Travel to Switzerland

Travel to Switzerland with your pets

Pets (dog, cat or ferret) are definitely welcome in Switzerland, but there are strict regulations depending on the rabies risk in the country you are travelling from.


Pets from the other EU member states, including Andorra, the Faeroes Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Switzerland may enter Switzerland through any border crossing, as long as they comply with the following requirements:

  1. Pet passport: The pet must have an EU pet passport and the passport must be issued by a licensed veterinarian.

  2. Rabies vaccination: All pets older than 3 months must have been vaccinated against rabies which is certified by a veterinarian in the pet passport.

  3. Microchip: The pet must have a microchip which is implanted on the same day or before the first rabies vaccination has taken place.



First, it is important to check whether the country the pet is coming from is a low or a high risk country regarding rabies. The regulations for importation are different for both categories. Countries that the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) of Switzerland deems low risk for rabies are:

Acension IslandBonaire, Sint Eustasius and SabaSait Kitts and NevisNew ZealandUnited States of America
United Arab EmiratesBelarusCayman IslandsFrench PolynesiaAmerican Samoa
ArgentinaCanadaSait LuciaSair Piere and MiquelonGuam, Northern Mariana Islands
AustraliaChileMontserratRussiaPuerto Rico and Virgin Islands
ArubaFijiMacedoniaSingaporeSaint Vincent and the Grenadine
Bosnia and HerzegovinaFalkland IslandsMauritiusSaint HelenaBritish Virgin Islands
BarbadosHong KongMalaysiaSint MaartenVanuatu
BahrainJamaicaMexicoTrinidad and TobagoWallis and Fortuna
BermudaJapanNew CaledoniaTaiwanMayotte


Traveling with a pet from a low risk third country to Switzerland is quite similar to traveling within the European Union. The pet needs to meet the following requirements:

  1. Microchip: The pet most have a microchip which is implanted on the same day or before the first rabies vaccination has taken place.

  2. Rabies Vaccination: The pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to arrival in Switzerland

  3. Veterinary Certificate: The pet must have a Veterinary Certificate issued by an official veterinarian from the country the animal is travelling from. The Veterinary Certificate can be found HERE

  4. Written declaration: The pet must be accompanied by a written declaration completed by the owner or an authorised person (see model in Part 3 of Annex IV to Regulation (EU) No 577/2013) regarding the non-commercial nature of the movement. This declaration can be found HERE.

If you enter Switzerland overland via the EU, the border veterinary inspection is carried out on entry into the EU. The competent national authorities charge a fee for this inspection. Entries from the EU into Switzerland are subject to random checks by customs to ensure compliance with entry regulations (no fee is charged for these checks).



Additional regulations apply to pets entering Switzerland from countries with a high risk of rabies. In addition to the requirements for traveling from a low risk rabies country like the microchip, rabies vaccination, veterinary certificate and written declaration, your pet will also need a:

5. Rabies antibody blood titer test: A rabies antibody level blood test must be carried out. A blood sample must be drawn from the pet at least 30 days after the date of the rabies vaccination and tested by an EU approved laboratory. EU approved laboratories can be found HERE. The results of the test must be at least 0,5 IE/ml. If the results are good, the pet will have to wait another 90 days before it can enter Switzerland. This period is for the possible presence of rabies despite the vaccination and positive blood test.

6. Permit: For entry into Switzerland from a country at risk of rabies by a direct air route via Basel, Geneva or Zurich airport, a permit must be requested from the FSVO. Applications must be submitted and the necessary documents received (certificate of identification by microchip or tattoo, rabies vaccination, titration of antibodies) no later than 3 weeks before the intended date of entry. The application form for the permit can be found HERE



It is forbidden to import dogs with docked ears or tails into Switzerland. Exceptions are made for short stays (e.g. holidays) in Switzerland. Customs decide whether the criteria for an exception are met. After being taken over the border, pets must not be sold or handed over to new owners. They must already be in the care of their current owner in the country of origin. (IETPO, Art. 1)

If the animals are handed over to new owners after crossing the border, the regulations governing commercial imports of animals apply.



Member States of the European Union have discretion whether or not they allow the introduction onto their territory of “young dogs, cats and ferrets”, i.e. dogs, cats and ferrets which are:

  • less than 12 weeks old and have not received an anti-rabies vaccination, or

  • between 12 or 16 weeks old and have received an anti-rabies vaccination but are not yet fully protected (i.e. do not met the validity requirements for the anti-rabies vaccination).

To find out if your young pet is allowed to travel to your country of destination within Europe, you can have a look on the website of the European Commission

If young pets are not allowed into your country of destination and you are travelling from a EU member state or a low risk third country, your pet will have to be 15 weeks of age upon entry. After the first rabies vaccination at 12 weeks, a period of 21 days needs to go by before the pet is allowed to enter. Young pets traveling from third countries with a high risk of rabies have to be at least 7 months upon entry (3 months before first rabies vaccination +1 month after that the rabies anti body test + 3 month waiting period).



The maximum number of pets you are allowed to import for non commercial purposes is five. If you and your pet(s) travel separately, your pet(s) are not allowed to arrive more than 5 days before or after your arrival.



Pets purchased abroad and imported into Switzerland are duty-free but are subject to 8.0% VAT on the value of the goods.



Most of the Swiss cantons have regulations about dogs, particularly in relation to looking after dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs (such as bull terriers, Dobermans and Rottweilers). Most of the cantons have drawn up a list of dogs that are considered dangerous or potentially dangerous. In some cantons the dangerous dogs are prohibited and in most other they need to be muzzled and always on leash. To find out the specific rules per canton, you can contact the cantonal veterinary offices.  



For more information, you can have a look on the website of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).