Having a pet is always a comfort, and Dubai has no shortage of abandoned animals in need of homes. If you’re not sure you can commit for the long term, there are also options to foster animals as cat and dog homes especially are overcrowded. Check with your landlord what the pet policy is before you move in. In many cases it is not permitted to keep a pet, particularly in apartments. Some landlords will be amenable, but it is advisable to get any permission in writing to avoid difficult situations further down the line.

Walking your pet
Pets are banned from parks and beaches, so finding a place for a good long walk can be a challenge. When walking your dog, keep it on a short leash. Dogs are considered by many conservative Muslims as unclean and are traditionally only kept for guarding property, so be mindful of these attitudes when you are out in public.

Keeping your pet safe
Be sure to keep your pet indoors or within your garden to avoid contact with strays and to prevent any problems with neighbours. Dubai has a significant problem with strays, although both Feline Friends and K9 Friends are hard-working animal charities that take in as many as they can. The Dubai Municipality is also helping to fix the stray problem.

All cats and dogs must be registered, microchipped and vaccinated, or you could face fines and confiscation. While rare, there have been reports of dogs being stolen, either to be sold to unscrupulous pet shops or for dog fighting. Ensure your garden is secure and don’t let your dog roam around on the street. If you witness animal abuse see for advice or call 04 289 1114.

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