Maybe that longing in your heart every time you see a dog or a cat has got you thinking it’s time for a new addition to the family. But before you pull the trigger and open your heart and your home (and your wallet!) to your newest family member, you really should give some serious thought to if a dog or a cat (including what breed of either kind) will fit in with your Dubai lifestyle. And once that’s decided, are you really ready for it? Is your family ready for it?
Well, if you’re set on getting a dog, before you hear the pitter-patter of her little feet clickety-clacking on your floors, think about your home: are you in an apartment or a villa with a spacious garden? That oh-so-sweet little fluff ball of a puppy could grow up to be an enormous, bouncing-off-the-walls dog before you know it. And big dogs mean big things come out of them (yeah, we’re talking about poop)! Depending on the breed and her temperament, she’ll need space to burn energy and (like all dogs of course) require a place to do her business. So, if you live on the 30th floor of an apartment, think about the desperation she’ll feel (and the embarrassment you’ll suffer, not to mention the death-glares you’ll probably receive) if she has an accident anywhere in the lift or in the public hallways (YIKES!). And really, a balcony is NOT the place for a dog to pass the hours of a day; they’re social creatures and really, really want to be with you and your family in everything you do. Which means that apartment dwellers who think the balcony will solve the problem of what do with the dog during the day ought to reconsider. And when you do get a dog, especially if it’s a puppy, be prepared for a bit of an adjustment period. Puppies do require lots of involvement and the more time you invest now in training, socializing and exercise, the better adjusted a dog you’ll have in the end. That means, if you don’t have the time to give her the routine and structure she really needs to be a good dog, maybe it’s best to move on to an animal that requires less human guidance and direction.
So then, how about a cat? Cat’s are known to be pretty self-sufficient critters and seemingly do well when left alone all day to do what cats do – sleep, a lot! Of course, they do require some basic assistance from you like providing them with food and water, and there’s the lovely task of changing the litter box (the more frequently you can do this, the better off for everyone, by the way ~ we recommend twice a day). If you do go with a cat, there’s the decision about whether he’ll be an indoor kitty or an indoor/outdoor kitty. There are lots of safety reasons to only keep him inside, such as exposure to parasites and feline diseases, run-ins with other cats (or dogs), danger of being run over by cars, and/or being stolen. So you’ll need to be strict about keeping him inside and make certain that all family members are on-board with the plan.
Lastly, no matter the pet you decide to welcome into your family, there’s the very real factor of cost to keeping and maintaining a pet, such as: adoption fees, food, annual vaccinations, unexpected emergencies and other medical needs, boarding or other types of third-party care, and relocation expenses. All of these things can all add up to be quite an expense (did you know that many Americans spend more on their pets each year than they do on their kids?), so really do think long and hard about the commitment you're making (it can be a commitment of many years, depending on the type of pet). When all is said and done, you could simply opt for a pet rock!
If you’re looking for a bit more information about living with pets in Dubai, here's some information from your trusted Cattery and Kennels in Dubai for new entrants to the UAE: Helpful Hints
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