Dogs are banned from most of Dubai’s public beaches and parks, but there are still a few options for your pet
Dubai isn’t the most dog-friendly of places, especially as our four-legged friends are banned from the majority of public beaches and parks. But all is not lost, as Jackie Ratcliffe of home-grown volunteer group K9 Friends explains to Time Out.
‘Socialising your dog is very useful because you can’t take dogs to beaches and parks, so they become unsociable very quickly,’ says Jackie Ratcliffe of K9 Friends. Happily, help is at hand. Al Safa vets in Umm Suqeim holds puppy socialisation sessions every week. Emma Jane Morgan, a veterinary nurse at the clinic, says: ‘In Dubai nowadays, what with the credit crunch and people living in smaller homes, people can only afford to have one dog. But dogs should be exposed to as many other dogs in early life as possible, because it prevents aggression towards other dogs later in life.’
The clinic’s sessions allow dogs of the same age and size to meet each other in safe surroundings. Owners also learn useful skills, particularly basic training such as getting your dog to respond to instructions, such as sit, down, paw, and stay. This allows owners to control their pets appropriately in public, especially when a four-legged friend is taken off the lead. As Morgan points out, Dubai tends to be a dangerous place for a dog to run off, especially with all the busy roads. Owners’ new skills are then put to the test with a ‘pass the puppy’ exercise, where owners can practise instructing dogs that are not their own. Every Wednesday at Al Safa Veterinary Clinic in Umm Suqeim 2, 7.30pm-8.30pm. A five-week course with a graduation ceremony in the fifth week, Dhs50 per session. Call the clinic for information and bookings on 04 348 3799, www.alsafavetclinic.com.
Dog walking groups
Walking groups are a great way to give dogs the exercise they crave and help them socialise. Ratcliffe says she has found a number of good spots for dog walking around Dubai, but these places often go on to ban dogs because of the mess left behind. As a result, Ratcliffe doesn’t blame the ‘no dogs’ policies of a range of public places. ‘Who wants to take their kids to the beach and have them stepping in dog dirt?’ she asks.
Thankfully, www.dubaidogclub.com is there for responsible owners searching for dog-walking sites. The website is run by Dubai resident Martina Boor, who co-ordinates between owners looking for new and fun things to do with their dogs in Dubai and the various groups that can help them. Alongside dog walking groups, play dates, obedience training and even a Great Dane social group (seriously), Boor runs agility classes. Think the doggie equivalent of an obstacle course. It’s a popular sport and a great way to combine exercise with basic obedience training. See www.dubaidogclub.com.
If you’re escaping the summer sun, your dog will need a place to stay while you’re away. Ratcliffe says you should call K9 Friends for advice: ‘There are lots of kennels I wouldn’t put my dog in, so go by word of mouth and recommendations.’
Posh Paws Kennels and Cattery is run by Laura Glanfield, a former K9 volunteer and founder of Dubai’s first animal sanctuary and petting farm. It has 12 grassy and shady play areas, a number of swimming pools, and plenty of toys to keep pets occupied. ‘All the kennels are air-conditioned and there are dog flaps so that they can go out to a private garden,’ Glanfield tells us. ‘They don’t feel confined in any way.’ She adds that dog owners are welcome to walk their dogs around the petting farm and in the desert behind it, free of charge. The animal sanctuary and kennels are at the end of Dubai Bypass Road on the Ajman/Sharjah border. Visit www.poshpawsdubai.com or call 050 273 0973 for more information.
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Annie Apr 20, 2011 12:33 pm
Have to say, we just picked up our dog from 'Posh Paws and I wouldn't hesitate for one second bringing her back there. If people are expecting a sterile, clinical environment to leave their dogs at, then forget this place - its for dogs! Its a little rough and ready but that is why it is so perfect for animals.
It's also great for children who can go there and experience different çreatures like everything from an emu to porcupines. The staff were really lovely and our Cocker Spaniel made loads of friends. I also thought the space was perfectly adequate but of course I cannot comment on larger dogs.
Salma Massoud Apr 11, 2011 01:43 pm
We have left our 2 Pekingese dogs at Posh Paws twice last year and I have to say that I have not seen them happier when left without us like when they returned from Posh Paws. They were playful, happy and very active. I highly recommend them for anyone who is travelling.
Zoe Aug 13, 2010 04:31 pm
I beg to differ with the 2 comments above. I have left my dogs at PoshPaws kennels when my husband and I went abroad and we were delighted with the care they received. Our dogs are 8 and 6 years old and have stayed in many kennels over the years, PoshPaws being the only kennels that I have felt the dogs were happy in, so much so, they were reluctant to leave!!
There is a vet in attendance every other day to ensure the animals onsite receive any necessary treatment and have the best possible care.
With regards to the paddling pools, our dogs were let out in the playtime runs twice daily, the paddling pools were not broken and the water was emptied and refreshed for each play session, with lots of toys in each playpen. The noise....its a kennels!! Dogs bark and when anyone new comes into a kennel full of dogs they are all going to bark, fact!!
I am happy to give my recommendation for Poshpaws as I am sure many others are considering they are currently fully booked with a waiting list!!
Sara Abdulla Dec 22, 2009 12:34 pm
Poshpaws is an awful place I would never leave ANY of my dogs there nor would I ever donate any animals to their "so-called animal sanctuary''.
I have previously donated animals to PoshPaws in good faith, however upon going back to Poshpaws I was heartbroken at the sight and state of the animals, the animals needed to "rescued" from where they were.
claire baker Aug 31, 2009 07:10 am
Posh paws - dont feel confined in any way?! Are you mad?! They are converted porter cabins! Awful! We went to view and a German Shepherd could hardly lay down his kennel and the noise was horrendous.
Such a shame people have no other option but to leave their dogs here. Oh, and we saw no toys. Only a very dirty broken paddling pool that the dogs couldnt get to anyway.