Important documents provided by the vet
Probably the most important and frequent certificate issued by a vet for small animals is the pet passport. Cats and ferrets need this for travel within the EU. For the pet passport to be issued, the animal must be identified with a microchip to avoid confusion. (Older animals sometimes still have tattoos but identification today is only by means of microchipping.) This is inserted under the skin with a special syringe. It can then be read with a scanner. Your pet is given a unique number that is noted in the passport. The pet passport also contains all the important details such as date of birth, breed, owner’s contact details, etc.
This passport also provides for various certificate options. These include attestation of valid rabies vaccination (likewise necessary for travelling) or treatment against certain parasites. The vet can also issue a general certificate of health.
Many pets that have never left Germany simply have “only” a vaccination card, in which all vaccinations are noted. This is an important document too and you should keep it safe.
If you want to take part in a show or other event (dog sports etc.), it is possible that the organiser will demand further documents regarding the animal’s health. Naturally, you can also obtain these from your vet. Start planning such activities in good time, just as you would for travelling. For instance, if valid rabies vaccination is required, this must have been done at least 21 days previously for a first vaccination. (For puppies under 3 months there are special rules – ask your vet.)
Anyone who wants to breed their dog or cat professionally needs a breeding soundness examination and correct documentation by a vet. Only then do the breed associations approve the animal for breeding. These certificates differ depending on the association and you should bring these with you to the breeding soundness examination. Certain hereditary diseases should be excluded so that the offspring will be as healthy as possible.
Some associations also want certification of the existence of an animal – that is, the vet should certify that the animal is alive. However, that is a very special case.
Of course it is unpleasant because other thoughts and feelings predominate in such situations but unfortunately bureaucracy does not stop even under such circumstances. An insurance company may require certain documents if your pet was, for instance, involved in an accident and you can claim for veterinary costs, or if your pet had to be put to sleep by the vet and you have to confirm this to the insurance company, you will need a “death certificate”.