In Austria, dogs are a person’s best friend. They play an important role in Austrian society and they are well regulated. The variety of landscapes in Austria makes it a paradise for holidaymakers traveling with their dogs at any time of the year. To enjoy the companionship of your best friend to the fullest extent as a (future) dog owner, you need to know what rules to follow and which steps to take. All the essential information about dogs in Austria will be covered in this article.
Is Austria A Dog-Friendly Country?
Yes, Austria is a very dog-friendly country. Dogs are Austria’s most popular pets after cats. Austrians have a strong personal bond with their dogs. For most dog owners in Austria, their dog represents enrichment in their life. The majority of Austrians consider their dog even as their family member.
The emotional bond between Austrians and their best friends has become even stronger in recent years. The majority of Austrian dog owners agree with the following statement: “When the dog dies, it’s like the death of one family member”.
Austria places high importance on the well-being and respect of dogs, which is supported by many laws, such as the one that forbids shelters from killing dogs.
There are 827,000 dogs (2020) in Austria. The number of dogs has grown significantly faster than that of the residents in the past five years. Dog owners tend to live more in the east of Austria, in Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland. The most popular dog names in Austria are Luna or Balu. Recent trends are showing that Austrians prefer smaller dogs that weigh five and ten kilograms such as miniature schnauzers or terriers.
Dogs are usually prohibited in grocery stores. In many of them, there is a hook where you can tie your dog while you are shopping for groceries. Also, bakeries do not allow dogs as well as most governmental institutions. In addition, dogs are not allowed on public beaches and children’s playgrounds.
How To Bring Your Dog To Austria?
You will need the following to enter Austria with the dog from EU countries:
An EU pet passport
A microchip tag
A valid rabies vaccination (at least 21 days old)
Puppies younger than 12 weeks or between 12 and 16 weeks old that have received a rabies vaccination but have not yet met the 21 days are required to achieve vaccination protection. You will also need a statement from a veterinarian that is approved by the authorities confirming that the young animal was only kept at its birthplace so-called rabies clearance certificate, in addition to the pet passport and microchip. Entry is also permitted if the animal is accompanied by its mother (and meets all entry requirements).
Austria does not have stricter entry requirements for dogs than other EU countries.
As an alternative to the pet passport, a certificate and a vaccination certificate with the current rabies vaccination can be presented if the dog originates from a third country.
You can download a form of the certificate from, in addition, the animal must have undergone a serological rabies test. Here you can find all information about bringing a dog from a third country to Austria.
You should always check the Austrian authorities’ travel advice before planning to take your dog into Austria because additional restrictions may also come into effect at short notice for individual regions if the epidemiological situation requires.
What is the maximum number of dogs I can enter Austria with?
The maximum number of dogs you can bring is five. If you bring more dogs, the authorities will assume that you intend to use them for commercial purposes and in this case, the different rules apply.
Which breeds of dogs cannot be brought into Austria?
Austria does not prohibit the entry of any breed of dog.
In Austria with the dog: How the dog should be kept after entry
There is a general obligation to leash your dog in Austria. You always have to carry a leash and muzzle with you.
The municipalities can individually determine in which locations muzzle and leash are compulsory or not. You can get detailed information on the local leash obligation and the muzzle obligation from the responsible district administrative authority or the municipal office in Austria.
Buying A Dog In Austria
In Austria, there is a big market for dogs, especially for puppies. The origin of the young dogs should be carefully examined before purchase. Most buyers don’t realize that by buying illegal puppies for a low price, they are supporting the puppy dealers’ deadly system. Also, by buying a dog from illegal puppies you have a risk of paying a fine or that your puppy will be taken from you
Where To Buy A Dog In Austria?
There are three ways to purchase a legal and healthy dog in Austria:
1. With A Registered Breeder
A listing of breeders (Züchter) in your area can be found on the official Austrian dog breeders’ association website (ÖKV). Breeders who are members of the VDH are legally allowed to sell dogs.
2. From A Pet Shelter
There are many animal shelters (Tierschutzvereins and Tierheims) in Austria that rescue animals in need and they are always looking for new, caring owners for them.
3. Privately From Friends
Adopting a pet from a friend who has a pregnant dog is the easiest and cheapest option. Informing your colleagues and friends about your desire to get a dog is never a bad idea.
Selling dogs on the Internet is only allowed to registered breeders, dealers, and animal shelter operators! Also, large online platforms no longer display “obvious” private ads for animals.
In addition, there are pet shops, i.e. stores that sell dogs and other animals. Dogs and cats have been allowed to be sold in pet shops since 2008, but dogs shouldn’t be bought from them for the sake of animal welfare.
Where not to buy a dog in Austria?
We advise you to be very careful and diligent when looking for a dog on online platforms.
Only registered breeders, dealers, and animal shelter operators are allowed to offer them on the Internet.
There are a lot of insane offers on internet platforms where young puppies of certain breeds are offered well below the usual market price and especially expensive pedigree dogs are offered at such low prices. These are the most common red flags: no breeding license, too low or too high prices, and sketchy dog delivery practices.
Generally, these offers are dubious, as most of the animals are “bred” in neighboring countries, but also in Austria itself, under often cruel conditions. These animals often have forged breeding papers, they are illegally imported or have been taken away from their mother only after a few weeks, also they are sometimes under nurtured or sick.
How to evaluate offers and identify registered breeders in Austria?
If there are papers for the puppy, these are also registered with the breed association.
Serious breeders must meet specific criteria:
-The puppy’s mother is present.
-The breeder is offering only one or two breeds.
-The puppies must be at least 9 weeks old when they are handed in
-The offered puppies have to be examined by a veterinarian, chipped, vaccinated, and dewormed
-No cheap deals
If you are unsure, you should consult the Austrian breeding association before buying.
What Dogs Are Banned In Austria?
This is the general list of dog breeds that are considered dangerous and banned in Austria. The correct list differentiates from one Austrian federal state to another.
- Staffordshire Bullterrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Mastino Napoletano
- Mastin Espanol
- Fila Brasileiro
- Mastiff, Bullmastiff
- Tosa Inu
- Dogo Argentino (Argentinischer Mastiff)
Above is the current list of banned dog breeds in Vienna. These dog breeds are not allowed to be imported to Austria or held in Austria unless you have a specific license:
You can find here the lists for every single federal state.
Getting a license for these dangerous breeds of dogs involves bureaucracy and costs. To get a license you have to pass the exam which is in German.
What Are The Most Popular Dogs In Austria?
These are the most popular dog breeds in Austria:
- Labrador Retriever
- German shepherd
- French bulldog
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Golden Retriever
- Australian Shepherd
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Border Collie
- Bolonka Zwetna
Owning A Dog In Austria
Owning a dog in Austria means a lot of responsibility both personal and financial. Therefore, you should think about it before you decide to buy a dog. In general, it is allowed to have a dog in a flat in Austria.
Dog Rules In Austria
–Register Your Dog With The Local Authorities
In Vienna, you have to take a course about having a dog before your dog registration. This course costs 40 euros.
–Pay The Dog Tax
Dog tax in Austria is € 60 per year for the first dog, € 82 for the second dog, and € 109 for each additional dog.
–Liability insurance for dogs is a must in most Austrian federal states (Vienna, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, and Styria)
Dog owners in Vienna are required to purchase and maintain liability insurance for their dogs with an insured sum of at least 725,000 euros. This insurance aims to ensure coverage of potential personal injury and property damage caused by the dog.
-Your Dog Needs To Be Microchipped
–Pick Up The Dog Poo
The fine for not picking up the dog poo in Vienna is 50 euros.
–Mandatory Leash – Yes Or No?
Yes, the dog has to be kept on a leash or with a muzzle in all public places in Austria.
–In Vienna, dogs need a ticket for public transportation (ticket price is half of the regular price).
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Dog in Austria?
The average dog price in Austria is 800 euros. The price of more expensive pedigree dog breeds is around 1,500 euros or more.
If you decide to adopt a dog from the animal shelters (Tierschutzvereins and Tierheims) in Austria you are paying a fee, which is on average between 100 and 400 euros.
One-time costs for a dog (in addition to the purchase price) are on average 350 euros.
These one-time costs are including the following items:
-Dog basket, dog box, dog blanket
-Food bowl and water bowl
-Dog grooming equipment such as brush
-Toys for the dog
-Basic vaccinations / worming / dog chip.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Dog In Austria per month?
Total monthly costs for owning a dog in Austria are between 60 and 100 euros. These monthly costs are including the following:
-Dog food (40 euros – 80 euros per month). Dog’s food represents the majority of total costs.
-Veterinary costs (regular deworming and vaccination costs 150 euros)
-Dog grooming (around 100 euros per year)
-The dog tax and liability insurance (between 20 euros and 200 euros or more per year)
-Potential dog sitting (approx. 30 euros per day).