How do I prepare for having a pet for the first time?

Doing as much research as possible is a great start, as is asking lots of questions.  Read through the various information on this site (Responsible Fur-Parenting) and even try fostering before you take on the big responsibility of adoption.

Is it better to have a puppy or a trained dog if I’m a first-time pet owner?

This is a great question and will depend on how much time you have to dedicate to training, and how much research you have done.  Puppies and kittens will need to be toilet trained and it is important to provide a routine feeding arrangement, so your pet knows when meal time will be.  Dogs will need plenty of exercise every day.

How do people manage to leave dogs during the day if you work full time, won’t they feel lonely all day?

Dogs are ok to be left at home during the day provided it isn’t for extended periods of time regularly.  If you give your pet a good walk each morning and night, as well as providing it with toys and chew treats to keep it occupied during the day it will be much happier.


Many people in Dubai arrange for their dogs to go to doggy day care or have someone come by during the day to let them out for a wee or a walk and play.

How much should I budget each month to raise a dog?

Have a read of the Responsible Fur-Parenting section, and also refer to the downloads section for checklists called ‘New Pet Set Up Costs’ and ‘New Pet Shopping List’.  These will outline the usual items you will need to consider and to buy and you can then go online and find out how much these things are.  You will also need to call your local vet to find out about their standard consultation fees, vaccination costs etc. They may also have a maintenance package you can consider, which can bring some costs down.


The cost will depend on how many pets you have and the type of breed.  The larger the breed, the more food you will need to provide.

How long should I walk the dog in the morning and in the evening?

This will depend on the breed of your dog; some dogs are very active and require lots of exercise so they could happily walk for a good 30 minutes twice a day.  Other breeds will require much less exercise.  Unless there are health concerns all dogs should be walked at least once a day to keep them fit and healthy.


Please also consider the weather as during the UAE summer it is too hot to walk dogs during the day – see the Fur-care over the UAE summer page for more information.

If I live in a one-bedroom apartment, is it a bad idea to have a dog?

Many dogs and cats are very happy to live in apartments.  Just do your research and ask some questions first.  For example small and less active dogs may be better suited to an apartment, unless you plan on taking them out quite frequently to stretch their legs.

What do I do if I see a stray or injured dog or cat on the street?

If you are in a position to stop and help an injured animal then please do so. If it is on the street it may end up being hit by another car or die from its injuries. If you can take it to your closest vet they can scan the microchip to see if the animal has an owner. You can also post your location and details of a dog on the Dogs in Dubai Facebook page and a cat on the Bin Kitty Collective Facebook page to seek the support of a rescue organisation to take it in to cover vet costs and fostering/re-homing in the case it is a stray animal.

What do I do if I see a stray dog or cat wondering around the area or on the streets?

Unfortunately, there are thousands upon thousands of stray cats on the streets across the UAE and simply not enough homes for them. If the animal looks in distress and you can assist (as per question above) then that is wonderful.


Many rescue organisations try to rescue and rehome as many animals as they can but unfortunately only so many can be helped as the shelters and foster homes are beyond capacity (especially during summer). Many people also place food and water stations out in particular locations to help them through the summer. If you are in a position to assist with TNR then please do so, or if you can help by foster or even adopt a stray or abandoned pet, please contact one of the many rescue organisations.

Why do I see some stray cats with clipped ears?

This is also known as eartipping.  This is done to identify those stray cats who have been de-sexed (neutered or spayed).  The procedure is fast, painless and heals quickly.

What can I do if I think an animal is being hurt or abused?

It is easy to feel helpless in a situation like this.  If you know the person then perhaps have a gentle discussion with them in case they aren’t aware that what they are doing is harmful or inappropriate to the animal.  If you don’t know the person, or what you are witnessing is clearly animal abuse, then you can contact the Dubai Municipality on 800900 or you can report it through their Aleef application.