Moving to Switzerland with Pets

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Curious about bringing dogs to Switzerland? Pet owners must follow particular rules and requirements set forth by Swiss authorities.

For import to nearly all European countries, including Switzerland, dogs must have an implanted microchip for easy identification. An up-to-date rabies vaccine is a must, and full vaccinations are also recommended.

Bringing pets to Switzerland requires that owners obtain an EU Health Certificate from an accredited vet within 10 days of your pet's arrival. Once you have that and a few other documents in hand, you can acquire the USDA endorsements needed.

To help pet transport to Switzerland go as smoothly as possible, ensure your dog is traveling with all original documentation, including a copy of your passport, a signed letter of transfer from your employer, and a copy of your Swiss visa or residency permit.

Make the process easy by relying on your PetRelocation Specialists, who can help you navigate the requirements.


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Relocation Info According to Species

Regulations for Importing Pets to Switzerland

Attention: This information is to be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities for your destination country.

Microchip

Each pet shall be identified by means of a microchip. No other form of identification is acceptable. The microchip used should comply with ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785. Switzerland currently accepts AVID 9 and AVID 10 in addition to ISO. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies vaccine is administered.

Rabies Vaccination and Certificate

All pets must have an original Rabies Certificate signed by the vet. The rabies vaccine must be at least 21 days old at the time of the final health exam.

Further details regarding the rabies vaccine:

  • Pets may travel with a current one year vaccine (also known as a “primary” vaccine).
  • Pets may travel with a 3 year vaccine that was administered less than a year ago (otherwise it may be considered a booster).

If you have questions about this, please ask your PetRelocation Specialist about possible exceptions.

Additional Vaccines

The following vaccines are recommended but not required.

Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP) and Bordetella.

Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP).

These should be valid at the time of import and administered no less than two weeks before export date for maximum effectiveness.

EU Health Certificate

This will be provided by your PetRelocation Specialist. This is the standard Health Certificate to be filled out by your accredited veterinarian and must be signed in a different color than that of the certificate's printing (usually blue ink). This certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue by the official veterinarian until the date of the checks at the EU point of entry.

For the purpose of further movements within the EU, this certificate will be valid for a total of four months from the date of issue or until the date of expiration of the rabies vaccination, whichever date is earlier.

Additional USDA Endorsements

The following documents must be sent to your local USDA for their stamp of approval. Please contact your PetRelocation Specialist to learn more about the best way to manage this.

  • Microchip Implantation Record
  • Rabies Certificate
  • EU Vet Health Certificate

Airline Health Certificate

Your vet should have these in stock. This is an international health certificate that needs to be completed by your vet within 10 days of departure.

The EU Five Day Rule

Pet owners must fly within five days of their pet in order for the move to be considered “non-commercial.” If you are unable to meet this Five Day Rule, the move can still be carried out but it will be considered a commercial move, which increases costs and changes the EU import requirements and timeline.

Please check with your PetRelocation Specialist if you have questions about the EU Five Day Rule and how to best manage your pet’s relocation.

Additional Details

All original documentation listed above must travel with the pets.

In order for us to successfully clear customs we will need the following documents supplied prior to the pet’s arrival:

  • Copy of pet owner's passport
  • A signed letter of transfer from your company on letterhead
  • A copy of your plane/e-ticket/boarding pass showing your arrival within five days of your pet
  • If this is a military move: move orders, APO address, rank and office
  • A letter stating you’ve owned your pet for at least six months and have no intent to sell the pet may may also be needed

Pet Travel Stories

“When moving day came, Bella was well taken care of and was well-loved by the transporter that brought her to our new home.”

— Angie

Dog Travel to Switzerland: A Goldendoodle’s Move Story

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