Pets and zoo animals

Pets are faithful companions to many people. However, they are not toys. Everybody who gets a pet needs to ask themselves whether they are really able to keep animals in a manner that is appropriate to the respective species.

There are clear rules for keeping pets; these rules ensure the welfare of the animal. Anyone who keeps, cares for or trades in animals is responsible for the welfare of those animals.

Animal keepers need high-quality products that are required to meet animal welfare standards in order to keep pets in a manner that is appropriate to their needs. It is the responsibility of this trade sector to ensure that expert advice is provided to potential customers.

A small dog is laying on the door mat with a leash in its mouth
© Javier Brosch -

Overview of topics

Tips on planning journeys with animals

When your holiday is just around the corner and you begin planning your leave, pet owners should ask themselves the following questions: Should I take my pet with me or should I ask others to look after it while I’m away? What rules do I have to consider if I bring a pet home from my holiday?


Rules on travelling with dogs, cats or ferrets within the EU

A maximum of five pets (dogs, cats, ferrets) may be carried per person when travelling. The animals must not be destined for a change of ownership.


Rules on entering the European Union (EU) with dogs, cats and ferrets

The rules of Regulation (EU) no. 576/2013 have applied to the entry with dogs, cats and ferrets from non-EU countries (so-called third countries) since 29 December 2014. These regulations aim to provide protection against the introduction and spread of rabies.


Travelling with rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs

When entering Germany, up to three domestic rabbits which are not intended to be sold to a third party may be carried when travelling.


Travelling with pet birds

Imports of pet birds from countries outside the EU (third countries) are carried out under controlled conditions in order to prevent the introduction and spread of "Avian Influenza".


Third countries - listed and not listed

The term "third country" groups together all non-EU countries.


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