Your Dog

What to Know About Moving Your Dog to the Netherlands

If you’ve spent any time in the Netherlands then you might not be surprised to learn that Amsterdam, including the surrounding northwestern cities such as Haarlem, has been ranked in the top five most dog-friendly European cities. This is great news for expats looking to bring their beloved pup with them when they relocate. Before doing so, however, there are a few things you’ll want to do in order to ensure they can arrive safely with the rest of the family.

Registering Your Dog as Dutch

Before you can even think about all of the adventures you’re about to have with your dog in bustling Haarlem, you’ll need to register them as a Dutch doggy within fourteen days of arrival. All dogs must be registered at the local town hall and their owners must pay an annual dog tax which varies from area to area. And, finally, if your dog falls into one of the 20 breed categories that are deemed by the Dutch government as “unsafe,” then they will be required to attend a compulsory training course.

Getting a Pet Passport for Your Pooch

If you’re moving to the Netherlands from another country that’s in the EU, your dog will need to have its pet passport (dierenpaspoort). This pet passport will let officials know that your dog doesn’t have any major health issues and is up-to-date on their immunisations. Ask your vet about this type of passport as they’ll be the ones who will need to issue it to you. It’s important to keep in mind that, in the Netherlands, all pets must all be vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to arriving. If you’re coming from outside of the EU then they’ll need to be microchipped and have a similar immunisation record on hand upon arrival.

Learning the Local Rules

It’s important to be familiar with the local rules, especially the unspoken ones, regarding dog ownership once you’re all settled in Haarlem. Dog owners throughout the Netherlands are generally very respectful and always pick up after their dogs. Not doing so can come with a hefty fine. When registering your dog, try asking at the local town hall about where your dog can walk without a leash and where they’re allowed to use the restroom.

Settle In

Now that you’ve taken care of the nitty-gritty part of relocating your dog, it’s time to settle in and enjoy the local life. Seeing as Haarlem is a pretty pet-friendly place, enjoy exploring the city with your pup as you both become acclimated to your new expat life.

Jane Sandwood
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