After registration, attach the ID tag on to your pet's collar, keeping it visible at all times to avoid mistaken capture of the pet Image Credit: Pixabay

Pet registration has been in effect in the UAE for several years, but it was only in 2015 that the entire system became online.

We spoke to Dr. Sara Elliot at British Veterinary Hospital in Dubai, and she said, "Last year [2015], all vets and vet clinics were invited for training in the new registration system. That was when the completely online process was rolled out in Dubai."

Getting your pet registered is a simple annual process. You can do it through the Dubai Municipality veterinary centre or through various registered vet clinics across Dubai.  

How to get you cat/dog registered

1. Get all your pet documents in order which include up-to-date vaccination reports and other medical documents.

2. Take your pet into your regular vet clinic (call ahead to ask them about the registration) or to the Dubai Municipality veterinary centre.

3. Pets require general vaccinations annually and vaccinations against rabies. If your pet is due for the annual vaccinations, get them done before the registration process.

4. Be prepared to submit your complete contact information and Emirates ID for the process.

5. For all pets registered in Dubai, a micro-chip is required to be implanted between the shoulders which is traceable to the database. If you just got a pet in the UAE, this is a necessary procedure. If your pet already has had it done, carry necessary documents to prove it or ask for a scan to show that the chip has been implanted.

6. Once the micro-chip is implanted, pets are given a registration tag or ID which the owner must attach to the pet's collar in a visible manner at all times. Any animal found without a tag will be considered a stray.

This registration procedure can cost upto Dh95 at a private veterinary clinic but may be lesser if done at the Dubai Municipality veterinary centre.



Import

If you are importing your pet into the UAE, they must be 4 months or older and properly vaccinated. All pets (dogs and cats) must have their rabies vaccination when they are at least three months old and in this case, at least 21 days before entry.

Penalties

According to a published 'Rules and Regulations for dog-owners' pamphlet from the municipality, fine for non-registration is Dh200 after a notice period of three days. Failure to comply would result in confiscation of your pet. 

Your pets which roam outdoors must always have the registration tag attached to the collar. If not, they may be trapped and taken away. If no one claims these pets, they may be euthanised or given away.

Draft dog-owner's license law

As for the draft law regarding a new dog-owner's license, it has not been rolled out yet and details are yet to be published.

When asked about this new license, Dr. Elliot said, "Any licensing or new law to reduce the abandonment of pets and increase owner awareness is welcome. But without adequate policing and stringent penalties, these laws may fall short. We can only make note of unregistered pets; we cannot police the owners"