Importing Pets to Spain


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Importing Pets to Spain

The cage or carrier in which the animal is travelling must be labelled with the name, address in Spain, and phone number of the owner or the owner’s representative."

Posted by The Expatriator

Information about how to import animals and pets into Spain. Includes: certifications, verterinarians' certificates, regulations, pet passports, most specifically importing pets from the US and Canada. Also note the regulations for owning a dangerous animal.

Some advice, if you’ve never taken your pet on a plane before:

  • If your pet is small enough, you can bring it on the plane via a crate that fits underneath your seat. If not, make a reservation with your airline and get the appropriate crate to store your pet.
  • The airlines will also provide you info as to when you should last offer your pet food and water prior to departure.
  • Your veterinarian may recommend using a low dose of tranquilizers to calm the pet down, depending upon its age and demeanor.

If you’re from the USA or Canada, the Spanish government has recently simplified the procedure for bringing your pets into the country. Follow these instructions from the Spanish Embassy. I would assume that for other non-EU countries, importing your pets is the same or at least very similar, but confirm with your nearest Spanish consulate. You can download the veterinarian pet certificate from the link on the right.

Requirements for the import of cats, dogs, and ferrets

The following requirements concern the non-commercial importing of cats, dogs, and ferrets into Spain.

It’s considered non-commercial if importing only up to five animals without commercial purposes (not being part of a sale or with the intention to sell).

The entry of dogs, cats, or ferrets under three months of age is not allowed.

In Spain the ownership certain types of dogs is subject to strict requirements regarding registration and safety.

Identification of animals

All animals will be identified with either a tattoo or a microchip compatible with standards ISO-11784 or ISO-11785. If the animals are identified with a non-compatible microchip, the importer must supply the appropriate reading equipment.


The animals will also be accompanied by a veterinary certificate, issued by an Official Veterinarian, which will include the following:

  • Identification of the owner or person responsible for the animal(s)
  • Description and origin of the animal(s)
  • Microchip or tattoo number, location and date of insertion.
  • Information on the rabies vaccine (the vaccine type must be inactive, and in compliance with the standards of the OIE).

The veterinary certificate will be valid for 4 months or until the vaccine’s expiration date, whichever is first. Animals without the certificate will be denied entry into Spain. For animals from the United States and Canada traveling to Spain, parts V, VI, and VII of the certificate do not need to be filled. (download this form from the links on the right)

United States: the veterinary certificate may be filled out by any veterinarian accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA/APHIS, under the National Veterinary Accreditation Program, NVAP. However, once filled out, the certificate must be endorsed by an Official Veterinary employed by the Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (VS/APHIS) of the Department of Agriculture. First, ask your veterinarian whether they are accredited under NVAP. If that is not the case, please contact the Area Office of VS/APHIS to request a list of accredited veterinarians near your place of residence. Once the accredited veterinarian has filled and signed the certificate, it will need the endorsement (signature) of a VS/APHIS Official Veterinarian. The accredited veterinarian or VS/APHIS Area Office can inform you of the procedure.

Canada: The certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by an Official Veterinarian from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The cage or carrier in which the animal is travelling must be labelled with the name, address in Spain, and phone number of the owner or the owner’s representative.

Once in Spain, pet animals need a passport, according to the European Union model, in order to travel to other countries the EU. Ask your veterinarian in Spain about the passport.

There are other requirements for owning a potentially dangerous dog in Spain. See the requirements at the link on the right.

Importing Pets From Other EU States (UK, etc.)

The process has been made quite simple as of October 2004 with the blue Pet Pass. See the following from bringing your pets to Spain from the UK:

Dogs, cats and ferrets over three months

  • Identification by chip or legible tattoo. Following a transitional period of eight years (until 2012) chips will be the only valid form of ID.
  • Valid rabies vaccination
  • New vaccination pass as set out by the EU Commission (blue Pet Pass)

Dogs, cats and ferrets under three months

  • the holder carries a certificate to clearly identify the animal (blue Pet Pass with identification chip or legible tattoo)
  • the holder carries a confirmation by an authorized veterinarian that declares that the animal was so far only kept at its place of birth
  • the young animal is still dependant on and has to accompany its mother.


Last updated 09 02 2009

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kerouac said:

I think birds might be considered differently than dogs and cats. Does anyone know anything about bringing birds to Spain?


janetcaroline said:


I am currently living in Saudi Arabia until November this year. I am then moving to Spain with my husband and cat Burma. Burma is up to date with his Rabies Vaccinations and has also been micro chipped. Can someone please advise me on what other documentation is needed?


vinargott said:

I have the same question as Lee below. I am bringing a parakeet from the US to Spain and can't seem to find any info about import of pet birds, can anybody help?


dtaylorg said:

Moving from the US to Spain with my Dog and am finding conflicting advice on how long the Pet passport process should take to this country. (ie. the UK has a definite 6 month waiting period after innoculations). Can anyone confirm waiting period for spanish entry ? Consulate is not too helpful in this area. Thanks, thanks !!

Martyn R Lesser said:


I am bringing a so called dangerous dog into Spain and would like any useful information.

I have all the correct paperwork for travel and entry but would be pleased to hear from anyone about keeping the dog in Spain.


saminspain said:

I am currently living in Spain but will be moving back to the US in a year. My husband and I are thinking of getting a dog, but I don't know what the process is of bringing pets back into the US. Does anyone have any information on this? I've also heard that there is a mandatory 6 month quarantine for all animals entering the this true? And/or does it apply to pets?
Thanks so much for any advice!


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Embassy of Spain in Washington - Including further information for bringing other types of pets: birds, fowl, reptiles and other species. Also see their excellent FAQ. Should be relevant for most non-EU expatriates.