Moving with your pet to Spain
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A pet is a part of your family and so you'll want to bring it with you when moving to Spain. Before, you do so it is wise to check the latest rules, which vary depending on where you are coming from and the animal species. There is one set of rules for domestic dogs, cats and ferrets and a different set for other animals such as birds and rabbits. You can ask your transport carrier, search for information on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and ask questions on the Spain forum.

Conditions for bringing your pet to Spain

To be allowed into Spain, your pet should meet several requirements. For example, they must be older than 15 weeks, because of the minimum age of the administration of the rabies vaccination and the travel restriction following the jab. If your pet is coming from a country with a high incidence of rabies, it must be microchipped and then vaccinated. After a minimum of 30 days, a rabies titer test must be administered to check the effectiveness of the vaccine. 

 Important:

You can bring no more than five pets with you otherwise the rules for the commercial transport of animals apply. There are exceptions to these rules, such as when the animals are participating in shows and exhibitions.

Travelling with a pet from within the European Union

To travel to Spain with your pet, the following requirements must be adhered to:

  • A pet passport for the movement of pets, which includes the microchip or tattoo number for identification, date of rabies vaccination and other clinical information, the name and address of the owner and the address and signature of the vet. 
  • ISO pet microchip inserted or tattoo (if this was done before 03/07/2011 and provided it remains clearly readable).
  • Vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine valid at the time of travel. Note, your pet is not authorised to travel within 21 days following the rabies vaccination. Since the minimum age for vaccinating animals is 12 weeks, dogs, cats and ferrets can only travel to Spain at 15 weeks at the earliest.

Travelling with a pet from outside the EU

If you are coming from a non-EU country or a listed country that can operate under the same EU Pet Travel Scheme rules as EU member states, the following applies:

  • A valid health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. The health certificate should mention basic information about your pet such as its name, breed and age as well as your name, address and telephone number. Note that this document must be accompanied by a Spanish translation.
  • Your pet must also be fitted with an ISO pet microchip. If the microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant you can bring your own microchip scanner. Note that identification tattoos made before July 3rd, 2011 are also acceptable provided they are clearly visible. In this case, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies after being tattooed.
  • A rabies antibody test. Your pet will have to undergo a blood test to determine the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine, at least 30 days after the vaccination date and no less than three months before the date of travel. The test must be undertaken by an authorised vet at an approved laboratory. You will have to wait three months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you can travel.
  • If your pet moves from an EU country to a third country and then returns, this three-month period doesn't apply if the assessment is carried out with favourable results before the animal leaves the EU territory. This information will be collated in the animal's passport. 

 Warning:

Regulations regarding the movement of your pet may vary from one country to another. You are advised to check the latest information with the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country or the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Transporting other animals to Spain

If you are planning to import other animals from a rabies-controlled or rabies-free country, you will have to comply with specific regulations. For example, rodents, rabbits and reptiles must be examined by a licensed vet within five days of transport and show no signs of disease or external parasites. They must be accompanied by their owner who cannot bring in more than five animals. 

If you’re bringing a bird or birds to Spain, the following requirements must be met:

  • A health certificate for each bird and an owner's declaration.
  • You must enter the country at an improved border inspection point.
  • The birds must have been isolated for 30 days before transport or vaccinated against avian influenza or kept in quarantine in registered premises for 30 days.

 Warning:

Rare or endangered species are prohibited from being brought into the country as pets.

Top tips for travelling to Spain with your pet

Your pet must be transported in an appropriate cage both aboard your carrier and once you have reached Spain.

Acclimatise your pet to travelling long distances. For example, before you move to Spain, go on long drives with your animals. This can help reduce their stress levels during the relocation.

If you’re driving long distances in Spain, make frequent stops at pet-friendly areas.

In case of emergency, make a note of the phone number of your nearest licensed veterinarian.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - Animal health standards
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - Specific conditions for different species

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.