It is always a relief when your beloved pet arrives safely after air travel. However, there are a few other considerations to take into account on arriving in a country which may have a very different culture and climate to your previous home. Here are a few tips and suggestions which may help make the transition to life in the UAE easier both for you and your pet.
Settling into a new home
Arriving in a new place can be very unsettling for some dogs and cats. ‘Feliway’ and ‘DAP’ plug-in diffusers as well as the “Pet Remedy” products can be very helpful in this situation. They diffuse feline or canine pheromones (DAP/Feliway) which help make the cat or dog feel more secure and less stressed or are Valerian based products (Pet Remedy), which promote calmness and wellbeing. For more information you can drop in to the German Veterinary Clinic in Khalifa City A, where you can buy these products over the counter.
The climate in Abu Dhabi is very hot, especially in summer with temperatures rising over 40o C, and high humidity. We would advise you to walk your dog only in the early morning or evening during this time to avoid the hottest part of the day. Take plenty of water with you on walks and never leave your dog alone in the car. If you need to leave the dog in the house please leave the air conditioning on – the temperature should be as comfortable as you would want for yourself. Gardens should have a good shaded area and a water hose in the garden is also useful for cooling a dog down after a walk.
Heat stroke can happen very quickly so please take all precautions. If your dog becomes too hot and gets distressed on a walk you need to cool him/her down using cold water or cool wet towels, and take him/her to a vet as soon as possible.
Cats can also suffer from the warmer climate and many people have both their dogs’ and cats’ coats clipped short during the summer months. We have seen so many pets feel much more comfortable and be more active after a shave or trim. We have a cat and dog groomer at German Veterinary Clinic so please contact us for more information.
Walking your dog
There are many lovely beaches around which are perfect for dog walking, as well as dog swimming! Make sure you know which beaches allow dogs on them and please clean up any dog mess to leave the beach clean for others. It is a good idea to hose off sandy feet when home to reduce any irritation from the sand between the toes. Don’t forget that sand also becomes very hot during the day and can burn a dog’s footpads – another reason for waiting until a cooler part of the day to walk. If your dog has very sensitive pads, we do sell small booties which will protect them in the summer heat. There are also lots of parks but some may require dogs to be kept on leads so check in your local area.
Letting cats outside
We have a large population of street cats in Abu Dhabi which can sometimes cause problems with fighting over territories. There is generally no problem in letting cats out but if you are able to ‘cat-proof’ the garden or compound, this can help prevent straying or fighting and keep them safer. We recommend microchipping and if the cat (or dog) already has a chip it can be registered on the local database. Any lost cat or dog that is found will be checked for a microchip and can be returned to the owner promptly if their contact details are registered on the database.
Although we use bottled water for ourselves here, the tap water is considered safe for cats and dogs to drink. Due to the hot temperatures, lots of clean water should always be available both inside and outside the house for drinking and also taken on dog walks. Some cats don’t naturally drink a lot – in these cases specially designed cat water fountains or turning on taps in the house can help encourage more fluid intake.
This is important to avoid dehydration. If your cat has ever suffered urinary or kidney problems it is especially important to keep them drinking. You can buy pet water fountains at our clinic.
You can buy many brands of pet foods in the local shops. If you would prefer a veterinary recommended diet such as Royal Canin, we can supply that for you. We can also supply prescription diets so let us know if you require anything special.
A full set of vaccines will have been required to enter the UAE. These should be kept up to date annually as they will also be required to travel onwards. Regular annual vaccines for both cats and dogs are now also mandatory according to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Some local kennels will require a kennel cough vaccine to be given before boarding. If you are travelling on to a different country please inform us as soon as possible so we can let you know if further injections / boosters / blood tests are necessary.
Intestinal worms, especially tapeworm can be a problem here as many animals are not treated. Worming is recommended every month until an animal is 6 months old, then every 3 months thereafter. Geckos can carry tapeworm larvae which is why even indoor cats can pick up worms here.
Ticks are a massively growing problem in the UAE and there are a few tick-bourne diseases (Ehrlicha, Babesia) that can be caught from them. Frontline is no longer effective against the majority of ticks in this country so different products are necessary to protects your pets. “Advantix” can be applied to the back of the neck monthly or “Seresto” collars can be worn by dogs, which will protect them for up to 8 months.
If you remove ticks from your pets, be careful not to leave the head behind.
We stock many products for flea control. Fleas are not as common here as in other countries, but you should still check your pet regularly to make sure they are clear.
Ear mites are very common here, especially in cats. You would notice very itchy ears with a dark brown waxy discharge. They can be treated with a Stronghold or Advocate application to the back of the neck. Alternatively you can make an appointment for us to check there is no infection as we may prescribe some medicated ear drops.
Another common problem here, especially in cats, is Ringworm. This is not a worm but a fungal infection (incidentally, also common in people in UAE). The signs of ringworm include hair loss and scaly or scabby skin. Ringworm is not always itchy. Symptoms in people are usually circular red rings on the skin. We can check for ringworm with a special lamp or by fungal culture and it can be treated by oral liquid and medicated shampoos.
If you have any health concerns with your pet or would just like a general check up please call the clinic to make an appointment on 02 556 2024
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