What’s it like having pets in Marrakech?
Historically it was considered quite difficult to own a dog in Marrakech and partcularly in the Medina. Attitudes have changed significantly in the last decade. Now, it is not uncommon to see Moroccans walking their dogs. We have a little dog and it is perfectly tolerated by the local community.
With dogs, the major issue is that in summer the roads and pavements get very hot and they will need to learn to walk with protective boots … or go out only at night. And some of the “winter” dogs, such as Huskies or St Bernards will find the summer heat distressing. They will need air conditioning!
Cats are very abundant in Marrakech – every street will have it’s own street cat community. People feed the street cats as they are excellent at keeping down the vermin such as rats and mice. In fact, it is relatively rare to see rats or mice in Marrakech Medina due to the efficacy of the street cats! And many families will adopt a cat or two. We have black cats which we took from the street – they tend to get adopted less than other colours as they can be considered unlucky. Again, our neighbours are very tolerant of them as they prowl the streets and rooftops looking for snacks.
We also have tortoises in our little Riad. The are exotic but … very messy. They are indigenous to Morocco and you can see them in the countryside. Don’t take a wild tortoise, it’s illegal – legally bred tortoises are available at little cost in pet shops and the souks around the Spice Market.
There are many exotic birds legally on sale in the pet shops and souks, too. Just be careful to make sure you are not purchasing a banned species. We have Rosy Cheeked Lovebirds in our place and they seem very happy.
A word of warning. You may be offered a baby Barbary Macaque for sale. This is highly illegal. It is also very dangerous as they grow bigger than you might expect and have huge teeth. There are only 30’000 of these wonderful animals in the wild in North Africa, and the baby you see has had it’s parents killed so that it could be stolen for sale. Please don’t buy a monkey in Morocco.
Veterinary care is very good here. We recommend Dr Sanaa at the Victor Hugo Vet Clinic in Gueliz. She is caring and understanding of animal needs as well as understanding of Western animal culture.
There are some good pet supply shops. You can find good quality pet food imported from Europe and good accessories too.
So as you can see, there is a good pet culture here in Marrakech. You will be comfortable here with your pet.
If you have any questions about owning a pet in Marrakech, you can WhatsApp me on +212658025028 or mail [email protected]