Pet Import: Ask the Owners
17 Jul 2013

Lifestyle & Arts - Featured OS

Pet Import: Ask the Owners

Are you considering bringing your pets back to Singapore when you return home? Three Singaporeans who have brought their pets into Singapore tells us about their experience.


 Are you considering bringing your pets back to Singapore when you return home? Three Singaporeans who have brought their pets into Singapore tells us about their experience.

Elizabeth Ee is the owner of Dustee Ee, a 3-year-old “spoodle” (a cross between a toy poodle and cocker spaniel). 

Janice Teo is the owner of Theodore, a 10-year-old “domestic short hair” (cats that have no particular breed).

Samuel & Adeline Lee are the owners of Sparky, a 12-year-old Australian silky terrier.

Sparky has been with Samuel and Adeline from birth and has since flown to the UK and back.

Q: What were you initial concerns prior to bringing your pet back to Singapore?

Janice: Everything! What paper work is required, costs, the actual process of getting vet checked. Where he will be held before he goes onto the flight, where will the crate go, what happens when he lands, etc. I must have called the pet forwarder a hundred times to ask them questions again and again!

Samuel & Adeline: We used professional pet movers, so paperwork and documentation hassles were taken care of. Our questions were mainly related to any potential impact on the health and well-being of Sparky during the transit, for example the length of time she would be kept to the confines of her carrier, length of time she would have to go without food or water, time she would be at AVA or pet freight centre at destination before we could collect her. 

Q: What was your experience bringing your pet into Singapore? Especially with the paper-work and documentation that had to be done through AVA.

Elizabeth: I paid Jetpets Australia for the full admin service, so they looked after paperwork and documentation for me. This is my second time bringing my pet back. The last time was in 2007. Both times were smooth sailing except the price had gone up by about AU$400.

Samuel & Adeline: Our recommendation would be to use a professional pet mover as opposed to try and save the money and do the paperwork yourself.  Besides paperwork are also the various logistics.

Q: Having gone through the experience of bringing your pet into Singapore, what advice would you give to other pet owners hoping to do the same?

Elizabeth: If you want to save cost, plan ahead and look after applying for the permit yourself. It'll save you a few hundred dollars. 

Janice: Paper work for customs clearance is extremely important. Some may want to do it themselves to save money but I strongly recommend hiring the experts to do it because they know what's required. You do not want your pet to be stuck in limbo somewhere because you forgot to attach a carbon copy of something to the docket.

Samuel & Adeline: Do a bit of homework on the reputation or track record of pet movers from source destination so that you know you'll be dealing with professionals who will look after the well-being of your pet. Find out in advance if the source destination has a PETS exchange agreement with Singapore, which determines then if there are quarantine requirements for your pet in Singapore and the length of quarantine. This will help you make advance preparations, for example, when would be the best time of the year to send your pet to Singapore, taking into consideration Singapore’s hot & humid weather conditions and how that would affect your pet if it had to be quarantined.

Q: Just like humans, pets need to acclimatise to different environments. What steps did you take to help your pet adapt to the new environment in Singapore?

Elizabeth: We brought my last pet for a doggy spa somewhere in Siglap. This round, we also brought Dustee to the groomers who gave her a tidy trim. We kept her walks simple and confined to early in the morning or late at night. We also keep her indoors rather than let her roam in the heat in the garden. 

Janice: Cats are pretty adaptable creatures, so there was no worry about getting too cold or too hot. But in terms of environment, it is best to leave the pet in the crate or pet taxi for awhile in the new place before you let it out to let it get used to new sounds and smells. And when you let it out, control it to a small area or room with not too much noise. And the rest, the cat will adjust accordingly.

What are the requirements and procedures for importing  pets into Singapore and exporting them out? Read about them and find out what happens to your pet as we bring you on a tour of the quarantine station in Singapore! We also talk to a vet to find out how you can prepare your pets for their flights back home.


Read the stories of Singaporeans living overseas.