]You’ve gotten the cutest fur kid on the block from the pet shop. You’ve got its water bowl, a bed, lots of treats, a leash, a collar, a heap of toys and what seems like an endless supply of dog food. You’ve got your fur kid all settled in and you’re at the website of the Agri-food & Veterinary Authority (AVA).
Your mouse and cursor hovers over the “apply for a new dog licence online” hyperlink. You’re about to click on it but you close the window instead. You don’t think that it is worth the hassle. You don’t think it is worth the fee. You ask fellow paw parents if they have ever registered their dogs with AVA and 90% of their responses are, “We need to??”
So clearly, this is a sign that getting your dog licensed isn’t necessary. Right? Wrong!
Responsible pet ownership begins with dog licensing. Here are five reasons why:
1. It’s not worth the fine.
If you think the hassle of applying online and arranging for GIRO payment is not worthwhile, think again. Assuming your dog is unsterilized, the license fee per dog is a mere $90 per year. Plus, you get a 10% discount if you pay by GIRO. Opting not to get your dog license MAY save you $90 a year but when checked against the cost of a $5,000 fine should your dog to be found unlicensed, it really isn’t worth it.
2. It’s the law.
Now, as much as you hate to hear this, there is no avoiding or denying this fact. Licensing your dog is the law. Thus, keeping an unlicensed dog is an offence and as mentioned in Point 1, the penalty is a hefty $5,000 fine. So make sure you do the mandatory and get your fur kid (three months old and above) licensed with AVA and be sure to renew the license every year.
3. Microchip is not GPS.
The pet shop or shelter you picked your pet up from may have informed you that Fido comes micro-chipped. As with most pet owners, you may think: Phew! Should my baby go missing, I won’t have trouble finding him.
Think again! The common misconception that most pet owners have is that pet microchips work as a tracking device. Do note that you stand corrected on this. In 2007, it became mandatory for all dogs to be micro-chipped in order to obtain a dog license. However, these pet microchips are NOT tracking devices and if unregistered, it cannot trace your fur baby back to you should it go missing.
In short: Please make sure that your fur kid is licensed for both your sakes.
4. Rabies no more.
Rabies is a scarily deadly disease that can be passed from infected dogs to humans through a dog bite or saliva. The thought of your fur kid thus suffering is heart wrenching. Fido does not want this disease and neither do you. This is why it is crucial to have your dog licensed with AVA. The licensing is necessary for rabies control and while Singapore is currently rabies-free, many other countries are not and therefore, pose a risk of the disease being inadvertently brought into Singapore. In the case of such an occurrence, dog licensing will allow AVA to quickly contact dog owners to control the spread of the disease.
Remember: The benefits far exceed the dis-benefits of getting your dog licensed.