What are the Islamic teachings related to Dogs?

Keeping dogs as pet animals is a growing trend these days. I have seen many people having dogs as a pet these days. However, I got alert when someone told me that dogs are not to be kept as pets. It is forbidden in Islam.

This was not something new to me, I had often heard people saying such things but then I wouldn’t believe them until I searched upon it. I had certain questions in my mind, so I searched for their answers in the Hadiths. In an earlier post, we have already shared Islamic teachings related to cats.

Can one keep a dog?

Well, this depends upon the purpose of keeping a dog. For instance, if a dog is being kept only because one loves dogs, as a pet animal, for hunting purposes, for guarding purposes or as a shepherd. 

According to a Hadith, a dog can be kept only for the purpose of hunting, for guarding livestock and as a shepherd. Other than this, anyone who keeps a dog shall face a reduction in his/her good deed or rewards. The hadith proclaims that every day a Qirat shall be reduced from the rewards of the one who keeps a dog. – Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1490

Should dogs be killed?

The Prophet PBUH had ordered to kill dogs, except those dogs that are used for the hunting purposes or guarding purposes. In my opinion without any Islamic knowledge and background, here dog pertains to those dogs which are dangerous for people e.g. rabid.

Islam is a religion of peace which instructs its followers to be courteous to not only human beings but animals as well. Recommended: Is it permissible to kill stray dogs in Islam?

It was narrated from Salim that his father said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) raising his voice and commanding that dogs be killed, and dogs were killed, except for hunting dogs or dogs kept for herding livestock.” – Vol. 4, Book 28, Hadith 3203

Can one take payment for a dog?

No, it is prohibited in Islam to take payment for a dog. It is not permissible for Muslim to take the price of a dog.  – Sunan Abi Dawud 3479

Is dog a pure Animal?

Unlike cats, the dog is not a pure animal. It has been reported in a hadith that if a dog licks a utensil it shall be washed 7 times using water while it shall be made clean by rubbing dust 8 times upon it. This indicates that the dog is not a pure animal. – Sunan a Nasai, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 67

How to hunt with dogs?

When a dog is to be released to hunt down prey, we have to say the name of Allah before doing so. Then if that dog returns with the hunted animal that is alive, it is halal and one can slaughter it while taking the name of Allah and enjoy the food.

If the hunted animal is already dead, then one must inspect that it has not been eaten by the dog. If it is eaten then it is not halal, if not eaten by the dog then it is halal.

However, if you see that more dogs were along with the hunter dog, then don’t eat the animal that was hunted down as you don’t know which dog hunted it down. – Sunan an-Nasa'i 4263

What happens if a dog is kept in a house?

A house where dog resides, Angels do not enter. Thereby we shall avoid keeping dogs at home. – Sunan an-Nasa'i 4282

Does a dog invalidate a prayer? if a dog crosses while you were offering your prayer then your prayer has been invalidated.Sunan ibn Majah,  Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 950

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.