If you live in Singapore, you are probably familiar with the concept of an HDB flat. These living units are designed for family groups and couples. They rank among some of the most expensive real estate properties you can get in the country, but the income of two family members should be able to cover the costs of living in one. Many people begin their roads to form a family in an HDB Flat, but according to government regulations having a pet in your unit is not as easy as having a kid.

If you are an animal lover, you will be either outraged or impressed at how many regulations you will find when it comes to having a pet at home. The most obvious choice is a dog and even with an overflowing population of canines in Singapore, and many organizations in place to take care of them, getting them prepped for adoption, it gets pretty tricky to have a dog in your flat. The following is a list of the things you need to before getting a dog if you live in an HDB unit. 

One Flat, One Dog

Collar and leash for dog
If you are one of those people who love to have two dogs to have them make themselves company in your absence, you are out of luck. Under the regulations of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and their rules regarding animal ownership that were set as legislation back in 1989, any HDB flat owner can only have a single dog of small breed from a pre-approved list in their residential unit. If you fail to comply with this regulation and someone files a report against you, you will be fined with $4,000.
Collar and leash for dog
Crates for dog

The punishment seems a bit excessive, and the reasoning behind it, it’s outdated for many animal rights organizations. While the regulation doesn’t exclude the possibility of having a secondary pet in your unit, you can’t have two dogs living under the same roof unless you are staying in a private condo. It seems that many of these regulations are in place to avoid an increase in the overpopulation of dogs. Breeding could very well take place indoors if owners have a male and a female dog with them. If your goal is to have more than one pet for your family, your dog will need to be trained on inter-species bonding.

The List of HDB-approved Dog Breeds

Dogs are noble creatures. The big breeds are usually very peaceful when you educate them properly, but when it comes to HDB norms for these animals, there wasn’t much consideration for them in this regard. The official regulation for pets in HDB flats include a long list of dogs that are allowed to live in the units. For the people who have some knowledge about dogs, these choices will distinctive for being limited to small breeds of dogs, many of which are extremely hyperactive and loud.
The list of approved breeds was created jointly by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore wit HDB and included the following breeds of dogs:

 Affenpinscher
 Australian silky terrier
 Australian terrier
Bichon Frise
 Bohemian Terrier
 Bolognese
 Brussels Griffon
 Bichon Havanese
 Border Terrier
 Boston Terrier
 Cairn Terrier
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahuas
 Chinese Crested
 Chinese Imperial chin
 Chinese Temple Dog
 Coton de Tulear
 Czech Terrier
Dachshund
 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
Maltese
 Manchester Terrier
 Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Schnauzer
 Norfolk Terrier
 Norwich Terrier
Papillon
 Pekinese
Pomeranian
Pug
Toy Poodles
 Schipperkee
 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

Secondary Pets are Allowed, But Not Cats

Dog's food and water bowls
A lot of families across the world look to have a dog and cat under the same roof out of preferences and because they usually can bond pretty well if they get together when they are pups. If you are expecting to do the same in Singapore, you are out of luck. Cats are not allowed in HDB flats, even if they are regarded as animals that are more suited to live indoors than dogs. According to HDB, cats are deemed difficult creatures to contain within a flat given their wandering nature.
Dog's food and water bowls
Dog Grooming Supplies

Even with such a strong ruling in place, a lot of people still have cats in their HDB flats. They are often perceived as peaceful creatures by the inhabitants of these units. Even so, if a neighbor reports an HDB owner, he could face excessive-high fines. It’s best to avoid any issues by keeping the cat indoors at all moments and installing cat screens on the windows of the unit, otherwise, the cat might fall to its death, or he could interrupt the peace of a neighbor.

Many animal organizations in the country keep lobbying against this regulation since the population of cats in the country is almost as large as dogs.

The Ever-Present Discussion to Modify or Flex Animal Laws and Regulations in Singapore

Choose the correct food for your dog
A lot of advocates for animal rights and pet enthusiasts keep fighting the good fight to make all these regulations go away or at least flex them to the point of avoiding the high fines that comes by defying them. Many of them justify their actions by calling these regulations archaic and unjustified. The list of dog breed allowed by the government is often criticized by including breeds that are only available if you buy them. These measures are also considered discriminatory since people living in private housing are exempt from these regulations.
Choose the correct food for your dog

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Final verdict

The Ministry Of National Development recently issued a statement explaining their stance when it comes to pet ownership. The main intention of these regulations is to preserve a living environment that is pleasant to all the inhabitants of the units and to avoid any ongoing conflict among neighbors. They recognize that the measures are far from perfect, but they have helped to keep things in check on HDB flats. As for their choice of breeds, the ministry states that they were chosen by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore and HDB based on how they can be easily handled given their size.
The discussion keeps going, but animal advocates are not ready to give up yet.

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