As of 1 January 2007, all dogs must be marked in a unique and tamper-proof manner with a microchip and must be registered in the AMICUS database.

AMICUS is an independent database for dog owners that is operational throughout Switzerland.

AMICUS database

As of 1 January 2007, all dogs must be marked in a unique and tamper-proof manner with a microchip and must be registered in the AMICUS database, which replaced the ANIS database on 1 January 2016. For dog owners whose pets were already registered in the ANIS database, no action is required: ANIS data has been automatically transferred to the AMICUS database.

Dogs imported from abroad must be presented to a vet in Switzerland within 10 days of importation. The notification of these dogs for registration in the AMICUS database must then be completed by the vet within 10 days (with the foreign microchip or tattoo number). Any data already stored abroad is not automatically transmitted to Switzerland.

The regulations do not require the implantation of a microchip for dogs with a clearly legible tattoo, but tattooed dogs must also be registered in the national AMICUS database (notification done through vet).

Protection of animals

With regard to the manner in which dogs are treated and kept, the Animal Protection Ordinance of 23 April 2008 (AniPO) sets out the following specific provisions (cf. Article 22 and Articles 68 to 79):

  • dogs must have sufficient daily contact with humans and, as far as possible, with other dogs;
  • those kept in confined spaces should be able to exercise daily according to their needs and should be able to run around in the open air as much as possible;
  • those kept tethered must be able to move around in an area of at least 20 m2 and must not be tethered with a choke collar;
  • those kept outside must have water and shelter;
  • every dog owner must take the necessary preventive measures to ensure that the dog does not endanger humans and animals;
  • it is forbidden to treat dogs with excessive force, to fire shots in order to punish them and to use spike collars.

Cantonal regulations regarding dogs

Most Swiss cantons have specific regulations on dogs, particularly regarding vaccination and the keeping of dangerous or potentially dangerous breeds (e.g. bull terrier, Dobermann, Rottweiler, American Staffordshire terrier (Amstaff), American pit bull terrier). The majority of cantons have drawn up a list of breeds considered dangerous or potentially dangerous.

Staff of embassies and consular posts who own a dog are requested to contact the competent authority (Cantonal Veterinary Office) for information on the legislation applicable in their canton of residence.

Last update 26.01.2022

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