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South Africans in Germany

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Bringing your fur babies to a new country can be a daunting and emotional experience.
The first thing you need to acquaint yourself with is the rules for bringing pets from South Africa to Germany.
These rules are updated regularly and we therefore only add links to the relevant pages. 
We added some links to Pet immigration services that were recommended by fellow South Africans, and if you would rather do it yourself, we have a page where people shared their do-it-yourself experiences.

Dangerous (Banned) Dogs

Some dog breeds are banned in Germany. There are additional rules for individual states. 
Up-to-date information can be found on the Zoll (Customs) website.
Some dangerous dog breeds are allowed, depending on the Federal state, and must be registered at the Ordnungsamt.

Customs Info

  • Zoll – German Customs, provisions on the import of pet animals
  • Zoll –  Dangerous dogs

Pet Immigration or transport services

The following companies are suggestions from fellow South Africans 

Shared experiences and doing it yourself

Pets – Personal stories

Here are some shared experiences by our Facebook members.  If you would like to add your experience to our website, please submit it via our contact formDecember

Registration, taxes and permits

  • Dogs must be registered at the Finanzamt for dog tax /Hundesteuer. The 2023 yearly taxes are between 120 and 180 euros, depending on the size of the dog.
  • Dogs must also be added to the dog registry (Hunderegister) in your area. Search for example “Hunderegister Hamburg”
  • Dangerous breeds – If your dog falls in the dangerous breed, you must register it at the Ordnungsamt

Identification badge, chip and handler licence

As mentioned before, the rules and regulations can differ per federal state. Most states require dogs to have an identification badge and a chip.  When you take your dog for a walk, the dog’s name, your address and the dog tax disc must be on the dog’s collar.  
You might also be required to get a licence to proof you can handle your dog (Hundeführerschein)
Information about the Hunderegister can be found on the Hundeinfoportal

Rules and regulation for owning a pet

Rules and regulations can be found on the Gezetze im Internet Dog regulations.
Not all federal states have a rule that you need to pick up your dog’s poo, but this is just basic decency, especially if you take your dog walking. You can buy special poop bags for that, and most parks have special bins to dispose of the bags.

Pet Insurance

Agila and Allianz offer pet insurance (Hundehaftpflichtversicherung).
Dog insurance is mandatory in some federal states. It is not medical insurance for your pet, but it covers you if your dog harms another dog, person or property. 

Adopting a pet at a "Tierheim"

Pet sitting and kennels

For pet sitting look at the Pawshake app, or on the Hundelieb website
You can also find other possibilities on our Minijob page
For cats, search for Katzenpension in your area, or consider a house sitter

Pamela June Nel is offering her services as a house pet sitter. You can contact her via email 

Raw food for pets

Try the following websites:

Animal welfare

You can report any issues regarding animal cruelty at the Tierschutsbund under Tierquälerei

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What can I bring into Germany

It is very tempting to bring some South African goodies with you when you travel to Germany, and while most items are allowed, there are Restrictions.

Finding a place to stay

Finding a place to rent is almost like doing a job interview. You have to “advertise” yourself and you will have to go for interviews.