I will be traveling to Germany (from the USA) in a few months and hope to bring my dog, a 10 lb Chihuahua-mix. I would like to do this with a minimum of difficulty, so I am hoping to hear the experiences of others who have done this in order to avoid any pitfalls.

My understanding is that it is necessary to have the dog microchipped and then re-vaccinated against rabies, and have the vet sign a form giving the microchip number and details of the vaccination. (There is a handy FAQ from the German customs authority which gives the general picture.)

  • How long before travel do I need to have the rabies vaccine and microchip done?
  • Is the signature of my vet sufficiently "official"? Some other website mentioned getting an approval from the USDA.
  • Is a particular kind of microchip required or recommended? I know there are several different microchip systems.
  • Are there any other particular pitfalls to avoid? For instance, I assume I will have to avoid traveling via Ireland or the UK to get there.
  • Immigration and emigration questions are off-topic on this site; see Expat questions on Meta for more details.
    – Dori
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 1:07
  • 1
    I edited my question to make it on-topic. Please re-open?
    – nibot
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 20:29
  • 2
    We've had many visa-related questions that were considered on topic. Just because this is about immigration doesn't mean the same won't apply to, say, a traveller staying for 2 weeks who wants to bring his dog along. So IMO the question should be re-opened. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


The most useful single reference seems to be the "Pets: Cats, Dogs and Ferrets" page of the German Missions in the United States, followed by the USDA's page titled "Taking Your Pet to a Foreign Country".

In summary:

  1. The microchip must meet standard ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 for identification purposes. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies vaccination is done. The Bayer "ResQ" brand of microchips appears to meet the requirements (ref).
  2. The rabies vaccine must me done at least 21 days before travel (other sources say 30 days).
  3. The "rabies serological test" (section V on the veterinary certificate) is not required for animals coming from the U.S.
  4. The bilingual veterinary certificate must be endorsed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) within 4 months of travel.
  5. The airlines also have their own requirements. An "international health certificate" (APHIS form 7001) might be required(??). This must also be endorsed by APHIS. The form itself says it is valid for 30 days, but my vet says it must be done within 10 days of travel.

Pet relocation .com has a nice page with the german import rules.

The USDA's APHIS has a page titled "Taking Your Pet to a Foreign Country". It states, in part:

International health certificates for the export of animals from the United States are completed by the APHIS accredited veterinarian who certifies animal health status, conducts tests, and records test results for the individual animals being exported. Completed and signed international health certificates for the export of animals from the United States must be endorsed by a Veterinary Services area office in order to be valid. To obtain the USDA endorsement of an international health certificate or any other documents relating to traveling with your pet, the documents must be completed by an APHIS Accredited Veterinarian.

The APHIS Area Office for your state can assist you with your questions relating to traveling with your pet, help you locate an Accredited Veterinarian, and inform you of the fee(s) for the USDA endorsement(s). You should check with your current Veterinarian to determine if he/she is an APHIS Accredited Veterinarian.

The airlines have their own rules and fees:

Other useful references:

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