'Welcome but expensive': Is it worth having a dog in Denmark?

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
'Welcome but expensive': Is it worth having a dog in Denmark?
A dog relaxes on a summer day in Denmark. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

We asked our readers in Denmark about being the owner of a dog in the Nordic country.


Many people own dogs in Denmark, but if you've moved to the country from abroad and are bringing your dog -- or if you want to get one after arriving -- things might be different from countries you've lived in previously.

We asked our readers in Denmark for their thoughts. Many thanks to all who took time to get in touch.

How would you describe dog culture in Denmark, and how does it differ in comparison to other countries you've experienced?

“It's weird: the Danes adore dogs in general, but at the same time it's like everything is designed to make having a dog difficult,” said one reader.

“Moving to Copenhagen from Prague (Czechia), Denmark is not a very dog friendly country in my opinion,” said Barbora, who has a two-year-old Hungarian vizsla.


What costs are involved in owning a dog? Is it particularly expensive in Denmark?

“Paying for the dog, registration, mandatory insurance, it’s expensive but worth it,” said Ray, who moved to Denmark in 2022 and got a dog the following year.

“From what I've heard, compared to India, it is 7-10 times more expensive (for a Labrador),” said Namit Karlekar, who got his first dog after moving to Denmark.

In general, owning a dog appears to be costly in Denmark relative to other countries.

“I brought my dog from abroad and was shocked at the prices for everything dog-related,” another reader said.

“Vet expenses are insanely high and so are dog health insurances. Petsitting is very difficult to arrange and again very pricey. Finding a flat to rent that allows dogs is also a challenge, and forces you more often than not to pick a place with a high rent in one of the company-owned buildings,” they explained.

This was backed up by Barbora, who said that “vet costs are extremely expensive in Copenhagen, you really need to have a dog insurance.”

“Other than that, dog food is also more expensive than in other countries, but still okay,” she added.

How do non-dog owners tend to react to dogs?

Danes generally welcome dogs, our readers found, although there can be some restrictive rules, notably in residential buildings.

READ ALSO: What are the rules for dog owners in Denmark?

“Dogs are a part of life” in Denmark, Ray said, with Namit stating that “people are either friendly, or indifferent.”

“People in general seem to love dogs,” a third reader said.

“Little kids often ask me if it's ok to pet my dog, which I think is great, because this means they've been taught that not all dogs welcome attention from strangers, and my experience regarding this in my home country was very different,” they explained.

Dogs can also be a great ice breaker in a country where chatting to strangers can be notoriously difficult, they also said.

“Having a dog helped me tie bonds in my new neighbourhood, because the other dog owners would talk to me and share tips with me,” they said.

Barbora noted that many apartment buildings “do not allow dogs, [the] same goes for cafes and restaurants.”


What is considered 'normal' for owning a dog in Denmark but might not be in other countries?

For this question, the standout answer was insurance.

“Pet insurances, especially health insurance. An absolute must. Three weeks after moving to Denmark my dog broke a couple of teeth on a toy, and I had no idea insurances were a thing. After being slapped with a 13,000 kroner bill, I quickly got wiser,” a respondent said.

Namit pointed out that “Getting a rabies injection is not mandatory in Denmark, as long as your dog stays in Denmark.”

Did you bring your dog with you when you moved to Denmark? What was the process like?

While this question did not apply in all of our responders’ cases those who did bring their dogs with them seemed reasonably satisfied.

“I brought my dog with me from another EU country and the process was smooth,” our anonymous reader said.

“There was some paperwork involved in Denmark though: compulsory liability insurance, then later health insurance, and it's also necessary to register your dog at the Dansk Hunderegister [Danish Dog Register, ed.]. Finding a new vet was very easy, and all vets we've seen were very nice and skilled,” they said.

Barbora said she “registered online and it was pretty easy and straightforward”.


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