Top Tips On Caring For Pets
Social Pets In Pairs
If you’re planning on getting a pet in Switzerland there are a few points you need to be aware of. For example if you’re looking for a hamster, a rabbit, guinea pig, parakeet or gold fish (or any other pet which is deemed to be a “social animal”), you need to make sure that you get not just one, but a minimum of two.
The reason is that they are very social and would suffer if they are on their own. Ideally cats love to have outdoor access. However, if you’re getting a cat which won’t have access to the outdoors then it is recommended to have 2 indoor cats. Also cats need social interaction with other cats. For full details contact your local vet or check out the Federal Veterinary Office here for more details.
Check for Pet Requirements at your Gemeinde or Vet
The Swiss are big cat and dog owners and it is very advisable to have your cat or dog microchipped and in fact all dogs must be micro-chipped by the age of 3 months. In addition, there is an annual tax for dogs, and they need to be registered with your local Gemeinde. You do not always have to take a dog training course with your dog, but it is highly recommended. You can find more details here.
Bringing Your Pet With You From Abroad
If you are bringing your dog with you from abroad, you need to make sure that you have adhered to all the requirements such as the rabies vaccination. Please get in touch with your vet prior to leaving or entering Switzerland with a pet.
If you did not follow certain regulations, you might not be able to cross the border with your pet. Also you should check that any dog you’re planning on bringing in is not on Switzerland’s dangerous or banned dog breed list. Check with your Gemeinde to be certain which breeds are not accepted as it varies depending on where you live. However, the list may include the following breeds: Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, English Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier and Bandog.
Your Pet Needs A Passport
You will of course need a passport for your dog. This is necessary to get your dog into Switzerland in the first place, but if you plan taking your dog over the border it will also need a passport.
There can be penalties for not clearing up after your dog. However, there are plenty of green Robidog bins, for dog dirt (with plastic bags supplied) all across Switzerland.
Where to Find A Pet
One of the best places to find a pet is a pet rescue shelter and even sometimes your local vet. One of the most centrally located Pet Rescue Shelters in Zurich is this one located close to Zurich Zoo.
Address: Zürichbergstrasse 263, 8044 Zürich
Tel: +41 44 261 97 14
You may also want to contact your local vet to see if they know of any dogs or cats which need re-homing.
There are also a number of online pet rehousing services like Petfinder.ch.
Cars and Road Accidents
Finding An Injured Animal
If you find an injured domestic animal you should alert the police by dialling 117.
If you spot an injured wild animal please call the Gamekeeper or the police on 117.
If you find a smaller injured wild animal, such as hedgehogs, birds, or bats please contact first the nearest Animal Rescue Station, before taking it there.
If you are involved in an accident with a wild animal was injured, contact the police by dialing 117.
Hot Cars Kill Dogs
Make sure never to leave your pet in a car parked in the heat of the day with the windows shut. If you spot a dog suffering inside a hot car please alert the police who are able to deal with the situation.
In the case of suspected poisoning, please contact the Swiss Toxicological Information Center by dialling 145.
Pet Insurance is quite expensive in Switzerland and most people don’t find it justifies the cost, although do bear in mind pet care and medical operations in Switzerland are very expensive. Contact your insurance broker to find out more about insurance
Do check your local vet for advice and information and for regular check ups.
Tierspital Zürich (animal hospital Zurich), Winterthurerstr. 260, 8057 Zurich. It is important to call before going there – 044 635 81 11.
Animal Rescue Service
Animal Rescue Service (TierRettungsDienst)
Address: Lufingerstr. 1, 8185 Winkel,
Tel: 044 211 22 22
Swiss Toxicolgy Information Service
Schweizerische Toxikologisches Informationszentrum (Swiss toxicological information centre),
Emergency Tel: 145
If you’re looking for a portrait of your pets please email Carmen here.
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