Moving with your Pet to Germany
Pets are such lovely companions. Many people simply can’t do without them. When it comes to pet shipping Germany, like most countries, has rules.
The rules and regulations take effect immediately you express your interest in travelling to Germany with your pet. Once you arrive, you will have to obtain certain licenses. You may also pay taxes depending on the kind of pet accompanying you.
Remember that Germans’ love for their pets is beyond reproach, if not globally appreciated. However, they have been observing the same rules and regulations you will have to follow once you ship in your pet. In addition, there are particular regulations for your pet’s movement from Germany to other EU countries or through them.
It Starts with your Airline
Different airlines have different rules regarding the use of their services for movement of pets. However, most of them do not make a big drama out of it and are usually ready to provide any needed assistance. All you need is to let them know that you will have the company of your pet and the necessary arrangements will be made.
One of the most common requirements for air transport of animals is that it should travel in a strong but well-ventilated shipping crate. Additionally, the crate should have enough room to allow the pet to move freely and lie down comfortably. Find out whether your airline provides the crates or you will have to get it from a pet store.
With some airlines, you can have your pet under your seat as long as the crate fits in. You can, therefore, enjoy a certain level of closeness with your pet throughout the journey. However, most airlines put the crate in a cargo bay which has been pressurised.
You can always use the services of pet travel agencies. They will be a great help in ensuring safe and hustle-free transport of your pet if you are not traveling in the same flight with it. Moreover, they provide important advice on shipment of pets including the quarantine period of the country you are travelling to.
If you are not travelling without your pet, you’ll be expected to arrive at the country within five days after dispatching it. Otherwise, the requirements for granting of permission for entry of your pet into Germany will be tougher on you. Remember, the rules are meant to seal any loopholes that may encourage trading of animals illegally and unethically.
Once you Land in Germany
If your home country is not a member of the EU, you are allowed to move into Germany with not more than five animals. The pets will be considered a part of your personal or household belongings. Therefore, you are not permitted to involve them in any kind of trading.
Like in the other mainland European member countries of the EU, your pet does not have to be quarantined in Germany if your country of origin is in the EU’s list of approval. However, you have to show paperwork proof of proper vaccination. To learn more on how pets’ rules and regulations from different member countries of the EU have been brought together, click on this link.
Remember that your pet will be considered an imported personal item. Therefore, there are certain rules that govern their entrance into Germany. Known as Zollamt, the German Customs Office is responsible for ensuring that people moving into the country with their pets adhere to the set rules and regulations.
There are pets that can be screened by the Customs Office before approval is given for their import, including ferrets, cats, dogs, rodents, rabbits, turtles, tortoises, horses, fishes and birds such as parakeets, carrier pigeons and parrots. However, you will need to consult the German Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin in order to get advice on the procedure to follow in seeking approval for entrance of other types of animals into Germany, especially if your pet may be considered exotic or endangered species.
Importing Cats and Dogs into Germany
Before your cat or dog is allowed into Germany from a country that is not a member of the EU, you will be required to show proof of its vaccination against rabies. The vaccination should have been done at least a month but not more than a year before its arrival. Evidence of vaccination can be presented in form of paperwork done by a vet and written in German and English.
The European Union demands that cats and dogs should be easily identifiable with the use of a number. This may be done by either tattooing it on the animal or implanting a microchip holding the number into the pet. Keep in mind that the number should be the same one on the examination certificate. Microchips are the main requirements for cats and dogs identified after July 3, 2011. In addition, the implantations of the microchips should be done before your pet is vaccinated against rabies.
As set out in the rules governing pet shipping Germany considers some dog breeds too dangerous and they are, therefore, not allowed into the country. Every state has its own rules regarding banned breeds, but most of them do not want anything to do with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers. Some states including Brandenburg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia have come with Category 2 Kampfund and require that all breeds under this group be tested for viciousness. They include the Rottweiler.
If your dog is found to be vicious, it may fall under the banned breeds. However, it doesn’t have to be banned. You will be required to pay higher fees for its license and ensure that it is neutered, muzzled and leashed whenever it is not within your property’s boundaries. To know more about banning of dogs in German states, seek the advice of a specialist or visit www.zoll.de. In normal circumstances, service dogs are not subject to importation restrictions although they need to be properly identified and vaccinated.
Transporting your Bird Pet to Germany
If your pet is a bird, you may have to prove that it has been vaccinated against Avian Flu (A1 and HSN1). If there is no credible proof, your pet will be placed under quarantine for a month once it arrives in Germany where it will be tested to ensure that it has not brought the disease with it. Alternatively, it can be quarantined in the home country for a period of not less than 10 days. Moreover, the health certificate issued by a veterinarian—while proving ownership—is only valid for 10 days.
Importation of Guinea Pigs, Hamsters and Rabbits
Owners of guinea pigs and hamsters do not have to work too hard to get their pets into Germany. They only have to observe the rule of the maximum total number of animals they can import. If you own rabbits, however, you will have to do with the company of just three unless you want them to be considered under the rules of commercial trade in pets.
Rules on Importation of other animals
If your pet is a snake or any other reptile or exotic animal, you need to ensure that it is not considered an endangered or protected species. The German Embassy or Consulate in your home country will readily provide you with advice on its protection status. Keep in mind that only certain entry points are allowed to act as entry points for special species.
Living with your Pet
You don’t need to obtain a license or pay taxes for your cat pet. However, you must pay the Hundesteuer (dog tax) as well as license fees in order to keep your dog. To know how much you will have to pay and other rules including leash laws and movement of pets in the neighbourhood, get in touch with your German local authorities. In addition, talk to your landlord in order to obtain permission for keeping your pet in his or her property—that is, if your premises are rented.
Places Where Pets are Not Allowed
Many people would like to be accompanied by their pets wherever they go. Unfortunately, not everyone shares your love for your pet and they, therefore, would be happier without them. You will have to leave your pet in the car when visiting places where fresh food is sold, including butcher shops and grocery stores as well as a number of cafes (Konditerei).
If your pet dog has a likeable temperament, it may be allowed into some restaurants. In the premises they are not allowed, you are sure to find a sign saying so on the window. Service dogs, however, are allowed into a lot many places than other dogs are.
Taking Care of your Pet’s Health
At one time or another, you will need the services of a veterinarian (Tierärtze in German). Since most veterinarians speak English you don’t have to worry about a language barrier. In addition, they are highly qualified and experienced professionals.
Wherever you see a sign made up of a big V with a staff on which a snake is coiled, there is a reliable vet. In German, an animal’s hospital is known as a Tierklinik. Its personnel usually include vets, support staff and veterinary medicine students.
Some of the services offered in an animal hospital include vaccinations, surgeries, and overnight boarding if the animals’ response to treatment needs to be monitored. Most of the hospitals use advanced equipment for diagnosis. Further, their support staff is usually on a 24-hour standby to handle emergencies. You can either pay for the services in cash or through an EC card. Alternatively, the veterinarian may send you a bill if you don’t have ready cash.
Moving Around Germany with your Pet
You don’t have to leave your cat or dog behind whenever you want travel from one part of Germany to another. If you prefer travelling by train, you pay half the regular price of the ticket for them. If, however, you are travelling from one European Union country to another, there will be need for you to show its qualification to travel as well as obtain a passport for it from a recognised veterinarian.
The main significance of the passport lies in the identification and proof of vaccination. Its validity lasts the pet’s entire life. All EU countries use a similar passport for animals. With regard to the rules of pet shipping Germany, like other European countries, doesn’t demand a passport for your fish, reptile, rabbit or rodent pet.