Importing & Selling

Please also read our FAQ page  for even more details on our reasons, ethics and policies.

Why do we import pets and why should you buy a pet from Pets Habitat?

How many other pet stores do you know to start their business out of sheer necessity to support their ongoing rescue efforts for abandoned cats and dogs? Please read About Us section for more insight as to how Pets Habitat concept took place many years ago… Pets Habitat LLC has been rooted by passion, and it remains devoted to the subject of animal well-being. Strict protocol is in place when it comes to the health, care and comfort of our pets. Our Pets Habitat team is knowledgeable, professional, experienced and are equally driven by passion and compassion towards animals. Just come in, meet our pets and chat with any one of us to see the difference. At any time feel free to compare us to other pet stores – we are confident that we will always win in that comparison!

Now let’s face the facts: there is less than a handful of serious, professional and ethical dog breeders within UAE. There is no official kennel club where any locally bred puppies may be checked and registered, there is no Government authority regulating private dog breeding (in fact, it is illegal to breed dogs or cats in UAE without valid trade license). Majority of expatriate population has neither time nor desire to get into serious breeding programs with its share of time consumption, vet bills and other expenses, not to mention the degree of uncertainty while being expat. Lack of proper space and local weather conditions are among other contributing factors as to why people don’t seriously breed dogs in UAE. As such, you can only very occasionally buy a locally bred puppy within UAE from an ethically responsible breeder after having seen the mother, the father and the puppies as you would in most countries back home.

In this case, when most puppies are imported from various countries based on UAE residents demand of “normality” to have a family pet, we want to do it the right way! You, as a buyer, deserve some assurance that the puppy you are considering buying from a healthy, home raised environment, and has not been picked up from a “puppy mill” or a “puppy farm”, or any other similar commercial setup, where multiple number of animals are being bred in large numbers, restrained in small cages or dirty quarters, lacking elementary medical care and essential human compassion. In my line of business, unfortunately, we had to witness many such commercial breeding facilities in various countries, including UAE. They sum into a sad statement of our humanity loss for the sake of monetary gains, human betrayal of our closest and most trusting companion for easy profit. 

Aside of the very obvious ethical reasons, it is a well proven fact: home bred and raised puppies and kittens are incomparably more social, healthier and make better family pets than those raised in commercial farm settings with minimal human contact and lack of veterinary care. The fact that our puppies are from home-based background is clearly evident from their detailed health report, their friendly disposition and social behavior towards humans and other pets. We invite you to come and experience this difference firsthand at our store. You will notice clear contrast in our puppies compared to many other stores: our puppies are explicitly happy to see and greet you, they are eager to be picked up by you or by our staff, they are trying to win your attention with all they have, and they are social towards your pets that you may bring with you to our store. Our puppies never exhibit apprehensive tendencies or aggression towards humans, hostility towards other canines and other pets, and they never shy back to the furthest darkest corner of the room! Even if you have the most limited knowledge of animals, but you have seen other stores to compare – this is the most apparent observation, distinguishing our puppies from those in other pet stores.

We would rather not comment on how some other pet stores operate in Dubai, but here is a glimpse of the stringent process and policies we, Pets Habitat, have put into place, and we follow these as religiously as humanly possible. Please read and be assured: the puppy you take home from Pets Habitat is more likely to be a trouble-free pet than from any other source in UAE.

How we select our puppies

We will use the example of puppies here below for ease of writing, however, the process of importing kittens is exactly the same.

In the past years we used to involve some highly reliable and ethical people to work with us in EU. Those were vets, biology field professors and passionate breeders, for whom rearing and exporting puppies was as much a joy, a hobby as a viable extra income.

However, we have decided to take the matters into our own hands from the very beginning to the very end to eliminate any margin for error that may be caused by involvement of another person. It is a full time, often round-the-clock work to contact, shortlist and communicate with various breeders, to identify genuine ethical breeder vs commercial trader, then to meet, see and examine the puppies (even while within EU, we often must drive for 8-12 hours in a stretch only for a hope of a good quality litter), explain all the details of export process to the breeder and to reserve selected puppies if chosen by us. It also often happens that the drive and effort made, our time and expenses are wasted only for us to recognise commercial breeding setup of someone we felt could have been potentially a good breeder. There have been situations when facing the “breeder”, we realise the person’s lack of passion, ethics and concern towards animals’ health and well-being. In such cases we must just walk away and accept our time/money loss. We also hear “no” from legitimate breeders too, as not everyone wants their puppies to leave EU.

Whenever possible, we prefer to reserve more than one puppy from any litter. Firstly, because flying solo causes too much anxiety for one lonely puppy to go through all the stresses of airport procedures, then facing the fear of taking off and landing alone. During such times puppies need the warmth and comfort zone of their siblings, flying alone or flying with his canine family makes a huge difference to the puppy’s emotional and physical health! Secondly, flying more than one puppy is usually more economical, especially with Emirates airline that frequently imposes minimum weight of 150kg rate.

We will summaries the process into critical points below in an attempt to shorten your reading time. Please note, however, that I can write pages on the actual process, why it is never simple and easy and how it becomes so expensive. If you ever decide to import a puppy or a kitten to UAE entirely yourself, you will understand exactly what we mean by “pages to write about”.

All above listed points have on-going costs involved: starting from the phone bills generated while speaking to the multitude of people to identify true genuine breeders, to the fuel charges to meet the breeders, from breeders’ high prices for their litters (no reputable breeder within western/central EU will ever sell their much loved and prized puppies below Euro 1500-2000 each, please be realistic!), to puppies additional boarding costs while waiting to reach minimum permitted to travel age at breeders’ homes, then the vet bills, export documentation costs, IATA crates and agent fees, further ground transport and air transport costs, UAE import duty, import permits and release license at Dubai Airport for every arriving animal.

Upon arrival in UAE

We must bring to your attention one simple fact: Pets Habitat will never bring our puppies directly from the airport to our shop for sale (unlike  other pet stores that believe in swift turnaround of pets for quicker financial gain). Our strict protocol is continually and accurately followed, and documentary proof of steps taken is available upon request.

At the shop

At the shop

We hope that readers and our potential customers understand from the above-described process that importing a puppy or a kitten takes time, leg work, patience, perseverance, money and some element of good luck. We cannot produce your desired breed, colour or gender on a short notice if done with the right approach and ethics, unless the breed you desire has already been reserved and on the way to Dubai. So please do consider these when requesting for your puppy or kitten for shortly upcoming birthday or as your anniversary gift (personally, we feel pets make the worst choice of a surprise gift unless previously discussed and agreed with recipient). Also, please do not send a photo of a pet to find you exactly the same one, please do apply your common sense that each animal is as unique as a person and cannot be “produced” exactly the same as the other. Of course, if only we were running puppy farm or had close ties with one, we probably would be able to “manufacture” a better match of desired colour pattern, gender and breed within short notice to satisfy vanity demand, but we strictly do not deal with those, and thus we remain unwilling to entertain customers who request a pet on a whim.

Adopt, don’t shop mantra

This is a highly debatable subject with many shady areas most people do not think about or invest their time for comprehensively dwell into, but, in short, we also agree that adopting unwanted abandoned pet is much more rewarding rather than buying. However, pure bred small to medium size puppies, even adult dogs, are rarely available for adoption in UAE. So if you live in a flat or smaller residence, if you seek hypoallergenic breed due to your own or family member allergy concerns, if you are looking for a younger pup to train and bond with from the very beginning or if you simply like and enjoy particular breed – you will end up buying your puppy. In such case, please do it with in depth research and thorough, sincere, ethical approach.

Bottom line

Yes, we admit and agree that it is ideal to adopt pure bred puppy of choice or buy a pet directly from a breeder yourself. However, in UAE, where it is extremely rare, we strive to infuse some sense into import and sale of ethically sourced pet animals. Given that Pets Habitat started as a family run business, where the pets and all other animals have ruled our household for years, it is somewhat easier for us compared to other pet stores, who do not pay scrupulous attention to the initial care any young animal essentially requires. Our pets come with peace of mind, save hassle of frequent trips to the vet and thousands of Dirhams on vet bills. Too good to be true? We are honoured to have customers who buy their second, third and even fourth pet from us! So, next time you are enticed by a cute, cheap puppy from another pet store or from an individual (while your gut feeling may whisper that the puppy is from a puppy farm) – just think twice and ask about the actual breeder, puppy’s both parents, their history and photos or description of puppy’s journey from country of origin just to start the conversation. You will often get an indifferent attitude and will come to a dead end of such discussion shortly. Once again, we welcome you to compare us after you have visited all other pet stores in UAE!