Moving to Dubai With Your Dog: 4 Health Issues to Consider


As more and more individuals are planning to live in Dubai for good, so are dogs which will have to accompany their “parents” to this bustling city. If you are one of these people, you had better know what you, and especially your pet, are in for.

Before you pack your bags and your dog essentials, you need to make some careful considerations regarding your canine’s health. After all, you’ll be moving to a new place, with a different climate that may affect your dog’s well-being.

To make sure your beloved pooch is 100% ready for relocation to Dubai, here’s what veterinary specialists recommend that you take into account:

1. Crate training

As a pet owner, it’s understandable that you’d want your dog to sit with you in the cabin. Unfortunately, your pet won’t be beside you since most airlines require animals to be placed inside the cargo hold.

The area where your pet will stay during the flight is always pressurized and climate-controlled. However, the airline won’t be able to do anything to keep your pet calm for the duration of the flight so it’s all up to you. The best you can do to keep your pooch relaxed is to let him undergo crate training by following these steps:

  • Before the move, spend some months to allow your pet to get used to a crate.
  • Slowly lengthen the time spent by your dog in the container during training.
  • Induce a feeling of security by including your dog’s favorite blanket or toy.

Your dog has to believe that the crate is a safe environment for him to stay. He/she has to learn how to be comfortable inside the crate so that there’ll be less stress on your moving day.

2. Vaccination

A vaccination card or certificate is a must before you can bring your dog to Dubai. It should contain a record of all recent vaccinations, including the batch number, expiration date and manufacturer.

Your pooch should have updated vaccinations against canine hepatitis, distemper, leptospirosis, rabies and parvovirus. Also, make sure you get your dog microchipped before he has a rabies vaccination.

3. Health certificate

Besides the vaccination certificate, you will need a valid good health certificate. This is a letter made by your veterinarian stating that your dog is in good health condition and is able to travel. It should also state that your dog is free of rabies and endorsed by your home country’s government veterinarian.

You must open your mind that dogs which are too old or too young may not be able to handle the stress of a flight. Likewise, canines with severe health problems may be at risk of complications. Although it’s painful to part with your pet, it’s best for his/her condition to stay in a loving, local home.

4. Exercise

Unlike Western countries with dedicated places for pets, there are only a few areas in Dubai where you can exercise your dog unless you live in a villa.  

But just like humans, your dog needs to move his body. In Dubai, some people drive out the desert to allow their dogs to run around, another alternative is to have your own garden and free rein your pooch. It’s important that before you relocate, you already have a wide-enough place where your pooch can run and play freely.

If possible, avoid moving your canine to Dubai during the summer as the extreme heat and humidity can cause quite a shock to animals. Most importantly, prior to getting the necessary pet permits and documentation, your focus should be on your dog’s overall health and readiness to relocate with you.


Dr. Max Spicer is the Managing Partner and Senior Veterinary Surgeon at The Veterinary Hospital in Dubai. He has taken strides towards providing comprehensive service by hiring veterinarians that are flexible, approachable, and highly specialised in their respective fields.

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