Moving to Spain With Pets


Moving to Spain With Pets

Moving abroad can be complex and stressful – when you add pets into the equation it becomes increasingly difficult. Let’s face it, leaving pets behind when you move to an exotic new location in Spain – or anywhere else in the world – is never a pleasant thought. In this post we’re going to look at the rules and regulations surrounding moving abroad with your pets, and what you’ll need to do in order to ensure that everything is done above board.

If you do not have the correct documentation for your pet, it’s not uncommon for countries to insist that your pet is kept in quarantine for a period of up to six months. This can be expensive and stressful for everyone involved, so it really does make sense to get all of the documents in order before you travel, to ensure that your pet sails through the checks held when you arrive in your destination country.

moving with pets

Taking your pet to Spain

If you are moving to Spain with a pet, you’ll need to ensure that your pet is microchipped – and that your pet has received a rabies vaccination. The rabies vaccination can only be administered once the microchip has been fitted, otherwise it will not be valid and your pet will not be allowed to travel. You must wait 21 days from the date the rabies injection is administered before your pet can travel. You will also need a pet passport – and for dogs, tapeworm medication must be administered.

Always use a reputable, authorised animal transportation company to ensure that your pet is moved safely and legally. Animal transportation companies are sometimes expensive to engage, however it makes sense to spend that money safe in the knowledge that your pet is being looked after during the journey.

Moving pets to spain is governed by EU legislation under regulation EC/998/2003 which sets animal health rules for the movement of pets for non commercial purposes.

Provided the animal has a passport and has gained prior authorisation, dogs, ferrets and cats under the age of 3 months are allowed to travel without vaccination. The Spanish authorities should be provided with the following:
• Date of birth and name of pet
• Microchip number
• Passport number
• a Fax number for sending authorisation

The owners of potentially dangerous animals should register them and meet legal requirements at the town hall and regional governments where they intend to take up residence.

These dogs are considered potentially dangerous under spanish law:
• Pit Bull Terrier
• Staffordshire Terrier
• American Staffordshire Terrier
• Rottweiler
• Dogo Argentino (Argentinian Mastiff)
• Fila Brasileiro
• Tosa Inu
• Akita Inu

Further information can be obtained from the Spanish authorities:

Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación
Subdirección General de Sanidad Animal
C/ Alfonso XII no 62 – 1apl
28071 Madrid
Tel. 0034 91 347 8295 or 0034 91 347 5866
Fax: 0034 91 347 8299 or 0034 91 347 8327


Spanish Embassy

Consejería de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación
Spanish Embassy
39 Chesham Place
London SW1X 8SB
Tel. +44 (0) 207 235 5005
Fax. +44 (0) 207 259 6897

Traveling back to the UK with Pets

If you decide to travel back to the UK with your pet, the company in charge of transporting will scan your pet’s microchip to ensure that your pet is eligible to travel. If you do not have a pet passport in place or you have not adhered to the rules outlined, your pet may be kept in quarantine at the UK border. Again, this quarantine period can last for up to six months and as the owner of the animal you will be liable for the costs of the process.

The above rules tend to apply to cats and dogs, other types of animals can move much more freely. If you’re moving house with birds, rabbits, rodents, fish, amphibians or reptiles, you will be glad to know there are no restrictions when travelling within the EU with your pet. If you decide to travel from outside of the EU into the EU with a rodent or a rabbit however, your pet will be subject to a four-month stay in quarantine.

Always seek advice and guidance from official organisations in the country you’re traveling to, when traveling with a pet. For more information about bringing pets into the UK, the has extensive help and guidance.

The UK uses the “PETS” Pet Travel Scheme that allows pets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine provided they meet with the rules.
PETS helpline

Telephone: +44 (0)870 241 1710 (Monday to Friday – 8.30am to 5pm UK time)
Fax: +44 (0) 1245 458749
(please enclose your postal address and a day time telephone number)

Quarantine Section

State Veterinary Service
Government Offices
Beeches Road
Telephone: +44 (0) 1245 358383
Fax: +44 (0) 1245 458749

Our Branches in Spain

Matthew James Removals & Storage SL
Calle Alonso Cano 19
Poligono Industrial
Estepona, Malaga
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Tel: (0034) 931 84 54 94
Tel: 0044 (0) 1322 251 000

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