top of page
 Rescue Saluki Middle East 

A Guide for Prospective Owners of Saluki/Saluki Mix from the Middle East

This guide is for anyone who is considering adopting a rescue saluki or saluki-mix from the Middle East.

Be informed. Read this before you say “Yes! We want to adopt!


”What is it like for a saluki/saluki mix living in the Middle East?

Although there are some variations across the region, basically it’s extremely hot for 5 months of the 

year with temperatures topping 45C during the day and dipping to 30C at night. Add to this high 

humidity and it can be life threatening for a dog out in the desert without adequate water and shade.

In cities tarmac becomes scorching during the day making dog walking impractical. November to May

temperatures range 15°C to 25°C and life for dogs (and owners) is more comfortable – with some even

needing coats! The landscape is almost entirely sand or rock, with a few areas of mangrove.

Public and private gardens are the only places where there may be grass.


It is also important to know that:

  • In parts of the ME, for example the UAE, there are strict “dogs on lead” policies. In other countries,
    such as Qatar, dogs are allowed to run free on some public beaches, in the desert and around 
    mangrove areas providing they are not deemed a nuisance or worrisome to the public.

  • In general, dogs are not allowed in public parks and reactions to owners walking their dogs in public
    areas (such as shopping precincts) will vary from indifference to fear; some people will shout and
    scream at a dog and its owner while others will want to meet, greet and even take photographs.
    Dogs are never allowed in shops and cafes.

  • It is a challenge to find a taxi that will take even a small dog. Bus rides are not an option and trains do not exist (except in Dubai).

  • As reactions are unpredictable, dog owners err on the side of caution and will avoid situations where there may be large groups of people, unpredictable reactions or “hostile” behaviour towards dogs. In some cases, local children are brought up to fear dogs, in part for religious reasons but more likely due to lack of exposure to and education about dogs.

Taken together, this means that it may be a challenge to exercise and socialise a dog properly.Happily in Qatar many local Arab people are animal lovers. Indeed, some have taken the lead and promote dog (and cat) rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming, for example Parkview Pet Centre and its sister organization 2nd Chance Rescue.

These organizations work in partnership with other expatriate groups such as Dogs in Doha, Rescue Saluki Middle East and the Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) to improve the lives of abandoned animals and begin to reform practice and behaviours in general. The Qatar Department of Animal Resources is taking a lead in this respect.The majority of veterinary centers also support animal rescue.


Rescue Saluki Middle East 

What typically happens to abandoned salukis?

Formerly salukis played an important role in supporting the nomadic life style of the peoples of the Middle East, many were used as hunting animals or were trained for racing and lived happily alongside Arab families. Today, while their use for hunting and in racing has declined, salukis are still a highly revered and respected breed. Local breeders have achieved world-renown status for the quality and characteristics of their animals. Many local people adore their salukis and are full of praise for their gentle nature, ideally suited as a family pet. As is the case worldwide, the countries of the Middle East are not without their share of animal abuse. This can range from relatively minor incidents of mishandling and ignorance about a dog’s health care needs to incidents of purposeful harm and cruelty. Thankfully awareness about this issue is increasing. Sadly many salukis are abandoned, both by local owners and members of the expatriate community (when they leave the country), peaking during the summer months and at times of religious festivals.


Prior to their rescue, many salukis and saluki mixes will have

  • lived outside all their life on a farm or in a yard

  • been fed human food scraps

  • not been socialised with people or other dogs· not experienced ‘life’ (car rides, shopping excursions, parks etc.)

  • not received routine health care (vaccinations, deworming etc.)

  • not been trained on a lead or in a crate (and/or have a negative experience of both)

  • been on the street for a day, a week, a month or more….


They may also

  • have had things thrown at them

  • have been trained to run behind a car (for race training/exercise)

  • have a fear of cars (because they were thrown out of one)

  • been shouted at and/or hurt in some way (by adults and/or children)

  • not be house trained and/or punished for toileting in the wrong place

  • have been locked up for long periods

  • have been used for breeding from a young age and for many litters

  • suffer separation anxiety due to abandonment

  • have fought for survival in an extremely harsh environment

  • have the body of an adult but the mind of an inexperienced puppy


Despite all this, it is a testament to the nature of the breed that the majority of salukis rescued in Qatar have not lost their gentle, trusting and loving nature. Yes, they may need some training and rehabilitation, but given time and patience all but the severely traumatised will become loving family pets.


Rescue Saluki Middle East 

What health issues could rescue salukis from the Middle East be exposed to?

Malnutrition – leading to delayed growth, poor dental health, poor skin and coat condition. Usually corrected with proper nutrition and exercise.

Ehrlichiosis (Tick Fever) – ticks are prevalent in some areas, particularly where camel manure is used as a fertiliser. If tick fever is suspected, the dog will be tested and treated before adoption. All rescued dogs are Front-lined on a monthly basis.

Giardia– young dogs are particularly susceptible to this disease. It is relatively easy to treat with medication and a balanced intestinal specific diet. If the dog exhibits symptoms of Giardia it will be tested and treated before adoption.

Distemper – Cases of distemper have been seen in young and adult dogs. Proper vaccination is the best line of defence against this disease.

Parvo – due to a lack of routine vaccination of puppies, this disease is prevalent in Qatar and elsewhere in the Middle East. Puppies which test positive for this disease are humanely euthanized.

Rabies – parts of the Middle East have rabies. All dogs heading to the EU are given a Rabies Antibody Test (a legal requirement). This process can take 4-5 months depending on the age of the dog and vaccinations required.

Leishmaniasis – this disease is not found in Qatar. Vets report that if there were to be a case it would most likely originate from an imported animal and be an isolated case.

Intestinal worms – all dogs are de-wormed initially according to a schedule recommended by local vets. Thereafter they are treated at 3-4 monthly intervals.

Screw Worm – dogs destined for the USA will be checked for screw worm and a certificate provided.

Kennel Cough – all dogs boarded or fostered in Qatar in multi-dog environments are routinely given the Kennel Cough vaccination.

Ear mites - infestations are common in rescue dogs. All dogs are checked and treated for ear mites.

Fleas – generally not seen in the Middle East

Skin Complaints - as in other locations, dogs experience skin complaints (mange, ringworm etc.). All rescue dogs are checked and treated for skin issues BEFORE they are fostered/adopted. Skin complaints due to the extreme climate are atypical in salukis as they have been breed to deal with the hot and dry conditions.

Injury – physical injury (either deliberate or accidental). All rescue dogs receive appropriate medicaltreatment details of which will be disclosed to adopting families.

Mental health/behavioral issues – all dogs are assessed for behavior and temperament BEFORE being put up for adopting. Where possible rehabilitation work will take place before rehoming.


 Rescue Saluki Middle East 

What happens once a saluki is rescued?

  • All rescues are taken to a place of safety – generally the rescuers home or veterinary facility.

  • A health check is performed as soon as possible and treatment for life threatening illness and injury given.

  • Rescues are professionally groomed if necessary.

  • All rescues are checked for microchips and if present cross-checked with relevant data bases


NOTE: Dogs with or without microchips are not available for adoption for a minimum of 10 days. This period will be extended to up to 1 month if the dog is found during a holiday period, or appears to be a family pet (escapee!) and in good condition.


  • All rescues are vaccinated, de-wormed and Front-lined as appropriate.

  • If the dog’s owner is not found the rescue will be micro-chipped and prepared for adoption.

  • All rescues are transferred to a suitable foster family when available. Kennelling may be used temporarily if no foster family is identified.

  • All rescue dogs are assessed (temperament and behavior) to determine their suitability for adoption and the kind of home environment they will thrive in (e.g. with or without children). A training/rehabilitation plan is developed where necessary.

  • Dogs going to EUROPE will be RATT tested. This process takes up to 5 months.

  • ALL dogs are spayed/castrated before adoption– except in exceptional circumstances where the health of the dog is compromised.


What should adopting families expect?

So you still want to adopt a rescue saluki/saluki mix? What happens next?

  • Select your dog! Check Dogs in Doha Facebook page and website and Rescue Saluki Middle East Facebook page for information about dogs available for adoption.

From these pages there are also links to other rescue organisations in Qatar, such as Qatar Animal Welfare Society and 2nd Chance, and groups in other parts of the region. New dogs are rescued almost daily so be sure to check often.

  • Don’t delay! Dogs in Doha dogs are in great demand. Send a private message to us either on Facebook or to with your name and contact details and the name(s) of the dog(s) you are interested in.

  • Complete an Adoption Application form. This must be returned to Dogs in Doha BEFORE you will be considered as a potential adopter.

  • Prepare for you interview! You will be contacted by e-mail and/or phone and a home visit will be arranged (where possible). NOTE: Dogs in Doha is a non-profit organisation. All adopters will be asked to pay an administration fee at handover (to cover the cost of vaccinations, spaying/castration etc. Donations above this amount are entirely at the discretion of the adopter).

  • Celebrate! If your family and your chosen saluki/saluki mix are a PERFECT match then the dog will be RESERVED for you.

  • Prepare for your new arrival! Depending on the age, vaccination and documentation status of the dog you would like to adopt, you may have to wait up to 5 months before he/she is ready to be shipped. 


Rescue Saluki Middle East 

Use this time to buy the things your new family member will need, ask as many questions as you like, read about the breed, seek advice from trainers and veterinary services, follow us on Facebook for updates about your dog.

  • Having second thoughts? That’s OK. We understand that circumstances change but PLEASE let RSME know as soon as possible so that the dog can be put back up for adoption.

  • Meet and greet your new arrival at the airport! Most dogs headed for Europe come as excess baggage on KLM through Amsterdam, those going to the USA arrive in Houston, for Canada they are flown to Toronto or  Montreal. You will be met by a Dogs in Doha/RSME representative and the adoption finalized.

  • Take you dog home and enjoy a lifelong friendship! But remember you’re not on your own; RSME will be delighted to help you introduce your new dog to your family and advise you on any problems.

  • Send us pictures! We’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your new dog. Please send photographs and updates to or post on our Facebook pages. Success stories help us to find other salukis and saluki mixes forever homes! 


If after reading this you’ve decided adopting a dog from the Middle East is not for you right now, perhaps you would like to help us in other ways? For example, fundraising, publicity, short term, meet and greet at the airport, fostering and/or adoptive family support. Please send an e-mail to stating how you’d like help and how you can be contacted.


Thank you!



A guide for prospective owners of Saluki's and Saluki-mix from the Middle East

bottom of page