How to Move Your Pet to Germany

by Expath Global Mobility

Bringing your furry friend to Germany requires some extra work and planning. In this article, we share a few important things you need to know for a smooth relocation with your pet.

In our decade-long experience with relocating expats to Germany, we helped people move their dogs, their cats, but also some more exotic animals — for instance, we once helped someone bring their giant African snails to Germany. So trust us when we say, we know what it takes to bring your pet to Germany and we can certainly help you do that.

In this article, we‘ll list a couple of important things to consider if you decide to bring your dog or cat to Germany.

Before Moving to Germany

Deciding to bring your pet to Germany means starting your prep work well in advance, as you‘ll have to gather quite a bit of documentation.

For all dogs or cats coming from non-EU countries, the three most important things are:

  • a clearly identifiable microchip

  • vaccination against Rabies — at least 30 days before your departure and no longer than 12 months before this date

  • a veterinarian certificate of good health

Depending on your country of origin, there may be some additional blood tests or vaccinations recommended, so be sure to check all that information well in advance from an official source like your local customs office or health authorities.

If you‘re traveling with your pets within the EU, make sure they have:

  • an EU pet passport

  • a clearly identifiable microchip

  • vaccination against Rabies

Another important thing to keep in mind before departure is making sure to book pet-friendly accommodation — but be prepared to pay an additional fee or a so-called ”pet rent” for that.

Travelling to Germany

Before booking your flight, it is very important to check with the airline their rules about traveling with pets. Some companies allow you to bring your pet in the cabin but this usually depends on the size of the animal.

To make the trip as comfortable as possible for both you and your pet, be sure to bring all their favorite toys or comfort items and check with your vet as well for any travel recommendations they might have.

Once Arrived in Germany

Germany is a very pet-friendly country — you‘ll often see people walking with their dogs on the streets, in parks, in public transportation, or even entering stores and cafés. But before you can enjoy all this freedom with your furry friend, there are some important bureaucratic steps to take care of, particularly as a dog owner:

  • you have to register your dog at the Hunderegister (at the local citizen‘s office) within two weeks of your arrival in Germany

  • make sure to pay your yearly Hundesteuer (dog tax)

  • get a dog liability insurance (mandatory in some parts of Germany).

Depending on the breed of the dog, there may be some additional special rules to consider.

In many cities across Germany, for example, there is a ban on the so-called ”fighting dogs” or you may be required to have a muzzle on certain types of breeds.

In most of Germany, a dog liability insurance is required, but that varies as well depending on the breed of the dog — in some parts, it is required for all breeds, in others, it is mandatory only for “dangerous breeds”. Some dangerous dog breeds are considered f.e. American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Pit Bull Terrier.

So make sure to inform yourself well in advance about the rules applied in the region/city you‘re moving to regarding taxes and special rules for relocating with pets, or get in touch with us if you have any doubts!

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