When the first lockdowns confined people to their homes in 2020, many people went out and bought themselves a dog. In the second pandemic year of 2021, this trend seems to have continued, as German municipalities collected record revenues from dog taxes.
Dog tax revenue in Germany amounts to 401 million euros in 2021
Forced (or perhaps finally allowed) to work from home, and with fewer recreational opportunities taking them out of the house, many individuals and families in Germany have turned to pets during the coronavirus pandemic, to both as a source of entertainment and – in the case of dogs in particular – a reason to get out of the house.
The first year of the pandemic saw demand for puppies soar – overall 20% more dogs were purchased in 2020 than the year before, according to the German Canine Association – bringing with it revenue records for the tax offices, which collected 331 million euros in taxes on dogs.
In 2021, a year also characterized by confinement and working from home, this trend seems to have continued, with the Federal Statistical Office reporting this week that a new record has been set: municipalities have collected 401 million euros. tax on dogs in 2021. Back in 2011, the proceeds of the tax amounted to 275 million euros.
Dog Taxes Encourage People to Take Pet Ownership Seriously
The fact that owners have to pay taxes on their pets is something that often surprises expats in Germany. The Hundesteuer is designed to financially support local authorities – for example, cleaning the streets of dog waste and providing waste bins – while encouraging potential owners to consider a dog as a serious commitment.
For this reason, some municipalities charge higher taxes for people who own multiple dogs, while in other areas the rate depends on the breed of dog. Each district determines its own fee structure – and so increasing revenue from dog taxes is not an accurate indicator of increasing dog ownership.
There are fears that many people who adopted during lockdown may not be able to meet the requirements of caring for a dog now that employees are being encouraged to return to the office. Recently, the German Association for the Protection of Animals reported that rescue shelters were overwhelmed with handing over pets, by far the majority of them young dogs.