MOST EXPATS ASK US ……… answered by Natalia Dolidze, Managing Director of Pets Habitat LLC
Q1. Why are puppies and kittens more expensive in Dubai and UAE when compared to Europe, USA or other parts of the world?
This question does not have a simple answer. To start with, there are very few ethical and knowledgeable breeders of quality dogs and cats within UAE, particularly fewer to none when it comes to pure breed dogs or ethical breeding practices. There are no national government supported kennel clubs or feline clubs in UAE, governing breed standards, overseeing breeding practices, DNA testing, recognition and registration of breeding dogs and puppies or cats and kittens. There is no authority to issue government endorsed pedigrees within UAE. Such kennel clubs and feline clubs do not exist in UAE because their requirement is limited, lack of dedicated breeders indicates deficiency of canine/feline associations…
Weather conditions and lack of sufficient open pet friendly spaces are other reasons expats do not wish to get into any serious and long-term animal breeding programs. When it comes to the local population, Islam does not promote dogs as companions, only as long as they serve a purpose such as security, police work, etc. Most UAE Nationals are also financially well-off, so money is not the motivation. Consequently, most companion pets are imported into UAE by either expats or licensed pet stores like ours.
If you have ever brought a pet into UAE from UK, Europe, Australia, USA or another country, you are probably not the one to ask this question in the first place. However, if you have never imported a pet and would like to get an idea of the process involved in selection, boarding, care, tests, documentation and shipping of our puppies and kittens, I would encourage you to read our Importing & Selling page to avoid the repetition. All of these essential factors are associated with ongoing expenses, mostly in Euros, and we are not willing to cut costs on the ethics, health, animal welfare, breed standard or comfort of our animals in order to bring you cheaper puppy or kitten!
We encourage our prospective customers to get a quotation from any source before choosing to buy a pet from us. If anyone feels they can pay less for a pet of our quality, with 100% background transparency and details, matching our local Health Warranty and health reports, with additional luxury of choosing the pet after seeing, feeling and ensuring “the connection”, we recommend the customer buys and imports a pet directly from a breeder abroad without using our services. The price of our pets includes cost of time and efforts to select ethically bred litters and to hand pick best quality puppies out of those litters, as well as consulting service we provide in ensuring you get healthy and social, home-raised pet, best suited for your lifestyle and for your family.
Needless to say, Dubai is an expensive place to operate a business in terms of retail rents, trade license fees, MOCCAE fees, National Sponsor fees and even higher costs involved in hiring, training and accommodating foreign staff, not to mention all other, hidden from obvious view ongoing business expenses you may never know about until you open a business. You can also think of it this way: a bottle of mineral water is available in supermarket for AED 0.5-2, but a restaurant within the same area or mall sells the same water bottle at AED 6-15 or even higher. You have a choice of going to the source to buy it from supermarket or pay premium price at the restaurant when enjoying your meal. As you can see, the operating costs of a business have to be considered and tolerated if you are to use the service. Same applies to our business. We emphasise ethics, health and quality, and only encourage discerning and conscious pet enthusiasts to buy from us. We always patiently try to explain our view point and the nitty-gritty of our complicated trade to everyone, and we are proud of the fact that we end up persuading many of those willing to listen and understand.
Q2. Why do we sell our pets a bit more expensive than other shops or importers within UAE?
Aside of what has been talked about above, think of “Blood Diamonds” from Sierra Leone or other plagued by conflict and civil war parts of Africa as an example. If only everyone in the world would know or care to think about the origin of diamonds from a troubled region! The atrocities the diamond workers and their families go through and the extremism funded by this trade. If everyone with a conscience would stop buying diamonds of such origin and insist on humane source of their jewels, willing to pay the extra costs of ethically produced gemstones, gradually, the trade would diminish. We can use many examples of controversies, where you may not think of origins and the negative chain of consequences you set off by supporting certain items with your purchase. Let’s just pick any household product tested on animals or cosmetic with unsustainable palm oil in it, not to mention the food you put on your plate… Unfortunately, controversial trades based on buyers ignorance flourish worldwide. You may have your own opinion on some topics, but we hope you get our point about ethical source of pets too and analogy used in this paragraph.
It’s not everyone’s fault. Many people are just not aware or have not done enough research before heading out to a pet store to buy a puppy or a kitten. We often come across shocked expressions when we quote price of our puppies (or kittens) to expats. A puppy may look cute and cost less in other shops, from UAE based pet traders or from unlicensed “breeders”, but surely you do not want to encourage puppies being raised in small, dirty cages in commercial farms, where countless adult dogs and cats are kept and bred in appalling conditions without much human interaction, medical care and love companion animals require and deserve.
It is quite simple. If you are buying from a breeder – insist to meet where you can see both animal parents and whole litter in their home, observe environment adult dogs/cats and puppies/kittens are being raised in, if they are kept in cages, how the breeder treats them, interacts with them, handles them, how parent dogs/cats and puppies/kittens behave. If you are buying from a pet store or importer/trader – ask for any photo/video evidence of both parents, their details, breeder details, any background info, where the breeder lives and how the puppies have been raised, ask to speak about how puppy has been exported and imported, puppy’s journey from the breeder’s home to the pet store. It is not hard to understand from the intonation, lack of relevant details or avoidance of questions where the puppy really comes from. Check the real age of the puppy (kitten), and think why date of birth is altered by those who try to sell you their cheaper pets.
You are investing into a family pet, your new family member for many years to come. Think about it and go for healthy, home bred puppy/kitten, raised in homes within family environment by breeders you can reach out to.
Even while losing to our “competition”, who sell questionably-sourced puppies/kittens at lower prices, we, at Pets Habitat, never cut our costs by picking our puppies from puppy mills/farms or kittens from commercial breeding setups! We WILL NEVER support such operations and WILL NOT tolerate any form of cruelty towards animals. We choose to uphold our ethics, and I would rather shut down our store than succumb to buying from mills and farms for economic reasons. Our puppies are guaranteed home-bred and raised, they are purchased directly by myself, the owner of Pets Habitat, and flown to Dubai most often by Emirates (except for brachycephalic breeds that Emirates no longer accepts). All the information on our puppies (and kittens) background is available and 100% transparent.
Do you really want to encourage puppy mills? Do you know, that by ordering a puppy from internet-based company abroad, or by buying a pet from an importer in UAE without asking for some proof of ethical background, you may seem to save fraction of money (which will later be spend on vet bills in higher amount), but at the same time you are inadvertently fuelling the puppy mill production? We suggest to do a bit of in-depth research on commercial puppy/kitten breeding setups that produce mass supply of various breeds in all sizes and colours, and only then decide if you would really like to pay for a pet that you do not know the exact origin of! Aside of the obvious cruelties inflicted on adult and young animals, puppy mills also rely on excessive inbreeding, and puppies often begin to show genetic problems within months or first years of life. Inbreeding means mating brother and sister to save on the hassles of finding the right stud / new blood line, and to increase production quickly to satisfy the demand for cheap puppies/kittens.
If you still decide to overlook the ethics and humanity in benefit of your budget, if you are still considering that questionable cheaper puppy – think of the vet bills your cheaper puppy will generate only to maintain all the ongoing health issues of poor breeding practices and unsanitary conditions from the very start of your puppy’s life. It is possible that your cheaper puppy will end up being another statistical death figure contributing to puppy mill trade turnover.
On the contrast, home bred pets from genuine breeders’ homes are healthy (sparing you massive expenses of vet expenses), already well socialised with family members, including kids and pets, and are ethically bred and raised with no element of cruelty involved at any stage.
Whatever way you see it, it makes no sense to support commercial mass breeding of puppies and kittens in farms or mills. And while you may still be in doubt about that cheaper puppy you’ve seen at another store, you should be aware of import regulation changes implemented by UAE Government in the past years. There is a valid reason UAE authorities have applied an age restriction ban on import of dogs and cats from these countries. Puppies originating from Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan and several other termed “high risk” countries must be above 5-6 months of age upon entry into UAE, and only following mandatory Titre test to scrutinise and ensure complete absence of Rabies virus. Reasons for these import regulation changes are to protect UAE environment from any chance of fatal viruses and other serious health issues the puppies arriving from above mentioned “high risk” countries may carry and spread. Sadly, in the last few years the number of “puppy farms” sky rocketed in some countries based on demand for cheaper puppies and kittens, spreading inhumane treatment and unsanitary conditions animals are born, live and die in. To bypass minimum age requirement issue, puppy importers change date of birth of their puppies on documents to make them appear older, producing fake or incorrect vaccinations, harmful for the puppy at younger age, and any relevant documents required for export/import to conceal the real age of the puppies. If you ask the trader or pet store about the real age openly – you will often be told the truth, quite shamelessly.
Contrary, at Pets Habitat our puppies are of exact same age as their date of birth, stated on their documents, their passport and their pedigree. You can verify this with authorities directly if you do not believe us. All contact information is available on all the documents you receive with purchase of a puppy from Pets Habitat. Our vaccinations are real and timely, and are followed meticulously by the breeders in various regions of Italy and other parts of EU.
Once again, we believe we are the only pet store in UAE that has actively taken the initiative to import strictly home bred and ethically raised pets. We hope other pet stores/importers will follow suit. Please read our Importing & Selling page for more information on detailed process involved. We are confident enough on the quality of our pets that we offer you a 30 day “Money Back Guarantee” based on any serious health issue (please read our Health Warranty). We offer more value for your money and less hassle involved than buying cheaper, but unhealthy puppy or kitten from unethical source with not enough medical scrutiny or observation, love and care. You must be aware, the vet bills in UAE will quickly surpass the cost of the pet in case of even minor health concern. So please think through and don’t be thrifty when it comes to taking home a lifelong companion.
Q3. Why do we import from Italy?
In short – simply because we can communicate with breeders directly in their native language. As many of you are aware, most people do not speak fluent English within most of EU outside major touristic city centers. This makes it hard for English speaker to communicate freely and easily with reputable REAL breeders based in smaller towns of Europe. In order to buy from breeders directly, and not from a puppy mill supplier who is fluent in English, one must be able to speak the native language of the country the puppy is imported from. In the past, I had to rely on a few good and trustworthy personal contacts to access the breeders network of EU, but this approach left a lot to misunderstanding, to chance and the possibility of error. Moreover, in a situation where I depend entirely on someone else to choose the puppies for me, I have no control over breeder’s reputation and background, breeding history, selection of the puppies, and have no direct access to the breeder if any additional information is required at any time or a question is raised by our customers.
A touch of personal history: when I remarried not long ago I never thought my husband would become involved into my business. Fast forward to today, we are able to speak directly to breeders of Italy through my husband’s native Italian roots. This allows us complete 100% direct access to the breeders network, their homes and environment puppies (and kittens) are being raised in, to view the parent animals, to select the litters and to hand pick the puppies one by one to then bring into UAE. All our puppies literally come straight from breeders’ homes in Italy to Dubai. There are no any other places they must stay or lodge, breeder is the last person who drops his/her puppies at one of major airports in Italy to be flown same day to Dubai with direct Emirates airline flight.
Italy is also one of the closest points of EU to UAE with only roughly 5+ hour direct Emirates airline flight time away. With exception of brachycephalic breeds that are no longer accepted on Emirates flights, we choose to fly our animals with Emirates for the airline’s reliability and one of the highest standards of animal ethics onboard, strictly adhering to IATA rules and regulation no matter what. This makes Emirates one of the most expensive airlines to fly pets with, but we prefer not to compromise physical and emotional wellbeing of our animals. We also prefer Emirates for their direct flights between Italy and UAE to avoid any unnecessary transit points of other airlines, therefore to eliminate any additional stress to our animals and to reduce the risk of possibility of contracting any minor health concerns while being exposed to other pets during transit time of other stop-over flights.
Any information you may want to know about the breeder is available, all our puppies and kittens are fully traceable, all come from registered parents whose details are available, including photos and breeding background. Any additional questions you may want to ask or any additional information to know is only WhatsApp message away 050-4118085 if my in-store team is unable to answer or clear your doubts.
Recently, we have also started to reach out to Italian breeders outside Italy within EU for those breeds that are not easily available within Italian borders. So don’t be surprised if you occasionally come across a puppy at our store from another part of EU. We aim to offer your preferred breeds even when impossible to find in Italy without compromising our ethics.
Q4. “How do I know the puppy you are selling is from ethical source?”
Don’t be afraid to ask for any proof of ethical source of your puppy. We are happy to share this information with you. We always have both parents photos (often even several), fully traceable pedigree documents, breeder details and contact numbers. We can explain who the breeder is, where he/she lives, how the dogs are kept, bred, socialised… In short, we know most of the breeders we buy from personally, and therefore, we have abundant proof that our pets come from genuine people who care for them, who follow ethical practices when breeding their animals, and who raise them within their own families.
We most often have documentation of both parents genetic health, tests completed to eliminate any chance of genetic disorder being passed on to the puppies. Usually, all our puppies hold fully traceable ENCI pedigrees, where you can track the breeder and his information, both parents and grandparents details independently.
We do not buy from individuals who we cannot verify, who we have never spoken to, whose background is ambiguous and character is uncertain.
After meeting a pet at our store, if you want more details about this particular puppy (or kitten) that our in-store team has not been able to share with you, please feel free to WhatsApp 050-4118085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org asking for the information you require, and we will be happy to share all details we have with you.
Q5. “I am sure I can import puppy at a cheaper cost myself, how do you justify your pet prices?”
This is one of the most frequent lines we hear verbally or receive in writing: to justify the price of certain puppy or kitten. Despite all the explanations we may provide, the customer often remains suspicious that we are still just hiking up the price to generate the higher profits. Therefore, I have decided to go a step further and break down our basic costs in aim to demonstrate that the only cost possible to reduce while importing pet animal into UAE is the cost of the animal (and this is the most important cost you do not want to compromise or be saving on!). Try to import a puppy or kitten from legitimate, registered, ethical and reputable breeder yourself from any part of the world, and you will know all the information first-hand.
To spare your time and expenses to find out yourself, let’s break it down to the actual figures. Since we import our pets from Italian breeders, the currency used is Euro. The most important cost is the cost of the puppy (or kitten). When carefully selected from genuine and reputable breeder in Italy, this cost is NEVER below Euro 1,800-3,500 for any puppy or kitten of any breed, including the price of the animal, plus the costs of boarding by the breeder while we wait for the pet to reach required age and complete the necessary procedures.
Registered breeders, who breed ethically, invest their time, money, careful attention and love into thoughtful breeding of their dogs or cats. There is evident standard to adhere to. Genuine breeders do not sell their litters cheaply and rush to breed their female animals again to yield quick profits. All canine breeding in Italy is governed by ENCI (member of FCI) or another kennel club, all parent dogs must be registered by law, birth of all puppies must be recorded. Any violation of the laws is punishable by hefty fines and may land the offender in jail.
Genuine breeders want to know where their puppies/kittens go, who is going to be the owner, where their puppy/kitten will live, why we are interested in their litters. It takes time to discuss, explain and build enough trust for the breeder to only consider selling to us. Let’s consider the best case scenario that our selected breeder agrees to sell us his/her puppy. Staying on budget side, let’s assume figure of Euro 2,000 as the price payable to the breeder for one of our chosen breed of puppies. Let’s also pretend the breeder is kind enough and understanding to agree to hold the puppy with minimum additional charges until puppy is 15 weeks of age (mandatory minimum age of entry into UAE from “low risk” rabies countries like Italy). So far this is very optimistic scenario, but let’s say we are lucky.
Now we need to purchase IATA approved spacious and smooth plastic travel crate to accommodate the puppy comfortably on his flight to UAE. The cost is between Euro 90 to 260, depending on the size, breed, IATA regulations and availability. Let’s suppose the puppy is of smaller breed and that cost stays on lower side of Euro 100. So now we have the cooperative breeder, the puppy and the comfortable travel crate. Our cost so far is Euro 2,100.
Since Covid, many airlines currently either have embargo or do not accept animals onboard due to shortage of flights and unprofitability. Recently Emirates airline changed their terms, resulting in drastic air transport costs increase along with IATA agent charges. Brachycephalic breeds can no longer fly with Emirates, so another major international EU based airline must be contacted to fly Shih Tzu, Bulldogs, Cavaliers and other snub-nose breeds. Please note, that at Pets Habitat we never use budget or charter flights to risk our animals lives and sacrifice their wellbeing to save on our expenses. Our animals welfare is NEVER jeopardised, so all our puppies and kittens fly premium international airlines, with preference of direct Emirates airline flights whenever possible despite the costs!
Soon we need the travel agent to issue airway bill for our Emirates airline flight booking to UAE once the puppy reaches minimum permitted entry age of 15 weeks. Despite our meticulously observing and following all the IATA rules and regulation, a lot is still left at the airline’s final discretion.
We now have our total costs at Euro 4,700. Additional cost of vet checkup, vaccinations, documents, vet certificates, road transfers (including high EU tolls) would optimistically amount to Euro 400, to sum up total amount spent in EU so far being Euro 5,100.
At current AE Dirham – Euro reduced rate of writing this in 2022, this amount is approximately AED 18,200. The optimistically economical costs of a puppy from a breeder flown to Dubai with Emirates or another leading EU airline sums up to AED 18,200 while the puppy is still in the country of origin (Italy in our case)!
Now let’s take a step back to booking the flight. In order for airline to reserve and confirm desired and permitted date of entry into UAE, we must obtain UAE import permit from MOCCAE for our already selected and purchased puppy. The airline will not guarantee or confirm the booking until this mandatory UAE entry document for a pet is obtained. Once the essential export/import documentation is completed, we can apply for UAE import permit, which costs AED 200. We now have Emirates airline flight tentatively confirmed for our pet, and we have spent AED 18,400 for our puppy thus far.
Moving on, the puppy has been well taken care of and is now happy on Emirates plane en route to Dubai. At this stage we are required to complete the release process online UAE MOCCAE page in order to be able to collect our puppy from Dubai airport quarantine facility. The process is similar to the import permit issuance and costs AED 500. After paying additional customs fees and other charges, we now finally have our puppy out of airport in Dubai (if all the documents are in tiptop order!) at over AED 19,000!
The principal reason I am disclosing costs and figures of import process is to make you, the reader, our potential customer, understand that the only part where it is truly possibly to slash the costs, is the cost of the puppy!! So when you see a cheaper puppy, do a basic math, think and consider the costs above, and question why this puppy or kitten costs less? Ask how is it possible and which expense of export and import procedure above has been compromised on..?
Yes, we are likely to fly more than one puppy at the same time if breeder has siblings available for us to buy, and so some of our fees may be fractionally reduced for us being a business (calculate in the business license, commercial rents, staff and other business expenses we pay regularly). Yes, you can opt for cheaper EU airline with marginal price reduction, IF you can find one in current times to carry your puppy to UAE. Yes, we also may get a better rate for a travel box if we buy them in bulk or cheaper brands. But the costs of import permit and release permit in UAE, documents and vet charges, airline prices remain the same for everyone!
So where can the cost be mainly and greatly reduced? Essentially the cost of the puppy/kitten. You can buy a puppy for less than Euro 100 from a puppy mill (obviously being in this line of business for over a decade I know their prices). If you run the puppy farm yourself, breeding animals in cold dirty cages without medical care on budget food formula continuously mating the females, the costs of your puppy are reduced even further! Shipping puppies in bulk of 30+ in small wooden boxes by disreputable/charter airline that does not follow IATA rules or with many stopovers can also lower the price…
So when you opt for that cheaper puppy/kitten, you are saving on your pet’s quality, health, wellbeing, background, ethics and not on business margins or expenses involved. If you opt to select and import your pet yourself – you will understand our predicament and prices. I encourage you to investigate the costs independently and calculate the real expenses yourself to conclude if it is really worth to save on the puppy/kitten price, source, health and welfare of the animal.
Q6. Why we do not have Bulldogs and Pugs available during summer months?
We are commonly requested brachycephalic breeds during UAE hotter months, often in late spring, summer or early autumn. Brachycephalic breeds are those snub-nosed breeds like Bulldog, Pug, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and many others (you can obtain complete list with quick google search).
What many of you may not know is that following IATA section governing international live animal air transport safety regulations (LAR), most international airlines will not accept any brachycephalic breeds onboard during hotter months, subject to departure, destination or transit airports declared air ground temperatures. Each airline usually has its own further variations to these rules, but most will only accept to carry snub-nosed breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs during mid autumn – winter months.
IATA, abbreviation for The International Air Transport Association, is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 280 airlines, primarily major carriers, or 83% of total air traffic. All international airlines strictly abide and follow IATA guidelines and code of ethics. While we ship most of our animals with Emirates, IATA member airline, we respect and appreciate the motives behind IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR). Most brachycephalic breeds do not fare well during hot and humid temperatures, especially onboard an aircraft where air supply is additionally controlled and regulated, such breeds may develop troubles breathing and respiratory discomfort leading to fatality in extreme cases.
In the past years worldwide many snub-nosed breeds died during flights of various international airlines and at the airports holding facilities due to respiratory distress, often aggravated by hotter or humid temperatures and restrained conditions. The IATA rules and regulations have been implemented to prevent the needless loss of pet animal lives. Among the long list of numerous guidelines specifying all possible aspects of animal air travel, including travel box requirements and parameters for all shapes and sizes of animals being transported, the travel box requirement for brachycephalic breed must be at least one size larger compared to same size non-brachycephalic breed. IATA and the airlines prioritise safety and wellbeing for all its passengers, humans or animals, and will avoid any chance of hazard or risk associated with welfare of all its passengers onboard. Therefore, for the security and comfort of our animals, while obeying IATA and airlines policies, we do not import any brachycephalic breeds during the peak heat months.
Additionally, Emirates airline no longer accepts any brachycephalic breeds onboard its aircrafts throughout the year as a further precaution to avoid any chance of respiratory distress in flight or prior take-off / post landing. Thus, when it comes to brachycephalic breeds, we must seek alternative EU based airline that will accept to fly our snub-nosed puppies during UAE cooler months.
To answer the immediately raised question as to why we bring brachycephalic breeds into UAE in the first place:
1) we have just a few brachycephalic breeds yearly and only based on your demand;
2) UAE lifestyle typically revolves around indoor living in airconditioned environments, so we only import smaller breeds that fare well indoors and do not require much of outdoor exercise.
So if you are in love with one of those snub-nosed breeds, please calculate in additional expenses of larger travel box and airline restrictions. We again encourage all our customers to stay better informed about your chosen breed, real life costs and welfare of all animals.
Please note, that at Pets Habitat we never use budget or charter flights to risk our animals lives and sacrifice their wellbeing to save on our expenses. Our animals welfare is NEVER jeopardised, so all our puppies and kittens fly premium international airlines, with preference of direct Emirates airline flights whenever possible despite the costs and inconveniences!
Q7. Can I order or reserve the puppy/kitten?
For some of our more serious and particular customers we frequently do search for a puppy or kitten of desired breed among Italian breeders on order basis and with down payment from the customer to then import to Dubai. Usually in such cases we can immediately state if the breed can be readily found or if this may take time, more effort to source from registered, ethical breeder in Italy or another part of EU. We can also estimate rough price range for a puppy with ENCI pedigree and with both parents genetically tested to rule out some of commonly occurring genetic ailments.
If the customer wishes to proceed and the breed is not rare or uncommon in Italy, we ask among the network of breeders who we already know, get accurate information and revert back to the customer with relevant details. At this point we require down payment from the customer to proceed to reserve that desired puppy/kitten. Genuine breeders do not hold their offspring without payments simply because the demand for ethically bred and raised puppy or kitten is very high in Europe and other parts of the world. Moreover, genuine breeders want to ensure that their puppies or kittens go to genuine people, preferably knowing all their buyers face to face. We fall short of that requirement, often not able to disclose to the breeder customer’s details until a later stage, not to mention unlikelihood of face to face meeting between the breeder and the customer, and so we are rarely prioritised by breeders to sell us their offspring despite our personal connections and overall good rapport with them.
As soon as we receive the down payment from the customer, we transfer it to the breeder to hold desired and selected puppy or kitten for us. We then proceed with all the steps mentioned in Importing & Selling page. Balance payment is settled at the time of receiving the puppy or kitten in Dubai.
Many of our customers also opt to reserve the puppy or kitten already expected to travel to Dubai but prior to pet’s arrival in UAE. You may ask: why to reserve if the pet is already arriving in any case in a few weeks or months? The answer is simple: this guarantees availability of selected pet, stabilises the price to avoid any fluctuations and furthermore reduces the price up to 10% in some cases with frequently offered by us “reservation discount”.
Availability and selection – if the customer chooses to reserve the puppy or kitten prior to pet’s arrival to Dubai, we often allow the customer to select his/her preferred one from the litter. If done early enough when the litter is still very young, we also permit the customer to name the puppy to officially enter that specific name on the pedigree. Without saying, reservation and down payment guarantees the puppy or kitten to be yours, and no one else can take that pet away from you.
Stability of the price – it is common to have the prices rise for any unreserved prior to arrival to Dubai pets, depending on breeder’s ultimate costs, final airline surcharges and last moment additional expenses.
Reservation discount – we offer it to ensure that puppies and kittens spend least amount of time with us in benefit of the time they would enjoy going to their family right away.
So if you wish to reserve your puppy or kitten prior to their arrival in Dubai, we will share all the relevant details and will answer your questions, possibly asking the breeder for clarifications or any additional info. To guarantee the pet to you upon arrival, we do require down payment of agreed discounted fixed price. Balance payment must be settled upon collection of the pet from our store.
Pet order or reservation will require signing an agreement in addition to down payment. We do not accept one step without the other.
You are welcome to have a quick chat with us on availability and possibilities of your preferred breed. We can discuss breed choices through our Whatsapp 050-4118085 or email email@example.com.
Q8. Is the puppy healthy / vaccinated / microchipped?
Upon arrival to Dubai, all our puppies go for a complete vet check with independently practising veterinary doctor in UAE. Point-by-point vet report is available with every puppy we offer for sale. This is our company policy and procedure to ensure that we hand you over completely healthy puppy with clean bill of health.
Additionally, all our puppies hold international passports of Italy/EU with microchips and all the mandatory vaccines and treatments, often accompanied by traceable pedigree. Read how we do it to know more about our selection process and export procedures, our puppies travel steps to reach Dubai, our principles and ethics towards animals.
Q9. “Do your puppies stay with their mom?”
Our puppies stay at the breeder’s home until they reach the minimum permitted age for import into UAE (from Italy it is 15 weeks as per the current rules and regulations of MOCCAE, the earliest possible age for import into UAE). This way our puppies continue to stay with their mom until the trip to the airport to take the flight to Dubai. This is another reason why our puppies are different in their behaviour and habits, happier and more social compared to other pet store puppies. Having spent the longest time with their mom and siblings at the breeder’s home, gives our puppies solid psychological base and positive boost to start their new journey in a new family, new country, new environment…
Q10. “I want a breed of dog like Husky, Pit Bull, German Shepherd, St Bernard or Great Dane. Can you import one for me?”
We aim not to import some larger breeds (with exception of occasional Labrador or Golden Retriever or hypoallergenic Lagotto Romagnolo) that we feel may not fare well in UAE due to our belief that most expats have neither enough time nor space required for the proper care of such breeds, not to mention cultural restrictions mixed in with lack of canine friendly public areas. Moreover, some breeds are just not suitable for UAE climate (Husky, St Bernard come to mind instantly), and many are prohibited by Dubai Municipality mainly for the reason of owner’s inability to train well and manage these breeds. Please be considerate and sensible when planning a new pet. Factor in the realistic possibility of relocation with your pet and calculate the costs of a larger breed vs smaller one.
Q11. “I live in an apartment. What breed of dog or perhaps any other pet would you suggest?”
Choice of a pet will depend on many factors, including size of apartment, your working hours, if you have a housemaid or other help in your absence, if you are single or have kids, other family members living with you, other pets in the same household, if you travel often or if you enjoy regular time out on weekends. In general, we do not encourage dogs for those expats who work long hours, travel often or for single expats living alone. We suggest a cat (or two to keep each other company) for most of you who live in apartments alone. Cats are independent, demand less attention, training and care compared to dogs, and cats are relatively easier to manage than dogs. There is always a choice to adopt unwanted or rescued kitty, or to buy if you insist on a particular breed. Small pets like a hamster or reptile are also suitable, but please invest into proper enclosure and setup in benefit of the animal you plan to accommodate there, do the research online on care requirements specific to your pet before purchase. I also caution people against locking parrots in a cage 24/7, especially if left alone throughout the day. So please be considerate, humane and think longer term when it comes to pets.
Whether in apartment or in a villa, rule of thumb for a dog is not to be left completely alone at home for longer than 4-6 hours at a stretch. Frequently left unattended for lengthy hours, such dogs will most likely develop behavioral problems out of boredom and in order to gain your attention. Large or active breeds locked by themselves in apartment may also disturb your neighbors with loud barking, howling and movement. So please choose carefully.
However, in case you are in an apartment living alone, yet confident you can manage consistently your lunch breaks at home, or you can arrange for someone to visit, feed, play with and clean after the puppy during your working hours, at least 1 hour during your absence, you may opt for a small, generally quiet breed of dogs. Please feel free to WhatsApp (050-4118085) or email us with questions or for suggestions on the breed for your lifestyle, and we will be happy to help.
Q12. “What if I am relocating to UK, Europe, USA or any other country, can I take my pet with me? What is the process?”
Actually, most people think it is extremely difficult. In our opinion based on experience, it is not as hard as it may appear initially if you can plan the move at least 6-9 months in advance. We encourage all our customers to take their pets to their country of destination if planning to relocate.
Most countries allow pets to be imported, but there is certain medical documentation required for every country as per the regulations. Main prerequisite by most countries is the confirmation that your pet is virus free and immune to rabies. Thanks to the latest medical innovations there are specific blood tests that can reveal and confirm if your pet is immune to a certain virus such as rabies. With help of these blood test and conclusive report most countries now allow the pet in without or with minimal quarantine period. Best advice we can give is to contact pet relocation company at least 6 months prior to your expected date of departure to your destination country. We can also offer you some guidance on relocation possibilities for your pet, but we no longer actively provide pet relocation import or export services to our customers.
Q13. Why Pets Habitat puppies do not have docked tails like in other pet stores?
Simply put, we do not believe in docking or cropping for any reason aside of medical necessity, and we are against any senseless pain inflicted on animals. We strictly follow “no crop, no dock” policy practiced throughout most of EU, including Italy, where we import most of our puppies from at the moment. Nearly all European and many other countries throughout the world currently ban tail docking and ear cropping. In Italy the only rare exception to this ban permitting occasional tail docking performed by a qualified vet is applicable only for some breeds of dogs used specifically for hunting, only during the hunting season and only with mandatory hunting license. Personally, I do not support hunting regardless of seasons, licenses or purpose, thus I make a point to avoid any docked tail litters is we ever may come across them (almost never!).
Aside of needless pain imposed on the puppy, we now know that tail is essential tool of canine communication, and docking it deprives the dog of its elementary initial communication ability to express signals of intimidation, hostility, playfulness, alertness to other canines and other animals, including humans. It has been studied and concluded that docked puppy is slightly more likely to grow into more aggressive dog compared to undocked puppy of same breed due to the cautious way other canines approach docked puppy, caution used due to tail handicap and disability of clear “tail communication” (I am not listing any reference here simply because I do not recall where exactly I read it some time ago, but feel free to explore this subject and in-depth info that follows). I firmly believe that we now live in age and time where any form of animal mutilations is no longer required for any reasons and are completely absurd, hence should not be practiced and should never be supported. And so, all Pets Habitat puppies will remain cruelty free with their full, natural, wagging tails and beautiful ears.
Q14. “What about dog training? Can you recommend a trainer?”
Our good friend Vic has been training dogs in UAE for at least 3 decades, and this is how we know him for most of those years. I continue to recommend him for any type of most basic to advanced obedience training. Dog training is his bread and butter, so please do give him a call on 050-6355017 to discuss your pet’s training needs directly with him. Vic will happily chat with you over the phone or visit you at your residence to offer the training package or just a session for long term benefit for you and your pet.
Q15. Does Pets Habitat buy pets in UAE?
Yes and No.
We are always looking to buy healthy, purebred puppies and kittens from ethical breeders, within UAE and outside UAE. So if you are knowledgeable, ethical breeder based in UAE, and you have a ready litter of pure, healthy puppies or kittens – please WhatsApp me directly on 050-4118085 to discuss and potentially sell us your puppies/kittens. But please be ready to answer the questions, we want to know the breeders we work with, and we will ask for details.
If you are a commercial breeder looking to sell your puppies/kittens before they can be separated from their mom, if you are hesitant for us to get your puppies/kittens checked at our vet (at our expense, of course), if you are a reseller, trader, mass-producer of animals – let’s not waste each other’s time.
We want to buy from genuine pet lovers, those people, who are passionate about their animals, who want to speak about their pets, and not from those who are hesitant to answer any questions, wanting only to discuss cash payment.
Q16. “Can you collect a cat from the street?” / “Can I drop my pet with you for adoption?”
Unfortunately, we are no longer permitted by Dubai Municipality to collect and to rehome cats or other animals due to lack of appropriate trade license to do this work. We are a licensed retail pet store with permits to buy and sell animals, pet related items and offer pet related services. So at this time we can only suggest you to google or search among Facebook groups for suitable rescue/adoption organisations to help you collect a pet from the street, bring to the vet or to rehome your pet.
Personally, I suggest to try to make an effort to take the rescued animal in at least for a few days and to try to find a home for that animal in the mean time or for your own pet with help of social media, local notice board or dubizzle.com. This way you will save a life, will know firsthand who takes the animal, and you can stay in touch with new owner of your rescued animal or your own pet.
Q17. “Do you have any puppies or dogs for adoption?”
Unfortunately, we are no longer permitted by Dubai Municipality to rescue and rehome unwanted pets due to lack of appropriate trade license to do this work. We are a licensed retail pet store with permits to buy and sell animals, pet related items and offer pet related services. Therefore, we have neither puppies nor dogs for adoption at this time.
For those of you who ask if just posted pure-breed puppy with ENCI pedigree flown in from Italy with Emirates airline is free for adoption, the answer is NO. We cannot afford to buy puppies from EU breeders at thousands of Euros, pay all the expenses in EU and then fly pets with premium airlines only to offer “free to a good home” in Dubai. And I am certain EU breeders would not support that either!
However, every now and again, we may have a puppy who overstayed with us at the store longer than expected, unsold for no apparent reason, just unlucky puppy (or kitten). In such case we prioritise good home for our animal over business, and slash the price down only to help the puppy go home sooner. The price may be as low as just a fraction of original price, just a token price. Why would we not offer that puppy free of charge? Just because that puppy deserves a home where someone can afford and is willing to provide adequate care for the puppy, instead of being taken as a free valueless toy to entertain the owner for a while prior to being kicked out as unwanted item. We are proud of the fact that our pets never end up on the streets, and so we aim to upkeep that reputation.
If you are looking for a puppy or dog to adopt, there are many organisations offering young adults and puppies, most are cross-bred and larger breeds, but they are same canine species, with same needs and potential to offer abundance of love and devotion to you and your family. Just browse through google within your area or search among Facebook groups for suitable rescue/adoption organisations or through Instagram (we also follow some of them to help promote their animals).
Q18. “Can I speak directly to the owner?”
You are welcome to reach out to me, Natalia Dolidze, the managing partner of Pets Habitat, through email firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 050-4118085, and I will always read and respond back. My email and WhatsApp is only accessible by me, so if you have any complaint or comment or a private matter to discuss – please feel free to speak to me directly.
Currently, I am not available for personal meetings or phone discussions, unless none of my staff members are able to help and email/WhatsApp communication cannot solve the matter.