Finalising plans and transporting your possessions across to Spain can take some organising, but bringing your pets with you is easier than ever. In the past, pet transportation was often a prolonged and costly affair, but recent changes to bring Spanish law into line with the rest of the EU mean that importing your furry friends to your new home in Marbella is pretty straight forward.
The following advice is centred on transporting dogs, cats and ferrets into and out of Spain, but it is still recommended to discuss travel plans with your vet to make sure that everything is in order before departure.
Before they travel:
- Animals must be microchipped and registered before departure and then registered at their new address once in Spain.
- Blood Titer Test must be done and animals must be vaccinated against rabies, not less than one month and not more than one year before being imported. It is essential that the rabies vaccination is administered after the microchip is registered.
- PETS Certificate/EU Pet Passport – if in the UK, these can be obtained from Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVI). Elsewhere in Europe, the majority of vets can supply them. Passports must be up to date and contain vaccination dates and information.
- All pets must be over three months old before they travel – animals under this age cannot be imported into Spain.
- UK pet owners need to complete an Application for a Ministry Export Certificatefor dogs, cats and rabies susceptible animals (form EXA1), available from DEFRA.
- Using pet carriers is by far the most convenient and cost effective form of travel. It takes around two to three days depending on the country of origin, but all pet carriers must be approved by DEFRA (for more information contact 0870-241 1710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
What you need once you’re here:
- There are some illnesses in Spain that your pet may not yet be protected against. Dogs should be vaccinated against diseases including (but not limited to) leptospirosis, parvovirus (especially among young puppies) and kennel cough. Cats should be immunised against feline enteritis and typhus.
- Owners of ‘dangerous dogs’ need to register for a licence. The affected breeds include: Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Pit Bull, Rottweiler and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Licences must be obtained within three months of arrival and these dogs have to wear muzzles in public spaces.
While villa owners can give their pets complete freedom to roam their grounds, for those living within an urbanisation it is worth consulting community rules concerning pets. If you’re looking to get a pet once you’re here, there are shelters along the coast, such as Adana and Triple A that have abandoned animals looking for homes.
Javier is the founder and CEO of Pure Living Properties. Born and raised in Marbella in an entrepreneurial family who settled on the Costa del Sol in the 1960s, when Marbella’s real estate and tourism industry was just a fledgling market, Javier is an expert connoisseur of Puente Romano, which he calls home, and the Golden Mile, but also of the best areas, projects and companies, as their owners and developers have been among his inner circle since childhood.