You’ve heard it before “Can we have a puppy?”, “I want a cat”. Kids (and grown-ups) love pets, and just because we’re in a hot country doesn’t mean you have to forget about having a furry friend. We round up the best places to get a pet (adopt, don’t shop) and where to buy them supplies to keep them happy and healthy. We also bring you cafés that cater for the whole family (kids and dogs included) as well how to interact with animals if you simply don’t have the time and space to take on a permanent pet.
Rehoming cats and dogs
Adopt, don’t shop is the motto here. There are hundreds of cats and dogs looking for a fur-ever home, the hard part is choosing which cuddly critter is joining your gang.
If you’re looking to rehome a cat, 38 Smiles is one of the top places in Dubai to look. The organisation was set up in 2011 to help stray animals in Dubai. It’s a not for profit animal rescue group and has events throughout the year to help raise money. Can you provide a cat with a loving family?
K9 Friends is a caring operation in Dubai that focuses on rescuing and rehoming stray and abandoned dogs, while providing quality kennels and veterinary care. If you’re looking to adopt a dog, this is a great place to start. The centre has dogs of all ages, colours and breeds, all with completely different temperaments, and each animal is matched with its ideal owner. Rehoming fees start at Dhs1,050 and cover microchipping, vaccines, flea and worming treatments and neutering. All members of your family need to meet the dog before it can be adopted, so gather the gang and make a date to meet your new pet.
Open Sat-Thu 9am-1pm. Appointments only. www.k9friends.com/dogs/dog-walking (04 887 8739).
Cat-lover? This registered Dubai-based non-profit animal welfare group, has abandoned and neglected cats ready for rehoming. It frequently hosts adoption days around the city too, so you can meet your future pet. There are hundreds looking for a permanent home. Last year it rescued nearly 100 vulnerable felines.
Little Angels Animal Rescue League
This non-profit rescue group set up by a group of Emiratis, rescues strays and abandoned pets. Their aim is to find them loving homes, and the group rescues all over the UAE. If you don’t have space in your house, you can also sponsor pets to stay at the boarding facility.
The Animal Project
The Animal Project, with a mission to promote animal awareness and alleviate suffering from animals, has set up a fostering programme for those looking for a friendly feline pal, and all you have to do is sign up. While the cats are looking for a permanent home, people can take them in for a few weeks to take care of them and test the waters of what owning a cat is actually like. If everything bodes well, you may have just found yourself a new pet.
Sign up for fostering online. www.friendsofanimalsdxb.com (050 918 7632).
Where to volunteer
If you love dogs but don’t have space or time to home and look after them, then there’s a solution. Not only does K9 Friends provide fostering, it also does dog-walking. It’s a great way to make a furry friend – and a non-furry one, since social interactions are a constant when you’re out in the park surrounded by other dog-walkers. And it gets you on the move, working wonders for your cardio levels. You can also rehome them, if you fall in love with your new animal friend. Adults can sign up as kennel volunteers to help look after the dogs, or in an admin role at the centre, too.
Free. Sat-Thu 9am-1pm. Book in advance for walks. www.k9friends.com/dogs/dog-walking (04 887 8739).
Shop for your pet
There are four branches of this store in Dubai, and you can buy everything from food to accessories for your beloved pet. Plus, there’s free delivery if you order online. Whether you have a parrot, dog, cat, pony, reptile or rodent, you’ll find what you need for it here.
If you’re after a special pressie for your pooch, Pet’s Delight has loads of toys from balls to soft toys. There are also products for small pets and horses, and loads of grooming tools to keep your furry friends looking their best. Got an overweight hound? Or a fussy cat? Never fear, the self-proclaimed ‘ethical pet boutique’, which has just opened a brand-new store in the Spinney’s Umm Suqeim Centre, even has an in-house nutritionist, who can provide free, tailored nutritional advice.
Looking for a doggie dish? How about food to go in that? This one-stop-shop has everything you need for your pet, and has top brands for sale including Purina and Royal Canine. There are more than 20,000 products for sale, so get browsing.
The Pet Shop
Billing itself as the biggest online pet shop in the Middle East, this shop has same day delivery for Dubai and Sharjah, as well as free delivery on orders above Dhs100. You can get everything from dog and cat supplies to fish bowls, bird products, amphibians and equestrian. There are also branches on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Investment Park and Dalma Mall for in-store shopping.
The Pet Shack
This ethical pet shop only sells high quality products, made with no harmful materials or ingredients. It actively supports rescue groups, feeding stations and TNR schemes and helps spread awareness of rescue and adoption. The store stocks a huge range of responsibly sourced food, treats and toys for cats, dogs, birds and smaller animals like rabbits. It also has a spa for when your animal needs some expert pampering.
Sat-Thu noon-9pm; Fri 4pm-9pm. Al Reef Villas, Al Reef, www.thepetshack.ae.
Arrows & Sparrows
This cute café not only allows dogs, it has a cracking kids’ menu too, so you can be sure the whole family is catered for. Head for an early morning walk then stop here for brekkie – they’re top. Don’t miss the Twisted Avocado toast – guacamole, poached eggs, roasted tomatoes and feta makes for a great flavour combination.
Emaar Business Park, The Greens (04 558 8141).
Breeze Beach Bar & Grill
This super beachside spot is also dog-friendly, so if you fancy a day out next to the sea, then this is the place for you. Set at the end of Club Vista Mare, on Palm Jumeirah, it’s a great family-friendly place to grab a burger or a salad and enjoy a sea breeze from one of the outdoor picnic tables, while your pooch laps up the sunshine too.
Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3000).
This cute café is housed at The Courtyard in Al Quoz and has a pet-friendly outside area, which is a top spot in cool, winter weather. Sip on a coffee and dig into a cheese and garlic toastie while your pup has a nap.
The Courtyard, Al Quoz (058 517 2131).
Set next to Boston Lane in Al Quoz, this trendy café is also dog-friendly and is heaving on a weekend morning, where you’ll see plenty of toy-sized pooches out for their brekkie.
The Courtyard, Al Quoz (04 349 1966).
If you want to take your dog to a golf club, this is one for you. It’s casual, friendly and there’s plenty of green space to enjoy.
Dubai Sports City (O4 425 1000).
Lime Tree Café
This popular café chain welcomes your dogs, especially at the Jumeirah branch. Order up a slab of carrot cake and have some quality time with your pet.
The Irish Village
Time Out Dubai’s Pub of the Year has a cracking pub garden that’s a must-visit in cooler weather. Bring your dog, order up a platter of fish and chips and enjoy the greenery. There are even ducks on the pond, so it’s almost like you’re back in Blighty (but with nicer weather).
Garhoud (04 282 4750).
Reform Social & Grill
This family-friendly restaurant is always packed and in winter the pub garden is an excellent place to hang out with your furry friend, too. The pub even hosts dog adoption days as well as having a special dog menu dedicated to your furry friends, so you know they’ll be well catered for.
The Lakes (04 454 2638).
If you have a pet, chances are leaving them at home is tricky when you’re making the most of one of Dubai’s top hotel deals. If not emotionally then certainly logistically. But if you’re looking for a party weekend on the Palm, then your party pooch can come along too. W Dubai – The Palm’s motto, P.A.W.
Pets Are Welcome, isn’t just a party hotel for people, furry friends can come along for the ride, too.
Your pet is welcome to come on your staycation with you, as long as it’s under 20kg. And while you’re sunning it by the pool or having dinner at one of the hotel’s cool restaurants such as Akira Back or Torno Subito, your pet gets entertained, too.
The hotel offers everything from pet beds to a customised in-room pet dining menu, as well as pet-sitting services and toys to keep them entertained. To have your pet stay is an extra Dhs650, not per night, for your entire stay.
No need to book the dog-sitter after all.
Dhs650 (per stay). W Dubai – The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai (04 245 5555).
Shop with your pup
There’s a new “unleashed” dog park at the Ripe Market in Academy Park this winter.
“If there’s one lesson we learned from last season, it is that Dubai has thousands of animal-lovers,” said the Ripe team. “And the biggest request we had almost every weekend was to launch a doggie park”.
So now you don’t need to leave your dog behind while you shop.
Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 1pm-8pm. Academy Park, Umm Suqeim, www.ripeme.com (04 315 7000).
What to do before adopting a pet
- Check tenancy to see if pets are allowed
- Start saving for relocation of the pet
- Adopt from a reputable rescue organisation
- Chose a pet not by its looks but by matching him/her to the lifestyle of your family
- Learn about nutrition, training, wellbeing, good vets
- Don’t overlook special needs, cross-breed and older animals as they often make the best pets
Advice from 38 Smiles
Have a princess pup that needs some pampering? Precious Paws Pet Spa, a Thai spa themed pet boutique, also has a mobile pet grooming service so that you can have your pet glammed up at home.
Who doesn’t love animals? Whether cats, dogs or other creaturs, they are amazing and deserve all the love in the world. Sadly, not all animals are treated as well as they should be, but thankfully beloved pets and animals will now be more protected in the UAE.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has launched a new platform for residents to report animal cruelty among other animal related issues. Individuals are now able to report mistreatment, cruelty and the illegal possession of illegal animals through the online portal.