Having a pet is great but it also comes with plenty of responsibilities. Here you will find some information about the rules in place for keeping a dog while living in Maastricht.

Registering your pet

Bringing your dog or cat to the Netherlands

There are several rules you must adhere to when bringing your dog from abroad to the Netherlands.

Here are the steps you need to take to properly register your dog.

  1. Make sure your dog has received a rabies vaccination at least 21 days prior to arrival in the Netherlands.
  2. Register your home address as a non-commercial dog keeper. You will receive a unique company number (Uniek Bedrijfsnummer – UBN) which you need to complete the registration process.
  3. Take your dog to the veterinarian within 14 days of arrival in the Netherlands. The vet will register the dog on your UBN and can also microchip the dog and issue a pet passport.

There are some additional rules and documentation required for dogs brought from certain countries outside the EU. Please check these here prior to departure.

Bringing other animals to the Netherlands

If you are planning to bring a small rodent, rabbit, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish to the Netherlands, it must have a pet’s health certificate that has been signed by a veterinarian. This is the case if you are bringing the pet from an EU country. If you are bringing the pet from a non-EU country, you should first contact the NWVA (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit – link in Dutch) . They are able to provide you with information if bringing your pet is legal.

Getting a dog in the Netherlands

If you are getting a dog in the Netherlands, it must be registered and microchipped by the breeder. In addition, your dog must obtain an EU pet passport if it has been born or imported after November 1, 2021. It is forbidden to buy a dog without a chip, valid passport and registration.

Dog tax

After the dog is registered, you should inform the BsGW (Belastingsamenwerking Gemeenten en Waerschappen) and pay the dog tax. Only guide dogs, service dogs, dogs living in a shelter and dogs younger than 3 months that live with their mother do not have to pay the dog tax. The dog tax in Maastricht is 93.73€ per year for the first dog and it increases for subsequent dogs.

Always inform the BsGW if you get a new dog, move to another municipality or if your dog dies or is sold.

Walking your dog

Where can you walk your dog?

Walking your dog is an essential part of taking care of your pet. A leash must always be used in residential areas. Outside of residential areas a leash does not have to be used. This does not include public places or paved roads. There are designated areas in Maastricht where you can walk your dog without a leash. At the location a sign indicates the area. There are also several dog parks all over the city.

Where can you not walk your dog?

You are not allowed to walk your dog on children’s playgrounds, municipal cemeteries, and flower beds and in sandpits!

Caring for the environment

You must immediately collect your dog’s waste in residential areas and dispose of the bag into one of the dog waste bins which are available all over Maastricht. You should also always carry dog waste bags or other cleaning equipment with you. If the dog waste bins are full, you can report it via the MijnGemeente app or via the Maastricht Gemeente website.

In case you do not adhere to the rules, you may be fined.

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