Pet Travel When Relocating to Spain with ELYS Relocations

When making the move to Spain, it’s natural to want to bring along your furry friends. Make sure you know the current procedure in place as not to run into any problems. 

Deciding to move to Spain is already a life-changing experience, now imagine how wonderful it is to travel with pets in Spain.  Imagine strolling with your faithful animal companion through the streets of Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia, it sounds great, doesn’t it?

Spain ranks second in the world for overall quality of life, with an impressive 91% of foreigners satisfied with their leisure activities. But while Spain may boast a safe, secure healthcare system and make travellers feel at home, having your furry companion with you will make you miss home a lot less. 

Even if you are contemplating a stay to study or work for a short while in Spain, having your dog or cat by your side will give you great emotional support. Because we know that pets are essential. We’ll tell you how to travel with your furry friend to Spain.

Whenever you travel with your pet you should always be aware of the related legislation, with the process for travelling with pets to Spain being focused on dogs, cats and ferrets.

The denial of entry for not complying with all the legal requirements is a frequent occurrence. That’s why in this post with the help of ELYS Relocations, we’ll explain to you how to manage the tricky protocol. 


First Things First: Is Spain a Pet-Friendly Country?

One of the country’s main attractions is undoubtedly the climate. With warm temperatures all year round, especially in summer if we move along the Mediterranean coast and the centre of Spain, this is particularly favourable for dogs. 

Galicia, Asturias or the Basque Country are areas with a lot of tourist attractions and ideal for your dog, with large stretches of land to roam freely around. 

Plus, many shops and restaurants are becoming much more pet-friendly. In big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, it’s often that you’ll find designated areas to leave your dog waiting outside, and pets are also allowed on the metro and buses. 

Preparing for Your Trip

At least one month before your flight, you and your four-legged friend should visit a veterinarian. This specialist must make sure that the animal is fit to travel and that its rabies vaccination will remain valid for at least a year. Take the opportunity to deworm your pet if you have not already done so.

The important thing is that you obtain a vaccination card that certifies your dog or cat’s rabies protection (this vaccination must be given one month before travelling).

In the requirements section, we will tell you if your pet must undergo a serological examination in addition to the vaccination. 

The vet must also give you a health certificate with the details of your animal companion and yourself.

And last but not least, you should have your little friend fitted with a microchip for identification purposes. This requirement is essential to bring your pet into Spain or any other European Union country.

Flying to Spain

Almost all the airlines that fly to the Iberian Peninsula offer a pet transport service. But it is essential that, as soon as you buy your ticket, you notify the company so that they can give you a boarding pass for your dog or cat. Bear in mind that there is a limited number of pets on each flight.

Travelling with pets to Spain is an adventure for humans, but maybe not so much for them. Consider that dogs and cats are more sensitive to noise, smells and turbulence on an aircraft. In addition, as a general rule, they must travel in a cage or carrier.

Once you arrive at the boarding lounge, we recommend that you check that you have complied with all the airline’s requirements for transporting animals on a flight. Each airline has its own regulations, but there are some common rules that you should remember when travelling with pets to Spain:


  • Fares: They vary according to the airline and the country of origin. Generally, they range from around 70 euros. 
  • Cage/Carrier: It must be made of resistant material, ventilated and leak-proof. Like your luggage, identify it with the owner’s name and flight code.
  • Travelling in a cabin: Make sure that the weight of the carrier with her inside does not exceed 8 kg. The standard dimensions of the cage are generally 45 cm. long, 35 cm. wide and 25 cm deep.
  • Animal bag. This looks like a suitcase that you can put under the seat. Most airlines accept it and it may be more convenient for your friend.
  • Travel in the cabin. This is mandatory if your pet and carrier exceed the weight and size limits.
  • Brachycephalic. If your furry friend is a boxer, pug or any other breed with a flattened nose, we regret to say that most airlines do not accept them. If you have one, check which airlines offer this service.
  • Once you have settled into your seat, if your pet is travelling in the cabin, make sure you place your companion in the designated hand luggage area. As a rule, it must remain there for the entire journey. So reassure them and constantly check that they are as calm as possible.


Important Requirements Coming from a European Country: 


  • Identification microchip: Your pet must have such a device that complies with the ISO 11784 standard and complies with HDX or FDX-B technology. Consult a veterinarian to have it fitted.
  • Rabies vaccination: Show a current rabies vaccination card.
  • European pet passport: Present this document which includes your details and those of your dog or cat. It can be obtained from a vet authorised to show them.
  • Minimum age: To enter Spain, your pet must be at least 15 weeks old. Do not enter the country with more than five animals, or if you consider importing for trade.


Entering Spain with Other Kinds of Animals

With birds, for example, airlines require them to be carried in the cargo area. In addition, they must undergo an H5N1 flu test, pre-trip isolation and quarantine at the point of entry into the country.

When it comes to reptiles, Spain requires salmonella testing in authorised laboratories. You also have to have a clinical examination five days before travel. So think carefully if you want to venture to take a pet other than a cat, dog or ferret on a commercial flight.

Find out more about the requirements for birds, rodents, reptiles and other species at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. There are also links to the official rules for travelling with pets in Spain and the EU.

If you’re unsure about any of the following advice mentioned above, we suggest getting in touch with holistic relocation specialists Elys Relocation today: 




Phone number: +33 637155404



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