Written by Laura Baranik
People in the Czech Republic are well-known for their tolerance towards pets – particularly dogs, which can seem almost as commonplace as humans. According to some estimates, more people have dogs as pets in Prague than anywhere else in the world. Of course, there are still numerous formal and informal laws for pet ownership that any animal-lover moving to Prague should know about. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about owning pets in the Czech Republic.
What vaccinations/papers does my pet require?
If you are bringing your pet from another country, you will need to obtain a veterinary certificate, with confirmation of a rabies vaccination (within the past year) for pets more than 12 weeks old. Your pet must also be equipped with a microchip or tattooed number to aid in identification. For more information on shipping your pet to the Czech Republic, see Moving to Prague with Your Pet. You should make sure your pet is up to date on yearly rabies vaccinations during your time in Prague, and have a certificate as proof.
All dogs must be registered in your district within 15 days of ownership. Even if you have acquired your dog within the Czech Republic, dogs over six months old must be tattooed or microchipped according to EU law. The procedure can be done at a veterinarian´s office. After the marking is carried out, you must register yourself as the owner of the dog by filling out a registration card. We have made a translation of the card as a reference, but be sure to turn in the original. If you like, you can bring the Czech version of the card with you to the veterinarian and he or she can help you fill out certain parts in Czech (breed, special markings, etc.). The completed card should be sent to:
Magistrát hl. m. Prahy (Prague City Council)
Vyšehradská 57, Prague 2
You should receive confirmation of your registration by mail.
Where can I take my dog?
Dogs seem to be welcome almost anywhere, but there are some restrictions. Some public gardens (such as Františkánské záhrady near Můstek or the Prague Castle gardens) don´t allow dogs at all; neither do many museums, castles, and churches, and some shops. Exceptions can be made for dogs carried in bags, depending on the venue.
Otherwise, dogs can frequently be seen in restaurants and cafes, though they are usually tied up to wait for their owners outside of grocery stores. To travel on trams, buses, or the metro, pets must either be held in an enclosed space such as a bag or cage, or, in the case of dogs, kept on leashes and wearing muzzles. Bus or tram drivers have the option of refusing to allow a dog on board (if there isn´t enough space, etc.), but this occurrence is rare. If they are not being carried in a container, dogs require a 20 CZK, single-use ticket for all forms of public transport.
What are the rules for walking my dog?
Officially, dogs must be kept on a leash in all public places. The law isn´t strictly enforced, but it is not unheard-of to be fined for letting your dog run free. Many large parks such as Letná and Stromovka allow dogs to be off the leash.
Prague is notorious for the amount of dog excrement on its sidewalks. Recently, there has been a big push by municipal officials to help solve the problem; more neighborhoods now have supplies of special bags and waste bins for owners to clean up after their dogs, but progress is slow. Though punishment is rare, you can be fined 1000 CZK for failing to scoop the poop.
Where can I adopt a pet?
There are thousands of abandoned dogs and cats living in animal shelters in Prague – see our list of them here.
Where can I find a veterinarian in Prague?
See our list of English-speaking veterinarians here.
What are some pet stores in Prague?
The largest pet store chain is Pet Center (www.petcenter.cz), with thirteen stores in Prague, followed by Zoo Centrum (www.zoocentrum.cz). Both stores sell a range of fish, birds, rabbits, and other small animals, as well as various accessories. Smaller shops such as Zoo Bohous (www.zoobohous.cz) and Canino (www.canino.cz) don´t sell live animals, but have animal feed, litter boxes, vitamins, and other necessities.
What do I need to travel with my pet?
Your veterinarian can give you an EU pet passport; he or she will issue one automatically to your dog during tattooing/ microchipping. The pet must also be vaccinated against rabies and have passed the rabies serological test. Some countries will also require echinoccocus and tick treatments.