24 Jan

Pet Ownership Rules in the UAE

The UAE is a pet-friendly nation, welcoming its residents to keep pets while cultivating outdoor spaces where pets can socialize with their owners. While pets may be family, there are rules and regulations regarding pet ownership that every pet owner should know. 

Here Are the Mandatory Pet Ownership Rules in the UAE: 

  • Pet licenses are mandatory to own a pet in the UAE. 
  • Pet dogs and cats must be microchipped and up-to-date with their routine & mandatory vaccinations. 
  • All pet dogs and cats must be registered with their respective municipality’s veterinarian services. 
  • Pets must always wear their proof of municipality registration. The proof is a small plastic disk which is issued after a pet’s yearly vaccinations. 
  • Pet tags and microchips are mandatory to ensure they are easier to find if they are ever lost or stolen. 
  • Pets must be vaccinated and microchipped at either a veterinary clinic or at their municipality’s veterinarian services. 
  • Pets being imported to the UAE must be implanted with an ISO microchip and must be accompanied by a certificate detailing the vaccinations it has received before arriving in the UAE. 

Things to Consider with Pet Care 

  • Pets must be kept clean and groomed. 
  • Dogs should always be kept on a leash when outdoors. Specific breeds must wear a muzzle when outdoors and amongst the general public. 
  • Dogs are not permitted in public parks or on public transportation unless it is a service animal. 
  • Pet owners are advised to keep pets in independent homes. Residential buildings have restrictions regarding pet ownership, so you'll need to get permission from the property owner to keep a pet in your home. 
  • Pets must always have access to fresh water and shade, owing to the climate of the UAE. 
  • Pet dogs should be walked during early mornings and evenings to avoid the scorching midday sun. 

Vaccination Requirements for Pets in the UAE 

Pet dogs residing in the UAE must be vaccinated against the following diseases:

  • Distemper: Highly contagious viral disease, usually fatal in nature. Affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. 
  • Hepatitis: Acute contagious disease that targets the liver, lungs, kidneys, spleen, and other organs. 
  • Leptospirosis: Bacterial infection that affects the liver or kidneys. 
  • Parainfluenza: Highly contagious respiratory virus (also known as canine cough). 
  • Parvovirus: A highly contagious disease where the virus targets white blood cells. It can also damage the heart muscle in puppies. 
  • Rabies: An incurable virus that attacks the brain and spinal cord. Fatal for humans if infected. 

 Pet cats residing in the UAE must be vaccinated against the following diseases: 

  • Calicivirus: Highly contagious virus, that causes a mild to severe respiratory infection and oral disease. 
  • Panleukopenia (aka feline distemper): Life-threatening infectious disease, mostly affects kittens where the virus infects and kills the growing cells in the body. 
  • Rabies: The highly infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system and spinal cord. Fatal for humans if infected. 
  • Rhinotracheitis: A highly contagious infectious disease and a major cause of upper respiratory infections

Fines for Non-Compliance

  • Owning a dog without a license: Fine of Dh10,000 to Dh200,000
  • Walking dogs without a leash in public: Fine of Dh5,000
  • Taking any kind of exotic animal out in public a fine of Dh10,000 to Dh500,000 and a jail term of up to six months
  • Possession of dangerous animals for trading: Fine ranging between Dh50,000 and Dh500,000 and/or jail term or both. 
  • Using an animal to attack a person resulting in their death: Life imprisonment. 
  • Using an animal to attack a person and cause physical disability: Jail term of 3-7 years.
  • Using an animal to attack a person and causing minor injuries: Jail term of up to a year and a fine of Dh400,000
  • Using animals to terrorize people: Jail term and/or a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh700,000
  • Abandoning pets: Fine of up to Dh10,000
  • Selling pets to people under the age of 18: Fine of Dh3,000
  • Advertising the illegal sale of dangerous pets and exotic animals: Jail sentence and a fine of no less than Dh50,000 and up to Dh500,000
  • Feeding birds such as crows and pigeons and stray dogs and cats: Fine of Dh500




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