Whether you have decided to adopt a dog in Germany or bring it with you from your home country, this article can be very helpful. There are some general regulating aspects for all dogs of any breed and size. For example, dogs pay taxes in Germany.
Dog taxes in Berlin
Yes. As you read, to have a dog in Germany you have to pay taxes. You will pay 120 euros per year for the first dog you have. That is what I pay for my dog Morrison. If you bring your dog halfway through the year, you will pay half, etc. You will have to inform the town hall depending on the area in which you live. In my case Berlin. I moved to Berlin in June 2018, so I paid 70€ for those months.
The annual tax may vary depending on which state of Germany you reside. It is mandatory for all dogs, regardless of their breed or size. You must go to the town hall corresponding to register it.
In this link, you have more detailed information about the tax itself and a series of questions and answers (only available in German). Valid for the city of Berlin.
Requirements to have a dog in Germany
- Picking up the poop of your pet is obligatory. If you prefer to ignore this fact, you open yourself to a substantial fine.
- Dogs are not allowed to enter in cemeteries, except for guide dogs.
- Register your pet in the town hall is mandatory. The police can ask you at any time to identify your pet and show them the “identification” that must be visible in the harness or the collar.
- In Berlin, responsibility insurance for the dog is mandatory.
List of dangerous dog breeds in Berlin
The breeds considered dangerous in Berlin are the following:
- Pit Bull
- American Staffordshire Terrie
- Tosa Inu
- Argentinian Dogo
- Fila Brasileiro
- Spanish Mastin
- Mastino Napoletano
To have a “dangerous breed” dog, the dog has to pass a good behavior test and outside the house, he must be leashed at all times (except in areas defined as dog parks), and must always be wearing a muzzle. Also you must have liability insurance as well as being register at the town hall.
Dog liability insurance in Germany
In German as the “Hundehaftpflichtversicherung” what it would be the liability insurance for dogs. In Berlin, liability insurance for our dog is mandatory, regardless of their breed or size.
Many companies are offering this service and you can find it from about 35 euros per year. If you live in another part of Germany, take a look at the local legislation since, as with the tax, it can vary depending on each state. There are several insurance comparators. I recommend that you take a look and see who offers you the best deal.
How to transport my dog in the car
Here you have a very interesting short video on how to take our dog correctly in the car, to avoid ambiguity and misunderstandings.
Dogs in public transport in Berlin
In Germany, dogs are allowed to travel by bus, metro, train, and tram. The only requirement is that they must be always on the leash and wearing a muzzle. It does not matter if you have a poodle or a pit bull. If your pet is a small size a.k.a “pocket dog”, it will not have to pay for the ticket. However, if your dog is a medium or large size you will have to buy a reduced ticket *.
More information about fees and requirements in this article I wrote.
Flying with your dog to Germany
To travel or to move to Germany with your pet, you can consider several options. For me, the most comfortable and functional way was to go by car from Huelva. If you have to fly, depending on your origin and destination, you will be more or less limited. Companies like Ryanair do not allow any kind of pet, neither in the hold nor the cabin.
I will mention some companies policy:
- Easyjet: Dogs are not allowed. Only guide dogs.
- Ryanair: Dogs are not allowed. Only guide dogs.
- Vueling: Allows dogs with a maximum weight of 8kg (transportín included) for a price of 50e and, only and exclusively, in the cabin.
- Iberia: Allows dogs with a maximum weight of 8kg (transport included). Also admits dogs in the hold. Conditions and more information available in the link.
- Lufthansa: accepts dogs both in the cabin and in the hold, the price will depend on the weight of the animal. For more detailed information visit the link.
- Air Europa: The price to bring them from Spain to Germany is 50e in the cabin. Up to a maximum of 8kg, they can travel in the cabin in their corresponding homologated transport.
- Eurowings: Allows dogs with a maximum weight of 8kg (transport included)
If you are going to fly, remember to ALWAYS contact the flight company for the specific requirements concerning the transportation of your fluffy friend, to avoid fights, surprises, stress, and misunderstandings at the airport.
Where to leave your dog if you go on vacation
My advice would be to choose another destination. Your doggy is gonna live less than you do. Spent as much time as possible next to your dog, but if that’s not the case, here goes another advice.
Do not panic, or think about abandoning your pet. There are several options, from leaving your doggy with friends or family. In case this is not possible, my best recommendation is the Paw Shake website, where you can find people willing to take care of your pet. Either coming to your house or taking the dog to the house of the person who is going to take care of him. It is a paid job.
What is Hundeschule. Your dog has to go to school in Germany
Indeed, many dogs in Germany go to a dog school to learn the basic commands and to be trained. For dogs considered as a dangerous breed, it is mandatory to obtain a certificate of the behavior of the hundeschule.