They look so innocent
We all have our own reasons to love dogs and get one of these four legged therapeutic wonders. Maybe also for you it is time to settle down and make this family addition now you got your new BTO or now that your kids are grown up and have been begging for a play mate. Dogs can teach them to take responsibility and having him will bring both tears and joy to the household with their unconditional love and cute clumsy antics. Dogs are sources of pleasure and fun, but can become a source of anxiety as well. Few people realise the financial commitment they enter into getting a dog. Being the financially sensible types, we have been sniffing around and have done some analysis for you and conclude that it is not impossible for your furry tail wagging friend to break the bank for you and become a seriously friendly and loveable financial liability. Think about this before entering into the commitment and don’t get bitten by your dog breaking the bank. Have a read and learn what acquisition costs, maintenance, pet insurance and love and care it takes………..
Let’s talk money
Gone seem the days where you can get a puppy from a neighbour / relative who had an accidental litter and passed you a puppy for a small ‘ang bao’ (red packet). It has become serious business. Also gone are the days where you could or should have a dog without dog insurance if you are financially responsible. A relatively cheap way of getting a dog and to give a furbaby a 2nd chance is to go the #AdoptDontShop route. For that you can drop by or visit SPCA’s Adoption Gallery to view the available furries up for adoption (you can even filter on colour match!). Adoption fees range from $70 to $250 depending on age and breed. While you’re at it you may as well also visit the ‘Rehoming Notice Board’ to view the pets that are up for rehoming by private owners.
If you can’t find anything to your liking or prefer one “out of the box”, then there are a number of reputable breeders/ shops in Singapore to visit such as Pet Lovers Centre or the kennels at Sungei Tengah. Locally bred dogs, can cost from $1,800 to $3,800 while imported pedigrees start anywhere from $5,500 up to as much as $15,000 for known AKC bloodlines.
If you fell in love with a pupper while travelling or want to import one from a breed-specific breeder from overseas, consider paperwork and transport cost ( flight and vet dependent) which can set you back an additional $2500. It is mandatory to get your dogs microchipped in Singapore. This is to ensure pet dogs to be easily identified and tracked back to their owners in the scenario of a disease outbreak, lost dog or even abandonment due to illnesses or old age.
There is more…
A puppy needs to get a minimum of 3 (mandatory) vaccination shots to be considered safe to make new puppy friends. Core vaccines for all dogs in general is to protect them from Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus (aka Parvo) & Parainfluenza (DAPP). Cost can range from $25-$50 per shot. Should you wish to enroll your puppy in puppy training school, it is recommended and for some schools, mandatory that a Bordetella Vaccine for prevention against Kennel Cough be administered as well. Singapore has been rabies-free thus far. A Rabies shot still can be administered as a precautionary jab and is a mandatory vaccine for all dogs being imported into Singapore. Alright, all set. Let it rip, let the fun begin.
Not so fast tiger! Owning a dog is not just getting a collar, leash and food bowls. You ideally would need to prepare your house before your puppies arrival with items such as:
- Pet gate barriers (to prevent them from getting into certain rooms such as the kitchen or toilets)
- Dog Crate/ Kennel with Bed as their safehouse for training
- Dog Playpen Fencing
- Dog Brush/ Comb/ Shedding tool
- Dog Ear Cleaner/ Balm
- Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
- Dog Nail Clipper and Grinder
- Dog Pee Tray and Pee Pad
- Assortment of dog treats
- Dog Poo bag & Refills
- Dog Travel water bottle/ bowl
- Non-slip foam floor mats (For tile flooring – the smoothness of the tiles can be detrimental to the hip/ joint growth on a puppy)
All this and more can easily cost $350-$500 depending on the quality and brand of item. This excludes dolling your puppy up with fashionable apparels, boots and customised bling bling collar. Ok ok got it, let the playing begin.
After running and playing around for a few hours you and your new friend are hungry. Depending on preference, you may choose to feed your puppy dry food, wet food or even put him on a raw diet/ home cooked meal. Either way you’re looking at a range of $30 for a basic bag or up to $150 for a higher grade pack of kibble that may last you about a month. You can leave it at that or up the ante further by adding supplements. After a couple of walks with your new friend you feel this itch and realise dogs attract fleas, so it’s back to the pet shop to get your flea & ticks prevention. The most popular brand costs $64 for 6 doses for a medium sized puppy. Speaking of taking your puppy out. If you do not have your own private transport, how then does one transport your pet dog around in multi-cultural Singapore? Well, you can either invest in a pet bag/ carrier to commute them via public transport (think crowded trains, heavy carrier and scared puppy) or you can opt for GrabPet albeit a little more costly than a usual GrabRide on the same route. For a fixed cost option and to minimise waiting time, there are also a couple of Pet Taxi services available at $35 per trip. The first ride could be to take your new friend for a pet grooming. If you got a short haired dog like a Pug, French Bulldog or Jack Russel then you may skip this section. For all the gorgeously long, silky and fluffy furbabies such as the Silky Terrier, Maltipoo to the Chow Chow and Huskies, you would need to factor in monthly or quarterly trips to the groomers, the costs of which range from $45 for a basic groom to $120 for a relaxing afternoon mud spa.
Checkout / checkup
Still with us? Ok, all in all, you’re probably looking at a “start-up” puppy cost of approximately $4,000 with an average running cost of $800-$1200 for monthly maintenance. This excludes any unexpected medical treatment that may arise so do ensure you have the right pet insurance coverage in case of emergencies. Prevention is always better, but so is having a peace of mind that you got your loved one covered. Even with all the necessary vaccines, dogs do require medical attention from time to time. Thankfully, there is such a thing as Pet Insurance and Dog Insurance in Singapore to help tide over costly treatments when your beloved pet do get sick or even involved in a mishap. Dog Insurance in Singapore ranges from $350 to $750 depending on the age and type of coverage that you would like to have in place. You may view and compare different types of policies available via Insurance Market, our unbiased platform that allows you to find, compare and buy policies across insurers in Singapore. While there, you may keep an eye out for any promotional codes such as the one currently on for Liberty Pet insurance and offers such as free Pet Lovers Membership available with your pet insurance.