From Adopting to Walking: A Comprehensive Guide to Dog Ownership in Germany for International Residents

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Germany is known for being a country that loves its dogs. From Berlin’s famous “dog bars” to the numerous dog-friendly parks and cafes, it’s clear that dogs are an important part of German culture. However, with dog ownership comes responsibility, including the payment of a dog tax. For international residents in Germany, navigating the laws and regulations around dog ownership can be challenging due to language barriers. This is where Booka Local comes in – as a platform for connecting international residents with bilingual German speakers who can help with translation and interpretation services.

Why does Germany have a dog tax?

One question that often arises for international residents is why Germany has a dog tax in the first place. The answer lies in the country’s history and culture. Dogs have been used for various purposes throughout German history, including hunting, herding, and guarding. As a result, they have been seen as valuable assets to their owners. However, as dogs became more common as household pets, the government saw a need to regulate their ownership and control their impact on the environment. The dog tax was introduced as a way to manage the number of dogs in a particular area and to encourage responsible dog ownership.

In addition to the practical reasons for the dog tax, it also serves as a source of revenue for local communities. The money collected from the tax goes towards the maintenance of public spaces, including dog parks and playgrounds. It also helps fund animal shelters and other organizations that work to improve the lives of animals in Germany.

Do I need to pay taxes for my dog?

Yes, if you own a dog in Germany, you are required to pay a dog tax. The amount you need to pay varies depending on the city or town you live in and the breed of your dog. Some cities have different tax rates for different breeds, while others have a flat fee for all dogs. It’s important to register your dog with your local authorities as soon as possible, as failing to do so can result in fines or other penalties.

How much does it cost to maintain a dog in Germany?

In addition to the dog tax, owning a dog in Germany comes with various expenses. These can include food, toys, bedding, grooming, and veterinary care. On average, the cost of owning a dog in Germany can range from €1,000 to €2,000 per year. However, these costs can vary widely depending on the size and breed of your dog, as well as the type of care they require.

If you’re considering getting a dog in Germany, it’s important to factor in these expenses when budgeting for your new pet. It’s also a good idea to research the breed of dog you’re interested in, as some breeds are more expensive to care for than others.

How do I pay my dog tax in Berlin?

Paying your dog tax in Berlin is a straightforward process, but it can be challenging if you don’t speak German. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Register your dog with the tax office (your dog doesn’t have to be present)
  2. Wait for the dog tax invoice to arrive in the mail.
  3. Process the tax payment online

On the day of registration, you will receive a metal tag for your dog. Please keep this tag on your dog when walking them outside in the street. If you’re having trouble communicating with the tax office staff, Booka Local can connect you with a bilingual German speaker who can help you through the process.

What are German laws about dogs?

Germany has strict laws around dog ownership, aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of both dogs and humans. If you’re considering getting a dog in Germany, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding dog ownership.

Dogs must be registered with local authorities, and owners are required to keep their dogs on a leash in public. Dogs that are considered dangerous, such as certain breeds, must be muzzled and kept on a leash in public at all times.

There are also regulations around dog breeding, training, and walking. For example, dog owners must clean up after their dogs in public spaces, and dogs must not be left unattended in cars.

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Visiting the animal rescue center

If you’re interested in adopting a dog in Germany, it’s important to visit an animal rescue center before making a decision. This allows you to meet different dogs and get a sense of their temperament and needs. However, communication with the staff at the center can be challenging if you don’t speak German.

Booka Local can help with communication and translation during the adoption process. By connecting you with a bilingual German speaker, Booka Local can ensure that you fully understand the adoption process and the needs of the dog you’re interested in.

Can landlords forbid pets in Germany?

If you’re renting a property in Germany, you may be wondering whether your landlord can forbid you from owning a pet. The answer depends on the terms of your lease and the laws in your particular state or region.

In general, German landlord-tenant laws allow landlords to prohibit pets in rental properties. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have a disability and require a service animal, your landlord may be required to allow you to keep the animal in your rental property.

It’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant if you own a pet. You may be required to pay an additional deposit or fee to your landlord, and you may be responsible for any damage caused by your pet.


In conclusion, owning a dog in Germany comes with certain responsibilities, including paying the dog tax and following strict laws and regulations around dog ownership. It’s also important to factor in the costs of owning a dog when budgeting for your new pet.

Booka Local can help international residents navigate the language barriers around dog ownership in Germany. By connecting you with a bilingual German speaker, Booka Local can ensure that you fully understand the laws and regulations around dog ownership and can communicate effectively with animal rescue centers and other organizations.

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