Having a dog in Munich
As many of you already know by now, I have a dog, but he is not an ordinary dog. Enzzo, my Golden Retriever, has travelled to over 10 countries with me. He was born in Brazil, and when I moved to Switzerland in 2011 he came along. In 2012 I moved to Munich, and of course, he came too. The whole story you can read here.
When we moved to Munich, I was not the only one who needed to get used to the new life, rules and habits of the new country. We both learned and discovered new things with time, but that did not happen from one day to the other. Today, we are pretty much used to our Munich life and I can only say that we both are very happy living here.
Throughout the past years I discovered many things about having a dog in Munich. For those of you curious to know how it is like, or for those of you who are thinking about having a dog here, I put together some important information to give you an idea or even to help you out.
Chip and Passport
It doesn’t matter whether you are getting a dog that is already here or if you intend to import one to Germany, it is necessary to get him/her micro chipped. This chip is very tiny and doesn’t hurt your friend; it contains a serial number unique to your him. The use of this microchip is to register important information such as the owner’s name and contact; in case your dog gets lost, any vet is able to read the microchip with a machine and locate you.
Once your dog is micro chipped, you can get him a passport, which contains everything about him, including his vaccines. If you are importing your dog you will need a passport from the country of origin, then once you get to Germany you will need to look for a vet in Munich and register your friend again, in order to receive a German passport.
The passport is very important if you plan to travel with your dog outside Germany. In case there is control in any border, his vaccines will need to be up to date on the passport.
Searching for a place to live
Searching for an apartment in Munich is very tricky, especially if you have a dog. It took me around 3 months to find a place in Munich, and it was not that long compared to other people. The thing is that most landlords do not accept pets, and if they do, they will probably give priority to other people who don’t own a pet.
When searching for a place online here in Munich, you have the option of ticking a box that says Haustiere Erlaubt, which means pets allowed. Probably half of the offers will disappear then. Don’t give up on your search; I am sure you will find just the right place for you, we did!
Don’t forget the taxes
Having a dog in Munich means you need to pay an annual fee for him/her. The amount is charged each January, and it costs 100 Euro per dog. Once you registered your dog and paid the fee – it can all be made online – you will receive per mail within a few days a little tag with a number, which should be on your dog’s collar at all times
Don’t even think of cheating, once in a while someone will stop you during your walk and ask for your dog’s tag number, just to check if you have paid your taxes recently. It happened to me once, luckily I just had got the tag.
The color and size of the tags vary, Enzzo’s looks like this:
There are a few cases which are exempt from taxes: working dogs – still need to be registered – and an interesting one: you can be exempt from paying 1 year of tax if you take a course to get a Hundeführeschein – dog license. Do get this license you need to attend theoretical classes and to write an exam! The idea of this course is very interesting, not because you save 100 Euros, but for the fact that you learn your duties and rights as a dog owner in Munich. I am seriously thinking about taking this course sometime.
Clean up the mess
If you already live in Munich, you might already know that. If not, please don’t forget to clean up you dog’s mess on the street. If there is something that people here always complain about, is when they see you leaving your friend’s mess behind. I know that for many of you this is obvious, but for many other people it is not. In some other countries this practice is just not common.
It doesn’t matter where Enzzo and I go, I always carry plastic bags with me. In any pet store and even at supermarkets you can find them at a very cheap price. It is also very practical to have a little bag dispenser like this one I use, and attach it to the line so you don’t forget the bags when you leave the house:
In some parks of Munich you also find free bags in a dispenser like this (I promise I am not advertising the vet below):
With time it becomes a habit, and you end up noticing that you already know where the next trash can is.
I have often see ambulance for pets around Munich and always wondered how it works, as I still haven’t used this service. After a little research I found out that some of them not only helps your pet in case of an emergency, but also are available in certain locations, dates and times for vaccination and any other help your friend might need. Here is an example of one I often see around my house:
In the public transportation
Dogs are allowed in any public transportation of the city (tram, subway, bus, trains), and you don’t have to buy an extra ticket for your dog to ride along, your ticket already allows you to take one pet. In case you are alone and need to ride with 2 dogs, then you pay for the second one the equivalent for one child.
There is not a specific place where your dog should be when taking the public transportation. You know your dog, so keep him where he feels more confortable, unless it is on the seat.
Watch out for the signs
There are a few places where your dog isn’t allowed to enter or use as bathroom. Supermarkets, some pharmacies, hospitals and kids playground do not welcome dogs. At the same time, you will also find signs saying that your dog isn’t allowed to do number 1 and 2, they are mostly private buildings:
So, watch out where you are going or entering, your dog won’t know where he is allowed or not, this is your responsibility.
On the leash
Normally your dog can walk without the leash. However, big dogs like Golden Retrievers, should be on the leash in certain places such as (more details):
- near kids playground
- where there is an intense traffic of cars
- in the public transportation, also when at the stations
- in festivals or markets, such as Christmas Markets
- at the old town
- in pedestrians zones
Pet friendly places
There are many places that not only accept your dog, but also offer some extra care for him. In the few places – mostly supermarkets – where pets are not allowed inside, on the outside you will find a little place like this so he can wait for you:
The majority of restaurants and cafes will offer at least a bowl with water and sometimes, even treats. It is also possible to take your dog shopping; malls and stores do not prohibit pets.
Munich is no doubt a very pet friendly city. When walking with Enzzo people are always smiling at us, some of them already know me because of him. The funny thing is that sometimes when I am not with him, some of them don’t recognize me.
So far Enzzo has played in the city’s parks, swam in the lakes, went to restaurants, cafes and even a bar, took the tram, metro, bus and trains, walked around the center city, entered the nearby pharmacy and even got a treat, got hugged by a kid and often waits for me like a gentleman outside the supermarket!