Dubai owners' guide to registering pets

Filed on August 19, 2016 | Last updated on August 19, 2016 at 07.28 am
'Louis' (left) who was found in Dubai's Jumeirah Village Circle, did not have a municipality tag.

Losing a dog is the number one reason why pet owners who haven't already registered their pets need to do so.

Three months ago, a male Yorkshire Terrier in Dubai got lost. There was no news of his owners. And he was found on May 29 in Dubai's Jumeirah Village Circle district 12 and renamed 'Louis'. Louis didn't have on a municipality tag, nor a tag on his collar that listed contact information of his owner. No one came forward despite all the Facebook posts and shares of a lost dog. Louis was later re-adopted.

Losing a dog is the number one reason why pet owners who haven't already registered their pets need to do so.

It's the law. Not registering pet calls for a fine of Dh500 from Dubai Municipality (DM), and worse: they take your pet away, a permanent confiscation.

So, given the obvious deterrents, why are there people who still haven't registered their pets? Laziness is one reason. Also, as Laura Glanfield who runs Posh Paws, a boarding kennel and cattery says, "People probably don't know how to go about it."

Dr Sara Elliott at British Veterinary Hospital explains the pet registration process and its importance: "Pet registration has been in effect for several years now, but the entire system went online only last year".

She says DM has a mandatory directive - all pets must be registered with them and wear what is called a municipality tag. "This plastic neck tag is renewable every year", she says, "each time your pet is vaccinated. If your pet was lost and then found, the tag has a unique number on it that will relate to your contact information held at the Veterinary Services Section of DM". Glanfield points out the gap between pet owners registering their pets with the vets, but the vets failing to upload that information on to the municipality data base. It's a common enough occurrence, down to human error, but also completely avoidable.

According to Nabeel Haroon, owner of Wonder Pets LLC, who has 7 dogs, "It's best to call the municipality after 7 days of getting your dog registered to get a conformation. One has to make sure they have the registration details in their system. I did it for all my dogs".

Dr Sara Elliott though says, "It's the onus of the clinic to upload the information, as they're charging a fee for the service." At her clinic, it takes the staff 20 minutes to update registration information of one pet, and at the most there is a 48 hour back log, after which the information is in the DM database.

Jut remember, like you get your car serviced routinely, you need to renew your pet's registration.

And heaven forbid your pet disappears, contact DM immediately on 04 289 1114, and circulate it on all social media, which is how plenty of dogs have been returned home safely.


If you don't' register pet, this is what will happen:

> Fine of Dh500 (first offence), confiscation of your pets

> Pets that are chipped but not wearing collars will be taken and only kept for three days before likely termination

> Owners of a non-registered animal found astray could be fined Dh700, while the fine is Dh500 for registered pets

Pet registration 101

> Gather your pet's vaccination reports and other medical documents

> Go to a veterinary hospital or clinic, or DM's Veterinary Services Section > The pet is microchipped (only once) and get yearly vaccinations

> The pet's info is uploaded into DM's database and linked to the owner's Emriates ID and adddress info

> Attach registration or ID tag to your pet's collar, keeping it visible at all times

> Cost of pet registration varies between vet clinics

> Pet registration has to be done annually

> (Remember: pets require general vaccinations annually and vaccinations against rabies.)

SOURCE: Dr Sara Elliott, British Veterinary Hospital


Nivriti Butalia

Nivriti is assistant editor with Khaleej Times. She brings out the features pages on Fridays and Saturdays (see 'Blogs' at, and writes a weekly slice-of-life column called Meanderings. Her Twitter handle is @butniv.

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