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Department of the Air Force
Household Goods Inbound/Outbound/Transportation
Policies and rules for shipping pets vary at each installation. It’s important to understand the regulations, prohibitions and laws at your new installation before moving with a pet. Below, you’ll find installation-specific details for registering, boarding and transporting your pet.
It is strongly advised for service members living and traveling within the Tri-Border area to secure a pet passport in Germany and the European Union Heimtier Ausweis for their pet dog, cat or ferret only. The Heimtier Ausweis is a requirement for pets traveling through the European Union and outside of the jurisdiction of the service member's official duty assignment and country. The pet passport documents the owner's name, home address, vaccinations and microchip number. It is available through any local European veterinarian. This EU pet passport will also be required when going through a permanent change of station and departing the EU with your pet. Dog registration in the Kreis Heinsberg area. You can also stop by the Military and Family Readiness Center for a complete list of boarding kennels, veterinarians and shipping information.
Germany does not quarantine animals, but requires a health certificate which cannot be more than ten days old. The rabies vaccination must be at least 30 days old and not more than one year old. It must be written either in German or be accompanied by a German translation. Be aware that pets cannot travel through England due to a quarantine of six months at the expense of the owner.
Some hotels and guest houses may not allow pets, however, kenneling may be an option. Please make pet arrangements before you leave the United States. Ask your sponsor for assistance. The Military and Family Readiness Center has information about local kennels. Keep in mind, boarding a pet can be difficult during peak travel seasons like summer and the holidays. It is best to plan well in advance if you will need a kennel for your pet. The standards vary from place to place. It is always best to have a place inspected before making arrangements for boarding your pet.
There's no veterinary service on Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base, however, private service is available through the local community. The Military and Family Readiness Center can provide a listing of local German and Dutch veterinarians.
Members of the United States Armed Forces community who bring their pets along when they arrive in Germany for assignment will be charged a fee by German authorities beginning Feb. 1, 2013. The fee will be charged during arrivals at Ramstein Air Base and Frankfurt International Airport. Review the U.S. Army Europe Release No. 20131025-2S for detailed information.
German Law - Restricted Breeds
German states have passed a Dangerous Dog Ordinance, placing restriction upon the ownership of certain types of dogs. Military and civilian personnel moving to Germany should weigh the requirements of the German DDO and owner responsibilities for dogs that fit the criteria below when making a decision to bring such dogs with them.
For an overview of the pertinent facts about the dangerous dog situation in Germany and for a comprehensive listing of breeds from German Immigration and Customs, log onto the dangerous dog website.
Owners of any dog of 40 centimeter shoulder height or 40 pounds weight and over have to comply to mandatory registration with the local government. Owners must have a valid license, proof of German dog liability insurance, have the dog chipped, and have a valid personal qualification requiring an aptitude test of the owner minimum 18 years of age administered by a person or office certified by the State Veterinarian Chamber.
There are several local Tierheim, also known as animal shelters. If your pets do not meet the German Dog Law Ordinances or you do not wish to bring your pets to Germany, Americans are allowed to adopt animals if they wish. For more information about local shelters, see the free bi-weekly local German newspapers.
Tips for Traveling with Pets
Personnel need to make special arrangements when shipping family pets to Germany. To ensure that your pet has a safe and comfortable air trip, we offer these tips:
Most airlines will not take pets during hot months. Times vary based on location and airline. If you find you cannot bring your pet with you when you fly due to these restrictions, do not make shipping arrangements with private shippers before visiting your local transportation office.
There is no entitlement for reimbursement of pet transportation. For information or reservations, contact the Traffic Management Office. Personnel can make reservations for pet transportation through the military travel agent. Most airlines have a weight dimension limit. The weight of your pet is determined by combined weight, dog plus crate, usually 100 pounds or less. For example, if you have a large dog, your crate may be too large for excess baggage or the dog and crate may be too heavy. They will also need the breed, sex and age of pet. Give yourself as much time as possible as flight delays could cause problems with pet travel.
Please note Pit Bulls are strictly prohibited in the Netherlands. Please be aware if you fly into Brussels airport and you own a Pit Bull, it is illegal to drive in the Netherlands with this breed of dog, even if you are just passing through to Germany. When you sponsor someone in, plan ahead of time if they bring a Pit Bull so other arrangements may be made.
Dogs are not in a heartworm-free area and therefore dogs need to be kept on their preventive treatment. Whenever you travel keep them on preventive treatment.
German Pet Culture
Germany is a pet friendly country. Generally pets are allowed in restaurants, but they have to be well behaved. Pets may travel on public transportation as long as the pet owner purchases a ticket same as children six to 14 years of age. Most guest houses allow pets. You are likely to be charged a pet fee per animal which can get expensive.
Just as in the United States, some landlords may not allow pets in rental homes. Talk with the prospective landlord as you make appointments to see available houses once you arrive. It is up to the landlord to approve or disapprove of pets. Ask the landlord before signing a lease. Any agreement has to be in writing. Some landlords might get concerned if you do not walk your dogs regularly. It is acceptable to explain to your landlord the differences in American pet traditions.
Germans usually walk their dogs at least twice a day. Dogs have to be kept on a leash at all times while being walked. If you have large dogs, it is recommended to walk one at a time. Pet owners are liable for their pets at all times. Despite what you see, pet owners are required to clean up after their dogs. Dog insurance is also recommended while living in Germany and in some cases is mandatory. Keep reading to find out if it is necessary for your pet.