Home alone — rules for dogs

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We all love our four-legged friends. They show us unconditional love when we get home and they are more than happy to give us a lick on the cheek when we are down. We go through great lengths to take them with us, even when we move halfway around the world. When you land in Germany, there are many privileges that accompany dog ownership. Bringing your dog to a beer garden on a nice sunny day is one of those great privileges (it really helps if “Fido” is trained). With great privilege comes great responsibility. Germany has clear rules within the German Animal Welfare Act regarding your dog with regard to quality of life, leaving them at home alone and many other topics.

Here is a quick reference list of some hot topics to refer to:

  • A dog should not stay alone without being walked for more than five hours (recommended dog walking time is at least one hour per day).
  • You are not allowed to chain up the dog within the apartment or keep it locked in a separate room.
  • Owners should not keep their dogs on balconies, in basement rooms and bathrooms when the owner leaves the house.
  • Dog owners must pick up excrement left from their dog during walks.
  • Dog owners must keep their dogs on a leash while walking them on public streets in housing areas. Violators may be punished with fines up to 5,000 euros.
  • Dog owners need to make sure that their pets don’t bark and whine during quiet hours: 1 to 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Outside these hours, dog owners must ensure that dog noises do not last longer than 10 consecutive minutes (or more than 30 minutes cumulatively per day).

There is an easy to understand English version of the German Animal Welfare Act put out by Michigan State University at https://www.animallaw.info/statute/germany-cruelty-german-animal-welfare-act