Everything You Need to Know About Pets in Germany

Pet dog
Pet dog | © himanshugunarathna / Pixabay | © himanshugunarathna / Pixabay
Anwesha Ray

Germany is not merely pet-friendly, but practically treats pets as kings. In Germany, you will find that a vast majority of families have one or more dearly loved non-human member. However, the country is also very stringent about its pet laws. So, if you are planning a move to Germany with your pet or considering adopting one in this country, you must first educate yourself about the legal procedures. Let’s take a look.

Arriving in Germany with your pets

If you are flying to Germany, check with the particular airlines about its pet policies. While certain airlines or flights might allow small pets in the cabin, many others will insist that your pet travel in an airline-approved travel container. It’s best to refer to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to know more about airline rules regarding pets. Each state in Germany also has its own list of dog breeds that are not allowed to enter.

Traveling with pets to Germany

Basic immigration laws

A non-EU individual moving to Germany is allowed to bring a maximum of five animals, but only as family pets, not for commercial purposes.

Pet bird

Only cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and other rodents, horses, turtles or tortoises (if not belonging to a rare species), ornamental fish, parrots, parakeets, carrier pigeons and other kinds of birds are approved as pets by the German Customs Office (Zollamt). If you wish to bring any other kind of animal to Germany, check with the German consulate in your home country.

Pets can enter Germany three weeks after being given rabies shots. Don’t forget to carry the relevant paperwork.

Each pet must also be marked with a microchip or a tattoo.

If you are arriving from a country deemed at high risk from rabies, the pet must go through a Blood Titer Test one month after vaccination and three months before entering Germany.

Each pet must be accompanied by an official veterinary certificate (“Tier aus Nicht-EU-Staat”). The certificate should state the microchip number or the tattoo, vaccination details, and the findings of the blood test, if applicable.

Pet rabbit

Passports for your pets

European Union pet owners need to carry a pet passport if traveling to an EU member state with their pet(s). These passports can be issued by veterinary practitioners authorized to do so. The passport includes information like the name and contact details of the human parents, description of the pet, microchip identification number, details of vaccinations, and the signature of the practitioner.

Adopting a pet

At any given point of time, hundreds of thousands of animals in animal shelters (Tierheim) are looking for a new home, so if you have decided to adopt a pet, that’s where you should head to. All animals in shelters are vaccinated and possess a passport and a microchip. Some shelters might want to inspect your house to ensure that it is suitable for the pet you wish to take home. Even if they don’t, be prepared to answer lots of questions, as animal welfare is not something that is taken lightly in Germany. Before taking your new family member home, you must complete certain paperwork, submit your identity proof, and pay an adoption fee.

Dog with little girl

Rented accommodation with pets

Before signing a contract with a landlord, you must specify that you intend to share the apartment with your pet(s). While many landlords will not have a problem with this, some might. Almost all landlords are fine with smaller pets like hamsters or fish.

Find out if your furry baby is allowed in the apartment

Dog Tax

Dog owners need to shell out a dog tax (Hundesteuer) every year. However, you can get an exemption or a reduced tax if your dog is a service dog or a rescue dog. The tax is not applicable for other animals.

Veterinarians

Once you arrive in Germany with your pet or adopt a new pet, register with a local veterinarian (Tierartz) of your choice. The veterinarian will be happy to educate you about all necessary vaccinations.

Veterinarian

What every dog parent should know

There are several rules about living your daily life with your dog, but these rules vary from state to state. However, the basic rules are more or less the same all through the country. Dogs are allowed in parks, and they don’t need to be leashed unless specifically mentioned. Many parks have a designated area for dogs to roam and play free. Dogs are not allowed in playgrounds and must be kept on leash in residential and public places. If a dog poops in a public area, it is the dog owner’s responsibility to scoop it up and dispose of it. Not doing so might find the dog owner paying a hefty fine.

Dogs are allowed in public transport and almost all restaurants, cafés, amusement parks, malls, and shops, but not in supermarkets. In some modes of public transport, you might need to buy a discounted ticket for your dog.

Dog laws in Germany are very strict

Insurance laws for your pet

Insurance for your pets in Germany take care of most bills from the vet. Moreover, in keeping with the insurance-loving nature of Germans, you must subscribe to Hundehaftpflichtversicherung (dog liability insurance). This insurance will cover any damage caused by your dog.

There are two kinds of insurance for pets in Germany
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article