What to consider when buying a puppy in QatarLiz Mallia
Are you hoping to buy a dog? That’s great news, but if you’re planning to bring your pup to the Middle East, you might want to read our tips on what to consider when buying a dog in Qatar.
Important Import Regulations
Qatar is a peninsular country. The coastal capital of Qatar, Doha, is on the Arabian Sea. The blue salt water of the west stands in sharp contrast with the miles of arid desert in the east of the country. The rules on importing animals are very strict in Qatar, so if you plan to bring a dog or puppy into the country, be sure to check the local regulations with your embassy and the local government. If you familiarise yourself with the rules you can avoid problems later.
There is a lot of bureaucracy and red tape to deal with. Fortunately, you can seek help from various companies that can assist you in importing your pet to Qatar. These companies understand the rules, regulations and procedures involves in importing animals.
Be aware that since June 2017, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Maldives have severed ties with Qatar. As a result, you will not be able to transport your pet from these countries to Qatar (or vice versa). The only way you will be able to import your dog to Qatar is if you intend to live there, work there (you will need a work visa), or are returning to the country.
In the Qatar any domestic dogs (including service dogs and emotional support animals) must be micro-chipped. The microchip should be an ISO 11784 pet microchip, 15 digit and non-encrypted. If your dog has a microchip that is not ISO 11784 compliant, then you should bring your own microchip scanner.
You will also need to get an import permit. You can obtain one from the Department of Animal Resources. When you apply, be sure to include your pet’s health certificate and rabies vaccination.
A rabies vaccine is obligatory for dogs entering Qatar. Your dog will need to be vaccinated between 30 days and 12 months before you bring them to Qatar. Be sure that your dog has all the other vaccines (consult your veterinarian for advice).
Your dog will also need a Health Certificate. The certificate in question is the Veterinary Health Certificate for Qatar, which states that your pet is healthy, parasite free, and free of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. This certificate should be endorsed by the government agency responsible for the import and export of animals in the country where your dog is travelling from.
It is also a good idea to treat your dog for parasites such as tapeworms and ticks before they travel to Qatar, because it can be difficult to get these products there.
Arriving by Air
Your dog will need to travel by air to Qatar’s Hamad International Airport in Doha. You can either transport your dog as checked baggage or as air cargo, but be sure to the dog in a pet crate for the journey. Only two dogs per adult may enter Qatar at a time. When your dog arrives in Doha, they will be examined for evidence of any diseases that can be spread to humans. If there are signs that the dog is not healthy, a veterinarian may be called in (at your expense).
Certain dog breeds are banned in the Qatar. These include many “bully breeds”, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and the Bulldog. The Afghan hound, Japanese Akita, Boxer, and various other large dog breeds are banned too.
You should definitely familiarise yourself with any local regulations concerns dogs and dog keeping. You will not be allowed to take your dog to certain public areas such as parks and beaches. Luckily there are some beaches 30 minutes away from Doha (such as Al Wakra beach or Al Khor island) where you can walk your dog. There are also some dog-friendly areas in Doha, such as the Pearl and West Bay. Be courteous and be sure to clean up after your dog, and keep him/her on a leash in public areas. Be sure that your dog is polite and under control, not jumping up on people or barking.
Housing can trick because many rental properties do not allow pets. Be sure to consult with the landlord or property manager before you commit to renting a property. Apartments and houses in Qatar may be smaller than what your dog is used to. If you live in a compound, you may be lucky enough to have space to walk your dog or even let them off the leash.
The scorching heat means your dog will probably have to spend a lot of time inside enjoying the air conditioning. To stop your dog from getting bored, you’ll need to take them on long walks in the cool of the evening, and provide play and toys during the day.
So what to do once you and your dog have arrived in Qatar and settled in? It’s time to look for pet care services, as you’ll need to locate everything from a vet to a groomer.
There are several dog training schools or services available in Qatar. The Dog School (in Doha) offers training, rehabilitation, and consultation for dogs. You can also visit Doha Dog Services or the Dog Psychology School for training.
If you are looking for a dog groomer in Qatar, you’ll find that many veterinary clinics offer a grooming service. The Parkview Pet Centre is one such clinic. Apart from its clinic and grooming services, the Parkview Pet Centre also offers a pet hotel and a pet supplies shop.
It can be difficult to buy pet supplies in Qatar. Some veterinary clinics can supply you with pet food and other doggy necessities. You can also visit Pets & More in Doha for supplies. Another option is Hakuna Matata – Happy Pets, a family-owned company that offers homemade dog treats and pet beds.
There is a good selection of veterinary clinics to choose from, especially if you live in Doha. Some Doha-based clinics include the Canadian Veterinary Hospital, the Qatar Veterinary Centre, and Parkview Pet Centre. Outside of Doha there is Al Halal Veterinary Clinic (Al Khor).