Pet relocation

Overview

Regulations and customs requirements for bringing pets into Switzerland in the context of a move are strict and change frequently, depending on the animal and country of origin. This is mostly due to the level of risk of rabies in the country of origin.

For specific information and more details on animal imports see the Swiss Veterinary Office's guide.

Did you know?
Swiss people love animals. There are over half a million dogs, 1,6 million cats, and over 100,000 horses in Switzerland!

 
 
Checklist
 
  • Obtain confirmation that species/breed is accepted in canton of destination
  • Check medical and identification requirements in canton of destination
  • Present your pet to local vet
  • Register dog with the local authorities

Need to know

Relocating with pets

  • Pets under the age of 3 months may not be allowed into Switzerland or only under certain restrictions (7 months coming from "high risk countries")
  • It is generally forbidden to import dogs with docked tails into Switzerland. In the context of a move, the customs officials will decide whether criteria for exceptions have been met
  • Start the process in your home country early to ensure that deadlines are met
  • Once in Switzerland, dogs must remain under your ownership and should not be sold or given away
  • Dog owners may need to undertake a 4 hour course of dog training when arriving in Switzerland
  • There are import taxes linked to importing a pet
  • Dogs must be included in your third party liability insurance policy
  • Keep all documentation with you when travelling with the animal

Expected timeframe

  • At the latest 1 month before departure, proceed with the Microchip: ISO Standard 11784 with identification code according to ISO 11785
  • At the latest 22 days before departure, proceed with rabies vaccination
  • Within 10 days of arrival (dogs only), present your dog to the local vet for the final paperwork. Dogs will be registered to AMICUS (Swiss dog database)

Where to find help

Basic overview

Easy and comprehensive information in English can be found on the Swiss Vetinary Office website. Type "bringing pets to Switzerland" in the search tab. You can also send an email to info@bvet.admin.ch.

Expert advice

For professional advice and guidance it is worth contacting an animal/pet relocation specialist, in particular when importing any pets other than common breeds of cats and dogs. It is advisable to contact a pet relocation specialist at the latest 6 weeks before your target move date.


If you do not already have access to a pet relocation specialist through your employer or your relocation services provider, Hello Switzerland‘s free Relocation Helpline offers advice and support:

Swiss Relocation Helpline

- free advice from locals

 

Can your cat come? What about quarantine? Is air transit stressful?

Call +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates)
Skype: helloswitzerland.helpline (free)
Email: helpline@helloswitzerland.ch
Web: www.helloswitzerland.ch/helpline


 

How much does it cost

  • Pre-vaccinations: as per your home country costs
  • Microchip: as per your home country costs
  • Visit to the vet upon arrival: approximately CHF 150
  • Import duties: dependant on the breed and origin
  • Yearly tax for a dog: between CHF 20 and 150 depending on your canton of residence
  • Transport costs vary depending on transport route

 

Expert advice

Hello Switzerland‘s free Relocation Helpline offers advice and support:

Swiss Relocation Helpline

- free advice from locals

 

Can your cat come? What about quarantine? Is air transit stressful?

Call +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates)
Skype: helloswitzerland.helpline (free)
Email: helpline@helloswitzerland.ch
Web: www.helloswitzerland.ch/helpline

 
 

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