Adopting a pet

Having a pet in Luxembourg: administrative formalities

Do you live in Luxembourg and want to adopt a dog or cat? Are you planning to move to Luxembourg soon and would like to take your favorite pet with you?

Owning a pet in Luxembourg is not as easy as it sounds.
There are a number of administrative formalities you need to complete if you adopt a pet, or simply because you own one. 

Owning a pet in Luxembourg: what do I need to know?

Renting accommodation and pets

In Luxembourg, apartment and house owners have every right to prohibit the keeping of pets, whether cats or dogs! This is usually specified in the lease contract. Even if this can be negotiated with the landlord, be sure to find out before hand if you have a pet!

Electronic chip and mandatory vaccinations for dogs and cats

When you own a dog or cat in Luxembourg, you are required to have it chipped by an approved veterinarian. Why should you do this? Because, in the event of loss or damage caused by the animal, this will enable the owner to be identified directly.

Your pet's electronic identification must be carried out within the first 4 months of birth or within the first month of adoption.

Pets must also be vaccinated. Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies. Once vaccinations are up to date, the animal can receive a European passport and travel within Europe.

Luxembourg Animal Protection Act

Adopting an animal is not to be taken lightly in Luxembourg. In fact, an animal protection law was drafted in 2018. Since then, animals are no longer considered as objects, but as living beings.

The protection of animals is regulated in Luxembourg. Abandonment or mistreatment of animals is severely punished. When an animal is adopted, its future dignity and respect will be verified, as well as its safety and well-being.

Questions to ask before adopting a pet in Luxembourg

Before welcoming an animal, it's important to ask yourself the right questions: 

  • What's your lifestyle like? Is it compatible with the presence of an animal in your home?
  • Are you often absent? Do you travel regularly (trips, business travel...)?
  • Who will look after your pet when you go on vacation?
  • How much living space can you offer? Will he have enough room? Will he be able to let off steam?
  • If necessary, who will train and educate your pet?
  • Who will feed and clean it? Who will wash his bowl, his litter, his cage? Who will take him for walks to let off steam?
  • How old is the animal? What is its average lifespan?
  • Have you thought about the costs involved (food, veterinary care, accessories...)?

Special formalities for dogs in Luxembourg

Registering your dog with your local authority

As soon as you acquire or repatriate a dog in Luxembourg, you must declare it to your local administration within one month of acquisition or importation. To do this, you need a veterinary certificate, issued by a Luxembourg veterinarian.

Please note that dogs classified as "dangerous" will have to undergo additional formalities.

Compulsory insurance for dogs

If you own a dog, you must also take out insurance with a company approved in the Grand Duchy. As the dog's owner, you must cover your civil liability in the event of damage or accident caused by your favorite animal.

In addition, an additional mention must be made when declaring the adoption of a dog likely to be dangerous.

For more information about pet insurance : 

Annual dog tax

An annual tax of at least 10 euros is payable to your local council. The amount depends on where you live. Guide dogs, assistance dogs for the disabled and army and customs dogs are not subject to this tax.

Obligation to keep your dog on a leash in built-up areas

All dogs, whatever their size, must be kept on a leash in built-up areas, unless a special dispensation has been granted to set up free zones. This obligation also applies to parking lots and public transport.

Outside built-up areas, there is no obligation to keep your dog on a leash, except for dangerous dogs. There is, however, an obligation to be able to control your animal or to keep it on a leash in the event of a problem.

Particularities of dangerous dogs in Luxembourg

In Luxembourg, special rules apply to owners of dogs considered likely to be dangerous. This applies in particular to Staffordshire bull terriers, Mastiffs, American Staffordshire terriers, Tosa, pitt-bulls and boerbulls.

These dogs require prior authorization from the French Ministry of Agriculture to be kept or imported. For this, you'll need to present a certificate of completion of specific training courses, issued by an approved organization.

Dogs considered likely to be dangerous must be kept on a leash at all times.

Specific regulations for cats

Just like dogs, cats need to be chipped. Veterinarians can perform this operation painlessly for your pet.

The regulations also specify that cats other than farm cats must be spayed or neutered. This operation takes place no earlier than 6 months after the animal's birth.

Please note that if you plan to leave your pet with a foster carer during your vacation, you'll be asked to provide a health record and proof of these operations (chip and spay or neuter your cat).

Where can I adopt a pet in Luxembourg?

Do you live in Luxembourg and want to adopt a pet? Would you like to do a good deed by adopting a dog or cat from a Luxembourg shelter?
Just Arrived suggests a few places where you can adopt a 4-legged friend.

Dudelange animal shelter

Located at Parc Le'h in Dudelange and open Monday to Saturday from 5.30 pm to 7 pm, the Dudelange Animal Shelter is a refuge for animals. It is run exclusively on a voluntary basis. It is also financed almost entirely by private donations. The motivated team of volunteer carers has been looking after the animals in its care since 1989.

Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds are available for immediate adoption.

All dogs and cats, male and female, are chipped, neutered or spayed, and vaccinated. Cats are also tested negative for feline leukemia and feline AIDS.

A fee is charged for adopting an animal to help finance the running of this animal shelter. Many animals are waiting to be adopted!

SEPA (Société Eschoise Protectrice des Animaux)

Located at 121 rue Bourgrund, Esch-sur-Alzette, SEPA is an association that has been in existence since 1992, doing its utmost to protect animals from abuse and poor living conditions. SEPA offers animals for adoption, as well as the possibility of taking them for walks, subject to prior booking.

The team is made up of employees and several volunteers. S.E.P.A. offers an extremely well-equipped shelter for abandoned cats and dogs. The association provides all the necessary care for the animals it takes in, until their new owners arrive.

SEPA is open every day from 2pm to 5pm, including weekends and public holidays.

Association SOS animaux abandonnés

Founded in 1983, the Association S.O.S. Animaux a.s.b.l. has been taking in abandoned cats since 2005 at the Refuge Lexy Nilles, 58, rue de l'Avenir, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg.

Dedicated exclusively to the feline cause, the volunteers who work here do their utmost to improve the quality of life of the animals they take in, in order to give them a better home.

With several successful adoptions to their credit, the association's members frequently update the list of cats available for adoption at their shelter.

Tours of the refuge are available by appointment.

Associations to take in a European dog

Several associations take in abused dogs from other European countries, such as Eastern Europe and Spain.

Before committing yourself, check that the animal is in good health and has all the necessary documents and authorizations to enter Luxembourg.

Find out more about administrative procedures in Luxembourg

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