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Moving to Germany with pets – all you need to know

by SylwiaCheap European RemovalsMoving from UK to Germany

This article is only a guide – MyCheapRemovals don’t provide pet shipping services

How to move to Germany with pets

If you are planning on moving from the UK to another European country with your pet for the first time, you may wonder where to start. Some steps need to be taken to make the removal with your pet straightforward and hassle-free.

Among the main arrangements, we can indicate making official health certificates for your pet, choosing the right airline, understanding the German rules and regulations regarding transporting pets, and choosing the most convenient and safe kennel for your fur child.

But do not worry, in this article, we will guide you on how to move to Germany with pets. We are mainly focusing on dogs as they are the most common pets that are taken along.

Tips on moving to Germany with dogs

  1. Prepare for travelling with a pet

    If you are about to travel abroad with your pet, remember it should have:

    • up-to-date vaccination records against rabies (you must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before travelling),
    • up-to-date veterinary health certificates, (clinical examination, deworming, deticking) taking into account the regulations of the country of departure, the country of destination, and any transit airports,
    • special passport (issued by a vet) with a description of the colour, race, and sex of the animal together with a microchip number or tattoo,
    • microchip implant,
    • suitable container

    When travelling with your pooch, cat, or ferret, you must take into consideration the regulations that might be different for certain countries. Understanding both the international and German transportation rules and regulations is an essential step. Next, you should visit the accredited veterinarian where you can receive a pet passport (the passport stays valid as long as you continue to meet the entry requirements) and other certificates necessary for exporting your furry friend. Moreover, your transport company may need a statement from your vet confirming that your pet is fit enough to travel a long distance. Any carelessness in this step can result in the cancellation of your air ticket, so make sure you have it under control.

  2. Taking the pet on onboard

    You do not have to drop a bundle to make air travel with your pet possible. Nevertheless, good organizational skills are essential, as you need to make some arrangements even before you buy a ticket for yourself.
    First, research and find out which airlines accept pets in the cabin or cargo hold.
    When you find one, please remember, that for your and other passengers’ comfort the airlines can only take a limited number of pets in the cabin, so making a phone reservation for your pet is obligatory. The airlines usually advise you to do so at the latest within 24 hours after you have booked your ticket, but at least 24 hours before departure.
    Usually, there are three travel options for animals:

    • in the cabin,
    • in the baggage hold,
    • in the baggage hold as cargo.

    Bear in mind that the travel option depends on the weight and size of your pet as well as the regulations of the country of delivery. It is also worth mentioning, that the airlines may reserve the right to refuse carriage of the pet in case of reaching the limit of the number of pets carried on a given flight – both in the cabin and as cargo.

  3. Choose a suitable container

    Once you have selected the right airline, the next step is to think about the portable kennel. They are a great way to safely travel with your pooch, whether in the air or on the road. You should go through the requirements of the airline for the crate size, but it is also important to spend considerable time finding the best temporary home possible. With so many varieties, it might be difficult to decide which kennel to buy.
    The type of crate to buy will depend mostly on the type of travel you intend to do, with some additional considerations for your dog’s size.

    • Hard-sided Carriers:
      This kind of kennel is associated with travel craters by most people. These are traditional plastic, hard carriers that provide great protection for your dog, especially if it is about to travel in the cargo hold of an aircraft. It is especially suitable for large dogs, but the owners of smaller dogs will definitely appreciate its durability and protective function.
    • Soft-Sided Carriers:
      This sort of carrier has become more popular in recent years, especially among owners of small and medium-sized dogs. It is particularly lightweight and easy to take along. Moreover, a soft-sided kennel can be stored under an airline seat. However, this kind of kennel is not good for large and heavy dogs, or for nervous travellers who may attempt to chew through mesh panelling.
    • Wheeled Carriers:
      Both hard and soft carriers can come with wheels. These are great options for heavy dogs, older dogs who shouldn’t be jostled too much, or owners who find it difficult to carry their dog for an extended period.
    • Reinforced Crates: Reinforced crates are a special type of hard-sided carrier made from metal or reinforced synthetic materials. These types of carriers are designed for certain breeds that may be able to chew through a standard hard-sided carrier.
      Many airlines have restrictions on what breeds of dogs they will transport or the conditions upon which they will transport them. For breeds designated by the airline as “dangerous,” they may require you to use one of these special crates with an IATA CR82 certification.
    • Wearable Carriers:
      Wearable dog carriers are similar to baby carriers, and they are becoming increasingly popular among owners with small dogs. They’re great when walking through airports, but be aware that most airlines still require your dogs to be stowed under the seat during the flight, which isn’t possible with a wearable carrier.
  4. Check Whether Your Pet Is Carry-on or Cargo Baggage?

    Obviously, your pet would not tell you its preferred option.
    Undeniably, cargo is the more dangerous option for pet travel. The safest way for any animal to fly is in the cabin as carry-on luggage provided that’s an option.
    Here you should keep in mind that if you want to take your dog as checked Baggage. It will be on a first-come and first-serve basis. It obviously works for only one or two pets that are small enough to fit beneath the seat such as a cat, a rabbit, or a small dog. Hence, if you have a family of three to five or even more pets, you should book all your pets in Cargo.

Wrapping Up

You may face some challenges while moving your pet from the UK or any other European country to Germany, so bring a dose of patience with you.
Don’t panic if things don’t go as planned. By focusing on the above-mentioned tips you can ensure a safe and relaxing journey for both you and your beloved pet.


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