If you've been following along with our Singapore Pet Travel Series, you've learned about Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station, Singapore FAQs, and how to travel smoothly during the busy summer or holiday season.
In our latest installment, we examine some of the most common misconceptions about this relocation process. There's quite a bit of misinformation out there, so let's clear up a few myths about pet travel to Singapore!
Myth #1: All pets must undergo a 30 day quarantine upon arrival in Singapore.
It's likely that your pet will need to complete some time in quarantine, but the length will vary depending on where you're starting and which vaccination plan you follow. For most pets the quarantine will be either 10 or 30 days -- read more about quarantine requirements here and check with your pet travel advisor if you're wondering how to proceed.
Note: if you're starting in a rabies free country like the United Kingdom or Australia, no quarantine is required if all rules are followed and pets appear healthy upon arrival.
Myth #2: A "rush" move is possible as long as you hire professional help.
Though hiring pet travel experts to handle your move will make things easier, arranging a last minute move probably isn't going to be possible no matter what because the Singapore import process requires several steps that must be carried out in the right order.
If you're starting at zero, it will take 4 to 6 months to fulfill all the requirements. If you already have your pet's microchip and first rabies vaccine, it will probably take about 3 months to do everything. Even if you already did your pet's Titer Test, it will still take about 6 weeks at the very minimum, and that's if you're able to book a quarantine reservation.
As we like to stay, when it comes to international pet travel it's important to be flexible, plan smart, and plan early!
Myth #3: If you pay extra, you can skip quarantine or bypass breed bans.
The rules for Singapore are clearly outlined and stricter than most other countries, and paying an extra fee in order to avoid the basic requirements is not a possibility. Pit Bulls and a few other breeds are banned (see below for information from Singapore's official website), and quarantine is required if you're coming from a Category C or D country.
Myth #4: It's better for pet owners to travel on the same flight as their pet and bring them in cabin if possible.
As we've discussed, air cargo travel is a safe option (contrary to what many people initially assume). Pets travel in a pressure and temperature controlled part of the plane and are attended to by staff trained to handle animals correctly. Especially if you hire professional assistance to handle your move, your pet's movements will be carefully tracked and conveyed to you transparently. This is not only better for your pet, it makes it much easier to plan your own trip.
As far as cabin travel, some small pets may be able to enter Singapore as cabin passengers, but know that the arrival process is not quick and easy. Instead of being able to go through customs, grab their luggage and head home, pet owners will have to undergo the customs clearance process for pets, which is a little more complicated and can only take place during limited hours. We've heard this can take several hours altogether, and at the end of a long flight this is less than ideal.
Myth #5: Snub-nosed pets are unable to fly to Singapore.
Though brachycephalic breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs do face additional restrictions and temperature embargoes, this does not preclude them from flying to Singapore. Here's our snub-nosed breed travel guide for further reference, but generally speaking these pets will need a travel crate one size larger than usual, they should be at a healthy weight, and you'll need to research and observe any temperature embargoes that may be in effect.
Since these flat-nosed breeds are more susceptible to stress and heat, they need to receive special care during transit as Singapore is consistently quite warm. The good news is that there is a system in place to keep these pets safe -- when they're transported between the airport and Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station they will be taken in air-conditioned vehicles. There is an extra charge for this amenity, but of course it's well worth it. (Please ask your Singapore Pet Relocation Consultant about this if you have any questions.)
This is Part Four of PetRelocation's Singapore Pet Travel Spotlight -- read the whole series here and and contact us if you'd like to discuss your upcoming pet move to Singapore!