Department of Defense Education Activity

Pet Shipping

Vet Clinic

Pet Shipping

Pet shipping will be at your own expense and will not be reimbursed by the government. Arrange pet shipment well in advance by contacting your current traffic management office or airline. If you bring your pet with you on the Patriot Express there are multiple fees you will be required to pay prior to flying and on arrival. If you ship your pet separately, ship it to Frankfurt International Airport, Germany. Your pet can be picked up at the civilian airfreight terminal at Frankfurt International Airport. Shipping your pets separately is extremely expensive.

Pets in Germany

Germans love their animals, but they also take pet ownership very seriously, as we all should. So before figuring out all the steps to get your pet to Germany, ensure you review the differences in the laws and general guidelines associated with pet keeping here.

Germany has implemented a dangerous dog law that prohibits the breeding or trade of "dangerous dogs." Dogs with a history of attacking or biting people can also fall under this new law. "Dangerous dogs" may not be imported to Germany under any circumstances. Attempting to import a dangerous dog is punishable by law. For more information and a list of prohibited breeds, check out the "Dangerous Dogs" fact sheet in the Pet Shipping dropdown.

Furthermore, there are strict guidelines for leaving pets alone and general upkeep. In addition to the difference in laws and guidelines, shipping pets and finding a home to house them can be challenging tasks.

Not all landlords allow pets, and even those that do often only allow small pets. For those staying on base, keep in mind you are limited to two pets, and dogs that are on the dangerous dog list are NOT allowed in housing.

Abandoning your pet at any time during your stay in Germany is NOT an option. Due to all these issues, many individuals often decide to leave "Fluffy" and "Fido" with family during their overseas tour.

Health Certificate

Before you ship your pet, a veterinarian must verify the health of the animal and issue a certificate dated within 10 days of your arrival. The certificate must be in German and English and state that the animal is in good health and had a rabies vaccination more than 30 days old but less than one year. Military vets are usually familiar with this certificate, but civilian vets may need several weeks lead time to order the certificate from the Department of Agriculture.

Pet Travel for European Union and other countries instructions is accessible under the "Pet Shipping" dropdown.
Veterinary Certificate needed for Germany can be found by following the link.

Don't wait until the last minute to discuss the health certificate with your vet. The time limit for the validity of the certificate and vaccination is subject to change and varies dependent upon the air carrier.

Pet Quarantines are not required for any animal when PCSing to Germany.

A Note from the USDA

Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785 or the appropriate microchip reader must be provided along with the pet. Compatible microchips available in the United States include AKC/TROVAN, HOMEAGAIN and AVID EUROCHIP. Microchip implantation must occur PRIOR to rabies vaccination. Any rabies vaccination that occurs prior to microchip implantation is not considered valid regardless of whether the animal was up-to-date on its previous rabies vaccines. If a microchip is being implanted for the first time, 21 days must have elapsed after rabies vaccination before the animal is eligible to enter the European Union.

Unaccompanied Pet Shipments For more information concerning permits or shipping of unaccompanied pets contact the Frankfurt Customs/Veterinary Clearance office at +49 696 969 2801.

AMC Space Available

When you travel on PCS orders between the U.S. and overseas bases on AMC military chartered flights (Patriot Express), you can now move more than two pets per family on a space available-basis only. You should contact your local transportation office to request additional spaces. The transportation office will make the request and print out a confirmation. You will bring the confirmation to the passenger terminal for approval to move additional pets.

Upon arrival at the Ramstein Passenger Terminal, travelers with pets will be assessed a veterinarian examination fee between $118.00 to 354.00 per pet and kennel depending of their weight. The examination is in accordance with the European Union Ordinance #998/2003. The fee is not reimbursable on travelers orders and will be payable by credit card, debit card or cash.

Commercial Flights

Soldiers are required to fly via the Patriot Express into Ramstein Airbase. Civilians and some deferred Family members can fly on a commercial carrier into Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen). If flying this route you will clear your pet there either at the civilian airfreight terminal (if your pet was transported as freight on a different flight), or at the baggage claim area if your pet flew with you on the same flight. Airlines place restrictions on shipping pets based on the outside temperatures at the airports.

If you move at certain times of the year, especially during the summer, you may not be able to ship your pet at the same time. Check with the airline early to find out about restrictions. You may have to make arrangements to kennel your dog or leave the dog with a relative before you can ship it to Germany.

German Rules On Dangerous Dogs

IAW German law, all Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bullterriers (and all descendants of these breeds) are banned from import to Germany.

In April 2001, German law was passed on import of dangerous dogs for protection of the citizens. The local offices of public order (OPO) at city and county level are appointed to enforce the dangerous dog regulation.

Dangerous dogs are defined as animals either

  • known to be vicious
  • having indicated inclinations to attack game or livestock
  • having attacked persons
  • having shown unusually aggressiveness

Automatically included are Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bullterriers and other dogs descendant from one of these dogs.

These races and any dogs deriving from these races cannot be imported to Germany. Breeding, reproduction, and trade of dangerous dogs are prohibited. The responsible authority may order the dog to be neutered. Dogs may not be trained or bred to become dangerous dogs.

Permission by the local authority is required to keep a dangerous dog. The owner must justify the need to keep the dog, for example as a watch dog. Furthermore, the owner must be at least 18 years of age and personally qualified. Personal qualification requires passing an aptitude test administered by a person or office certified by the State Veterinarian Chamber. This test is only valid for 5 years and only connected to the dog that is tested together with the owner.

Certain criteria automatically disqualify persons to own dangerous dogs:

  • final conviction for at least one crime committed with premeditation or twice for crimes committed while drunk within the last 5 years
  • addiction to alcohol or drugs, or mental illness or impairment
  • repeated violation of dangerous dog legal provisions

Dangerous dogs must be kept safely. They must be marked with an electronic chip applied by a veterinarian. The dog owner has to show proof thereof to the local authority. Furthermore, if the dog is lost or given into somebody else's custody for more than 4 weeks the owner must notify the local authority.

In public areas, including common areas in multi-family housing such as stairwells, dangerous dogs must be on a leash and wear a muzzle. Dog owners may ask for an exemption to wear a muzzle if the dog poses no danger to public security. Persons walking dogs in public must be 18 years or older, physically able to control the dog and not disqualified. A person may only walk one dog at a time.

Pet Travel: European Union and other countries (No testing required)

EU Union Countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, *Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal. Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. Other Countries: Romania, Switzerland, and Turkey. Download the form needed to get your animal into the country.

  • Go to http:/
  • Click on the specific EU country. Under "Pets" there will be a non-commercial/commercial form for Domestic Dogs, Cats and Ferrets, dated March 2009. Download the bilingual certificate. Or
  • Click on "E" for the European Union. This is an English version of the certificate that may be used, for other countires, when a bilingual certificate is not available.

EU's Requirements

  • The form must be completed and signed by an USDA Accredited Veterinarian (Veterinarian Authorized by the Competent Authority) after the animal is examined. It must be endorsed by the USDA veterinarian (Competent Authority)
  • The pet must be microchipped with an ISO compatible microchip.
  • The pet must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Finland requires an Echinococcus treatment within 30 days of departure
  • No other tests or treatments are required for any of the above listed countries.

Microchip Information

  • The pet must be microchipped with an ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 Annex A microchip. Home Again and AVID Euro are ISO 11785 compatible.
  • Non EURO AVID microchips may be accepted if the traveler provides a microchip reader at the port of entry.
  • Have your veterinarian check with their microchip supplier for microchip information.

Documents Needed by the USDA's Office

  • An original "Veterinary Certificate for Domestic Dogs, Cats and Ferrets entering the European Community (Regulation (EC) No 998-2003" signed and dated by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. Blue ink is preferred for the veterinarian's signature.
  • A signed Rabies Vaccination certificate with the following information:
    1. Complete description of the animal (name, breed, sex, age, color, DOB)
    2. Date vaccination was given and the date the next vaccination is due.
    3. Vaccine manufacturer, vaccine lot # and lot expiration date
    Note Rabies vaccination is not required for pet (non-commercial) dogs and cats under 3 months of age. However, authorization is required from the individual EU Member State. The exporter should contact the animal health authorities in the Member State for authorization, and documentation of authorization should be attached to the export certificate.
    The rabies vaccine used must be an inactivated vaccine produced in accordance with OIE standards. If it is a recombinant vaccination, the word "Recombinant" must be on the certificate.
  • A signed APHIS Form 7001. (Optional - may be required by the airline). Contact your airline representative to find out if this form is required. The form is valid for 30 days, from the date signed by your vet; however, some airlines have specific time constraints. For example, they may require the form to be signed within 10 days of departure.