Exploring Pet-Friendly Aspects of the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), comprising seven Emirates, is a fascinating destination boasting a rich history, vibrant traditions, and abundant sun-soaked landscapes. While the UAE may not be widely regarded as a pet-friendly location, there’s still no reason that you shouldn’t take your furry companions along with you for the ride.
However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind if you plan to relocate with your furry companions.
Shifting Attitudes in Dubai
In Dubai specifically, pet ownership laws have been relatively strict in the past. However, there have been noticeable shifts in attitudes towards dog ownership in recent times. Current pet owners in Dubai have reported a gradual change, indicating a potential shift towards a more pet-friendly environment.
Dog Walking Regulations
Despite evolving attitudes, it is still important to note that it is not legal to walk dogs off-leash in many areas across the UAE. This restriction may hinder your dog’s natural exercise routine, especially if you have an active breed. There are certain parks where dogs are allowed to roam free and these are clearly marked. It’s a good idea to check before you move, that you’re close enough to one of these park areas so that your dog can get the exercise they need.
Additionally, large dogs are required to be muzzled at all times, which may not be well-received by dogs accustomed to freedom. Breaking these rules can result in fines, so it’s crucial to adhere to local regulations. Smaller dogs have less of a problem though, and the shifting attitudes has seen an increase in ‘handbag’ style dogs in the city.
In the UAE, dogs and cats can only be kept in homes where pet ownership is explicitly approved by the landowner. While it is not impossible to find pet-friendly apartments, it is necessary to double-check and obtain approval before finalising your travel arrangements. Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to fines if your pet is found residing unlawfully in an apartment.
At Ferndale, we can advise on the best pet-friendly areas to travel with your pet and can get your pet set up on a pet-friendly airline to make the trip more comfortable.
Essential Considerations for Pet Relocation to the UAE
Aside from the regulations when you actually reach the UAE, there are a specific set of rules that you need to adhere to in order to actually get them there.
Before travelling to the UAE, it’s mandatory to have your pet vaccinated against rabies. The Rabies Certificate, signed by a veterinarian, must be included as part of your travel documents. It is advisable to administer the rabies vaccination after microchipping your pet, as the chip number can be linked to the rabies batch number and expiry date.
These chips are then universally recognised, so a vet from anywhere across the country will be able to identify them and return them to you if they get lost.
Although there are no other compulsory vaccination requirements for pets in the UAE, it is recommended to ensure your pets are up to date on their annual vaccinations for their overall well-being.
Dogs should have vaccines for Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Bordetella.
For cats, vaccines for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia are essential.
Parasite Treatment and Animal Health Certificate
Within 14 days of departure, it is advisable to provide your pets with parasite treatment administered by a veterinarian. Additionally, your pet must undergo a full health check by a vet no more than 10 days before the flight. The resulting Animal Health Certificate (AHC) confirms your pet’s fitness for travel and is a mandatory document for entry into the UAE.
If your pet isn’t fit for travel at the time of their vet check, you will need to leave them at home until they’re feeling better and arrange a later flight.
Import Permits and Microchipping
To enter the UAE, an import permit is required, which includes your pet’s complete vaccination records, Rabies Certificate, and Animal Health Certificate. Depending on whether your pet will be flying with you or entering as cargo on a separate flight, you may need to sign a customs clearance form. Furthermore, microchipping is mandatory for all pets travelling to foreign countries. Ensure your pet’s microchip meets ISO standard 11784 or 11785 Annex A, and keep your contact details updated in the microchip record for easy identification.
Navigating the Prohibited Breeds List
The UAE maintains a list of prohibited dog breeds deemed as potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, if your dog belongs to one of these breeds, they will not be allowed to travel with you.
The current list of prohibited breeds includes Pit Bulls, Japanese Tosas, Wolf-dog Hybrids, Rottweilers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Mastiffs, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Boxers, and Perro de Presa Canario.
This list changes regularly, so it’s important that you keep up to date with it if it’s likely that your dog’s breed may class them as dangerous.
Pet Relocation Specialist Services
To alleviate concerns regarding documentation and ensure a smooth and safe journey for your pet, consider using the expertise of a pet relocation specialist like Ferndale Kennels. We possess in-depth knowledge and experience in the necessary requirements and can assist in gathering the correct information to facilitate your pet’s arrival in the UAE.
While the United Arab Emirates may not be widely known as a pet-friendly destination, understanding the regulations and seeking professional assistance can help ensure a positive experience for both you and your beloved pets during your relocation.