Adopting a Pet in the UAE - Things You Need to Consider in 2022

Puppies in a basket

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Adopting a pet can be a wonderful experience. It comes with the joy of welcoming new family members, developing a bond with them, becoming friends, and falling in love with them. 

Not only do they double the adorability in our household, but psychologically, having pets have also proven to diminish one’s depression and anxiety. They are a great, loyal company and bring unadulterated happiness to everyone around them.

Now that you have decided to get a pet (finally), and have made all the necessary arrangements, we will provide you with some insight into how to go about the actual process:

Personal Regulations:

The UAE government has laid down an extensive list of rules one must follow to be able to bring a furry pet into their home. However, before we go into that, you need to make sure that your personal arrangements are in order.

  • If you are living in a rented apartment, check with your tenant or the tenancy agreement to make sure pets are permitted. Many places have certain guidelines on what pets are allowed, what size, breeds, etc. It is best to check with your tenant and get clarity on the same. 
  • Check your building rules to make sure that they do not have any restrictions on pet ownership.

Governmental Regulations:

The Federal Law No. 22 of 2016 of the UAE states the various laws one requires to look into when considering pet ownership in the country (the same can be found under Article 12 - Article 16)

Article 12 states that no individual is allowed to possess a dog without having obtained a licence from a competent authority. 

Article 13 states that owners who possess a license for their dogs, need to register them with the mentioned below details:

  • Name
  • ID number
  • Address
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • Place of residence of the dog’s possessor
  • The dog’s origin
  • Breed and Type
  • Colour
  • Distinctive marks (if any) 
  • number of electronic chip(s)
  • vaccination records

Article 14 reiterates the possession of dogs classified as dangerous by the UAE government as illegal.

Article 15 states that all dogs need to be leashed during outdoor activities (beyond the boundaries of their shelters) with appropriate collars in order to control them. 

Article 16 prohibits any animal that has been classified as dangerous by the UAE government to be moved beyond their licensed facility.

So, which are the dogs that are considered dangerous? Based on statistics, previous studies and past real-life encounters, the following breeds of dogs are deemed dangerous in the UAE and are not allowed to be kept as pets:

  • Pitbull
  • Doberman
  • Rottweiler
  • Tosa
  • Mastiff
  • Boxer
  • Presa Canario

Now that you have a clear picture of the effort, time, and work that goes behind adopting a pet, (and you’re still excited about giving a little animal their "furever" home) it is time to explore the options from where one can adopt a pet. 

Pet Communities & Adoptions

K9 Friends 

K9 Friends is one of the oldest pet shelters in UAE, which has been finding new homes for abandoned stray dogs. It was founded in 1989, and is run by a group of compassionate people who are dedicated to fostering strays until they find a safe and loving home for them. 

Animal Rescue UAE Adoption

Animal Rescue UAE Adoption is a nonprofit organization run by woman animal activists who rescue, foster, medicate (if required) and rehome the stray population in Dubai. You can also choose to volunteer with them at their shelter to help the homeless canine and felines on the streets of Dubai find a new home. This organisation of women fiercely stands and advocates for the voiceless animals helping them get a new family and a furever home.

Protection of Animal Rights Association (PARA) UAE

PARA helps majorly with rescuing, fostering and re-homing the strays of Dubai, along with running a capture - neuter - release programme.  

The Petshop

Petshop by Dubai Pet Food has taken up the responsibility of organizing and hosting weekly adoption days, where various shelters and animal rescue groups come together with their foster pets and help them find furever homes.

Pet Adoption UAE

Pet Adoption UAE hosts and organises adoption and foster days for all aspiring paw-parents. Their group is dedicated to helping stray animals and pets who have been abandoned by their owners find a new home. Their page also provides a platform for other local, independent groups and adoption agencies to reach out to the people of UAE for pet adoption, foster volunteers, food requirements, etc.