Bringing a pet to Spain

Bringing a pet to Spain

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There are certain Spanish rules for relocating pets to Spain, particularly proving they are healthy and are transported appropriately when travelling to Spain.

Pets 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.

Pet 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.

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

Restrictions
 
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.
Pet relocation to Spain
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

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?
  • How well established is the company? How is it rated?
 


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7 Comments To This Article

  • Davina posted:

    on 14th June 2016, 14:19:55 - Reply

    Hi Diana! Did you get a response from this post? I am also travelling with my pet from Malta to Spain and have the same question, thanks!

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Diana posted:

    on 8th June 2016, 16:21:27 - Reply

    Hi :) I am flying from Malta (UE) to Spain with my cat in 3 months. Just for holidays. Do you know the email contact of the government to confirm which forms I need to send? Thanks, Diana

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Gary1 posted:

    on 16th December 2015, 00:31:32 - Reply

    This hyperlink

    http://thespanishlife.com/bring-pets-spain/

    doesnt seem to be working
  • Dane posted:

    on 23rd June 2015, 20:03:38 - Reply

    I will be moving out to Spain in the next month and will be driving. I was wondering if someone would be able to help me with regards to taking my pet cornsnake?
  • Ann posted:

    on 15th April 2015, 13:31:29 - Reply

    I just recently wrote a post about what vaccinations your pet needs and how to bring your pet to Spain.

    Check it out!

    http://thespanishlife.com/bring-pets-spain/
  • paul posted:

    on 14th November 2014, 11:56:30 - Reply

    Here is an article my wife wrote about the legalities of taking your pets abroad hope it is of some use . http://goo.gl/ej1mti
  • Geraldine Daly posted:

    on 7th August 2013, 13:35:55 - Reply

    Good day
    Is this information still current. I thought there was an update to cover rabies now with just 3 yearly shots? I understood it was an attempt by EU to make regulations more consistent in Europe?