Owning a Pet Dog or Cat in Holland

Find out what your responsibilities would be as a pet owner in the Netherlands

There is no licensing in the Netherlands however, all dogs are subject to a tax. Dog tax (Hondenbelasting) is charged annually and is calculated on the number of dogs in each household. The charge is set by the municipality and varies for the first and second dog and each subsequent animal.

It is the owner's responsibility to declare each dog to the municipality within 14 days of acquiring it. The owner will need to present their National Identification Number.

Cats do not need to be declared to the authorities and they are not taxed.

Docking of a dog's tail or ears has been banned since 2001 under Dutch law.

Dogs Lost and Found

Animal pound/refuge (dierenopvangcentrum/dierenasiel)

All vets, animal ambulances and animal refuges have a microchip reader. Take the found animal to any of these organisations and they will do what's required.

The Dutch Pet Database, Nederlandse Databank Gezelschapsdieren (NDG)

Europetnet operates a similar service throughout Europe. Pet owners need to register the animal's microchip number with the Europetnet database. This will allow for the missing animal to be traced from any member country in Europe.

Dangerous Dogs

Since 2008, pit bull terriers, pit bull cross breeds and Rottweilers are no longer banned in the Netherlands, however the animal's temperament will be tested and if found to be aggressive, it may be euthanased (as was previously the norm for pit bull-type dogs).