Pets and Vets

We Brits are known for our close historical connection to animals; and our pets really are a part of the family, whether that’s you and Mutley the dog; the amantes and their Persian pussy cat – or indeed five kids and Flopsy Mopsy rabbit. For most of us it would be inconceivable to not bring our much loved fur babies with us on our relocation or long stay visit to Spain, and current EU laws make it easy to facilitate bringing pets on this new adventure.

So what do we need to know? The rules about bringing your pets into the country are slightly different than those that apply to bringing a pet into the UK; and as of March 2017 when the UK begins its leaving process of Brexit from the EU, the rules may well change again. But for now let’s look at the requirements and rules and regulations to ensure that your pet has no travel problems when entering Spain.

(*These conditions apply to domestic dogs, cats, ferrets and service and emotional support animals)

EU Pet Passport:

The EU Pet Passport contains information about the pet and owner; including owners address / previous address and forthcoming address; microchipping documentation, rabies, booster and blood test information; as well as vaccine manufacturer details and breed and general information about your pet.


Your pet must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchip, that is, one that is 15 digits long and non-encrypted. You can ask your vet to do this if your pet has a non-ISO chip already implanted; or has no microchip. The number and implant dates of all microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate.

Rabies Vaccination:

If your dog, cat or ferret has a current rabies vaccination but no microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is implanted and must then wait 21 days before travel.

When entering Spain from another EU Member State, as is the UK currently, annual rabies vaccinations may still be required. Make sure that you have up to date information that illustrates your pet is fully vaccinated against rabies when entering Spain. These regulations apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets – and service and emotional support animals.

Once you have entered Spain, a 21 day waiting period is not required for subsequent visits, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date, and the other entry requirements are met.

Birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia and mammals such as rodents and rabbits are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter Spain. You can speak to your vet about this – but make sure you have plenty of time before leaving the UK – as some requirements take longer to organise than others.

Larger groups of animals:

If you are traveling with more than five pets that are six months or older, all of your pets must meet the requirements as listed above via a commercial EU health certificate instead of non-commercial EU health certificate, and have endorsement from the government agency that regulates the import and export of animals.

Breeds that must be registered:

The following breeds are not banned from entering Spain, but they must be registered within 3 months of entry: Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasiliero, Tosa Inu and Akita Inu.

Puppies and Kittens:

Puppies and kittens under six months old who have not been vaccinated and had rabies inoculations will not be allowed into Spain.

Check back with us in early April 2017 when we detail all and any changes relating to pet passports and travel following the UK’s exit from the EU.

UK Spain Life

Meryl Cubley

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