Dubai, the City of Gold and the jewel of the United Arab Emirates, has become a popular destination for expatriates from all over the world. People move to Dubai, usually for work, and often bring their families and pets. The sunny beaches seem like the perfect place to take your dog on a hot sunny day. However, due to cultural differences and local laws, some people find keeping a dog in Dubai can be difficult. Here is our advice on keeping your dog safe at the beach in Dubai.
There are rules
Firstly, you need to understand the differing attitudes to dogs in the Middle East, compared with that in Western countries. Dogs in the Middle East are not traditionally kept as pets, but as working animals for herding or guarding. Many people from the Middle East are nervous or even scared of dogs. Some Muslims consider dogs to be unclean animals – especially wet dogs. Not everyone in Dubai likes dogs, or wants to be near one. As such, there are rules about where you can take your dog and the proper conduct for dog owners.
With that in mind, the first thing to do is to make sure that your dog has a collar with an identity disc, and is micro-chipped, fully vaccinated and wormed. Your dog should also be on a leash when outside the house. These general rules are all essential for your dog’s safety, and will help you to stay on the right side of the law. A dog on the street that is not on a leash will be considered a stray.
You may also need to muzzle your dog, depending on which area you live in. Be sure to clean up after your dog, and do not leave faeces in the street or on the beach. If you fail to follow these rules you risk being fined, or your dog running away or being picked up as a stray.
And we’re not even at the beach yet!
In Dubai there are certain places where you aren’t allowed to walk your dog, including public beaches. Luckily there is a list of beaches and other places where dogs are allowed, such as a beach near the Jebel Ali Resort & Spa, and a beach opposite Dubai College on Al Safouh Road. You can also take your dog to “open water” beaches, though try to keep away from the public and from shops. Quiet beaches are best. Make sure to keep your dog on a leash, and clean up after yourself.
Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach
Finally, here’s some general advice on keeping your dog safe at the beach. Many dogs love the beach and playing in the water. Try to visit the beach in the cooler hours, such as early morning and evening, as the hot sun puts your dog at risk of heat stroke and sun burn, and the bright light sometimes disorientates dogs. Bring a bottle of water for your dog to drink – although a few sips of sea water shouldn’t harm your dog, they may feel thirsty, and providing water will stop your dog from trying to drink sea water. Be sure to bathe your dog after your trip to the beach to get the sand and salt out of his or her fur, and bring a towel with you to give your dog a quick rub down to remove the worst of the sand.
Swimming with dogs
If you plan on swimming with your dog, make sure your dog knows how to swim. Most dogs instinctively know how, but inexperienced dogs need time to build up their confidence and gain experience, so stick to the shallow water. Keeping to the shallows also helps you avoid risks such as strong currents or waves. Some dogs may not be able to swim very well, such as short legged breeds, so don’t go in too deep. If you’re concerned about your dog’s ability to swim, you should get him a safety vest, which is similar to a life jacket and will help keep your pet afloat.
Don’t swim in rough seas or stormy weather; many beaches have a warning system to let beachgoers know if it’s too rough to swim, such as a system of coloured flags. Don’t get caught out by the tide, as it often comes in faster than you would expect, and it can be all too easy to get caught out.