Moving with pets to Switzerland

Moving with pets to Switzerland can be not that easy as it seems to be, because Switzerland is not a member of EU. Pets, especially dogs are considered to be a man’s best friend. As a result, you need to put your pets into consideration when moving to a new location. If you intend to move to Switzerland with your pets, here are a few pointers you will need to know.

Firstly, if you will be flying, one of the crucial steps is to insure the pet prior to your move. Pets aged up to 8 years old can be insured, however older pets may pose a problem with insurers because when pets get older, there is a tendency to need more medical care. So, you will need to enquire directly from the company about a quote for your pets.

Secondly, if you are taking a pet abroad, be aware that, each country has its own regulations on the the importation of animals, as some countries may disallow particular animals from their country. In some countries like Australia, pets like dogs, cats and horses are allowed subject to quarantine controls. However pets like: guinea pigs, ferrets are not allowed, they can easily be purchased at pet shops in the country.


Pets in Switzerland, a dog at Helvetiaplatz in Zurich

A dog visits Helvetiaplatz in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo courtesy of Kris M. (Flickr).

In Switzerland, it is mandatory that all dogs have microchips which contains unique numbers and information that makes it easy to identify the dog and its owner. The dog must also be registered with the Animal Identity Service (ANIS) by a veterinarian upon arrival in Switzerland.

Equally important is the pet passport, which is a booklet that reveals important information regarding your pet such as proof of all vaccinations and all health examinations. the pet passport lasts the entire life of the pet. Pet passports are obtainable from the Swiss embassy.

When moving your pets to Switzerland, it is pertinent to apply for import permits.  Permits are needed for all mammals many birds and some fish. Animals including: guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, rodents, aquarium fish and reptiles, will require a certificate that says the animal is in good health. An import permit and veterinary certificate is required for  animals like: horses, parrots, turtles and ferrets.

Another essential item is an official International Pet Carrier which you can purchase online. The carrier or container ought to be sturdy with lock down features, in order to protect the animal from injuries and external hazards. You should be aware that not all airlines carry animals, so find out before booking your tickets if your airline carries animals, to prevent your animals travelling on a separate airline.

However, if you won’t be flying and you are taking the ferry or train. It is important to note that all animals except guide dogs are prohibited on the Eurostar. If you intend on using the Eurostar train to Switzerland, you cant bring your pets. Similarly, most ferry operators disallow foot passengers to bring dogs either except guide dogs.

As a result, there are lots of restrictions with relocating with pets via train and ferry. However you will need to enquire from ferry operators about the possibilities. For instance you can book the London-Switzerland train journey, adding a reserved kennel during the booking process.  Once in Switzerland, dogs of any size can travel for half the 2nd class fare on any Swiss train (for longer journeys there’s a Dog Day card), small dogs up to 30cm high at the shoulder can travel free if they are in a carrier, more information regarding animal transportation can be assessed on the Swiss railways website.

Check the prices of removals to Switzerland.

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