Living and Working in Spain

All about dog laws in Spain

Living and Working in Spain Barbara de Swaan

Spain can be a great place to be a dog owner because there is so much space and nature. And dogs are a human’s best friend! Unfortunately, Spain is also one of the European countries with most stray dogs. According to the ONG Animal Esdaw, there are about 800.000 dogs living on the Spanish streets. This is extremely sad and must change quickly.

If you decide to get a dog, you should be aware that this is for life, at least for as long as the dog lives. Be aware of dog laws in Spain. People tend to look only at the lovely puppies and forget that dogs get bigger, cost a lot of money, and require a lot of your attention. A dog must be walked at least three times a day, might destroy your furniture or shoes, and can get ill and throw up on your floor or worse.

10 Important Dog Laws in Spain

Every country has its own laws regarding owning a dog. Here I will sum up the 10 most important laws to consider. Please follow these laws because the fines are huge. Laws vary per “comunidad” in Spain, so please make sure you read into local laws. The ones I mention here are on a national level.

1. DOCUMENTATION: Every dog needs to be documented (pet passport), before reaching the age of 3 months. The dog must be microchipped and registered in the “ Registro de Animales de Compañía”. When a dog gets lost or dies, this must be communicated as well. 

2. HEALTH CARD: Another obligation is that every dog needs to own an official health card, where all vaccinations must be registered.

3. CIVIL LIABILITY: The dog needs to be covered by a civil liability policy. In case the dog is a potentially dangerous dog (PPP) this coverage should be adapted with a higher coverage (180.000 euro) and the chip number must be mentioned.

owner and dog contemplating dog laws in spain

4. ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE: in case of potentially dangerous dogs, they need to obtain an administrative license and be registered in the Potentially Dangerous Animal Registry.

5. CLEANING: When walking the dog in public spaces, the owner must clean all the feces of the dog and spray water over their urine.

6. ON A LEASH: Dogs need to be walked leashed; the owner must be in control of its movements. Potentially dangerous dogs are obliged to always wear a muzzle in public spaces. For this type of dogs, the dog leash cannot be any longer than a maximum of 2 meters.

7. CHILDREN’S PARKS: Dogs are never allowed in children’s parks or other children’s areas. Dogs cannot take a bath in public fountains, nor drink directly from water taps in public spaces.

sleepy dog following dog laws in spain

8. OBLIGATIONS FOR THE OWNER REGARDING THE DOG: The dog needs a safe and sheltered space to live and sleep. The dog needs to receive the correct hygiene and medical attention when necessary. The owner should also make sure the dog gets all necessary vaccinations on time, to prevent diseases.

9. PROHIBITED: the constant stay in a car, on a terrace, balcony, or other limited spaces.

10. INSURANCE: Pet insurance is optional but recommended. For more information regarding pet insurance in Spain, consult Caser Pet Insurance

Treat your dog the best way possible! Owning a dog is one of the best things in life, but it has its responsibilities too and with that some downsides. Here some more detailed information about the responsibilities dog owners has, especially about dog laws in Spain. Think well before you get yourself a dog.

Download Free Guide:  Pet Insurance Options in Spain

Barbara de Swaan

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