Help for expats and others relocating to Denmark with their dog
Are you planning on moving to Denmark? And do you want to bring your dear dog-friend with you on this new adventure? Moving from one country to another requires a lot of work and planning, not only practically but also mentally. When you are moving to a new country, understanding the rules and preparing the documents for your dog’s relocation, is only a small part of the whole relocation puzzle. In this article, we have gathered all the important information you need when bringing your dog with you to Denmark.
When you read this article, you have to bear in mind, that the rules are different depending on which country you are travelling from. The following article gives an overview of the most important details, but make sure to research the specific rules and guidelines for the country relevant to you, at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s website.
Limits: you can’t relocate all dogs
A puppy needs to stay with its mother until its 8 weeks old. At this age it is ready to move to its new family and start a new life. This means that you are not allowed to bring any dog younger than 8 weeks into Denmark. The only exception is if it moves with its mother.
Prohibited dogs in Denmark
Some dog breeds are not allowed in Denmark. Make sure to check the list before you relocate your dog to the country. Currently 13 dog breeds and mixed-breeds involving the 13 dog breeds are prohibited in Denmark:
- Pitbull Terrier
- Tosa Inu
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Fila Brasileiro
- Dogo Argentino
- American Bulldog
- Central Asian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka)
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka)
- South Russian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka)
You might be asked to prove that your dog does not belong to any of these breeds. Make sure to have the necessary documents proving your dog’s breed, if the dog has features in common or a similar appearance to any of the prohibited dogs.
Read more and get updates on prohibited dogs in Denmark here.
Maximum number of dogs
If you own more than five animals and want to bring the whole family to Denmark, you might be in trouble. You are only allowed to move a maximum of five animals of the species dog, cat and ferret with you, otherwise the movement will be considered commercial and other rules will apply. Read more about the commercial import of dogs here.
Before moving to Denmark
The authorities in Denmark want to know who your dog is when it arrives in its new home country. This means your dog needs identification in form of a microchip when entering Denmark. (It’s also possible to enter with a clearly readable tattoo if it has been applied before July 3rd 2011.). You will therefore need to plan a visit to the vet, to get the microchip injected. The microchip is very small and is injected under the skin between the dog’s shoulder blades. The chip carries your dog’s identification number and can be scanned to provide information about the dog.
It should be possible to read the microchip with a scanner compatible with ISO Standard 11785. If this is not the case, you must bring a scanner with you which can read the microchip.
Be aware the microchip must be implanted before or at the same time as your dog gets its rabies vaccination.
While you are paying the vet a visit to get the microchip injected, you should also make sure your dog gets vaccinated against rabies. This vaccine is obligatory if you want to bring your dog with you to Denmark. Note that the dog must be at least 12 weeks when getting the vaccine. Read about what to do with puppies in the paragraph about exceptions. The vaccination must take place after the microchip is inserted, so make sure your dog gets the chip before or at the same time as its rabies vaccination.
The rabies classification of the country you are moving from may have a big impact on your plans for the relocation of your dog to Denmark. Travelling from a country with no incidences of rabies makes the process much easier. According to EU regulations a country is either low-risk or a high-risk country. If your country is classified as a high risk, you need to plan at least 4 months ahead. Make sure you investigate the country you are travelling from on the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s website, and see which rules apply to you.
If you want an overview of low-risk and high-risk rabies countries, you can find a list on the British government’s website.
EU-member countries and low-risk countries
If you are moving from an EU-country or a low-risk country, you must get your dog vaccinated at least 21 days before moving to Denmark. A rabies vaccine is valid from 21 days after the dog gets injected, as it takes time for the antibodies to develop and fully protect the dog.
The effect of the vaccine lasts for either one or three years, depending on which vaccine your dog has been given. If a revaccination or booster dose is received within the period of validity, you don’t have to wait 21 days before moving your dog. However, if the revaccination is carried out after the expiry of the previous rabies vaccination, the new vaccination is considered a primary vaccination and your dog has to wait 21 days.
If you are travelling from one of these countries it takes a lot more planning. Not only does your dog need to be vaccinated, but it also has to get a test to check the efficacy of the vaccine. The test is called rabies titre test (RNATT) and it measures the antibodies in your dog’s blood. Your dog needs to get tested at least 30 days after the vaccination was given, and it has to be analyzed at an EU-authorized laboratory. After getting the test, you must wait at least three months before moving to Denmark. As you can see it takes a lot of waiting and planning if you come from a high-risk country. You must begin with getting the vaccine at least 4 months before relocating to Denmark.
Since dogs need to be at least 12 weeks old when getting the rabies vaccine, you might wonder what to do if you want to relocate with your puppy. In some cases, you are allowed to move a puppy without the vaccine, but this is ONLY possible when you travel from specific countries. If you travel from a high-risk country, it is impossible to move a puppy younger than 12 weeks into Denmark. Make sure to read the guidelines to see whether relocating your puppy is possible from your specific country. Be aware some countries in the EU don’t allow this exception, so you need to keep this in mind if you transit/travel through other countries.
If your country is on the list which allows dogs younger than 12 weeks to be moved, you need to fill out a Puppy Declaration and bring it with you when you move your dog into Denmark.
Veterinary health certificate or pet passport
If you are traveling from outside EU, you need to get your dog a veterinary health certificate. The certificate must be filled out and issued by an official veterinarian who can issue animal health certificates. The certificate contains details about the microchip and vaccination, which means you need to get the certificate after getting those things in order. Usually, the certificate is made right before moving to Denmark.
If you live in an EU country and are planning to relocate yourself and your dog to Denmark, you don’t need a veterinary health certificate as long as your dog has an EU pet passport. Just like the veterinary health certificate you need to find an authorized vet who can issue the passport. In this case only an EU authorized vet can do the work, and you can only get the passport in an EU country. Your dog must have a valid rabies vaccine, to be eligible for the passport. The passport is valid as long as the rabies vaccination is valid – which includes if your dog gets the rabies booster on time. It is indeed handy to get this passport, as it spares you from having to get a veterinary health certificate every time you have to travel within Europe with your dog.
Time to move your dog
When to bring the dog and with who
When you relocate to Denmark with your dog, the dog must arrive in Denmark within 5 days before or after your own arrival. If you don’t accompany your dog, you have to authorize someone else to take the responsibility of your dog. This can be your friend, spouse or an employee at an animal transport company. The authorization must be in writing, and you can find a form here (click at “udfyld blanket”).
You might be asked to document that the movement of your dog is not commercial and that you don’t intend to sell the dog. This document must prove that the movement of the owner is the reason for the movement of the dog. Examples of proof could be the owner’s boarding pass or train tickets.
Where are you allowed to enter Denmark?
If you travel from a country which is a non-EU member, your dog is only allowed to enter from the following authorized points of entry: Copenhagen Airport, Billund Airport, and Aalborg Airport. However, there are a few exceptions among non-EU countries, from which you may arrive in Denmark through any border: Andorra, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican.
If you travel from a non-EU member country, customs will check your dog and its documents when it arrives in Denmark.
Make sure the airline you travel with actually allows you to bring your dog, as some do not. Some airlines allow you to bring your dog into the cabin, if they are small enough and others allow the dog to be in the cargo section. A lot of planes have limited space for dogs in the cargo, so make sure you book a ticket. Both the bag for travelling in the cabin and the crates for travelling in the cargo hold has to follow certain rules specified by the airline. The price for your dog depends on the weight and what airline you choose. You have to pay for the dog, regardless of whether you bring it in the cabin or if it travels in the cargo hold. Read more on the specific airline’s webpage. Most airlines also require you to fill out a certificate for transportation of animals. Find the certificate on their website.
The following airlines flying to Denmark allow you to bring your dog:
SAS – read more
Norwegian – read more
Lufthansa – read more
KLM – read more
Finnair – read more
Air France – read more
Finally in Denmark
All the planning and travelling has finally paid off – you have arrived at your new home with you four legged-friend. But the process isn’t over yet. If you want your dog to stay with you in Denmark, you have a few things you must do and some laws you must follow.
Denmark has a so called “dog law”, which describes a lot of different regulations and laws you as a dog owner should follow. In this last part of the article, we will focus on what you should be aware of when living in Denmark with your dog.
Registration in the Danish Dog Register
It’s obligatory for all dogs living in Denmark or staying for more than 4 weeks to be part of the Danish Dog Register. The dog needs to be registered within a month after arriving to Denmark. You can fill out the form here. The registration fee is 145 DKK. You can also contact an authorized vet and get them to do the registration for you. You still pay the fee, which you in this case will pay directly to the vet.
Pet insurance in Denmark
In Denmark it is statutory to have a liability insurance for your dog. Therefore, if you own a dog which is living in Denmark, you are required to get a liability insurance, which will cover if your dog injures another person, animal or someone’s belongings. This kind of insurance doesn’t cover if your dog gets into an accident and has to be taken to the vet or hospital. A life- or health insurance will cover such accidents and is not mandatory in Danmark, but we do recommend you get one for your dog.
As described earlier in this article your dog needs identification in form of a microchip. But this is not enough when you arrive in Denmark and start your new life with your dog. According to the law your dog must wear a collar with a tag which includes the owners name and address. This applies to all dogs which are 4 months or older.
When to keep your dog on leash
Your dog might be sweet and very well behaved, but you still have to keep it on leash or at least under full control when in public. The dog law states that you need to have your dog under full control all the time when being in a city area. This means the dog should stay close by your side all the time, and if it’s on a leash, you have to keep the leash short.
You can visit most parks and nature-areas with your dog, but you must keep a look out for local signage since dogs are not allowed in some places. In parks it’s common to find a sign with an illustration of a dog on a leash which says “hund i snor”. This means you have to keep your dog on leash when visiting the park. Generally, you should always keep your dog on leash when visiting parks and cemeteries. Though it’s not impossible to find parks or areas where you are allowed to take your dog off its leash. Visit the commune’s website to see if they have a list over these areas.
In forests and nature areas it is mandatory you keep your dog on leash. This is to protect the nature and wildlife in the area. However, in Denmark you can find so called “dog forests”, where dogs can run free. You can visit the forests with your dog, given you have it under control, meaning it should come to you when called. You can find a list with all the dog forests in Denmark here.
During summer from 1st of April until 30th of September your dog needs to be kept on a leash when visiting the beach. During the rest of the year, you can let your dog off its leash on beaches, provided you have it under control. However, you need to keep an eye out for signs and information on the beach, since some beaches don’t allow dogs without leash all year. On some beaches you are not even allowed to stay with your dog, only walk across the beach.
Get help with dog sitting and walking
When living in Denmark you might be busy with work or have plans in the evening. Maybe you are going on a trip around the country to explore your new home, and you don’t want to bring your dog? At Dogley you will find dog sitters and dog walkers everywhere in Denmark. The dog sitters and walkers are private dog lovers approved by Dogley, who can’t wait to take care of your dog. The dog sitter can sit your dog for a few hours, for days or maybe even weeks. Your dog can stay at the dog sitters place, or you can find a sitter who wants to stay at your home while taking care of your dog. We also have passionate dog lovers who like to take your dog for a walk, or just pay a short visit and feed your dog. Find your new dog sitter or dog walker at Dogley.com.