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Expat Exchange - Moving to Spain with a Pet
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Zubizuri Bridge in Bilbao, Spain


Moving to Spain with a Pet

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Expat Estate
Expat Estate

Summary: Get ready to move to Spain with your pets. This guide provides key information on vaccinations, what you can bring to Spain, travel tips, and more, helping to avoid problems when you relocate with your pet.

Moving to Spain with a pet can be a smooth process with the right preparation. Spain is a pet-friendly country with many residents owning dogs, cats, and other animals. However, bringing a pet into Spain requires adherence to specific vaccination and paperwork requirements. While quarantine is not typically necessary for pets entering from most countries, it's essential to understand the regulations to ensure a hassle-free transition for your furry friend. In this article, we'll delve into the details of what you need to know about bringing your dog or cat to Spain, including prohibited pets, the process of entry, and what to do upon arrival.

Can I bring my dog to Spain?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Spain. To do so, your dog must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip and vaccinated against rabies. Dogs coming from outside the European Union must also have a veterinary certificate (also known as a pet passport) and a health certificate. It's important to check the latest regulations before travel, as rules can change and may vary depending on your country of origin.

Can I bring my cat to Spain?

Similar to dogs, cats are also welcome in Spain. Your cat will need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Cats from outside the EU will require a veterinary certificate and a health certificate. Ensure that all documentation is up to date and in line with Spain's entry requirements to avoid any issues at the border.

Pets that are Prohibited from Coming into Spain

Spain has restrictions on certain breeds of dogs that are considered dangerous and may require special permits or are outright banned. These breeds include Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa Inu, and Akita Inu. Additionally, exotic pets that are endangered or protected by CITES may be prohibited or require special permits. Always check the most current regulations before attempting to bring any pet into Spain.

How do I bring my pet to Spain?

To bring your pet to Spain, start by ensuring your pet is microchipped with an ISO-compliant chip. Next, vaccinate your pet against rabies and wait 21 days before traveling. Pets from outside the EU will need an EU health certificate completed by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel. If you're coming from a high-rabies country, a rabies titer test may be required. Make sure all documents are translated into Spanish and have the correct endorsements from the relevant authorities in your home country. No quarantine is necessary if all requirements are met.

Upon Arriving in Spain

After arriving in Spain, you may need to register your pet with the local municipality and obtain a pet license, depending on the region. Finding a veterinarian is straightforward, as there are many clinics across the country. Spaniards generally like dogs and cats, and you'll find dog parks and pet-friendly areas in most cities. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local pet etiquette and any leash laws or restrictions in public spaces. With these steps, you and your pet can enjoy all that Spain has to offer.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Zubizuri Bridge in Bilbao, Spain

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