What you should know before owning a dog

dogs, adopt, foster, neuter, dog law, ownership,

Having a dog will change your life for the better, especially if you do your homework beforehand. Read our pawsome 101 to get you started.

Words by Ayush Narayanan

Want to add to your family by bringing in a furry friend? First of all, adopt don’t shop!

Sadly, shelters and foster homes in the UAE are filled with dumped pets, although regulations announced by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in 2018 make clear the responsibilities of animal owners – people who abandon their pets here could now face legal punishments

There are plenty of groups in Dubai helping pooches looking for a forever home. Read our rundown of adoption and rescue agencies, plus there are a few more ideas below:

Animal Action UAE

Animal Action UAE, dog, adoption, foster care

Part of the Emirates Animal Welfare Society, this organisation was founded in 2010. They do not operate kennels or shelters, but rather put up dogs in foster homes till they can be adopted.


SNIFF (Strays Needing Interim or Furever Friends)

SNIFF, dog adoption, foster, adopt, UAE

This non-profit organisation has been rescuing cats and dogs since 2013. You have the option to foster till they find a forever home, or adopt your new pet straightaway.


38 Smiles

38 smiles, dog adoption, foster care, UAE

Another dedicated organisation that helps you foster and adopt dogs (and cats). They host routine adoption drives in the hope to make a positive difference to people’s best friends.


What the law here says about dogs:

  • You can import cats and dogs into the UAE after receiving a permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. You will need to provide your pet’s vaccination card, health certificate, passport and details about its microchip. Some pets might need to test for rabies before entering the UAE.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the cabin on passenger flights to and from Dubai. You can arrange for them to be flown as cargo; technicalities differ between each airline. Guide dogs are allowed on-board with permission from the carrier.
  • Dog owners must register their pets with Dubai Municipality, keep vaccinations up to date and have them on a leash at all times when in public. Those who fail to do so will face a fine between AED 10, 000 and AED 100,000.

Remember, pet insurance is not yet available in the UAE so make sure you have enough cash for medical and other expenses along the way. These include neutering, if the dog is six months or younger, which costs from approx AED 750, depending on size. If you adopt, this is often included in the adoption fee – yet another reason to take on a rescue.

Renters, don’t forget to check with your landlord if you can keep an animal. Plenty of communities in Dubai are pet-friendly. Here are five we’ve checked out.

Whether you become best friends with a Beagle or snuggle up with a Schnauzer, we wish you and your pooch many happy dog years together!

Posted in DXB Guides, Families, Great Reads | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What you should know before owning a dog