HDB-approved dogs and pets: What you need to know

5 min read

Many of us can’t imagine life without our furry friends. But if you’re living in an HDB flat, and not private property, you might just be illegally housing your pet without realising it. How many dogs can you keep in HDB flats? Are cats allowed? In this article, we tell you all you need to know about keeping HDB-approved dogs and pets in your flat!

Keeping dogs in a HDB flat

Dog lovers, take note: you’re strictly limited to keep only one small dog in your HDB flat. On top of that, your dog has to be of an acceptable breed or cross-breed under HDB’s list.

You’ll also need to have your dog licensed by NParks Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS). Breaching any of the these regulations can get you fined up to S$4,000 — yikes!

List of HDB-approved dog breeds

Affenpinscher Australian Silky Terrier Australian Terrier
Bichon Frise Bohemian Terrier Bolognese
Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxaellois) Bichon Havanese Border Terrier
Boston Terrier (Lightweight and Middleweights) Cairn Terrier Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua Chinese Crested Dog Chinese Imperial Chin
Chinese Temple Dog (Classic and Miniature) Coton de tulear Czech Terrier
Dachshund (Light and Miniature) Dandie Dinmont Terrier English Toy Spaniel
Griffon Belge German Hunting Terrier Griffon Brabancon
Hairless Dog Italian Greyhound Jack Russell Terrier
Japanese Spaniel (Chin) Japanese Spitz Lhasa Apso
Little Lion Dog Lakeland Terrier Maltese
Manchester Terrier Miniature Pinscher Miniature Schnauzer
Norfolk Terrier Norwich Terrier Papillon
Pekinese Pomeranian Poodle
Pug Poodle (Miniature) Schipperkee
Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Shetland Sheep dog
Shih Tzu Silky Terrier Small Continental Spaniel
Small English Terrier Small Spitz Smooth Fox Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier Toy Terrier Tibetan Spaniel
Volpino Italiano West Highland Terrier Wire-Haired Fox Terrier
Welsh Terrier Yorkshire Terrier
Dog at Home
Jack Russell Terrier is one of the dog breeds that’s HDB-approved.

You may also consider adopting a local medium-sized mixed breed dog or “Singapore Special” through Project ADORE. Under this scheme, you can keep a larger dog in your HDB flat.

Besides being a local mixed-breed, take note that the dog has to:

  • Be at least six months old and sterilised
  • Have a shoulder height of up to 55cm
  • Undergo compulsory basic obedience training by AVA-accredited trainers

Which dogs are not HDB-approved? 

These are mostly larger dog breeds, including the popular ones such as the Golden Retriever, Pit Bull, Siberian Husky, Corgi and Shiba Inu.

Nevertheless, these dog breeds are permitted in private properties. However, take note that you can only keep up to three dogs in any one of these properties.

Can you keep cats in HDB flats? 

Sadly, HDB’s official stance is that cats are not allowed in HDB flats. According to HDB, the rationale behind this is because cats are “generally difficult to contain within the flat”.

HDB also notes that when allowed to roam indiscriminately, cats tend to inconvenience neighbours as they “shed fur and defecate or urinate in public areas, and also make caterwauling sounds”.

A kitten under a blanket on a sofa
Apart from some blocks in Chong Pang, cats are technically not allowed in HDB flats.

That having been said, there is an exception to the rule: residents of certain HDB blocks in the Chong Pang neighbourhood of Yishun have been allowed to keep cats in their flats since October 2012. This ruling falls under a pilot scheme called Love Cats, which is managed by Cat Welfare Society with the support of government agencies like HDB and the Ministry of National Development.

Amongst those who are backing the scheme are Law Minister K. Shanmugam, as well as MP for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng. Ng, who’s also the founder of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), has repeatedly called in Parliament for cats to be allowed in HDB flats.

A final word on cats in HDB flats: it’s worthy to note that whilst legislation bans cats from HDB flats, HDB generally tends to let sleeping ‘cats’ lie, unless they receive a serious complaint.

Keeping other pets in HDB flats

Want to keep other pets in your HDB flat? Your options include small animals such as:

  • Fish
  • Hamsters
  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Gerbils
  • Guinea pigs
  • Chinchillas
  • Birds (except house crows, common mynahs and pigeons)
  • Red-eared terrapins
  • Green tree frogs
  • Land hermit crabs

What do you think of the ban on cats in HDB flats? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook post.

If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends Pet owner shares unique home-buying journey to avoid HDB’s ‘one-dog only’ rule and How to Rent When You Have a Cat with You. 

Looking for a property? Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co! If you would like to estimate the potential value of your property, check out 99.co’s Property Value Tool for free. Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook community page or Telegram chat group! Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

[Additional reporting by Virginia Tanggono]


Frequently asked questions

Which dog breeds are HDB-approved?

There are 62 dog breeds that are HDB-approved. This includes the Jack Russell Terrier, Poodle, Pomeranian and Shih Tzu.

Is Golden Retriever approved in HDB flats?

No, unfortunately, you’re not allowed to keep a Golden Retriever in an HDB flat.

What if my dog is not HDB-approved?

If you’re found to keep a dog that’s not HDB-approved, you can be fined up to S$4,000.

Looking to sell your property?

Whether your HDB apartment is reaching the end of its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) or your condo has crossed its Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) window, it is always good to know how much you can potentially gain if you were to list and sell your property. Not only that, you’ll also need to know whether your gains would allow you to right-size to the dream home in the neighbourhood you and your family have been eyeing.

One easy way is to send us a request for a credible and trusted property consultant to reach out to you.

Alternatively, you can jump onto 99.co’s Property Value Tool to get an estimate for free.

If you’re looking for your dream home, be it as a first-time or seasoned homebuyer or seller – say, to upgrade or right-size – you will find it on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co.

Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

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Reader Interactions


    • Jack

      Why Corgi and Shiba Inu under larger dog breeds and they are not big like Golden Retriever size?

      Also see a lot of people keep Corgi and Shiba Inu in HDB flat…

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