Singapore lies at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, 1 degree 17 minutes or 137 kilometers north of the equator. The main island is approx. 40 km east-to-west & 18 km north-south, with a total land area of 632 sq.km. Not a single island, Singapore consists of around 60 islands & islets and extends to the shores of both Malaysia and Indonesia, separated by the Straits of Johor and Straits of Singapore respectively. The equatorial climate, combined with limited land resources and a high population density means limited access for pet related activities, and certain health concerns not commonly found in more temperate climes.
Of Singapore's nearly 3.5 million people (4 million with expatriates & foreigners), 70 - 75% are ethnic Chinese, with the Malay and Indian communities making up the next two largest contingents. The majority of the Malays are of the Islamic faith, and due to religious and social prohibitions are adverse to any physical contact with dogs. Similarly, many other Singaporeans have limited experience with dogs - especially large breeds - and may become disconcerted or afraid if approached by such an animal. There is also a general concern about large black dogs. Due animal restraint and awareness of these matters when walking your pet, or when people visit your home, should help avoid any unpleasantness.
Although Singapore is within easy distance of Malaysia and Indonesia, it is not possible to take your pet out of Singapore, even for a day trip. Any animal leaving the country for whatever reason must have all the appropriate documentation both from Singapore and the destination country. In addition, to return to Singapore requires all the necessary import and quarantine documentation as well as a 30 day quarantine period. Due to an outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia in 1998, it is quite complex and prolonged to get permission to (re-)import any animal from that country.
There are relatively few laws of significance regarding pets residing in Singapore. Perhaps the most important is that dogs must be on leash in public at all times. For a brief review of these rules and regulations, please visit our pet information page.