Having a pet in Spain: Things you need to consider

Having a pet in Spain: Things you need to consider

2023-07-13 03:46:58

When thinking about moving to a new country, one of the concerns many people have is whether they could own a new pet in the new country. This article is for all the pet lovers, which will guide them through all the considerations they need to take into account before having a pet and it will also talk about what owners can do to offer a happy and safe environment for their beloved little ones. Consider getting pet insurance for your pet!


1. Before thinking about having a pet

2. Registering a pet in Spain

3. How to better look after your pets?



1. Before thinking about having a pet


Many people may think that having a pet is a personal choice that has nothing to do with the neighborhood. This might be true in some countries. But if you live in a communal building, you should review the following rules:


  • You should respect the community rules agreed already by the community (Comunidad): These are rules agreed by the neighborhood that regulate the neighborhood relations and use of buildings and communal facilities. It will let you know if there are any clauses prohibiting owners or tenants from keeping pets.
    • If you already live in a communal building, you need to recheck the rules in the contract, with your landlord or with the community representative.
    • If you are thinking about buying a property in an apartment block or an urbanized area, it is highly recommended to request a copy of community rules (Estatutos de la Comunidad de Propietarios)
    • If you are thinking about renting a room in a shared apartment, you need to also be informed about the rules of the house. In major housing renting platforms, “whether they accept pets or not” is an important feature, which can save you time when searching for proper housing options. Landlords usually specify the restrictions on pets when they upload advertisements. To be sure about the information and avoid any inconvenience, you can always double-check this information with your landlords.


  • The horizontal property law (Ley de Propietad Horizontal): Owners must not violate the legislation by subjecting neighbors to “annoying, unhealthy, harmful, dangerous or illicit” activities.
    • This law does not mean that you cannot have pets
    • But you should know the potential risk if you cannot control your pets and in the case of these activities caused by the pets, the neighbors might have the right to claim their rights regarding this law.
    • Therefore, if you are allowed to have pets according to your communal laws, you should make sure that it does not disturb the neighbors in any way, including:
      • Not making noise such as constant barking
      • Not having fleas and ticks
      • Not smelly
      • Not dangerous to other people


2. Registering a pet in Spain


Cat and dog together in the park


  • Normal registration process:
    • You also need to register the pet at the same place, the Animal Identification Registry, which serves as a database with all the necessary characteristics of the pet:
      • Pet name
      • Address of the owner
      • Contact details
      • Whether the pet’s vaccine is up to date
    • When you finish the process, you will be given an animal health card with the unique identification numbers of your pets.


  • Registration of “potentially dangerous pets” in Spain:


There are certain animals, especially several kinds of dogs, that are considered to be “potentially dangerous”, where you can see the original legislation here. If you have a dog categorized as potentially dangerous, you will need to register it in your city town hall as soon as you arrive or within 3 months of being born or adopted.


Under the current Spanish law, the following types of dogs are considered “potentially dangerous”. Some of them are considered dangerous nationally, while some of them are only considered dangerous in some autonomous regions.  


The process of registering a potentially dangerous pet and obtaining a license will vary for each region. Usually, you need to register:


  • At your local town hall
  • With identification and proof of public liability insurance of around €120000 or more



3. How to better look after your pets?


Sad dog that isn´t getting the proper care it needs


  • Consider the weather of the region you plan on moving to. Some regions have extremely high temperatures, reaching mid 40´s Celsius (100s in Fahrenheit) with different levels of humidity. Some dog breeds would not be able to withstand these temperatures for long periods of time. 
  • A/C in homes is not as common in Spin as it is in other countries like the USA.
  • It’s worth it to provide extra protection. In some autonomous regións, it’s necessary to contract pet insurance when registering your pet. Although in some cases it is not necessary, it’s worthwhile giving extra protection to your lovely friends because they give you support and company. See our best offer here, which covers the best care for cats and dogs of any breed from 3 months to 9 years old.


Check out this blog for a detailed guide on Pet Insurance





[1] BOE.es - BOE-A-1960-10906 Ley 49/1960, de 21 de julio, sobre propiedad horizontal. (2021). Retrieved 10 August 2021, from https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1960-10906 

[2] BOE.es - BOE-A-2002-6016 Real Decreto 287/2002, de 22 de marzo, por el que se desarrolla la Ley 50/1999, de 23 de diciembre, sobre el régimen jurídico de la tenencia de animales potencialmente peligrosos. (2021). Retrieved 10 August 2021, from https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2002-6016 


Our content will be updated according to the most recent legislation. Last update: 13/07/2023

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