Oct 17, 2020

What are the best dog breeds to have as pets in Riyadh?


Dogs are a man’s best friend… However, the hot, arid climate here is not really compatible with many species of dogs. Ownership of dogs as a pet is very popular with the expat community. But keep in mind that not all dogs can be imported into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The exception here are dogs for hunting, guarding, and guides for the disabled. Dogs can be imported only if they are granted a permit issued by the KSA Ministry of Agriculture.

Some of the dogs breeds not permitted to enter the country are:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Boxer
  • Brussels griffon
  • Bulldog/English bulldog
  • Bullmastiff
  • Bull terrier
  • Hovawart
  • Japanese spitz
  • Japanese Akita / Akita Inu
  • Lancashire Heeler
  • Leonberger
  • Mastiff / Old English mastiff
  • Neapolitan
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire bull terrier/Pitbull
  • Swedish Vallhund /Swedish cattle-dog
  • All terrier and toy breeds
So as a pet lover, what can you do? 
The good news is that in recent years, pet stores have emerged across the city. They offer pure and mixed breeds of dogs, permissible as per government compliance.

What breeds are suitable for Riyadh’s climate?
German Shepherd: The most popular dog breed in Saudi Arabia is the German Shepherd. It is a working or guards dog category dog breed.

Labrador: While Labradors are a popular pet in Riyadh, they should not be allowed outside when it’s more than approximately 35 degrees C. It the humidity is above 20% or 30%, bring them in.

Golden Retriever: Though slightly furry, these dogs fine in the heat as long as they can access shade, free moving air, and water.

Afghan Hound: This is a large hunting large prey dog found in both the deserts and Afghanistan’s mountains. Their flowing locks are actually a single coat of hair that protects them from both heat and cold.

Collie: The smooth collie’s breed with shorter hair is more suited for Riyadh’s arid climate. Only take them out during the cooler morning and evening (temperatures ranging from 30-35 degrees C).

Pug: Pugs are cute but not ideally suited for the weather in Riyadh because they cannot regulate their body temperature. However, the good news is unlike bigger species; they don’t need too much exercise. So a short evening walk and indoor play suffice.

On the whole, remember that no matter which dog breed you choose:
  • Keep them well hydrated
  • Don’t take them out during the day
  • Watch for signs of heatstroke and exertion

If you are looking for a new furry friend, we have quite a few available at: https://www.zeaara.com/classifieds/pets.html

You can also try our ’Verify Before Purchase’ service. For a fee of SAR 30, we will verify the breed, health and documentation of the pet for you.


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