Dogs, cats and ferrets

Special regulations apply to travel with dogs, cats and ferrets because these pets can be affected by rabies. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent rabies being introduced to Switzerland. 


28 September 2018: World Rabies Day 

On the occasion of the global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention on 28 September 2018, it is important to remember that rabies is a deadly disease for both humans and animals. Pets such as dogs, cats and ferrets can contract it and pass it on to their owners. If left untreated, this disease is usually fatal. Switzerland is free from all types of rabies with the exception of bat rabies, which can occur sporadically.

Make sure you are well informed before travelling

Although Switzerland is currently free from rabies, there is still a risk for pets to contract rabies in several countries. For this reason, there are still strict controls when returning to Switzerland. Depending on the risk of rabies in the country visited, the rules applicable to the country of departure may differ from the requirements for returning to Switzerland. For the safety of their owners, animals may be seized if they do not fulfil the stipulated requirements.

Online support from the FSVO provides all the information you need to return to Switzerland with your pet without experiencing any inconvenience.


Hund und Katze sitzen im offenen Koffer

The information on these pages is intended solely for individuals with pets who do not intend to sell or give their animals to other people or institutions.

The necessary documents can be found under "More information".

Leaving Switzerland

Before they can travel, dogs, cats and ferrets need at least a pet passport, a microchip and a valid rabies vaccination. The exact requirements are determined by the country to which you are travelling. The conditions for re-entry must be met if you wish to return to Switzerland.  

(Re-)entering Switzerland

General provisions

  • A maximum of five animals can be brought into the country under the "pet regulations" (see: How is 'pet' defined?). If you bring more than five animals into the country, this counts as commercial import (see Import).
    Exception: You can apply to the FSVO for a licence if you wish to bring more than five dogs, cats or ferrets into Switzerland from a third country (i.e. a country that is not an EU Member State, as well as other European countries and territories with a recognized pet passport) on a temporary basis to take part in competitions or similar events (see "More information").
  • It is forbidden to bring dogs with docked ears and/or tails into the country (see "More information").
    The current protective measures always apply.

(Re-)entering from the EU

The following is a summary of the regulations that apply when entering Switzerland from the EU with dogs, cats or ferrets.

Entering from a third country

The regulations for entering Switzerland from a third country differ according to the rabies risk in the country you are coming from (cf. list of countries under "More information").

In all cases it is vital for animals first to be marked correctly, then to be vaccinated against rabies and to be accompanied by the documents required in the specific case. More extensive requirements apply if the animal is entering from a country in which there is a risk of rabies (blood test, longer waiting times, import licence, etc.). Before you travel outside the country with an animal from Switzerland, make sure that the conditions for re-entry are fulfilled. You are otherwise likely to be refused entry at the border. The information we provide online under “Crossing the border with dogs, cats or ferrets” lists all the entry requirements and the necessary documents. Please refer to this information in all cases.

More Information

In detail

Swiss pet passports – Information for vets:

In Switzerland, pet passports may only be issued by vets who have a cantonal professional licence or by colleagues employed in such vets’ practices. Before placing your first order, you will have to register once with the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics by submitting an application form. 

Last modification 28.09.2018

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