Moving a Pet to Spain
Rules and Regulations for International Pet Shipping
- Pet Travel Documents & Requirements
- Pet Restrictions for Spain
- Microchip for Pet Travel to Spain
- Quarantine for Pet Travel to Spain
- Top Destinations in Spain
- How Starwood Can Help
What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to Spain?
All countries create their own rules for importing pets if you plan to visit or relocate to their country. The rules are similar in many ways, but the details often vary according to where you live now. For example, if you and your cat, dog, or ferret reside in another European Union country and your pet already has a current EU Pet Passport, you will not need any additional paperwork to bring your pet into Spain.
However, if you live in the United Kingdom, requirements for your pet’s documentation could change depending on a final Brexit deal. You can check this site to learn current rules for taking British pets abroad, and this government page to keep up with the latest Brexit-specific updates.
If you currently reside outside the European Union, there are several steps you will need to take in order to move your pet to Spain – again, depending on where you’re coming from. If that’s the US, this USDA web page explains what you will need to do. To make it easier for you, though, we have pulled together all the essentials below.
It is critical that you understand and follow the requirements to the letter. Pets that arrive without proper documentation can be sent home, quarantined, or even euthanized. No country wants an incoming animal to bring pests or disease.
If your pet will not be traveling with you, you must also sign an authorization form for whomever will accompany or transport your pet.
If your dog or cat or ferret will enter Spain within 5 days before or after your own arrival date, and you have fewer than 5 pets total, the requirements listed below apply to you. You can find the proper health certificate to complete here. However, if you are traveling with more than 5 pets or your pet(s) will arrive outside the 10-day window noted above, then a “commercial” health certificate is required instead. this distinction applies whether you are arranging pet travel on your own or you use Starwood Animal Transport to handle it for you.
Every pet entering Spain must have his own health certificate. It must be completed and signed by an accredited veterinarian and then endorsed (counter-signed and stamped or embossed) by the APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer in your state. Both signatures must be in original ink. This document must be completed within 10 days of your pet’s arrival in Spain.
You will not need a separate import permit to bring your pet into Spain. Exceptions to that are if you plan to import more than 5 pets or if your pet will arrive in Spain more than 5 days prior to or after your arrival.
Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, at age 3 months or older. Primary vaccination must be administered within 6 to 12 months of departure. Boosters may not be more than 1 year old.
Rabies Titer Test
Dogs and cats must also undergo a FAVN or RFFIT blood test to confirm the rabies vaccine is active within their body. This test must be based on a blood sample collected within 3 to 24 months of departure.
Spain requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be immunized against rabies before entering the country. One, two, or three-year vaccines are all allowed, as long as the dose was properly administered and is still valid on the date of your pet’s arrival. Valid means the vaccine was administered at the same time or after your pet was microchipped. (See Microchip section below). This timing is crucial because the microchip number – your pet’s unique identifier – must be written on every document.
Spain also requires microchips to be ISO-compliant. So if your pet has another type of microchip, he will need to get a second one (and both numbers will have to appear on his documentation). If your pet’s microchip is the right type but was implanted before he got his rabies vaccination, he will need to get a booster so that the immunization can be officially tied to his ID number.
All pets must wait at least 21 days after receiving their primary rabies vaccination before entering Spain. “Primary” is defined as the first vaccination given at the same time or after microchip implantation or as a renewal immunization (given after the expiration of a previous vaccine).
Other than rabies, Spain does not require specific immunizations to import pets. Nonetheless, once you have arrived in Spain, you should ask your veterinarian about preventive measures for locally common pests or diseases.
Spain does not require tapeworm treatment prior to importation. However, be aware that if you plan to travel with your dog to the UK or some other EU countries after you’ve moved to Spain, tapeworm treatment will be required.
There are no additional blood tests required for dogs, cats, or ferrets entering Spain.
Photo of Pet
You will not have to supply a photo of your pet as part of their official paperwork.
What Are the Pet Restrictions for Spain?
Although many countries ban certain breeds of dogs and/or cats, Spain does not. However, if your dog is one of the following breeds, you will need to muzzle him to go through security and register him within 3 months of arrival:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasiliero
- Tosa Inu
- Akita Inu
Spain does not allow the importation of kittens, puppies, or baby ferrets that are less than 12 weeks old and have no rabies vaccination, nor do they allow those between 12-16 weeks whose rabies vaccine is less than 21 days old at the time of arrival.
Do I Need a Microchip for My Pet to Travel to Spain?
All dogs, cats, and ferrets must be implanted with a microchip that meets ISO standard 11784 or 11785. (The number will be 15 digits.) If your pet currently has no microchip, get that done first because, as noted above, that number just appear on all his documentation. If your pet a non-ISO compliant microchip, you can have your veterinarian implant another microchip that does meet ISO standards. This will not harm your pet. Otherwise, you will have to:
- Carry a chip reader that customers officials can use to scan your pet, or
- Notify Spanish customs ahead of time so they can have the right type of scanner available
What Are the Quarantine Requirements for a Pet Traveling to Spain?
As long as your pet meets all of Spain’s import/health requirements, there will be no quarantine upon entering the country.
Top Destinations in Spain
Our Spain pet shipping services include:
- Door-to-door transport
- Assistance with health certificates, import certificates, and other travel documents needed for animal transport to Spain (outlined above)
- USDA endorsement and consular legalization (when needed) of all relevant documents where required
- Airline-approved flight kennels provided with personalized labels, identification
andemergency notification instructions
- Customs clearance and delivery to your home
- Local pet taxi service to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian, kennel, or groomer – available in major Spain cities as well as their surrounding areas
- Travel consultation and flight reservations
We will inform you of your pet's full itinerary before the trip and we will update you as your pet travels to Spain.