All you need to know about living with a dog in Berlin
Berlin is one of the most pet-friendly cities in Germany. The German capital is home to more than 100,000 pet dogs, and the city has several pet-friendly amenities that make living with a dog here truly delightful. There is so much to do in Berlin with a dog, and Berliners and tourists can take advantage of the pet-friendly restaurants, cafés, public transport and the many dog parks in the city.
Living in Berlin with a dog is an enjoyable experience, as long as you follow all the pet parent rules and responsibilities. If you are planning international travel with your pet dog to Berlin, here’s all you need to know about living with a dog in the German capital.
Pet parent responsibilities in Berlin
As a pet parent in Berlin, your dog’s physical and emotional welfare must be your top priority. Your dog must be cared for and should be housed in a safe and hygienic space. Additionally, your pet must have access to veterinary care whenever necessary. Apart from these general responsibilities, the city of Berlin requires all pet parents to follow these rules:
- Register your dog and pay dog tax – Register your pet dog at the local council within a month of moving to Berlin. All pet parents must register their dogs at the Finanzamt and pay dog tax every year. After you register your dog and pay the tax, you will receive a dog tag which the dog must wear at all times. You will also receive a tax certificate and a dog tax number for future reference. If you move out of Berlin with your dog, be sure to de-register your dog before leaving.
- Get liability insurance – German law makes it mandatory for dogs to have liability insurance in certain cities, including Berlin. Liability insurance covers you if your pet dog damages property or injures another animal or person.
- Identification tag and microchip – All pet dogs must be microchipped. They must wear their identification tags on the collar at all times.
- Be mindful while walking – In Berlin, pet owners are required to pick up after their pets at all times. Pet parents must carry poop bags while walking; you can be fined between 35 to 250 Euros if you are with your dog in a public place without poop bags. Your dog must be on a lead at all times. Only pet parents with a dog handler certificate (Hundeführerschein) are allowed to walk their dog off-lead. Pet parents who do not have the certificate can be fined if they walk their dogs off-lead.
- Dangerous dog breeds - Some aggressive dog breeds are classified as dangerous in Germany and are prohibited from import. If you own a dangerous breed, they must be muzzled and on a lead in public at all times.
Dogs on public transport in Berlin
Pet dogs are allowed on buses, trains and trams in Berlin. However, dogs are not permitted on the seats. Small breeds can travel in a closed crate, and large breeds need to be on a lead and muzzled at all times. Dogs can travel on a reduced fee ticket in Berlin. Pet dogs can travel free on public transport if they are a small breed in a dog crate or if you have a weekly, monthly or yearly pass. Guide dogs also travel free.
Dog parks in Berlin
There are many parks in Berlin where your dog can exercise and socialise with other dogs. Your dog must be on a lead in most parks in the city unless it is an off-lead park. Always clean up after your pet and make sure your dog does not harm or injure other dogs or animals in the park. Here are some of the best parks in Berlin:
- Tempelhofer Feld
- Forst Jungfernheide
Dog-friendly restaurants in Berlin
Most restaurants and cafés in Berlin are pet-friendly and allow you to bring your pup over for a bite or two. Many restaurants have a dish or two on their menu for dogs, and most of them have a water bowl for thirsty pets. Here are some of Berlin’s best pet-friendly restaurants:
- Five Elephant
- Rosario Steakhaus
- Oslo Kaffebar
International pet transport to Berlin
Pet transport to Berlin from a different country can be perplexing; an experienced pet travel partner can help you unravel the complexities of pet transport and make sure you and your pet have a pleasant pet travel experience.