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It’s always good to be on top of new rules and laws, particularly as pet sitters and pet owners, if it relates to animal welfare.

Well, on 15 June 2017 this year, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore released a new code on animal welfare for pet owners.  This was on top of the code on animal welfare related pet sitting, dog sitting, dog grooming, home boarding and the overall pet industry.

Both pet owners and any one or business involved in the pet industry are expected to comply with both AVA codes.  This is great, and are one of the first issued in Singapore, because failure to follow such codes would essentially be breaking the law.

So what do you need to know? There are 5 key things:

1. You need to be accountable for your pet: As a pet owner, you would need to make all reasonable arrangements for your pet’s care should it be at home or under someone else’s care. This means that if you need to place your pet at a pet hotel, or pet daycare or even hire a dog sitter on, you would need to make a visit or speak with the care givers beforehand.  At the same time, if your pet is lost, you or the pet sitters would need to make a missing pet report with the Police or AVA, and take efforts to find your pet such as placing missing posts on Facebook or other groups animal welfare groups.

2. Body condition, not too thin, not too fat: You need to keep monitoring your dog or cat’s body size. They should not be visibly obese or bone-thin, which means they should have adequate nutrients, have regular exercise (e.g. dog walking), and be of an ideal size and stature.

3. Good living conditions: Your cat and dog will live with you at home. And so, it should have a good area for resting, eating, exercising and exploring. It should also have its own toilet area for its daily business. If a cage is being used, your pet dog or cat should be released adequately every day for exercising.

4. Proper use of leashes or any other form of tether: Dogs also have feelings, and so none should be chained up in the backyard or garage outdoors. They are part of the family and should live like one.

If unfortunately, you normally fasten your dog by a chain, leash or rope to restrict its movement, it should be fastened to a secure object that would not move, fall or hurt your pet.

AVA even specifies for dogs, the rope or object used should be at least twice the length of the dog and be low enough so that the dog can lie down comfortably and not be forced to stand or choke.  If a choke chain is being used, you would be walking on a thin line, given it could tighten around your dog’s neck and strangle it. If you must, it should only be used under supervision.

5. Finally, water, water, water!: Humans can only survive without water for a maximum of 3 days. So imagine a dog without water. Dogs should be provided with adequate water and hydration, shade, fan ventilation or air conditioning to keep cool. You should not subject them to physical exertion under the heat. And if your dog sheds regularly, to ensure they are groomed to prevent the accumulation of dead hair.

At, we strive to ensure a trusted community of pet sitters abide by all our policies as well as any government agency rules and regulations. For more details on the code itself, you may visit AVA’s website at