Latest NewsFeatureNewsTFT NewsUAE News

Pawparent 101: OFWs’ guide for owning a pet in the UAE

For countless Filipinos in the UAE, pets—especially cats and dogs—have become a cherished part of their lives, often serving as beloved family members or even their only family here. But before you dive into the cuddly world of pet parenthood in the UAE, it’s important to be ready and committed. Whether you’re buying, adopting, or bringing your furry friend here, The Filipino Times is here to guide you every step of the way!

Owning a pet in the UAE comes with loads of perks! These furry friends not only keep you company but also offer endless emotional support. Plus, tons of studies show that spending time with pets can chase away loneliness, lower stress levels, boost your mood, and even help lower blood pressure.

But remember, having a pet is a lifelong adventure that involves more than just cuddles and playtime. You’ll need to be ready for the extra costs and make sure you follow all the UAE’s pet rules to keep your new buddy safe and happy.

Finding Your Fur-Ever Friend

Many OFWs ask this question: How much do I need to prepare for my “furever” friend? Whether you get a pet by purchasing, adopting, or importing them from outside the country, it is a must to be financially prepared.

angela abelgas2
Angela Abelgas and her cat, Luna

Angela Abelgas, a paw parent to her cat, Luna, gave advice for those who want to purchase a pet: “For those considering unvaccinated and unchipped pets, expect to spend at least AED 1,000 to 2,000.” She said that the initial costs that you would spend for your pet include vet fees, vaccinations, booster shots, passports, registration, microchips, and more.

However, opting to adopt a rescued animal instead of purchasing them may lead to lower vet fees. “Some vets offer a full package for around AED 600,” she added.

Whether you’re buying, adopting, or importing your beloved pets, you have to be financially ready.

Pet-Friendly Living

After deciding where to get your “purrfect furry friend,” it’s time to get the landlord’s nod of approval! Rental agreements have different terms and conditions tailored to each type of accommodation, whether you’re renting a flat, a house, or a villa. So, make sure everything’s paw-sitive before bringing your new buddy home! Ultimately, you want to give them the best, comfiest life possible.

jmar eduarte pet1
Jmar Eduarte and his pets

Jmar Eduarte, a small business owner in the UAE and a pet parent to his dog Zain and two cats, Amir and Sheikha, shared that beyond owning a pet-proof, spacious home, it’s essential to think about the nearby outdoor areas. “As a pet owner of a dog and two cats, it’s crucial that our living space offers easy access to both indoor and outdoor green spaces, like a nearby lawn or pet park,” he said.

And let’s not forget mental stimulation. “We’ve found that having large windows for them to look out and observe the outdoors is beneficial,” Eduarte added.

Purr-fect Amenities for Your Animal Pal

Your accommodation is just the start— there are so many pet-friendly spots in the UAE for you and your animal pal to explore and enjoy together.

rain dimalanta pet7
Rain Dimalanta with her husband Azer and pets, Moana and Chanel

Rain Dimalanta, a pet parent to two Shih Tzu dogs named Moana and Chanel, shared some of her adventures in some of the best pet-friendly amenities in the UAE.

“We have been to a pet-friendly restaurant in Jumeirah Heights and at Dubai Islands Beach, which is a free place that accepts pets,” she said. “We also visited the Radisson Blu hotel at Fujairah. My favorite thing was the beach area where my dogs were allowed to swim and play in the sand. The hotel room was also ready with dog bowls and bedding,” she added.

Pet-iquette in the UAE

Apart from making life comfy for your pets, it’s important to ensure others are comfy around them too—after all, that’s just good pet etiquette in the UAE.

Alliah Gail Flores pet3
Alliah Gail Flores and Peanut

Dubai-based Alliah Gail Flores, proud pet parent to her dog Peanut, has some great advice for fellow pet owners: always be prepared before taking your dog out for a stroll. “Dogs love to do their business when they’re outside, so make sure you have all the essentials like water bottles, litter bags, wipes, and treats to reward them,” she shared.

In the UAE, not cleaning up after your pet’s waste can lead to a AED 200 fine. If it happens again, it could result in your dog being impounded and a AED 400 fine. If you don’t collect your dog and pay the fine within three working days, your furry friend could be confiscated.

And even though it might seem obvious, Flores reminds all pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash.

“Unfortunately, not everyone loves pets. Some people might have allergies, so it’s important they aren’t exposed,” she said. The UAE takes this rule seriously, too, with a fine of AED 5,000 for pet owners who walk their dogs without a leash. So, let’s keep our pets—and our neighborhoods—clean and happy!

Bringing Pets From Home to Home

After living in the UAE for a while, you might eventually consider moving back home or to another country. As a dedicated fur parent, the thought of leaving your furry friend behind can be heart-wrenching. That’s why it’s so important to plan for that big move.

Rose legittimo2
Rose Legittimo and her dog Daisy

OFW Rose Legittimo shared how she and her family made extra effort to involve their dog Daisy in every excursion. “Hindi po kami mayaman. Average family lang po kami. Lagi lang kaming may nilalaan para kay Daisy,” she shared.

Rose legittimo1

Legittimo explained how she made it work, even selling other items to fund Daisy’s travels. She spent AED 7,000 to transport Daisy from the UAE to Portugal, and another AED 10,000 from Italy back to the UAE, with the fees differing depending on the country. “Once you decide to adopt a pet, you have to understand na it’s forever, whatever happens,” she said.

Flores also shared her experience bringing her dog, Peanut, from the UAE to the Philippines. “Let’s say we spent around 5-6k AED at that time. The flight ticket alone costs about 2,000 AED,” she said. Despite the expenses, Flores didn’t regret it. “It’s worth every penny. She is our cute bundle of joy,” she added.

Pet owners who fail to comply with the rules for importing and exporting their furry friends could incur a fine of AED 5,000 per animal. Additionally, their pet may be confiscated.

At the end of the day, our furry companions aren’t just buddies; they’re cherished members of our families. And like any family member, they demand plenty of attention, care, and, yes, even a bit of financial commitment!

Yet despite the demands and requirements, the love that flows between pet parents and their adorable fur babies is incomparable.

So, if you’re ready for the journey ahead, take that leap with courage and become a pet parent in the UAE! Trust us, it’s totally worth it.

Camille Quirino

Camille Quirino is a Junior Writer at The Filipino Times, passionate about sharing the stories of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). She previously contributed to Magic 89.9 and various TV productions and finds fulfillment in crafting compelling narratives that shed light on the experiences of OFWs. Outside of work, Camille enjoys playing the ukulele and meeting new people to hear their stories. She believes everyone has a unique narrative worth sharing and is dedicated to capturing these stories in her writing. Reach Camille at [email protected].

Related Articles

Back to top button