Adopting a Pet in Abu Dhabi

Adopting a Pet

If you’re looking for a cute pooch or furry friend to join your family, then we firmly support the idea of “adopt don’t shop”, as there are so many abandoned animals in Abu Dhabi that desperately need a home. The process of adopting a pet is relatively straight forward, and you can visit a number of hard working shelters and rescue centres to do so.

Now is a particularly busy time for shelters, so if you are thinking of adopting a pet, now could be a great time. Shelters often become over-run with animals who have been left homeless over the summer months after their owners leave the UAE.

If you’re not ready to commit to adopting a pet just yet, then you can still help by fostering an animal for a short period of time.

Why adopt an animal from a shelter?

  1. When you adopt an animal from a shelter, you have a much better chance of finding a pet that will fit perfectly into your family. Volunteers and staff at the shelter have a great understanding of the animals, so they can help match you and your family with the perfect pet to suit your personality and lifestyle.
  2. Pets that are kept in shelter are healthy and kept update with their vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and microchipped before you adopt the pet. This also dramatically helps to cut down on vet bills.
  3. Shelters often home many older pets as well as puppies. It’s important to choose a pet that fits within your lifestyle, so if you don’t lead an active life or don’t have much spare time, then adopting an older animal may suit you much better than a puppy who will need a lot of activity and attention!

Where to adopt

  • Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter : The Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter was the first animal shelter to be opened in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and now provides fantastic care for stray cats and dogs in the capital. The Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter is located at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital Site between Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Shamkha.
  • Feline Friends Abu Dhabi : Feline Friends Abu Dhabi is run solely by volunteers who are dedicated to helping the street and abandoned cats of Abu Dhabi.
  • German Veterinary Clinic : The German Veterinary Clinic is located in Khalifa City A, and regularly hold pet adoption days. The nurses at the German Veterinary Clinic really take the time to get to understand you and your family and will match you with a pet that really suits your lifestyle.

There are also lots of Facebook groups where you’ll find great advice about adopting and caring for pets in our wonderful city, such as Pet People Abu Dhabi and Animal Action UAE.

What to think about: Vaccinations & registration

Of course, there are so many things to consider before you adopt a pet- how will they fit into your lifestyle? Do you have the space, time, and financial means to care for them properly? Are pets permitted in your apartment or villa? But there are things that you may not have thought about, such as what vaccinations are required and how to register your pet.

All cats & dogs living in Abu Dhabi must be inoculated and registered with the Abu Dhabi Municipality in order for them to be microchipped. If an animal is found that has not been microchipped, it is treated as a stray. Make sure to speak with the rescue centre or shelter who can help you with registration.

The requirement of vaccinations changes between animals; Dogs in Abu Dhabi must be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus, whilst cats have to be vaccinated against rabies, feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. Again, it’s important to check with the shelter that the animal you wish to adopt is up to date with their vaccinations, and if not you must visit a vet straight away.