The most basic question you can ask before getting a dog is if you’re suited to be a pet owner. Not everyone has the time, space, finances, or household members who’ll agree to keep one permanently.
But if you’ve decided that you’re a good fit, then this guide on the basics of dog care is for you. It provides practical tips that are specific to canine carers in Singapore.
Know the legalities of owning one
Singapore has pretty stringent guidelines regarding dog ownership. Knowing and following them is a must to determine if you’re really a good fit to care for one.
The rules are tighter if you live in an HBD flat. Please note that not all dog breeds are allowed in them, with larger ones like Pitbulls and Rottweilers leading the prohibited list.
But if you live elsewhere, you’ll still need to ensure that your dog is licensed, kept on a leash in public areas, and properly muzzled if it’s any of the following breeds (or crosses of any of these): Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog (and related breeds), Rottweiler, Mastiffs including the Bull Mastiff, Cane Corso, and Dogue De Bordeaux.
Make a basic-needs checklist
Before even bringing your dog home, make sure your home is properly stocked with its basic needs. These include most pet store items like quality dog food, its own dog bed, toys, fresh water supply, and others.
Of course, part of having a happy and healthy pet is getting it routine health care checks. Getting your dog a reliable veterinary service even when it isn’t sick or injured is something that vets want from dog owners.
You can also have a contacts list for other emergency services for your dog if you suddenly need to be away for some time. Keep the number of reliable pet sitters or dog boarding services in Singapore on speed dial for your peace of mind.
Dog-proof your home
Puppies are notorious for practising their gnawing abilities on just about anything they can get their mouths on. To protect your dog from biting into things it isn’t supposed to (like electric cables), you’ll need to dog-proof your home.
You can train your puppy to stay away from restricted areas by putting up baby gates around it. Make sure to lock up hazardous materials where it can’t reach them and keep the doors closed in rooms they’re not supposed to be in.
You can see about enrolling your pup in a good dog training centre in Singapore, as well. There are experts there who can teach your dog foundational behaviour and discipline.
Get good pet insurance
You might ask yourself: “Is a pet insurance in Singapore a basic need?” We’d like to think so.
Emergency situations and unexpected illnesses or injuries can rack up huge veterinary and other bills. One way to avoid this is to get pet insurance that covers everything from pre-existing canine health conditions, prescription medication, emergency services, and other costs.
Plus, getting your dog its own insurance policy underlines how good a fur parent you are!
Provide proper exercise and grooming
Dogs need proper stimulation via playtime on a daily basis. This is especially important if you live in a small space where they can’t run around as much as they’d want.
So keep your dog on a leash and do regular walks with it in parks and botanic gardens in Singapore. Getting your dog happily tired from running around and getting a whiff of fresh air will guarantee a good night’s sleep for both of you.
And don’t forget to groom and keep your dog’s teeth, ears, nose, eyes, and entire body clean. To prevent its hair from getting matted or tangled, bring your pet to expert dog grooming centres to keep its coat shiny and sleek.