The requirements for keeping a pet determine the rules for having, keeping, breeding etc. pets (dogs, cats, rodents, birds, reptiles). The aim of the requirements is to make sure that all animals are kept in conditions that match their size, nature and distinctive features.


The Infectious Animal Disease Control Act prescribes that a pet living in Estonia must be vaccinated against rabies. Estonian Small Animal Veterinary Association recommends that dogs and cats also be vaccinated against other common diseases in addition to the minimum required by law. Many vaccines are available as a complex vaccine, i.e. one shot gives the animal immunity against several diseases.

It is important to know that also indoor pets are recommended to be vaccinated, as people inevitably bring pathogens inside from the streets or stairwells. If a dog-owner wishes to participate in shows or other events of the Estonian Kennel Union (EKU), the vaccination rules of the EKU apply (other mandatory vaccinations in addition to rabies). The rules for hunting dogs have been specified in the Hunting Act.

Information and registration of a pet in the Pet Register (LLR)

In addition to the general laws every pet-owner must observe the local government’s rules for keeping dogs and cats, which may vary somewhat in different local governments. Dog droppings must be cleaned up in all local governments, and most local governments require that dogs and cats be registered and micro-chipped (visit the local government’s website for more information). Local governments also capture and keep stray animals. When a pet dies, information on burials, cremation or removal of the body can be obtained from the local government.

Pets receive chips so that a lost animal would reach the owner quickly and the owner of the dog could be determined, if necessary. Just installing the chip is not enough – the pet’s chip number must also be entered into the Pet Register, where the chip number is matched with information on the pet owner. At present, it makes sense to enter a pet in several registers, given that the mandatory registers are maintained by local governments, while a dog who has run away might quickly reach another town or rural municipality. Pedigree dogs are also registered in the register of the Estonian Kennel Union.

According to the local government’s regulations on keeping dogs and cats, a pet owner is obliged to register their pet in the nationwide Pet Registry of local governments (LLR).

The owner of the pet can view the data of the registered pet and, if necessary, change or correct their contact data: phone number, e-mail address. The address of the owner is retrieved from the population register. A pet owner can also notify the register of the death of their pet and the cause thereof, if this was not done by the veterinarian.

Marking and registration of other pets is generally recommended. Information about microchipping and registration can be obtained from the local authority.

The owner of the pet can view and change or correct the data of the registered pet in the e-service of the Nation-wide pet registry (LLR). If you live in Tallinn, you can view and change or correct the data of the registered pet in the e-service of the City of Tallinn.

Protection of domestic animals

If you see an abused animal, you can turn to Veterinary and Food Board; they have the right to check how a pet is treated and kept. If necessary, the Board may give the owner an injunction or a fine or ask the court to revoke the right to keep a pet. In the event of suspected animal abuse, the Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals (ESPA) can also be consulted; although it is not a state institution, it advises those who need help and cooperates with the national system.

Travelling with a pet

General information on travelling with a pet and the requirements for bringing animals to Estonia are available on the website of the Veterinary and Food Board. Before embarking on a trip with a pet, check the requirements of all the countries to be visited, because each country sets its own requirements for animals entering the country. The main requirement with dogs is the presence of a microchip; many countries also require several months of quarantine or the performance of blood tests before allowing an animal into the country.

Last amended: 16-05-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: