Spain is a haven for those from the UK. With millions of tourists visiting each year and an expat community that hits close to 300,000 it is a prime location for those looking for a holiday hot spot, a retirement refuge, or an occupation occupancy.
Warm weather, fantastic culture and a more relaxed way of life see Spain as very high on the lists of places people wish to relocate to but what do they do about their pets?
Luckily as pet travel specialists, our team at PBS Pet Travel make the entire process easy. Whether it is transporting a pet by air, land, or sea, our dedicated team of pet professionals can have your pet transported in a safe, efficient, and reliable way ensuring your pet receives the best possible care on its journey. We can also advise on the best way to help your dog get accustomed to dog travel crates so they don’t get scared by the ride.
We understand that a trip abroad whether it be for a holiday or a permanent relocation can be a stressful time, even more so when the move is a permanent one and you are spending time factoring in things like personal effects shipping and new jobs.
That is why PBS Pet Travel exists, with our years of experience we have perfected the way to make your move simple by removing one of the biggest obstacles for you. The transport of your pets.
We take care of it all. From loading to landing and all the paperwork that pet export entails, our team can not only guide you through the process, but they can make it happen too. With a free bespoke pet travel quote, you can discover the most cost-effective way to get your pets to Spain.
Since Brexit, much has changed and what may have previously been a straightforward process, now has a few more things for you as a pet owner to deal with. Do not worry though! Our team at PBS Pet Travel are well versed in organising the travel of pets to Spain from the UK and can make sure that nothing is missed out as you plan your new life abroad.
Now that we are no longer a part of the EU, you must ensure that the following steps are followed so that you are not turned away before boarding your flight or ship, or that you are not turned away upon arrival in Spain.
Commonly, the pets bought into Spain from the UK are dogs and cats, however, there are occasionally times when people look to relocate with rabbits, hamsters, and even snakes or spiders, we will cover those further down the page.
If you are bringing your dog, cat, or ferret to Spain from the UK you will need to ensure:
By following these key steps, bringing a pet to Spain is a much smoother process to engage in. Should it raise any questions, simply speak to our team. We are on hand to advise over the most up-to-date rules and regulations regarding bringing pets into Spain from the UK.
It should be noted that your animal health certificate can cover up to 5 animals, but should you be making multiple trips to Spain from the UK with one or five pets, you will need a new animal health certificate for each trip.
Spain is open to the idea of you bringing other, more unusual, or exotic pets into the county however there are still some rules that must be adhered to.
Rabbits, rodents, and reptiles are among the most popular and they are all welcome in Spain as long as:
If you are planning to have birds transported to Spain, aside from the CITES permit for Parrots and other endangered species, the animal health certificate and the declaration of non-commercial transport, you will need to ensure a few extra steps are adhered to:
This can make things a little confusing so simply ask PBS Pet Travel for additional guidance. The variety of animals we have helped transport to Spain over the years means we promise the perfect transportation for any pet.
There are plans to change laws in Spain and at the time of writing it is unclear how they will affect the animals you may own. Whilst dogs and cats for example will likely remain man’s best friend, there is talk that certain exotic animals as well as rabbits and rodents will become protected by an animal protection law. With legislation saying that there can be up to a 48-month wait until full information is disclosed, it could be some time until we know for sure which animals may not be accepted as pets in Spain. This has been seen as a good move though as unfortunately not all animal care has been seen in the best light. This law hopes to protect more animals from abusive owners and bad pet shop practices. It could even see pet shops cease to exist!
For the time being, we will look at pets that do require certain restrictions to be placed upon them.
Certain dogs are classified as dangerous and therefore you will need a special license if you wish to bring them to Spain from the UK. They will need to wear a muzzle when in public and be kept on a leash. This includes:
With this new law coming into place though, much is expected to change so feel free to ask us for the most up-to-date information regarding your breed. The new law is also looking at the possibility of owners being put through dog behaviour lessons.
We have shown you a brief outline of the main steps needed for you to gain access to Spain for your pet but we want to make the whole process as easy as possible for you, so below, you will find details relating to each step so that alongside the help from PBS Pet Travel, you can have an easy, harmonious and worry-free relocation to Spain.
Before you can have an animal health certificate granted you will need to ensure your dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies. Your pet will need to be at least 12 weeks old before getting the vaccination and will only be able to travel to Spain 21 days after it has received it. Upon receiving the vaccination, your current pet vaccination records should be updated by the vet.
The animal health certificate is the document that will allow your pet entry into Spain. It can only be issued by a vet that is qualified to issue pet travel documents. You may see these listed as an OV or Official Veterinarian. This certificate will need to be issued within 10 days of your departure to Spain and more than 21 days after the rabies vaccination.
The AHC will be valid for 4 months and should be in both English and Spanish, however, should you be reaching Spain via another country you will need the animal health certificate to appear in English and the language of the country you entered first. This certificate acts as the pet passport so will be used for both your entry to Spain and your entry to the UK should you be returning.
Should your visit to Spain have you returning to the UK you will need to have a tapeworm treatment administered. Should you be going to Spain for permanent relocation you will NOT need your dog to undergo such treatment.
This treatment will need to be carried out between 5 days and 24 hours before you are due to return to the UK. Without it, your pet may not be granted entry to the UK and could be put in quarantine for as long as 4 months.
Once administered the information should be added to your AHC by the vet.
In addition to ensuring that you have all the medical and paperwork requirements sufficiently met, you will also need to make sure your pet enters Spain via what is known as a TPE or traveller’s point of entry. This is where your animal health certificate will be checked to confirm it is compliant. If you choose to have your pet transported with PBS Pet Travel, you will not have to worry about this as thanks to our relationships with ports and carriers, we will ensure that your pet is only transported via the correct channels to the correct locations.
If you are planning on returning from Spain to the UK with your pet(s) or are planning a relocation from Spain to the UK, you will need to ensure certain rules are adhered to before booking pet transport.
Since Brexit, the freedom of movement has been somewhat changed and what was once a smooth, simple process now requires you to do a little more. Much like a pet entering Spain from the UK, the rules are fairly similar the other way around.
Should you be travelling from Spain to the UK with pets you will need to make sure:
Furthermore, you can only enter the UK from Spain via an approved route. You can contact PBS Pet Travel to find out what the currently approved routes are.
Failure to adhere to these rules could see your pet put into quarantine for up to 4 months and even refused entry into the country if travelling by sea.
There are currently no restrictions on bringing rabbits, reptiles or rodents into the UK, however, much like when taking birds to Spain from the UK, if you do want to bring birds into the UK you will require an animal health certificate.
In some cases, you may also need a CITES permit. This applies to certain endangered or protected animals. Animals that require a CITES permit can frequently change so speak to PBS Pet Travel to see if your pet now finds itself listed this way.
You should also check if Balai rules apply. These become eligible if you plan to bring more than 5 animals into the UK from Spain or your pet is arriving 5 or more days before or after you arrive. They will also apply should you be bringing animals into the UK from Spain for commercial purposes.
Having your pets transported to Spain by air is perhaps the quickest, most efficient way to have your pets join you on your new adventure. It is though, often the most expensive. Thanks to the relationships we have built with the airports and the carriers since our inception over 20 years ago, we are able to offer you the most competitive quotes for pet flights on the market.
We only ever use trusted carriers to ensure the safe and careful handling of your pets and will go out of our way to ensure the relocation of your pets is one less thing for you to worry about as you plan your relocation to Spain.
Sometimes the final location you need to reach is not too close to an air or seaport. That is why we are proud to offer a pet courier service. This enables a full door-to-door service putting your pet first for the whole journey. With an air or seaport collection, our specialist couriers will carefully transport your pet to their final destination. Each driver is DEFRA approved and insured so you can be fully confident of a safe journey for your furry friend.
There are many accessible routes into Spain by sea and with ports at Vigo, Barcelona, and Bilbao among many others, taking pets abroad has never been easier. Whilst it can be the slowest method it can prove to be extremely efficient and cost-effective. With such strong relationships built with the couriers and the ports PBS Pet Travel can facilitate a seamless movement of your pet to your new home in Spain.
Choosing PBS Pet Travel to help with the relocation of your pets is the easiest way to ensure a completely safe, efficient and reliable method of transporting your pets from the UK to Spain and back again.
With a team on hand, 24 hours a day to help with air transport, pet couriers, and all the paperwork pet travel involves, you can have full peace of mind that your pet relocation is one less thing to worry about as you move abroad.