Life in Pet Friendly Qatar
You may recognize Dakota (who we moved a few months ago from Orlando to Doha, Qatar), and now you can congratulate her! Dakota is our Pet Move of the Month for June, and her owner, Kelly, has been kind enough to tell us a little more about their international adventures.
Find out more about this sweet pup, how their move was carried out, and what life is like for dogs in Qatar.
Is this the first time you’ve ever moved a pet?
Yes! We had no idea where to even start when we learned we would be moving overseas. There was so much information on what we needed to do for Dakota that it was overwhelming.
I sat in front of the computer for hours trying learn as much as possible about the process, and I am not sure if I learned even half of it! That was when we decided to use a relocation company.
What were some of your concerns going into the move?
Our biggest concern was the flight over and the layover in the middle. Dakota is really independent, but when she gets uncomfortable in a situation she will run, and we were afraid of her possibly escaping somewhere in transport.
I asked a ton of questions about this to make sure she would constantly either be on a leash or within the confines of an area that was enclosed. We were nervous as well about the two extremely long flights she would have to be on and the area of the plane she would be put in and the stress it would cause her. Despite all of this, Dakota showed up at our door in Qatar as happy as could be and excited to be in her new home!
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
The whole process surprised me! We knew it wouldn't be simple, but we had no idea how much actually went into moving an animal. The paperwork needed for importing her and the schedule of shots to get her into the country was surprising. Having never lived overseas we did not realize each country was so different in their regulations for importing animals.
How is Dakota adjusting to Doha?
She is adjusting pretty well! It's pretty hot now, so we take her for long walks early in the morning and earlier in the evening and keep the afternoon ones short. She seems to be doing okay with this, although it's noticeable that she thinks the heat is horrible! She is pretty happy here though, and loves all the new people that are always coming around and giving her attention.
What is life like in Qatar? Is it a pet-friendly place to be?
Qatar is a great place to live, as it's extremely family-oriented and safe. A lot of people here have pets and there are a ton of expats who have dogs. The country is not as dog-friendly as what we were used to as far as parks or being able to bring your dog to outdoor restaurants, but everybody is still extremely friendly to dogs and will always ask about Dakota or come up and pet her.
There are a few public beaches that do allow animals and a lot of people will bring their dogs there in the mornings to have some play time. We also have a great vet that we use, Qatar Veterinary Center, who is absolutely wonderful with all the animals that come in there. We have also used them already to board Dakota when we had to go out of town and they take great care of her and have someone on the grounds 24 hours a day.
Pet stores are a little scarce, but you can usually find what you need either at the vet or in the pet section of grocery stores.
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
Definitely use a relocation company. We considered trying to move Dakota ourselves in order to save money, but the extra money spent brought about peace of mind that Dakota was taken care of, making it all worth it. The entire process of moving is stressful enough, and to know that your animal is taken care of makes the move that much easier.