Having a Pet in the Netherlands

pets in the netherlands

You live in the Netherlands, and you have just adopted a furry baby. What do you do next?

This article provides the basics to have pets in the Netherlands, from taxation to do’s & dont’s. For dog parents, there are some additional laws and procedures that you must know about. For other pet parents such as cats, birds, rabbits, etc., no taxation or registration is required.

General Information for Pets in the Netherlands

In the Health & Welfare of Animals Act, the Dutch government establishes a set of rules for the treatment of animals. These rules exist in order to protect their health and wellbeing. For instance, animal cruelty is a crime. This includes physical abuse, maltreatment, neglect, or starvation of an animal. You may report any form of animal cruelty to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) or the police.

Pet Insurance

You have plenty of options for insurance for pets in the Netherlands. For example, some reimburse treatments, whereas others may also cover in case of a pet getting lost or stolen. Cooper Pet Care provides more extensive information on pet insurance. Check it out!

For Dogs

Here are some of the most important laws that all dog parents should be mindful of:

  1. Pet parents must pay the Dog Tax (hondenbelasting) annually. This is true for most cities, but not all of them. For example, Amstelveen abolished the Dog Tax in 2019. The more dogs you own, the higher amount of tax you have to pay. Check with your local municipality for more information.
  2. Dog parents must register their baby at the local town hall and the Municipal tax office within the first 14 days of arriving in the Netherlands or having a dog.
  3. You must keep your dog on a leash unless it is an off-leash area or most roads outside built-up areas. Fines apply.
  4. You must pick up poop after your dog (dog fouling) in off-leash areas.  
  5. No dogs allowed in:
    • children’s playgrounds
    • playgrounds
    • schoolyards
    • sports fields
    • theme parks
  6. Dogs are allowed on beaches but not during the summer months.
  7. Guide dogs for the visually impaired travel with no extra charges for all public transport.

Resources About Pets in the Netherlands

Find below a list of important links that you can bookmark for the relevant service you might need for your furry baby in the Netherlands:

Get your pet the protection they need, today

Pet Resource Center