Rules and Etiquette
German’s love their pets, especially their dogs, which are welcome almost everywhere – parks, public transport, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, you name it. The only places that they may not be welcome are children’s playgrounds, cemeteries and places that sell food (supermarket, for example). Ususally there will be a sign displayed at the entrance of the store if this is the case. This sign will read “Wir muessen leider draussen warten”, this translates to “Unfortunately, we have to wait outside”.
Dogs are allowed on all forms of public transport, but you will need to purchase a ticket for their travel.
While by law you are required to keep your dog on a leash and/or clean up after it – there is a very lax attitude in Berlin towards these rules. In Berlin the issue of cleaning up after your dog varies between the east and the west. While technically you will be fined for not doing so, this is not enforced in the east.
If you have a dog in Berlin, you will need to pay the dog tax (hundesteuer) within your first month of residency and renew it every 12 months. This will cost you €120 at the nearest tax office (Finanzamt). The process is very simple, just fill in a form and pay your tax. For each additional dog, you will need to pay €180. Once you have paid you will receive a tag which is to be worn on your dog’s collar at all times. Following the first payment, future payments will be notified by mail. If you own a cat, you don’t have to do anything.
Visit: http://www.berlin.de to find your nearest tax office (only in German).
Something a little more obscure when it comes to having a dog in Berlin, is that you are required to have liability insurance cover for any damage or incident that the dog may cause. You can expect to pay between €30 – €40 per month. Check out these insurance companies for coverage:
Berliner Katzenpension is a Cat Kennel attached to a veterinary practice in Wilmersdorf. Given its affiliation with the veterinary practice, there is usually someone who will speak English to help you. http://www.berliner-katzenpension.de/Pension.htm
Pfötchenhotel Resort is more like a 5 star resort holiday for your pet, located in Potsdam. Given the size and nature of the business, there is usually someone on hand who can talk English. To find out more, visit http://www.pfoetchenhotel.de
There are a couple of English speaking forums to help you find someone to watch your pet while you are away. These are as follows:
- Toytown Germany http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showforum=84
- Craigslist http://berlin.en.craigslist.org/
- Exberliner http://www.exberliner.com/
Fressnapf is a large chain where you can find all your pet’s needs. There are over 20 stores throughout Berlin and the website also offers online shopping (German Only). English speaking staff will vary from store to store. http://www.fressnapf.de
Hundeparadies offers a grooming salon for dogs in Tiergarten while also catering for English speaking owners. http://www.hundeparadies-online.de (German Only)
Snobby Dogs is a grooming palour for dogs, located in Charlottenburg. Services also cater for an English speaking clientele. Tel: 030 3393 5447 http://www.snobbydogs.de (German Only)
Dogs in Berlin offers an officially certified dog trainer service, also available in English. http://www.dogs-in-berlin.com