How To Keep A Dog In Geneva

by | Jan 25, 2020 | Geneva

Dogs are the animals who gives absolute love to a human. However, sometimes keeping a dog as a close friend is not an easy thing. Because of bueraucracy and money. We had a talk with residents of Geneva and expats on how they manage dog taxes, insurance and tests.

Photo: Maria Talanova / suissepic

Importing A Dog To Switzerland

Hannah Gill:

“I have a medium Goldendoodle. I imported him from France when he was 8 weeks. First of all, I checked Swiss rules on animal imports at the official website.

To import a dog I paid a tax CHF 102.-. My dog was vaccinated. A recommended vaccine is Rabies. It costs CHF 60.-. A dog should be registered at Armicus (CHF 50.-). It also should be registered at local vets. Insurance is recommended. Dogs also need a passport to travel across the border”.

Photo: Hannah Gill

A dog should be microchipped. However, Swiss regulations do not require a microchip to be implanted in the case of any dog bearing a perfectly legible tattoo. 

Tony Figureoa:

“I brought my dog from Mexico. The procedure was not that complicated. However, if to compare with Mexico, where we had no rules and it was quite difficult. When I arrived to Geneva I registered him at the Police and at the Vet (you can go to any vet).

I payed 10 CHF to be logged into the Police system and ~45 CHF for the Vet system (though I feel the Vet charge may change depending on the Vet). Also a civil responsibility insurance is necessary for a dog. I pay 70 CHF a year and that includes home and dog”.

AMICUS database (fr) provides an independent database for pet animals, operating throughout Switzerland.

Photo: @mateo_thegreat

Dezita Baixinha:

“I bought my dog from Portugal. I registered here his passport and mandatory vaccines. I also went to the police to register myself as an animal owner. Then, I took my dog and registered him there. After, I went to local police and took for him a medal for CHF 10.-

Note: You can not import dogs with cut ears and cut tails. You can but the process apparently quite difficult. You also need to pay attention to the list of the forbidden breeds”.

Pitbulls and their relatives are prohibited in Switzerland as well as their cross-breds up to 10%.

Photo: Dezita Baixinha

Dog Tax And Insurance

According to the Swiss law in the canton of Geneva all dogs must be insured. The relevant insurance is known as a civil liability insurance for dog owners and must be taken out with a private insurance company.

Geneva’s expats told us that they use different types of insurance to cover dog’s injures and to cover vet visits. The prices may differ.

Tony Figureoa:

“I pay 70 CHF a year for a 52 kg Great Dane”.

Ruth Milne:

“I pay almost CHF 400.-  for my dog insurance and they reimburse only very few things”

To have a dog residents and expats of Geneva have to pay a tax. It includes cantonal and communal tax which are CHF 50.-, and CHF 100.- for the first dog. Groups of people are subject to pay a dog tax can be found here.

However, the destiny of dog tax is under discussion. In February Genevans are going to vote for this tax abolition. 

Walking With A Dog in Geneva

The Swiss love dogs. And this is fixed in the law.

According to the official website, dogs must have a sufficient contact with a human and other dogs. Those animal who are kept in closed areas should be able to walk and romp in the open air. We asked about the most popular areas to perform a walking with a dog. Among the there are Parc des Bastions, Plaine de Planpalais, Parc Bertrand, Parc La Grange. And yes, dogs living in Switzerland like to hike as well as their owners. So all the hiking areas close to Geneva count.

Read also: Hiking around Geneva 

Tony Figueroa:

“With my 3-year old Great Dane I walk all over Geneva and try to go to as many off-leash parks as possible. His favorite is La Grange but we live on the right-bank so we also visit many here. We also hike a lot both close to Geneva and in the Alps. Regarding his necessities, I always pick up after him and have never had anyone mention anything about where he does his necessities so I don’t feel particularly careful in addition to simply picking up after him”.

Ruth told us that not all Genevas, however are careful about dogs poos.

Ruth Milne:

 “I always pick up his poo. There is a fine anyway but I hate if I step in poo myself. There are lots of places to find doggy bags to pick up and bins to place them in. No excuse! However, I find Geneva pretty bad for people picking up after their dog”.

Last but not least each year, around 13,000 people in Switzerland are bitten by a dog and need medical treatment. So according to the Swiss law, dogs over 25kg have to pass the TMC test.

Dezita Baixinha:

“You take your dog in front of a judge do some exercises like sit, lay down, come back. To show your dogs obedience and that doesn’t represent a danger”