It is possible to bring a pet from another country to the Netherlands, if all the conditions are met. For example, dogs, cats and ferrets must have been vaccinated against rabies. The conditions depend on the kind of animal and the country it is coming from.

Conditions for bringing a dog, cat or ferret to the Netherlands from another European Union (EU) Member State.

The Netherlands wants to prevent animals with rabies from entering the Netherlands. When bringing a dog, cat or ferret to the Netherlands from another EU Member State the following rules apply:

  • The animal must be at least 15 weeks old
  • The animal must be vaccinated at 12 weeks old
  • After the animal has been vaccinated, the owner must wait 21 days before bringing it to the Netherlands
  • The animal must have an ID this must be a microchip and have a dierenpaspoort (EU pet passport).

Any questions about bringing pets to the Netherlands from abroad, can be answered by the Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit – NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority).

Register your dog

When planning to import a dog, it must be microchipped and registered with the municipality within 2 weeks of its arrival in the Netherlands. The microchip is normally implanted by a vet, who can also advise on how to register the animal. Once registered the owner has to a pay dog tax to the municipality. The amount varies greatly from on municipality to another and it may vary depending on how many dogs are registered.

In the Maastricht Region, hondenbelasting (dog tax) is paid to Belastingsamenwerking Gemeenten en Waterschappen – BsGW, and once the dog is registered with the municipality owners will receive the tax bill from BsGW.

Head over to the website of Gemeente Maastricht for more information (in Dutch) on registering your dog in Gemeente Maastricht.

For more information about registering and micro-chipping your dog in the Netherlands, or bringing your pet with you when you move to the Netherlands, head to the Rijksoverheid’s government.nl website in English.​​​​​​

Bringing an different kind of animal (from another EU Member State)

When planning to bring a small rodent, rabbit, bird, fish, amphibian or reptile to the Netherlands from another EU Member State, it must have a pet's health certificate signed by a veterinarian.

If the animal is a protected species, owners must check that it is allowed to be imported under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES). This international agreement regulates the trade in protected animal and plant species.

Bringing an animal to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU

When bringing an animal to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU, first contact the NVWA for further information.

Renting with pets

What are the rules about having pets in rental properties in the Netherlands? This varies depending on the situation.

Rental expert and Expat Centre Maastricht Region Programme Partner Joep Hermens of 123Wonen : ‘It can be difficult to find property where pets are allowed. Indeed, many landlords prefer not to for various reasons. I think around 20-30% of the properties we rent out do allow pets.

‘The Netherlands may be a pet-friendly country where many residents have one or more pets at home, however landlords take a slightly different view when it comes to letting their properties to tenants with pets. This mainly concerns dogs and cats. Other pets such as goldfish, hamsters, canaries and the like are not such an issue.'

‘In our relocation assignments, we often see that a perfectly suitable house for the internationals is turned down because of a "no pets allowed" rule. Especially if a property is tip-top in order, pets are often not allowed, while properties that are in lesser condition can be rented with pets. This can also be influenced by the property's surroundings. Landlords also don't want neighbours to be inconvenienced by dogs or cats.’

Animal Ambulance +31 (0)900 0245
Help with missing pet / pet pension etc +31 (0)900 444 0400