Singaporean netizen Hazrul provided an excellent summary on the common misconceptions about dogs in Islam. He provided detailed explanations for both Muslims and non-Muslims, and provided religious evidence to back up his words. In short, Hazrul explained that Islam is meant to be simple and hoped people would not over-complicate this matter. At the end of the day, Hazrul believes it is all about hygiene and we should practice good hygiene practices regardless of the animal we touch.
Some useful excerpts for our readers who do not wish to read everything.
"For Muslims, you decide what is best for you. No one can say this is incorrect because there's flexibility to every situation. Islam is meant to be simple. But Islam also says dogs are God's creation. Treat it with kindness. So if a Muslim touches a dog, it's perfectly fine guys. No one has their madhab printed on their forehead. Neither does everyone follow madhab strictly."
"For non-Muslims, the Malays don't hate dogs. Islam doesn't hate dogs."
"For both. Don't get triggered because of a dog lah. There are so many beautiful and positive stories about dogs in the Quran and Hadith. The common ground is to treat dogs with kindness because the dog is mentioned in the Quran as loyal and loving animals, and mentioned in various hadeeth that Allah pardons your sins if you treat a dog with kindness.
Also, wash your hands before and after touching any animal, even your pet cat. Cat cafes practice this. Hygiene is what all this hoo hah was all about anyway. It’s just good hygiene guys!"
If you rather read the explanation for yourself, check out Hazrul's helpful Facebook post.