Dog walking at K9 Friends.
Mitchelle D’Souza, Sub-editor/Reporter
Do you belong to that tribe of people who’d love to pet adorable little fur-balls but don’t own pets of your own?
We’ve heard you and we know just the right places in the UAE where you can treat yourself to some animal love.
While getting playful with others’ pets in parks and promenades may not seem like a very practical idea (most owners tend to be a bit reticent towards strangers), there are places in the UAE that allow you to spend uninterrupted time with these wonderful creatures.
From dog socialising programmes to an entire coffee shop dedicated to abandoned and rescued cats, these are the places that are ‘paw’fect for petting.
Dog walking at K9 Friends
If you’ve always fancied walking a doggo, but haven’t got yourself to adopt one for various reasons, the dog walking programme at K9 is just the place for you.
The animal rehabilitation organisation has many rescue dogs who would love to receive love, care and exercise in the form of walking.
Taking them away from the kennel environment is not only about giving these dogs a physical workout, it’s also great for their mental stimulation.
And of course, you as an animal lover stand to gain a lot from this programme.
It offers you all the usual benefits of physical activity and some unconditional furry love.
Another upside of this exercise is the fact that you’ll experience more social interaction with fellow dog walkers and animal enthusiasts as they pass by.
So the dog and you might just end up making new friends.
All you have to do is dial up K9 (+971 048878739/+971 502741949) and set up a date for dog walking that’s convenient for you at least six days prior.
Besides dog walking, there are opportunities for volunteering in their offices and kennels — another novel way of spending time with the pooches.
Their website k9friends.com contains further details.
Ailuromania Cat Café, Jumeirah
This one’s for those who swear by the two big C’s; coffee and cats!
Ailuromania Cat Café in Jumeirah is home to 25 kitties, who have either been rescued off the streets or adopted.
Opened in the year 2015 by cat lovers, the cafe houses healthy felines that are clear from disease and have been spayed, neutered and vaccinated.
Each cat in here exhibits a different personality, but all of them are friendly and get along well with each other.
You can have a field day sipping on coffee and playing to your heart’s content with these furry residents.
Injecting some more fun, the owners have devised various activities with the cats in tow, such as yoga with the cats, Saturday Caturdays (for kids), karaoke and meditation sessions with the cats.
For more details and updates, you can follow their page @ailuromaniacafe on Instagram.
Stray Dog Centre, Umm Al Quwain
Another centre that conducts regular dog walking programmes is Stray Dogs Center UAQ, which was formed out of an urgent need to address the stray animal population in the emirate of Umm Al Quwain.
Founded in 2013, the main aim of the non-profit organisation is to ensure a safe and healthy Umm Al Quwain community, by addressing the stray dog population in a humane way.
The centre — their motto is ‘Be a part of their transformation’ — has planned weekly and weekend dog walking sessions as well as dog socialising events.
These programmes not only ensure the canines are exercised, but also helps rescue dogs get out of their shells, making them feel loved and cared for.
Besides the walking and socialising events, the centre organises other volunteer activities such as doggy feeding, doggy pampering and doggy play to name a few.
All of these events have the welfare of the animals at the heart of the experience.
If you wish to join any of their volunteer programmes, you can reach out to Stray Dog Centre at +971 552780 480 or check out their website www.sdcuaq.com.
It is a well-known fact that Zabeel, a massive public park situated between Al Karama and Dubai World Trade Centre, is famous with families and the fitness types.
However, what may not be rather well-known is that it also happens to be a den for cats.
You will find a large number of them spilling outside the fences of the park on any given day.
While it isn’t advisable to pet strays for all may not be friendly, the ones at Zabeel make for good human companions.
The walkers, joggers and fitness enthusiasts pounding the pavement encircling the park have made these felines warm up to human interaction.
You will also come across animal lovers feeding the felines outside the park every few metres.
So we reckon the cats here are pretty safe to pet.
Although, we recommend taking some pet food along to make befriending them an easy exercise, like we did.
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