Animals Coming to Switzerland from Outside the EU

Find out how to import a pet to Switzerland from outside the European Union...

A person may bring up to five pet dogs, cats and ferrets to Switzerland if coming from a country outside of the EU.

The Swiss Veterinary Office has detailed information on bringing pets to Switzerland including an online tool which can help pet owners work out what applies to them. 

All imported dogs, cats and ferrets must be identified by tattoo (applied before 3 July 2011) or microchip (model isonorm ISO 11784 or annex A of ISO 11785; animals with other microchips must travel with a compatible chip scanner for use by the border vets). A veterinary certificate issued by the official veterinarian responsible in the country of origin is needed.

Imported dogs must be taken to the veterinarian within the first ten days of entering Switzerland.

Animals imported from countries at low risk for rabies:

  • Must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before being imported
  • Cats and dogs younger than three months old may be brought into the country only if accompanied by and dependant on their mother, or if they have a veterinary certificate showing that they have not been in contact with wild animals

Animals imported from countries at high risk for rabies:

  • Must be vaccinated against rabies
  • A blood sample must be taken from the animal, no earlier than 30 days after the vaccine was given, and tested for antibodies against rabies
  • This is followed by a further waiting period of three months, until entry is possible

Re-importing cats and dogs

When re-importing a dog, cat or ferret to Switzerland, it is sufficient that they travel with a Swiss Pet Passport. This provided that all import regulations are met and entered in this passport. Consult the pet's vet before leaving Switzerland.

Docked ears and tails

Switzerland does not permit the docking of ears or tails. A docked animal is allowed in only for short stays and must accompany the owner.

Importing Other Animals

Before importing or exporting any other animal it is important to contact the The Swiss Veterinary Office

  • Tel: +41 (0)31 58 463 30 33

Birds may be put into quarantine until it is established that there is no danger of parrot fever. Guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, canaries and certain aquarium fish may be imported without veterinary certification or other formalities (particular customs regulations are reserved).

All other animals require an import permit or their importation is prohibited.