If you cannot imagine traveling through Germany without your beloved pet, rest assured we Germans love our animals just as much as you do. And while we have plenty of regulations regarding pet travel to and though Germany, the system was designed with the safety of people and animals in mind.
Rules For A Pet Travel To Germany
A trip to your local veterinarian is a good idea. Make sure you find out about any vaccinations you will need. One important one is rabies and all dogs and cats must have one within a certain period of time, usually about a month before you travel. You may have to actually prove this, so bring a certificate with you.
It is another requirement that dogs and cats have a local identification number, usually a microchip and it is wise to get a pet passport issued by a veterinarian. Most countries will microchip and database a pet for you before you leave.
It is important to make sure your accommodation arrangements suit your pet. Get prior permission from your hotel or the landlord of your rental, and check that the facilities will suit a pet. You can get your travel agent to do this for you or contact them directly. Take a copy of any documentation you have for your pet including its breed, vaccinations and any illnesses it may have.
If you are traveling with a pet dog, keep in mind that certain dog breeds are banned in Germany. The regulations customarily state that high-risk breeds are unacceptable and unwelcome. Bringing them into the country and traveling with them is banned. Some of these breeds include Bull Terriers and their cross breeds and Pit Bulls. Here is a first overview of which dogs are prohibited to bring or import to Germany.
Several of the states also consider the Rottweiler too much of a threat so it is wise to ask a local or get a thorough list of banned breeds from your veterinarian. It is further a good idea to get a letter from your vet stating that your dog is not a dangerous or vicious breed.
If you decide to travel with your pet to Germany you must remember that the owner is responsible for anything the animal does. A huge lawsuit could follow if a dog causes any sort of injury. You can even purchase a liability policy for your dog — its a good idea to have this sort of insurance, anyway.
For further information, I highly recommend the PetAir.de service for pet travel to and from Germany. Located right at Frankfurt Airport (Tor 26), they are experts and were a great help when I myself was traveling with a pet from Brazil to Germany.
Planning Your Pet Travel Through Germany
There are some everyday rules that you will need to know when planning your pet travel through Germany. You will not be allowed to take your dog onto any premises where fresh food is sold, so the grocery store is out of the question. Some restaurants and cafes don’t allow them either. They will let you know however; places that do not allow dogs usually have a visible sign or notification.
It is usually fine to take your dog or cat with you when traveling internally in Germany. Public transport tickets can be purchased for them but you will have to pay (for dogs) — usually about half the regular priced fare.
Air travel regulations vary but most are reasonably relaxed. Just be sure to advise the airline before you arrive that you will be bringing a pet along for the ride. You’ll need to have your animal in a strong repository for any sort of travel. There are rules about the style of box you can use and you need to make sure your pet can move freely within it — that is, lie down, stand up and turn around.
Acceptable shipping crates and specialized pet carriers are available at most local and international pet stores. You can also directly approach the airline to buy or hire one.
The most important thing to remember if you are planning pet travel to and through Germany is to be prepared and communicate openly. If you let people know what you want and need, most will be very accommodating. Then you and your beloved pet will both have a wonderful traveling experience.