The existing list of HDB approved dogs and pets mean that animal lovers cannot rear any pet they wish if they live in an HDB flat. That's one of the downsides of living in public housing in Singapore.
Despite the new size criteria which allow bigger dogs like local mixed-breed canines to be housed in HDB flats, cats are still not allowed.
The penalty for keeping an unauthorised pet in an HDB flat can be hefty, with fines up to $4,000 for flouting HDB pet rules. To avoid being penalised, here's a guide on what pets you can and cannot keep in your HDB flat.
Are Dogs Allowed in an HDB Flat?
Questions on HDB approved dogs
Answers for keeping dogs in HDB flats
How many dogs can I have?
1 dog per HDB flat
What dog can I keep?
Refer to the list below of 62 approved HDB dog breeds
Can I keep a ‘Singapore Special’?
Yes, so long they have a maximum shoulder height of up to 55cm, are at least 6 months old, are registered and sterilised
Must I register my dog?
Yes, you have to via PALS; refer to the NParks page for more information
How much does it cost to license my dog?
$15, but refer to the NParks page for terms and conditions
If you’re fond of canines, please keep in mind that you are only permitted to have only one dog in your HDB flat. Moreover, it should be one of the Housing Board’s 62 permitted breeds or a crossbreed from the ones listed. If it is a mixed breed, it should have a maximum shoulder height of up to 55cm.
That said, you could get an exemption to the physical attribute rule under Save Our Street Dogs (SoSD) organisation’s Project ADORE (ADOption and REhoming of dogs), where you can adopt a local mongrel or “Singapore Special”.
Your designated dog should also be registered and licensed him/her with the authorities. For dogs below five months of age, it will cost $15.
List of HDB Approved Dogs
Here's the full list of the 62 dog breeds allowed in HDB flats. Note that some popular breeds are not permitted, including the pit bull, chow chow, Siberian husky, golden retrievers and German shepherd.
Australian Silky Terrier
Boston Terrier (lightweight/middleweight)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chinese Crested Dog
Chinese Imperial Chin
Chinese Temple Dog (classic/miniature)
Coton de Tulear
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
English Toy Spaniel
German Hunting Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier
Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
Little Lion Dog
Small Continental Spaniel
Small English Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier
West Highland Terrier
Wire-haired Fox Terrier
Want to keep a dog that's not listed on the HDB list? That will require you to live in a private property unit. Browse cheap condos on sale for under 800k in Singapore, or read this article for freehold condos with units under 600k.
Are Cats Permitted in HDB Flats?
Unfortunately, the official rule is that keeping cats in HDB flats is strictly prohibited. The reason given by HDB is that it’s typically difficult to prevent felines from roaming outside your home. When they are permitted to roam, HDB states that the felines could pose health and hygiene risks as they shed fur, urinate or defecate in public places.
They also added that keeping cats in HDB flats can cause inconveniences to your neighbours as they make caterwauling sounds or shrill wailing noise when they're feeling stressed (i.e. when the owner is not home).
HDB rules state people should not keep cats in their flats.
But if you really want to own a feline and legally keep it in an HDB flat, then consider moving to certain HDB blocks in Chong Pang at Yishun. Since October 2012, about 120 households there have been permitted to raise one feline each under a pilot scheme known as Love Cats, as long as the families agree to microchip, sterilise and keep their pets indoors. The pilot scheme is run by the Cat Welfare Society with support from government agencies such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Ministry of National Development (MND).
The scheme’s supporters include Law Minister K. Shanmugam and Louis Ng, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and the founder of the ACRES group, which stands for Animal Concerns Research and Education Society.
While cat ownership has been banned for other HDB or public housing estates across Singapore since the Housing Board’s establishment in 1960, there’s a possibility that the "no cats in HDB flats" policy could change as Ng hailed the two-year pilot in Chong Pang as a success.
Experiment aside, the ban on cats has not deterred many Singaporeans from keeping felines in HDB flats. The authorities appear to take a hands-off approach, as long as the cats are kept indoors and the neighbours don’t complain.
What Other Kinds of Pets Can I Keep in HDB Flats?
Keeping small pets are generally permitted within HDB flats, as long they don’t cause inconvenience to neighbours or mess up common areas. But more importantly, they must not be part of the illegal wildlife trade (i.e. smuggled or illegally imported animals). They also cannot be classified as wild animals. In fact, the Singapore Police Force conducts occasional raids and inspections, particularly acting on tip-offs.
Below is a list of other pets allowed in HDB flats:
Birds (except house crow, white-vented or Javan myna, common myna, feral pigeon, and birds which are protected wildlife species)
Fish (except piranhas and fish which are protected wildlife species)
Green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea)
Land hermit crabs (Coenobita rugosus)
Malayan box turtles
Red-eared sliders (red-eared terrapins)
For birds and fishes, please note that those listed in the CITES Appendices must be imported with CITES permits or Certificates of Origin. If you require more info on what other pets can be raised in Singapore, please check the NParks website of the Animal and Veterinary Service.
What Other Pets Are Banned from Being Kept in HDB Flats?
In addition to cats, there are other animals that are not allowed to be kept as HDB pets, such as:
Buy or Adopt HDB Approved Dogs and Other Pets Responsibly
Of course, even though the authorities permit you to raise a pet within your HDB flat, it doesn’t mean you should immediately go out and buy one at the nearest pet store, or adopt it from the nearest dog shelter.
Pet ownership entails a big responsibility. When you bring one into your home, you are shouldering a huge responsibility of taking care of it. You should also be aware of the dos and don’ts of raising particular pets. For instance, do you know that grapes and chocolates are poisonous to dogs? If you're keeping a cat in your HDB flat, please mesh your windows!
If you don't have the time or resources to commit to an animal, try rearing indoor plants instead. After all, as this meme says, "Pets are the new children and plants are the new pets."
More FAQs about HDB Approved Dogs and Pets
Can We Keep Dogs in HDB?
Yes, but only 1 dog is allowed. Mixed breeds should have a maximum shoulder height of up to 55cm.
Are Labradors Allowed in HDB Flats?
No. Other big dogs such as German shepherds, huskies, chow chows, and Dalmations are not HDB approved dogs.
Are Singapore Special Dogs HDB Approved?
Yes, so long they are registered, sterilised, at least 6 months old, and have a shoulder height of up to 55cm, are obedience-trained and adopted from an animal welfare rehoming partner.
Are Pets Allowed in HDB?
Yes. Keeping small pets are okay and the rule of thumb is your pets shouldn’t dirty common areas or disturb your neighbours.
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