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How To Get a Pet in Germany

Million of people consider pets as a part of their family. In Germany, it is not any different. We love them, go to walk with them, talk to them and enjoy their company. It is claimed that pets have a positive impact not only on the health status of the pet owner but also on other society members.

Germans love to keep pets. 57 percent of Germans share their life with a pet and the most popular pets are cats (55 percent) and dogs (49 percent). Germans are very concerned about animal rights and their good care. So, if you are already living in Germany or is planning to move there, you may curious to know about the set of instructions necessary to get a pet there.

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This guide will provide you an overview of basic information that how to get a pet in Germany.

Relocating your pets to Germany

Europe has solid rules and regulations to transport animals from one country to another country – both for commercial and personal purposes.  The rules slightly vary from pet to pet depending upon the type, size, and species of the pet.

There is a list of instructions as to how and when the pets can be moved from one to another European and non-European country. German custom office (Zollmat) looks after all the affairs and keeps an eye on whether the pet owner is following the rules or not. Most importantly, your pet must be vaccinated,  has a microchip, and should carry a German pet health certificate. Be careful !!!! Each of the above-described requirements must be recent and up to date.

If you are a dog or cat (ferrets) person, you can bring up to 5 cats or dogs with you. One can take a total of 5 birds and in the case of rodents, 3 are allowed per head. For transportation of fish, reptiles, amphibians, endangered animal species, and other exotic pets, you can get information from German Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

 At the same time, you should also keep in mind the rules of your airline for animal transportation like permitted animal size, types of pet containers allowed, sedation, and much more.


Don’t panic! Different companies are also providing their services for animal relocation.

How to buy a pet in Germany

You can also get a pet as a gift or buy one. Here are your options:

Get a pet from licensed breeders (Züchter) in Germany

Licensed breeders are a good source to get your dream pet in Germany. If you are interested to get a dog as a pet, the VDH association is the best choice. The process is very simple. You just need to select the breed of your choice. Make sure from the information given on the website that the puppies are already delivered or are expected to deliver. Make an appointment with the breeder to get necessary information about the breed characteristics and to know how the dogs are kept.

Get a pet from the pet store (Zooladen or Zoohandlung) in Germany

Pet stores are another good way to get a pet. The planets’ largest pet store, Zoo Zajac, is located in Duisburg Germany as mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records with measurements of 130,000 square feet.

Get a pet in Germany through social media and web portals

Social media and web portals may also be helpful to get a pet. But you need to be very careful while checking the paperwork of the pet especially the record of vaccination. You have to pay to get a pet and sign a purchased contract called Kaufvertrag.

How to adopt a pet in Germany from Animal shelters (Tierheim)

You can get your pet from animal shelters also. The whole process needs proper documentation and some extra paperwork, so, you have to fill a bundle of forms. Most animal shelters also require a home visit. These are their ways to check responsible pet ownership. You can consider the following list of animal associations, organizations, and animal shelters to adopt a pet in Germany.

Get a pet in Germany from animal protection associations

Animal protection associations like Tierheim and Tierschutzverein provide the services for relocation and rehousing of animals.

Maine Coon Hilfe e.V.

Maine Coon Hilfe e.V. is a nationwide organization to provide you the kitty of specific breed.

Tierschutzverein Europa e.V.

Lists of the pets that are in immediate need of relocation throughout Europe are available here12.

Der Deutsche Tierschutzverein e.V.

This13 is a nationwide official German animal shelter network with a huge catalog of animal shelters present all over Germany. You can get information about the animal shelters located in your locality.


It holds a massive list of pets, and animal shelters present both in the neighborhood and within entire Germany.


An index of cats and dogs that need rehousing from some European countries and throughout Germany is accessible on this platform15.

7 tips for getting a pet in Germany

You should keep in mind the following tips before getting a pet in Germany:

  • Beware of criminal organizations, puppy mafia, and black markets for pets. They are working both online and offline at the borders of Germany. They violate basic animal rights, have no or proper license of animal selling, and demand you to meet in hidden areas like streets with immediate payments. 
  • If you have children in your family, always keep the animal characteristics in mind before getting a pet. For example, choose the adult animal and gentle breeds in the case of dogs to avoid any kind of harm to children. The dander of some animals can elicit allergic reactions in children. So always select a healthy animal as a pet.
  • Before getting a pet, you must know how much time you can spare to care for a pet. Some pets like dogs and cats need care on daily basis. Pets like turtles, fish, hamsters, and guinea pigs require minimal care.
  • You must check whether you are permitted to keep a pet from your Hausmeister (caretaker of the house) if you are living in a rental apartment or a house before getting an animal.
  • It would be a good idea to join the Facebook groups for pet owners in your area just to share your experience with your pets, to ask pet-related questions, and to get help to search in case of a lost pet.
  • If you are a dog person, you have to register your dog at the local citizen office (Bürgeramt) and pay the dog tax.
  • Before getting a pet, you need to search a Tierarzt (Vet) in your locality for yearly vaccination, sudden injuries and illness, mites and ticks prevention, spaying or neutering, and teeth maintenance.


To have a pet is healthy. There are many good ways to get a pet in Germany like flying your buddy over, buying, and adopting from animal shelters. You just need to follow some rules in each case. Here is all you need to know about insurance for your pet

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