Taking Pets To Spain all you need to know

Taking Pets To Spain

If you are thinking of Taking Pets To Spain they are welcome in Spain but there are strict Spanish regulations relating to bringing pets into the country. If you plan to take a pet to Spain, it’s important to check the latest regulations. Make sure that you have the correct papers, not only for Spain, but for all the countries you will pass through to reach Spain. Be aware that regulations differ depending on the country you are travelling from. Here is the general information you will need when you decide to move to Spain with your pet.

Taking Pets To Spain

immigration rules for Spain

Your pet must have an ISO pet microchip inserted, and be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at least 21 days prior to travel and not more than one year prior to travel. If your animal was vaccinated before it was fitted with a microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is inserted. If your pet’s microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you will have to bring your own microchip scanner.

A USDA (or CFIA) accredited veterinarian must then complete the bi-lingual Annex II for Spain** for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA if traveling from the United States or Canada. If traveling from another country, the Governing Authority should endorse the form for you.

                                                        “I am going to Spain”

Taking Pets To Spain



Why Do Animals Need Vaccinations?

Animals need vaccinations to help prevent dangerous diseases from killing them. Vaccines contain deactivated viruses/bacteria or parts of them, which make your pet’s immune system think that it is getting attacked by the real thing and so it learns to kill the real thing. The vaccines cannot give your pet the disease in question, but they prepare your pet’s immune system to fight off the disease if it does occur.

What Diseases Can Vaccinations Protect Against?

There are vaccines available to protect your pet against more than 20 different diseases. Depending on your life style and where you live, your pet might not need them all. Your veterinarian can recommend those that are needed. There are, what vets like to call, CORE and NON-CORE vaccines.


For Dogs: Vaccines for Parvo virus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella, Lyme Disease, Leishmaniosis and Leptospirosis.


For Cats: Vaccines for Panleukopenia (Cat Parvo), Calici virus, Herpes virus and Rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat’s lifestyle; these include Leukemia virus, Infectious Peritonitis (Corona virus), and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus).


The Core Vaccination according to Spanish Law:

  • Rabies: This is a fatal and highly contagious disease. Humans can catch it from wild animals and pets, so it is a legal requirement for ALL PETS to have an up-to-date Rabies vaccination. Depending on the country you live in, your pet will need to have a booster vaccine every year or every three years.
  • Here is Spain your pet needs to be vaccinated against Rabies EVERY YEAR.


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Unvaccinated pets (dogs and cats only) less than three months old may enter an EU country, but there are additional regulations that must be met. Certain aggressive breeds of dogs are prohibited from entry.

All other pets (birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals such as rodents and rabbits) are not subject to the regulations on the anti-rabies vaccination but may have to meet other requirements as to a limit on the number of animals and a certificate to accompany them with respect to other diseases. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the destination country.


Airline pet container requirements

The airline will normally insist that you acquire a special travelling container for the animal that is ventilated and allows the animal room to move and lie down. Label your pet’s kennel carefully and prominently so that it won’t get lost during the transit. Ensure that your pet has adequate food and water for the journey.

The rules regarding approved types of containers for cats, dogs, ferrets and birds flying in the cabin and as cargo were created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and for the most part have been accepted by the world’s airlines. You should read the IATA requirements before you travel with your pet abroad.

Pets in the cabin

On flights of less than ten hours, many airlines will allow small cats or dogs to be taken with the passenger in the cabin (except travel to the UK and Hong Kong). Generally, the airline will only allow one pet per passenger and a maximum of two pets per cabin. The container for the pet must fit under the seat in front of you and must have a waterproof bottom and adequate ventilation. The Sherpa, Bergan and SturdiBag pet carriers are all airline compliant as long as the carrier is the proper size for your pet.

If you are purchasing a container, make sure that it meets these minimum requirements:

  • The container must be large enough for the animal(s) to stand, turn around, and lie down.
  • The kennel must be made of a sturdy plastic.
  • The container must have a secure, spring loaded, all around locking system with the pins extending beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door.
  • Although this is not an IATA requirement, many airlines are now requiring steel crate hardware instead of plastic fasteners. We would recommend that you use this hardware on your pet’s crate to be sure there will be no problems.
  • Both water and food bowls must be attached to the inside of the front door and be refillable from the outside of the container without opening the door.
  • The container must have ventilation on all sides for international travel and three sides minimum for domestic travel.
  • The container must have LIVE ANIMAL stickers on the top and sides in letters at least one inch tall.
  • NO WHEELS. If the container has wheels, they should be removed or taped securely so that the kennel cannot roll.
  • The container must be identified with your pet’s name and owner’s contact information. The best way to do this is to attach your pet’s information to the outside of the crate.
  • Make sure to attach an extra copy of your pet’s health certificate to the container.

EU pet passports

European Union pet owners are now required to have pet passports when travelling with their animals. The passports, which are required before allowing an animal entry into an EU member state, are to include the pet’s microchip or tattoo number for identification, as well as other data such as records of all vaccinations and clinical examinations. When travelling, the pet owner must ensure that the rabies vaccination in the passport is valid or else renew the pet’s vaccination.

One aim of the European Pet Travel Scheme, which covers cats, dogs and even ferrets, rabbits and rodents, is to provide proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies, with the passport also setting out details of the pet’s tick and tapeworm treatment. The EU Pet Passport contains the following information:

  • Name and address of animal owner
  • Description of the animal (breed, sex, age, color)
  • Number of microchip
  • Date of the rabies vaccination, period of validity of the vaccination, type of vaccine, name of manufacturer and production number
  • Address and signature of the veterinarian
  • More expat news and tips here

Pet insurance

Another important issue is pet insurance. Pet insurance can cover much of the expense of unexpected vet bills in case of an injury or illness, so the things you need to consider when choosing pet insurance are of a major importance:

  • Does the policy cover all chronic, congenital and hereditary conditions?
  • Is there a time limit on treatment per condition?
  • Is there a dollar limit on treatment per condition?
  • Are there flexible coverage options to fit your budget and needs exactly?

Pets entering Spain from a country with a high incidence of rabies, must have a Blood Test one month after vaccination and three months prior to departure.

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  1. What about if you drive down and dogs are on the back seat with safety belts on is this acceptable? Or do they have to be caged in the car !


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