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Cost of Pets Singapore

The True Cost Of Pet Ownership in Singapore: Are You Ready?

profileHui Juan Neo

Growing up, I’ve always wanted a dog and a cat.

Source: Giphy

They are SO CUTE, right?

But, how many of us actually end up getting one? I definitely didn’t get one because my parents weren’t too keen on the idea as owning a pet is a huge responsibility.

Now that I have secured a house of my own, I am carefully considering owning a pet in the future and have spent countless hours researching this topic.

What I found was eye-opening.

If you are keen on owning a pet in Singapore, you’ll need to read on to find out how much it costs, why you might want to adopt instead of buying one and other non-financial considerations you’ll need to know.


TL;DR: Cost of Owning a Pet in Singapore: Pet Shop Singapore vs Adopting

 DogsCatsRabbitsHamstersParrots (Lovebirds, Budgerigars, African Grey)FishTerrapins

Buying a Pet From a Pet Shop in Singapore

Total Annual Cost (Assuming all pets are young)Small-sized
$7,416 - $15,014

Medium-sized
$9,781 - $15,874

Large-sized
$9,662 - $18,654
$4,921.79 - ~$15,149$920 - ~$2,476$340 - $671Lovebirds
~$292 - ~$2,137

Budgies
~$362- $2,137

African Greys
~$1,062 - ~$3,987
~$201 - ~$502Red-eared Slider
$652 - $816

Malayan Box Turtle
$800 to $960

Adopting a Pet in Singapore


Total Annual Cost (Assuming all pets are at least 2 years old)From $1,846
+
$0 - $500 adoption fee
From $922
+
$0 - $150 adoption fee
From $840
+
$0 - $50 adoption fee
From $320
+
$0 - $20 adoption fee
N/A

Click here to jump.


Cost of Purchasing a Pet From a Pet Shop in Singapore

First up, I’ll be breaking down the financial cost of owning a pet in Singapore from a pet store.

Source: Giphy
 DogsCatsRabbitsHamstersParrotsFishTerrapin
Lifespan10 - 20 years10 - 20 years8 - 12 years2 - 3 years15 - 60 years30 months to years15 - 35 years
PriceSmall-sized (e.g., Toy Poodle, Pomeranian):
$6,000 - $8,000

Medium-sized (e.g., Corgi, Shiba Inu):
$7,880 - $8,500

Large-sized (e.g., Golden or Labrador Retriever):
$8,000 - $9,000
$4,000 - $12,000$80 - $500$20 - $80$80 - $2,000

Lovebirds: $80 - $150

Budgerigar: $150

African Greys: $850 - $2,000
$5.80 - $40 Red-eared Slider: $2 to $6

Malayan Box Turtle: $150+
Food (Annual)Dry kibbles or Wet canned food: $480 - $2,400
Treats: $84 - $360

Subtotal
$564 - $2,760
Dry kibbles: $240 - $1,598

Wet canned food: $60 - $540

Subtotal
$300 - $2,138
Pellets: $180 - $300
Hay: $102 - $918
Treats: $120

Subtotal
$402 - $1,338
~ $220$7.90 - $36.90$50 - $150$360

Diet should have: Commercial turtle pellets, protein, leafy vegetables, fruits
Day-to-day

Note: Some items may be required to change after several usage, please change them according to your pet's needs.
Potty pads: $6.60 to $58 per pack (purchase 30 times a year), depending on the size of the pad.

Subtotal
$198 - $1,740
Litter box: $8 - $148.90Cage: $50 - $100

Enclosure within house: $30 - $80

Bowls: $2 - $5 each

Litter box: $20 - $50

Subtotal
$102 - $235
Cage: $15 - $125

Bedding: $15 - $18 (in L or Kg)

Sand Bath: $15 - $18 per 3 kg

Sand Bath Tray: $2 - $25

Wheel: $20 - $70

Hideout: $8 - $50 (ceramic to multi-chamber)

Subtotal
$75 - $306
Aviary cage (with layers): $139 - $1,800
Cage liners: $20 - $30 per year
Chew toys: $20 - $50 per year

Subtotal
$179 - $1,880
Fish tank accessories: $14 - $80

Filter: $30 - $50

Heater and thermometer: $15 - $30

Lighting and hood: $20 - $30

Aquarium decorations: $10 - $30

Live plants: $10 - $30

Fish Net: $1 - $1.50

Subtotal
$100 - $251.50
At least $250

- Aquarium accessories
- Filter
- UVB lamps
- Water heater
- Basking spot
Grooming (Annual)


Services: Nail trim, Fur trim, Bath, Cleaning of ears, Expressing the anal gland etc.
Once every four to six weeks

Small dogs: $40 to $130 per visit
Medium dogs: $50 to $160 per visit
Big dogs: $65 to $350 per visit

Subtotal
Small dogs: $480 to $1,560

Medium dogs: $600 to $1,920

Large dogs: $780 to $4,200
From $70 onwardsFrom $50 onwardsNail trim: $15N/A$30 - $40N/A
Basic Medical (Annual)
Vaccination, Check up, Yearly booster

Puppies
$120 for 2 vaccinations + 1 health check-up

Adulthood
$65 onwards for yearly booster
Kittens
$120 for 2 vaccinations + 1 health check-up

Adult Cats
Check-up: From $35
Check-up: From $35Check-up: $30 - $50

Check-up: $25 - $70Check-up: $15 - $20Check-up: $40 – $200
Licensing, Microchipping, Sterilisation
(Only Dogs and Cats)

For dogs: You can apply for a one-time licence that is valid throughout the dog’s lifetime, at $15. This applies only to sterilised dogs.
Licensing: $15 - $90 per year

Microchipping: $50 - $90

Sterilisation: From $300 (female costs more)

Subtotal
At least $365 - $480

Microchipping
$50 to $90

Sterilisation
From $200

Subtotal
$250 - $290
Sterilisation
$250 - $300
N/A
MiscellaneousBed/Sofa: $30 - $215
Collar: $9 - $25
Leash: $7 - $80
Toys: $8 - $34

Subtotal
$54 - $354
Bed/Sofa: $30 - $215

Collar: $0.79 - $18

Cat Tree: At least $100

Toys: $8 - $34

Subtotal
$138.79 - $367
$1 - $17.90N/A
Total CostSmall-sized
$7,416 - $15,014

Medium-sized
$9,781 - $15,874

Large-sized
$9,662 - $18,654

$4,921.79 - $15,148.90$920 - $2,475.90$340 - $671Lovebirds
$291.90 - $2,136.90

Budgies
$361.90- $2,136.90

African Greys
$1,061.90 - $3,986.90
$200.80 - $501.50Red-eared Slider
$652 to $816

Malayan Box Turtle
$800 to $960

Also, pure-bred dog and cat prices have more than doubled or tripled over the last two years and currently cost anywhere from $7,000 and $15,000.

Note: All information sourced from Petslover, Perromart, Shopee, FairPrice Online, ClubPets, Ezbuy, Amazon & Lazada. The prices are basic and they will vary depending on the quality of material, food and size of your pets. 


Cost of Pet Adoption in Singapore

As the saying goes, “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” Adoption from a shelter can be extremely rewarding as you are giving these lovely animals that may have been abandoned or are struggling in the wild to find a forever home.

For example, some of these pets might have pre-existing medical conditions which resulted in previous owners abandoning them (sobs).

But, you’ll need to know that as part of the adoption process, the shelter usually requires you to go through a stringent suitability assessment together with your family members, before you can bring the pet home.

This is done through an interview to understand your knowledge, and your experiences in handling pets, especially dogs and cats, before you become the Chosen One.

Source: Tenor

Shelters have the responsibility of caring and ensuring that animals are safe and well taken care of after adoption, and volunteers may check-in with you at times.

One thing to note is that the adoption rate has also increased due to working-from-home arrangements and it is very competitive, especially for the pedigrees and cross-breeds animals.

If you have the time to commit and are confident you will be able to handle an older/mature pet (regardless of breed), you can try applying to adopt.

Do note that you should go there with an open mind as there are no guarantees you will be able to adopt a pet.

 DogsCatsRabbitsHamster
Adopting fee$0 to $500$0 to $150$0 to $50$0 to $20
Food, Day-to-Day, Grooming, Medical, Licensing/Microchipping, Miscellaneous (Anual)From $1,846From $921.79From $840From $320
Total CostFrom $1,846 + $0 - $500 adoption feeFrom $921.79 + $0 - $150 adoption feeFrom $840 +
$0 - $50 adoption fee
From $320 +
$0 - $20 adoption fee

Additional Costs of Pet Ownership in Singapore

If you think that the costs above are everything, that’s not all.

Like humans, pets have different needs too.

Some of the pets require additional training, attention and medical care.

Pet Training (Mostly Dogs)

Source: Giphy

A typical obedience training for puppies can set you back at $600 to $3,000. There are also one-to-one private sessions (usually near your home), in which the trainers will customise training to suit your dog’s needs. This will set you back anywhere from $130 to $300 per lesson.

If you want your dog to socialise with other dogs, you can also consider group training, at $50 to $80 per lesson.

Apart from obedience training, certain dog breeds may require behavioural training, especially if the dog tends to be more aggressive.

Such training is usually conducted one-to-one so that the trainer can provide undivided attention to the dog. You can expect to pay anywhere from $135 to $350 per lesson.

Pet Insurance in Singapore: Dogs & Cats

Like how humans have life insurance, health insurance, cancer insurance, disability insurance, and pets too, have their own insurance.

Generally, pet insurance covers

  • Dental treatment due to accident or illness
  • Non-surgical treatment
  • Surgical treatment
  • Post-surgery treatment
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chemotherapy
  • Accidental death
  • Final expenses – Include expenses for euthanasia, funeral service, etc.
  • Third-party liability – If your pet destroys someone’s property or attacks other pets
  • Theft – For the loss of your dog/cat due to theft

Do note that the pet insurance scene in Singapore isn’t exactly as robust as in other countries. In addition, insurers only cover dogs or cats.

Some notable insurances include AIA Paw Safe, CIMB My Paw Pal, Happy Tails and PetCare.

The annual premium ranges from $74.90 to $750 per year.

Source: Giphy

Getting which type of pet insurance is greatly dependent on your pet. Some factors you can consider include:

  • Age: Ensure that your pet is within the eligible age range for getting an insurance policy. If your pet is getting older, it is important to get it insured sooner rather than later, just like human beings.
  • Pet Breed: Certain breeds are more susceptible to illnesses. For example, golden retrievers are more susceptible to cancer. Knowing the illnesses associated with your pet’s breed will come in handy when buying insurance.
  • Aggression: If your dog/cat is aggressive, you can factor that into consideration as well so that you can be covered.
  • Medical History: Is your pet prone to medical illnesses? If yes, get one that has higher medical coverage.
  • Accidents: Is your pet accident-prone? If so, make sure you are covered for and have substantial payouts for accidental injuries.
  • Cost: Evaluate if the cost of the annual premium for pet insurance is something you can comfortably afford.
  • Lifetime coverage: Ideally, a policy that provides lifetime coverage will be best as your pets are susceptible to more illnesses as they get older.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet

Pets like dogs and cats offer their owners companionship, understanding and an unbreakable bond of devotion that owners can’t find elsewhere.

Other pets like birds, fish and reptiles provide owners with structure and purpose to daily life through having a pet-care routine.

What’s more, these little animals don’t expect anything in return while giving us selfless love, hence the least we can do for them is to do our best to take care of them.

If you ever decide to own a pet, make sure you are ready to commit 100% as it is a huge responsibility and never ever neglect or abandon your pet.

Owners’ Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

You will need to check with your family or housemates if they have pre-existing medical conditions such as sinus or allergies.

Source: Giphy

Time: Are You Able to Commit

Indeed, if you are working from home, lucky for you as you can be there physically for your pet.

But, how often are you mentally there for them? You will need to devote yourself both physically and mentally to care for your pet and ensure that your lifestyle does not disrupt your pet’s natural routine, including sleep, potty time, and playtime.

Ethically Bred

If you intend to get a pedigree pet, do your due diligence to check if they are bred ethically as simply put, breeding mills are terrible for the animals.

Travel Frequency

If you are always travelling overseas and do not have time to walk, feed or dedicate hours bonding with your pet, you might want to reconsider getting one.

Pets may crave companionship and need to adapt to different environments, and it will be hard to do so when travelling imposes changes on lifestyles.

Long-Term Commitment = Long-Term Financial Costs

If you are doing groceries, look out for deals so that you can snatch pet supplies at a discounted rate.

Similarly, check out online grocers that have free delivery and promotions.

Also, pet stuff is expensive. Do make use of credit cards that can snap that will reward you with cashback, miles or rewards points when you spend on your furry friends.


Alternatives To Owning A Pet

If you feel that you are not ready to own one, there are ways you can still get close to pets and experience what it’s like to handle them.

1. Dog-Walk

Dog-walking is an option for you to earn some extra cash, as some pet owners would require help to walk their dogs.

I used to do this when I was younger as I wanted to earn some passive income.

It is not a lot of money, but it does provide some extra cash for a poor student, so it’s a win-win for me.

2. Volunteer At A Shelter

Consider volunteering at a shelter!

The pets at shelters often require a lot of attention and that is where you can shower your love.

Check out below for some of the notable places.

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About Hui Juan Neo
Personal finance is almost everything in life and it starts from the smallest details. I'm a maven-connector and I enjoy sharing life and saving hacks!
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