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Living with pets

If you have decided to bring your pet to Germany, here are a few things to know. There is an extensive process for exporting your animal to Germany. Luckily, Germany does not have problems with cats or dogs coming into the country if all the appropriate paperwork is completed and presented on your arrival. If the paperwork is not completed your animal may be quarantined. Animals will need a check-up, vaccinations, and paperwork from your vet as well as paperwork completed and approved by the German Consulate. The Consulate will give you a bilingual veterinary certificate. Start this process early but not too early as some vaccinations have to be administered no later than 90 days prior to your arrival in Germany. In Germany, they administer a rabies vaccine every year so don't waste your money on a three year vaccine because your dog or cat will still have to get one a year later. Veterinary fees are much cheaper in Germany - about half the price of those in the U.S.! Call the German Consulate nearest you in the U.S. before you leave and they can assist you with the necessary paperwork for the German government. Be aware that their hours are extremely limited. Like most German government offices, they will only see you before noon on certain days of the week. You must also comply with the airline's strict requirements, especially if you have a small pet and you want to bring it into the cabin with you. If you plan to do this, make sure your carrier will fit under the seat in front of you. For that purpose, a soft-sided pet carrier from Petco is recommended. Contact the airline you are flying on immediately to make sure you are in compliance. Note that many airlines have weather/temperature restrictions. Animals will not be able to fly if temperatures reach an extreme high or low.

If your pet is a dog, it will need to be registered with the city of Burghausen. You will need to visit the Stadthauptkasse within the Rathaus (town hall, located in the Altstadt) to pay for a license for the animal. The license must be updated yearly and you can set it up so that they automatically remove the 25 directly out of your account. Cats do not have to be registered.

There is a wonderful veterinarian (Tierärzt/in) located in Burghausen:

Dr. Sabina Halm
Elisabethstr. 8, Burghausen
Hours: M, T, TH, FR 9:00-11:00 and 16:00-18:00

If an emergency should occur after hours, you may leave a message on the voice mail and one of the on-call doctors will call you back. There are several veterinarians from neighboring towns who share the on-call duty. Note that Germany is very strict about what procedures can be performed on your animal. They do not remove dew-claws on dogs or de-claw cats and they may not neuter or spay your animal as young as is commonly done in the U.S. (although Dr. Halm has attended conferences in the States and will consider earlier ages). Similarly, they won't bob your dogs ears or tail for those breeds that have this done commonly in the U.S. as they consider that to be cruel. You may not find your cat or dog's brand of food here so bring a few weeks' supply until you can get them adjusted to a brand available here. The brand Eukanuba is quite common and very good. If you have a dog, they will love chomping down on pig ears. They're about half as expensive here as they are in the states and you can buy them in bulk at Hornbach in Altötting. (Hornbach is virtually identical to Home Depot.) Also Dehner in Neuötting has a good variety of better-quality pet foods.

It is extremely important to note that Germany has a problem with Lyme disease which is carried by ticks. There is currently no vaccination available in Germany against Lyme disease and a vaccination given in the U. S. has no affect against the strain of Lyme disease bacteria carried by ticks in Germany. If contracted, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. (See page 4 - Before you Leave: Medical - for more on Lyme disease). In some regions there is also a problem with a viral infection carried by the ticks called F.S.M.E. (see Vaccinations, Health below). If you have an animal that will be outdoors or if you spend a lot of time outdoors, please make sure that you and your family are vaccinated for FMSE when you arrive. Any general practitioner can do this for you here. It requires three visits for a series of injections. If your dog is picking up a lot of ticks, ask Dr. Halm for some tick medicine that is applied each month on the animal's back and above the tail. It is very effective but cannot be used on cats and there may be precautions if you have young children.

next up previous contents
Next: Daily Life Up: Getting Settled Previous: Other notes about the
Barbara Heller