UAE Pet Ownership Rules Every Owner Should Know

Living alone or far from home in the UAE, pets often become cherished companions and extended family members. However, adhering to mandatory rules is crucial for responsible pet ownership in the country. Here’s a comprehensive guide on essential regulations every pet owner should be aware of:

  1. Licensing Requirement: Obtain a license to legally own a pet in the UAE.
  2. Microchipping and Vaccinations: Dogs and cats must be microchipped and keep up with annual vaccinations. Registration with the municipality’s veterinary services is mandatory.
  3. Identification Tags: Pets should wear a municipality-issued identification tag on their collar, serving as proof of registration and vaccination status.
  4. Importing Pets: If importing a pet, ensure it is microchipped according to ISO standards, and carry a certificate of required vaccinations.
  5. Pet Care Guidelines:
    • Pets should be kept clean at all times.
    • Dogs must be leashed when outside, and some breeds may require a muzzle in public.
    • Dogs are not allowed in public parks or on public transportation, except for service animals.
    • Obtain permission from property owners to keep pets in residential buildings.
  6. Weather Considerations: Provide pets with fresh water and shade, especially during the UAE’s warm weather. Walk dogs in the early morning or evening during summer months.
  7. Vaccination Requirements:
    • Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, and Rabies.
    • Cats: Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, Rabies, and Rhinotracheitis.
    • Other pets require an import permit and original health certificates.
  8. Fines for Violations:
    • Owning a dog without a license: Dh10,000 to Dh200,000.
    • Walking dogs without a leash in public: Dh5,000.
    • Taking exotic animals in public: Dh10,000 to Dh500,000, and up to six months in jail.
    • Possession of dangerous animals for trading: Fines from Dh50,000 to Dh500,000 and/or jail.
    • Using animals to harm people: Penalties range from jail time to life imprisonment.
    • Abandoning pets: Fine up to Dh10,000.
    • Selling pets to persons under 18: Dh3,000 fine.
    • Advertising illegal sale of pets: Jail sentence and fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh500,000.
    • Feeding birds, stray dogs, and cats: Dh500 fine.

Understanding and following these rules is essential for fostering a safe and responsible pet ownership experience in the UAE.

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