, just to make sure he has a clean bill of health. The Singapore Vaccination Guidelines for Dogs and Cats recommend that dogs get vaccinated against canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, and canine adenovirus.
This adds up to roughly $40 to $100 per common vaccination, not including the health check which averages $40.
For the puppy’s first year, expect to make multiple trips to the vet. After which, you can estimate around $25 to $50 for a yearly booster shot for adult dogs. You should also take into account consultation fees, which would depend on the vet you go to and the seniority level of the vet you consult.
Cost: From $40 (excluding consultation fees).
On top of vaccinations, you are also meant to administer heartworm and flea prevention treatments every month and deworm your dog every three months. This is important especially if you intend to bring your dog out to grassy and sandy places where they may unintentionally bring home ticks and fleas.
Cost: $25 for 4 tablets for deworm medication, $34.90 for three doses for flea and tick prevention.
Sterilising your dog is not only medically beneficial for your dog but also entitles you to a cheaper licensing fee. These sterilisations are to lower your dog’s chances of developing prostate cancer (for male dogs) and uterine or ovarian cancer (for female dogs).
Cost: From $300
Training classes are not an absolute must-have, because it is entirely possible to train your pup yourself. Teaching them to respond to basic commands like sit, wait, come, and heel would make everyday interactions with your dog more pleasant and enjoyable. Importantly, you would also want to train it to pee and poo in a designated spot.
The cost of training classes would depend on the curriculum and whether your dog is better suited in a group class or one-on-one sessions.
Cost: From $50 to $200 per class.
Toys, beds, treats, wearables – these accessories make having a pup more fun.
Many of these items can be found at cheaper prices on online platforms like Shopee and Lazada, or local platforms like Pet Station and Pet Lovers Centre.
Cost: Varies, depending on your preferences.
In the event you are unable to walk your dog, you can consider engaging a dog walker.
Similarly, there may be times where you’d like to take a trip away from home and need help with dog sitting or dog boarding.
Platforms like Pawshake and Bark allow you to connect with individuals who can help with dog walking, dog sitting, and even dog boarding.
Note: Be sure to read through the reviews and only engage if you are comfortable.
Cost: From $20/walk, $30/day for dog sitting, and $30/night for boarding.
Another good-to-have is pet insurance. It is considered a good-to-have and not must-have because most dogs spend most part of their lives with minimal to no health issues.
Pet insurance would typically cover vaccinations, sterilisation procedures, cancer treatments, chemotherapy, accidents, and post-surgery treatment and care. Beyond health-related expenses, pet insurance in Singapore also covers theft i.e. if your dog is stolen.
There is usually an out-of-pocket payment before the policy begins its coverage. Thereafter, most pet insurance policies cover up to 80% of costs.
No, dog adoption Singapore is not free and would cost between $70 to $350.
SPCA, Voices for Animals, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD), and Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) are some places you can start your search at.
These shelters take in dogs from all walks of life, breeds, and ages. Dogs or puppies found at shelters could have been abandoned, illegally bred and rescued, or even bailed from the pound. That is not to say these dogs are not worthy or “bad” animals. Every dog at the shelter has its own story and you may be moved by one of theirs.
These shelters run regular adoption drives, giving you the opportunity to meet these pups in person, fall in love, and eventually adopt a dog Singapore.
Cost: $70 to $350
There is no doubt that having a dog in your life will bring about great joy and happiness. But if you are struggling to make ends meet and find yourself on a very tight budget every month, consider slowly building up your finances until you are ready to take on a commitment.
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