How to Move Dogs and Cats to Germany - Elaine's first pet move

As an owner of Pets with Passports, starting a business involving animals was a natural move. I’ve been a pet and animal lover my whole life and I’ve taken care of as many pets as my parents or my current living situation would allow. My first foray into shipping pets began when I was 6 years old and my family moved from Rhode Island to England. My dad was in the Air Force and we knew we would be overseas for 3 years. My family and I made the hard decision to bring our family pet, a Miniature Schnauzer named Charlie, with us even though (at that time) it meant 6 months in quarantine. It was a tough decision but ultimately it kept our family together.

For a lot of families and our clients, deciding to ship your pet will always be a tough decision. Years later when I was in high school, and Charlie was 10+ years old, we had to make another hard decision. Do we take him to Germany for our two year tour, or do we leave him with a family member in the States? While, luckily, Germany had disbanded its mandatory 3 month quarantine a few years before our move, we were worried about his age and what the stress of flying at 11 years old (and back home again at 13) would do to our beloved family dog. He was already getting ornery in his old age. We didn’t want to scar him for life.

Eventually, we made the same decision as a family - that we are a family and we aren’t whole without Charlie. This meant we packed his travel crate, went to the vet for a geriatric exam, and about a week after we arrived he met us at our new home in Germany.

(By the way, he loved Germany. Even as an old man, Charlie turned into a puppy again in the snow.)

My family and I were lucky that Germany is a pretty easy country to move your pet to from the United States. Here are some rules and regulations to keep in mind for Germany moves.

  1. Make sure your pet is microchipped and that the chip is still working and can be read by a scanner. International format means 10 digits or more.

  2. Then your dog or cat will need to get a Rabies vaccination. Note, this must be administered AFTER the microchip has been implanted.

  3. Make sure that your pet’s Rabies vaccination is at least 21 days old at the time of entry into Germany.

  4. Make sure your dog breed is not restricted in your German state.

  5. No more than 10 days prior to entry into Germany your dog or cat will need to visit the vet one last time for the vet to administer a final health check and complete the EU Health Certificate. Make sure they complete the version of this form that is in both English and German.

  6. This health certificate, along with the rabies vaccination certificate should be sent to the appropriate USDA for endorsement and the originals will then travel with your pet.

Remember these tips above are for dogs and cats entering Germany from the US only and are subject to change at any time. Please reach out to Pets with Passports for the most up to date import rules and regulations. We are here to help!


Introducing Charlie to the PWP blog readers. He always enjoyed a good tug on his rope, barking at the vacuum, and traveling the world with his family.