On the 29th September 2023 Spain’s new animal welfare law came into force. If you live in Spain and have a pet you need to be aware of what has changed. There are lots of new regulations designed to protect animals, and stiff fines for failing to follow the rules. Keep reading to find out what you need to do.
Mandatory Insurance for Dogs
It is now compulsory to have civil liability insurance for your dog. This is not the same as medical insurance, as it just covers third-party damage caused by your dog.
The policies are quite cheap, and in some cases may already be included in your annual home contents insurance – so check before you buy a seperate policy. If it is not included, you should be able to get cover for less than 50€ a year.
Although it has always been good practice, it now becomes law that all domestic pets have to be properly vaccinated and kept up to date. If you travel with your pet, then you should have a pet passport which includes a vaccination record.
Most responsible pet owners probably already have their animal micro-chipped and recorded in a database. Well now this is compulsory on a new national pet database. This applies even if, like our dog, it is already registered on one of the regional databases. I am struggling to find details on this currently, but when it appears I will publicise it here on SpainHelp.co.uk.
Pet shops and breeding
The selling of dogs and cats in pet shops in Spain is now banned. Shops have been given 12 months to comply with this ruling so you may still see puppies in pet shops for a few more months. Personally I have not see a puppy in a pet shop in Spain for many years, but apparently it is still a thing. Smaller animals like rabbits and guinea pigs will continue to be sold at pet shops.
You will also only be able to buy animals from licensed breeders. No more pets from some bloke whose dog has just had a litter of pups.
Training courses (for owners)
No details on this yet, but eventually pet owners will be required to undertake an online training course to teach them how to look after their pets. Apparently this will be free and not very long – covering the basics like remember to feed your animal etc.
The new law makes it an offense to leave your animal on its own for more than 72 hours. Not sure who would do this, but at least this clarifies the position that this is unacceptable.
Any responsible pet owner will probably already have made sure their pet is spayed or neutered. It is not just about prevented unwanted kittens and puppies, but there are a host of health benefits too. Either way the rule is any pet that goes outside, even into an enclosed garden, needs to be sterilised.
I hope the above summary is helpful. Remember, that your vet is the best source of information about anything to do with your pet.