Germans, on the whole, love and respect pets and are friendly towards dogs. It is the law to keep a pet on a leash apart from inside special pens in some open spaces in urban areas. Surprisingly for some, dogs are also allowed on public transport and inside restaurants unless otherwise stated.
Within the European Union, pets may move freely with a valid EU pet passport. The UK, Sweden and Finland have minor additional regulations besides the need to be micro chipped and have the necessary vaccine against rabies.
Dog ownership is highly regulated and heavily taxed through a compulsory license fee, which has to be paid for all dogs regardless to their race or size. Payment is normally every six months.Cats remain a matter of citizen’s privacy. The municipal tax office will send a dog tag, which when attached to the dog collar demonstrates to the authorities during spot checks that the dog is registered. Fees vary according to the number of dogs and rise notably if a dangerous breed is registered.
Dogs need to be registered within two weeks of arrival. The citizens office (Bürgeramt) issues the relevant forms which need to be completed and submitted together with proof of residency. A passport (Reisepass) or ID (Personalausweis) will also be required.