Our guide to keeping a pet in the Netherlands, including pet registration, vets, emergency help clinics and what to do if your pet gets lost in the Netherlands.
If you plan to have a pet in the Netherlands, there are several Dutch regulations for animals you will need to adhere to, such as dog registration and tax. This guide also covers essentials, including vets, emergency help clinics and where to call should your pet get lost in the Netherlands.
Pet regulation in the Netherlands
In 2017 the Dutch government announced an official list of ‘dangerous or high-risk dogs’, which as of 2018 will mandate that owners of 20 particular breeds and all pitbull crossbreeds will have to attend a compulsory course. In an aim to reduce dog attacks in the Netherlands, further measures include expanding the list, giving councils power to ban other breeds, and a helpline to report attacks, dangerous dogs or owners who are not dealing with their dog properly. The dogs on the list include rottweilers, caucasian shepherds, several varieties of pitbull and bull terrier, bull mastiffs and the akita. Here is the list. The government may also consider a ban on import and breeding in future.
Additionally, as of July 2017, the Netherlands will only allow animals to be kept as pets if they are listed on their ‘positive’ list.
Dogs must be registered at the local town hall (gemeente) and an annual tax paid to the tax office (Belastingdienst).
Dog taxes (hondenbelasting) vary from area to area and additional charges will be added for each additional dog. Here is a list of the places in the Netherlands where dog tax is highest www.cijfernieuws.nl.
For instance, The Hague ranks in third place with the first dog cositng EUR 111.96 and the second EUR 287.40. Proof of registration comes in the form of a small metal tag added to the dog’s collar.
Check with your local town or district hall to find out where your dog is free to walk without a leash and where it is allowed to relieve itself (uitlaatgebied), as doing so in an undesignated area brings a heavy fine.
The dog droppings must be cleaned up by you and put in marked containers in parks or in a closed sack in the appropriately marked bin located in most neighbourhoods.
Frequently these bins are green with the sign depot dog and an unmistakable picture!
Cats do not require registration or tax, nor do other pets. Lost/found animals are usually taken to the local pound (listed in the phone book under dierenasiel or dierenopvangcentrum).
If you plan on leaving your dog/cat at a kennel while you’re away on vacation, you will need to update the pet passport with a vet (dierenarts) stating that all its immunisations are up-to-date.
A “doggie motel” in the Netherlands is called a dierenhotel or dierenpension. As in most countries, not all such facilities have a great reputation, so ask around, or speak to your veterinarian.
Veterinary services in the Netherlands
The Dutch are great pet lovers and most suburban and urban areas have good veterinary services available. Look in your local phone book under veterinarian (dierenarts) or veterinarian practice (dierenartspraktijk).
If there is not an emergency veterinarian (Dieren Spoedkliniek) or a 24-hour service listed below, either call the Animal Ambulance (Dierenambulance, listed on page 2) in your area or your local veterinarian office. Both will list an emergency number for help outside of office hours.
Spoedkliniek (night and weekend emergency clinic)(Not a drop in clinic, call first) 020 694 4766)
De Toevlucht Stichting Vogelhospitaal (Bird Hospital), Bijlmerweide 1, 1103 RR Amsterdam Zuidoost. Tel: 020 600 1144.
Spoedkliniek (emergency clinic), Het Zicht 61-63, 2543AK Den Haag. Tel: 070 366 0701.
Kralingseweg,Kralingseweg 343, Rotterdam. Tel. 010 450 2916
Dierenziekenhuis (animal hospital), Pascalweg 4, 3076JP Rotterdam. Tel: 010 492 5151.
Dierenartsen Dienstgroep Domstad, Zamenhofdreef 60, 3562JZ Utrecht, Tel. 0900 33377633
Dierenkliniek Hoograven, Detmoldstraat 10, 3523GD Utrecht, Tel. 030 288 6469, www.dierenkliniekhoograven.nl
There is a good network of vets and animal hospitals in the Netherlands.
Pet lost/found or adoption
If your pet has gone astray, call your local pound or one of the main numbers below. If the animal has an electronic chip you can also report the loss to the national chip database at http://www.chipdatabase.nl.
Dierenkwijtlijn (Lost Pet Line), 020 470 5000 (recorded menu–choose 1 to report a pet missing)
Bosch en Duin, Dierenkliniek, Tolhuislaan 2, 3735 KG Bosch en Duin. Tel: 030 228 3810
Dierenkliniek Dikkertedap, Orpheusln 29, 5631 BR Eindhoven, 040 243 2455
Diergeneeskundig Centrum Paterswoldseweg en Hoogkerk, Paterswoldseweg 306, 9727 BW Groningen. Tel: 050 525 2697
Dierenkliniek Meerwijk, Stresemaanlaan 19, 2037 TA Haarlem. Tel: 023 533 3363
Haags Dierencentrum, 070 366 1806 (recorded menu choice — 1) www.haagsdierencentrum.nl
Dierenkliniek Oranjeplein 14, 6224 KD Maastricht, 043 363 1818
Dierenopvangcentrum, 010 437 4211
Amivedi Dieren Opsporingsdienst (animal tracing service). Tel: 030 251 3372
Amivedi Nederland (animal tracing service). Central information line open 9am to 9pm 0900 2648334
Animal Ambulance Services (Dierenambulance)
Amsterdam 020 626 2121
The Hague 070 328 2828/ 070 366 0909
Hilversum 035 683 0300
Leiden 071 517 4141
Maastricht/Zuid-West Limburg 09004433224
Rotterdam Dar Dierenambulance 010 415 5666/Dierenambulance Reo 010 476 8750
Utrecht 030 273 1600 06 (or 0654772700)
Wassenaar 070 511 7772