All you need to know about bringing your pet dog or cat to Germany
Germany is a great place to raise a pet; dogs are allowed almost everywhere – some offices allow pets in the workplace too. Cats are loved by all and are live a pampered life in Germany. Pet travel to Germany is complicated and involves vaccinations, health tests and documentation. If you are planning international pet transport to Germany with your pet dog or cat, here’s what you should know:
All dogs and cats travelling to Germany must be microchipped. A microchip is a small piece of technology that has information about the pet and the owner, and a microchip scanner can read this information. It is implanted between the shoulder blades of the pet. A microchip is essential during international travel because your pet can be identified and traced back to you if they are lost or run away. Pets moving to Germany will need to be implanted with an ISO-compliant 11784 or 11785 15 digit microchip.
Know your country category
Pet import regulations are different for different countries depending on the rabies category of the country.
- EU countries: Pets travelling to Germany from other EU countries need to have a pet passport issued by a veterinary doctor. The pet passport must be valid and have information about your pet’s rabies vaccination. A description of your pet and contact details of the pet parent must also be mentioned in the pet passport.
- Third countries (listed and unlisted): Pet dogs and cats travelling from the following countries: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Switzerland, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St. Martin, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu, Vatican City, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Wallis and Futuna.
- Non-listed countries: Countries not listed above are non-listed countries which have a higher incidence of rabies.
All pet cats and dogs travelling to Germany must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the date of travel. The rabies vaccination has to be given after the microchip is implanted. A rabies vaccination certificate signed by the vet who administered the vaccine is required as proof of immunisation.
If your pet is travelling from an unlisted country, the vaccination process is longer. Your pet will have to undergo the rabies titre test (RNATT) not less than 30 days after the rabies vaccination is administered. The blood for the test must be drawn and sent to EU approved laboratory to be processed. The rabies titre test checks for the presence of antibodies in the blood and is proof of the effectiveness of the vaccination. If your pet has sufficient levels of antibodies of at least 0.5 IU/ml, your pet can enter Germany after three months of drawing the blood for the rabies titre test.
Other mandatory vaccinations for Germany are:
- Dogs: Hepatitis, Distemper, Parainfluenza, Bordatella, Parvovirus (DHLPP), and Leptospirosis
- Cats: Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (FVRCP), and Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis.
An animal health certificate issued by an authorised vet has to accompany your pet dog or cat. The health certificate must bear the microchip details of the pet and the pet owner’s information. The health certificate is different for non-commercial transport and commercial transport.
Family pets fall in the non-commercial category where the pet parent has to travel into the country within five days of the pet’s travel. The pet parent has to give an undertaking that the pet transport does not involve sale, purchase or transfer of ownership. The health certificate must be endorsed by the government agency in the country of origin. You can travel with five pets or less on the non-commercial form.
Pets travelling from other EU countries do not need the health certificate as long as their vaccinations are current and their pet passports are updated. Pet dogs and cats flying from other countries must be accompanied by the health certificate with the following details:
- Proof of rabies vaccination
- Rabies titre test results if travelling from a non-listed country
- Internal parasite treatment for Echinococcus multilocularis not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before the date of travel
Cats flying from Australia must not have lived in areas where Hendra disease has been confirmed during the 60 days before flying to Germany
Puppies and kittens travelling to Germany
Puppies and kittens need to receive their primary rabies vaccination before going to Germany. If your pet is travelling from an EU country or a listed third country, they can travel to Germany when they are 15 weeks old, provided they receive their rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age.
If your puppy or kitten is travelling from a non-listed country, they can fly into Germany only after they are seven months old. They must fulfil the pet import criteria of rabies vaccination, rabies titre test and the waiting period of three months before the date of travel.
Germany has a ban on certain aggressive and dangerous breeds such as Pitbull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier. These dog breeds are not allowed to enter or transit through the country.
There are certain exceptions to the rule; if your pet has lived in Germany before and returning to the country, exemptions apply. Security dogs, dogs that provide service for the disabled, and civil protection and rescue dogs are also exempt from the ban. However, the pet parent has to offer substantial documentation to support the exemption.
The ban on aggressive dog breeds is different for different Federal Lands in Germany. Check the regulations with your pet travel agency before making travel plans.
Pet dogs and cats are not required to spend time in quarantine in Germany as long as all import criteria are met successfully.
Arriving in Germany
All pets arriving into Germany by air from non-European countries must fly through the border inspection posts at these airports: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Koln, Shoenfeld, Hahn and Leipzig-Halle.
If your pet transits through a non-listed country, you will need to provide a transit declaration stating that your pet has had no contact with any rabies-carrying animals and has stayed secure in the airport or with the aeroplane during the layover.
Upon arriving in Germany, your pet dog or cat will be examined by the officials for signs of ill-health and communicable diseases. If your pet is in good health, you can take them home immediately. If they show signs of illness, they will have to undergo further examination and tests by a vet at your expense.
Call the international pet travel experts
Germany is an extremely pet-friendly country, and your pet will love living there. If you are planning to transport your pet dog or cat to Germany, it is recommended to use the assistance of an accredited pet travel agency who will help you navigate through all the processes and steps successfully. Reach out to our team at Petraveller for more information on stress-free and zero-harm pet transport to Germany.