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honden_familiePets in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands it is common to keep domestic animals like cats, dogs, rodents, small birds or fish. Monkeys, koalas, and all kinds of other jungle animals are prohibited. Also many parrot, reptile, and amphibian species are prohibited just like dangerous animals like toxic spiders and scorpions, and endangered species.

Chickens, cows, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs are the animals that people think belong on a farm. Some people might have chickens in their garden for the eggs, but that will be it. Because houses are close to each other and the gardens are small, farm animals can be a big nuisance to your neighbours.

Bringing your pet to the Netherlands: Vet Check

If you are bringing your pet to the Netherlands your pet has to be examined by your vet before you travel. In addition to a health certificate, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to the departure date. Some pets also require a blood test to confirm the vaccination. Check for more information the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Pets coming to the Netherlands also have to be implanted with an electronic microchip. A number is issued and all details stored in a European database so that it is easier for authorities to identify pets and their owners.

Pet Passport

It is recommended that you allow at least a 6-9 month waiting period to arrange for your pet paperwork. If you wish to bring one of these animals to the Netherlands, you must obtain a ‘pet passport’ (EU-dierenpaspoort) from your vet.

This document contains the following information:

• Statement from your vet that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies.
• Description of pet including its breed, sex, age, colour, type of fur and marks.
• Tattoo or microchip number.
• Name of owner.

Dog Tax

Most cities in the Netherlands charge an annual dog tax (hondenbelasting); prices vary on the number of dogs. Dogs must also be registered with the local town hall and the Dutch Tax Administration upon arrival which you can arrange by letter or in person. No other animals, such as cats, require registration or tax.

Since rules and regulations vary from country to country, it’s strongly advised that you check with the Dutch embassy in your country for information before making arrangements to bring your pet.