What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to Germany?
The German Federal Customs Service (known as “ZOLL”) is responsible for regulating pet importation. As with every other country, the rules for moving to Germany with a pet depend on where you’re living now. For example, if you and your dog or cat (or ferret) are coming from another European Union country and your pet already has an EU Pet Passport, you’re good to go.
That could change, if you are a resident of the UK. As of May 2019, there is no final Brexit resolution. Pending that, pet travel remains as is under EU rules. However, if the final deal changes Britain’s status as a listed country, the rules for traveling from the UK to remaining EU countries will change.
And what if you currently live in a non-EU country? You can read those rules in detail here. As an overview, however, you’ll find everything you need to know below. Germany’s regulations are not complex compared to many other counties.
Originals of all documents must travel with your pet.
An accredited veterinarian must fill out and sign an EU Veterinary Health Certificate for your pet. In the US, this is USDA/APHIS Form 7001 is required for some airlines in addition but does not need USDA endorsement. Germany does not accept electronic documents for pet import.
The health certificate must be completed within 10 days of your pet’s departure.
Dogs, cats, and ferrets do not need an import permit to enter Germany.
Rabies is the only immunization required for dogs, cats, and ferrets to enter Germany. One, two, or three-year vaccines are acceptable, as long as it was properly administered and is still current when your pet arrives. To be considered valid, rabies vaccine must be administered after or at the same time your pet is microchipped (see Microchip section below). All countries make this distinction because each animal’s microchip number is their unique identifier and it has to appear on all documentation.
To enter Germany, your pet’s microchip must be ISO-compliant. If your pet has a microchip that was implanted prior to rabies vaccination, he will not need to be re-vaccinated but he will need to get a second, ISO-compliant microchip. All paperwork must show both microchip numbers.
The first rabies vaccination given after implantation of a microchip (or at the same time) is considered the “primary” vaccination. This definition also applies to a vaccination given after earlier rabies vaccine has expired. All pets must wait at least 21 days between this date and their arrival in Germany.
Pets are not required to be vaccinated for anything other than rabies. However, Germany recommends you do immunize as follows. Vaccines must be valid when your pet enters Germany but must be given at least 2 weeks before your poet departs:
- Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP), and Bordetella
- Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotrachaeitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukoopenia (FVRCP)
- Dogs do not need tapeworm treatment prior to entering Germany.
- Not applicable to cats or ferrets.
Foot and Mouth Disease
If you are moving from a non-listed country (where rabies is a known problem or not reliably controlled), your pet will also have to have a blood titer test to prove their rabies vaccine is active within their body. This can take several months.
Photo of Pet
Pet photos are not required. If someone asks, though, we suspect you’ll have plenty available on your phone to show them!
What Are the Pet Restrictions for Germany?
When it comes to banned dog breeds, Germany’s regulations do become complicated. Countrywide, except for documented service dogs, you may not import any dog that is a purebred or mix of Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Bull Terrier. Beyond that, however, each of the country’s federal Lands (equivalent to states in the US) can enact their own restrictions.
Dogs considered dangerous by federal Land:
- Baden-Württemberg - Bullmastiff, Dogo Argentino, Bordeaux Dogge, Fila Brasilero, Spanish Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Mastiff, Tosa Inu
- Bavaria - Bandog, Tosa Inu, Alano, American Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Rottweiler, Perro de Presa Canario (Dogo Canario), Perro de Presa Mallorquin
- Berlin - Tosa Inu, Alano, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Dobermann, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Rottweiler, Perro de Presa Canario (Dogo Canario), Perro de Presa Mallorquin
- Hamburg - Bullmastiff, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Kangal Dog, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Rottweiler, Tosa Inu
- Hesse - American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Kangal Dog (Karabash), Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler
If your dog is on the restricted list for the Land where you will be living, you may be able to obtain prior written permission from local authorities to import your pet after all.
Germany does not allow pets not vaccinated against rabies to enter the country. Puppies cannot vaccinated until they are 12 weeks old, and the vaccine must be given at least 21 days prior to entry. Therefore, puppies must be at least 15 weeks old for import. If you are coming from a non-listed country as described above, the minimum age for import is 7 months due to additional time required for the blood titer test following rabies vaccination.
Do I Need a Microchip for My Pet to Travel to Germany?
Every pet entering Germany must be implanted with a microchip that is A 15-digit ISO standard or 9-digit AVID compliant.
Pets must be microchipped before required vaccines are administered or documentation is completed, because their unique number is a critical part of their identification.
If your pet has an older microchip, it may be possible to carry a chip reader with you, but your vet can easily and safely implant your pet with a second, ISO-compatible chip. Note that pets with two microchips must show the number and date of implantation for BOTH chips on all documents.
At Starwood Animal Transport, we strongly urge pet parents to also register their pet’s microchip with Global Pet Register. Other registries are country-specific; GPR is the only pet recovery database that works around the world.
What Are the Quarantine Requirements for a Pet Traveling to Germany?
As long as your pet meets all the requirements and has the proper documentation, she will not face quarantine. However, lack of adequate paperwork can result in lengthy quarantine, deportation, or worse.
Are There Any Area Specific Pet Requirements in Germany?
As noted above under Banned Breeds, each Land within Germany can set its own rules for pets living within their jurisdiction. Checking in advance about rules for pet import, licensing, etc. will help avoid surprises and make your move go more smoothly.
Top Destinations in Germany
How Starwood Can Help
Our Germany pet shipping services include:
- Door-to-door transport
- Assistance with health certificates, import certificates, and other travel documents needed for animal transport to Germany (outlined above)
- USDA endorsement and consular legalization (when needed) of all relevant documents where required
- Airline-approved flight kennels provided with personalized labels, identification
andemergency notification instructions
- Customs clearance and delivery to your home
- Local pet taxi service to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian, kennel, or groomer – available in major German cities as well as their surrounding areas
- Travel consultation and flight reservations
We will inform you of your pet's full itinerary before the trip and we will update you as your pet travels to Germany.