Everything You Need to Know About Bringing Your Pets When You Move to Spain

If you’re thinking of moving to Spain then you’re sure to want to bring your whole family with you: and that includes your four-legged companions too. But since Brexit (when Britain officially left the EU) the rules regarding travelling to Spain with your pets have changed for individuals coming from the UK; in fact, many things have changed for those Britons living in Spain after Brexit! To make the process as smooth as possible, here’s everything you need to know about bringing your pets with you when you move to Spain:

Understanding the Immigration Rules

The good news is, it is still possible to bring your pets with you when you move to Spain; you just have to ensure your pet has the right paperwork to meet Spanish immigration rules. Your pet will need to:

  • Have an ISO pet microchip inserted and registered
  • Be vaccinated against rabies and other transmittable diseases between one year and 21 days before they travel
  • If your pet’s microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you will have to bring your own microchip scanner, at your own expense.
  • Your microchip must be in place before the vaccination process, otherwise the vaccinations will have to be repeated once the microchip is in place.

 If you’re traveling from the United States or Canada, a USDA (or CFIA) accredited veterinarian must complete the bi-lingual Annex II for Spain for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA. If you’re traveling from another country, such as the UK, a relevant authority from your home country will need to endorse the form for you.

If you’re travelling from a country that is considered to have a high incidence of rabies, the Spanish authorities may request that your pet have a Blood Titer Test one month after they are vaccinated and three months before they arrive in Spain.

 Dogs, Cats, and Even Rats

 People keep all manner of weird and wonderful animals as pets, and the rules from bringing them into Spain differ slightly, depending on the pet you have. The details outlined above are for cats and dogs, but there are exceptions: if you have a puppy or kitten that is less than three months old then they can enter the EU without having had their vaccinations. However there are some breeds of dogs that are considered aggressive, and are therefore banned from enter to Spain altogether: you should research this before you plan your move.

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. If in doubt, as your vet, or seek additional support before you begin the moving process.

 Air Travel Regulations for Pets

Once you have the paperwork you need to ensure your pets will be permitted to enter Spain, it’s time to think about how you get them to the country. If your pet is going in the hold then your airline will require you to secure a special travelling container for the animal: this should be secure, well ventilated, and have enough room for the animal to move and lay down.

If your flight is less than 10 hours long then some airlines will allow small cats or dogs to be taken with the passenger in the cabin (this is not permitted if you’re travelling to the UK or Hong Kong). If you are able to go down this route then the container for the pet must fit under the seat in front of you and must have a waterproof bottom and adequate ventilation: many pet owners prefer this option as they are better-able to watch their pets and calm them if they become distressed. Different airlines will have different requirements for travelling with pets: before to contact your airline well in advance of your flight to ensure both your pet and your pet container meet the requirements you need to take off without any issues.

EU Pet Passports

If you’re entering Spain from elsewhere in the EU then new requirements mean that your pet will now need to have an EU pet passport. These new passports include the pet’s microchip or tattoo number for identification, as well as other data such as records of all vaccinations and clinical examinations. If you are in the EU then it is well-worth securing a passport for your pet. This scheme can be used by cats, dogs and even ferrets, rabbits and rodents. In short, it proves that the animal in question has been vaccinated against rabies, and details 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, colour)
  • The number of  the 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

It is well-worth securing, and will make travelling with your pet so much easier: you can use this to enter any country within the European Union, including Spain.

Are you thinking of moving to Spain, with or without your pet? If you’re looking for estate agents in Southern Spain then why not get in touch ? Our locally based property experts are a font of local knowledge, and are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams.