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PCS to Germany: USAG Bavaria Grafenwoehr Checklist – Pets

What’s home without your furry companions? Your PCS to Germany may be stressful, and bringing pets can be another obstacle to overcome. But if you plan ahead, your PCS with pets to Germany can be less of a headache.

Can you bring your dog to Germany? Or is it a banned breed?

How to PCS to Germany with Pets

As of 2020, families PCSing to Germany may only bring two pets, which can either be cats or dogs. No other pet types are currently permitted by the DoD.

Need more information about PCSing to Germany? Check out my arrival guide!

While there aren’t any restrictions on cat breeds, there are a few breeds of dogs that cannot enter the country (Category I): Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bull Terrier. Depending on where you’re stationed, the individual states also have restrictions on dog breeds.

Pets are members of our family who also experience stress, love, anxiety, and excitement. Make sure they have an easy PCS to Germany, too!

There are other dogs that may be permitted to enter the country (Category II), but they have to pass a temperament test first. If they pass, they will still need to follow some restrictions (more on that in a bit).

And keep in mind that you won’t be reimbursed for any of your pet’s travel costs!

Baxter is ready for an adventure! Follow him on Instagram @lil_baxter_boy

Go to the vet

Once you’ve determined that you can PCS with your pet to Germany, contact your local vet clinic. If your pet isn’t already chipped, you’ll need to do that before updating your pet’s rabies shots. And don’t wait on this! If your pet needs a rabies shot, it has to wait at least 21 days before it can enter the EU.

But that’s not all, folks. Your pet also needs a veterinary health certificate issued within 10 days of departure. As if you don’t already have enough going on.

Want to travel with your dog? Check out our list of puppy essentials for when you travel: dtvdanieltelevision.com

Ideally, the clinic knows what steps you need to take for a smooth process, but that’s not always the case. Your vet may tell you that you don’t need it, or that they can’t do it. But you need the health certificate, so make the appointment no matter what, even if you have to do it at another clinic!

Contacting the clinic at your future post is a good idea, too. They will be able to prepare you for what to expect once you arrive.

Do you know how to ship your pet to Germany when you PCS?

Prepare to travel

Airlines (including the Patriot Express) have varying restrictions for how to travel with pets. For example, as of 2020, Lufthansa no longer transports snub-nosed animals.

You’ll want to buy a crate that fits the requirements for your companion’s weight and measurements. So if your dog is on the borderline of a weight requirement, you may want to keep them on a strict regiment for diet and exercise!

Yes, Baxter has a very plush lifestyle. But if you want to travel with your puppy, a stroller is essential! Follow him on Instagram @lil_baxter_boy

If your dog is over the limit for the crate you own, you may need to rent a crate from the airline or come back with a new one.

And, of course, don’t forget to buy a pet ticket! The Patriot Express charges anywhere between $100 to 400, and private airlines may charge anywhere between $400 to 2,000.

At Hunde Kinder in Grafenwoehr, Germany, dogs are supervised and socialized in a safe environment

Arriving in Germany with Your Pets

Once you land, you and your pet will be desperate to reunite (and probably have a bathroom break). But you’ll have to pay the fees first.

Before you collect your pets, a vet will inspect them in quarantine. Afterwards, you need to pay a fee up to €200 before you can take your furry friend with you.

A travel bag for your puppy is essential when you plan to walk around all day. Their little legs get tired quickly!

Registering your pet

Once you arrive in Germany, you need to register your pet with the veterinary clinic on post within 14 days. If you don’t, you won’t be able to secure government-leased or on-post housing.

Starting a pet sitting service is a great way to make money. Learn more about how to start a business as a spouse in Germany!

If you have a Category II dog, you will also need to register with your local Rathaus (town hall) once you have housing. Plus, they must wear a leash and muzzle in public areas. The municipality may also have a tax on your dog (Hundesteuer).

Additionally, the German government requires that you register your pet with TASSO. Whether you have a cat or a dog, TASSO can help you find your pet in case they get lost!

Buying a dog in Germany can be almost as complicated as PCSing with pets to Germany!

Adopting a Pet in Germany

Unlike the U.S., Germany doesn’t have many animal shelters, probably because they have such rigorous regulations for owning a pet! They don’t take pet ownership lightly, and neither should you. Be sure to discuss the costs and responsibilities with your family before adopting a new furry member.

Ready to adopt your new furry friend? Check out our puppy checklist!

And if you decide to purchase a pet from a German breeder, make sure you have a trusted third party translate the contract for you.

A puppy harness is great for walking your new dog because it won't hurt their trachea when they try to pull you

Pet Passports

You don’t necessarily need a passport for your pet before you PCS to Germany. But if you don’t fly the Patriot Express, some airlines may require it. We recommend contacting your airline to confirm their requirements.

If you plan to travel within the EU with your pet, you will need a pet passport issued by a licensed vet. We recommend contacting your local on-post clinic to find out more information.

Hunde Kinder is a doggie day care in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and it's owned by an American

Dog Care in Germany

As mentioned previously, the Germans take dog ownership very seriously. For example, while it may be socially unacceptable to leave your pet outside all day in the U.S., it’s against the law in Germany.

And if you leave your dog home alone all day with no one to walk them or play with them, they may develop destructive habits or bark all day. If your dog barks or howls continuously for 10 minutes, it’s considered a noise disturbance. As a result, you could have your dog taken away.

Dog eating ice cream at Eiscafe Dolce Vita

If you bring your dog out in public, they must be well-trained. It’s expected that you wouldn’t bring an untrained dog to a restaurant. If you have any doubt that your dog can’t behave in public, just don’t.

Most restaurants in Weiden are dog-friendly – read more about them!

For information on pet sitters and boarding your pet when you travel (because you will definitely travel), the on-post vet is a great place to start. They have information about boarders throughout the area, as well as pet sitters.

And be sure to book your boarders or pet sitters in advance! Like, as soon as you buy those plane tickets for the four-day weekend, book a reservation at a boarding facility.

Wilson owns Hunde Kinder, the independently owned doggie day care near USAG Bavaria

Wilson’s Hunde Kindergarten Grafenwoehr

PCSing to Germany is stressful for everyone in the family. But it may be argued that it’s most stressful for a dog, who has little understanding of the change that’s happening. Henry Wilson of Wilson’s Hunde Kindergarten says “You have to give a dog at least 3 months to adapt.”

Help your dog socialize when you PCS to Germany!

Wilson’s Hunde Kindergarten offers dog day care Monday through Friday in Grafenwoehr. It’s the only certified dog care center in the town, employing staff who have training in dog behavior and pet first aid.

The space allows dogs to play inside and outside with plenty of toys and obstacles. The staff helps the dogs socialize and adapt to their surroundings. For example, they train them not to bark at people or cars going by.

Make your life a million times easier with a puppy stroller! And also get yourself some great travel swag

Final Thoughts on Pet Ownership in Germany

When you PCS to Germany, seriously consider what it means to be a pet owner while you’re stationed here. If you’re not sure you can give your pet all the love it needs while you’re stationed in Germany, consider re-homing them with family or friends.

And that goes for buying a pet in Germany, too. If you don’t want to board your pet while you travel, or if you have an irregular schedule, this may not be the best time to introduce a new furry family member.

Recommendations from the Community: Check out these additional pet resources for further help – Pets with Passports, Military PCS with Pets, Pet Relocator, Pet Sitting Grafenwoehr/Vilseck/Amberg/Weiden, Trusted Pet Sitters Graf, Vilseck, Weiden, Etc

Why yes, they DO make Spiderman costumes for dogs!

The rules in Germany are different from the U.S. It can be hard enough for adults and families to adjust to change, but imagine how your pets feel! If you don’t help them adapt, they can develop destructive behaviors.

But there is certainly no doubt how much joy they can bring into our lives!

What was your experience with moving to Germany with your furry friend? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe on Youtube and follow on Instagram!


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