move spain dog
Health care

Moving to Spain with your dog

Planning to move to Spain for more than 3 months involves preparation for your pets also. We will explain what you need to do for your dog.

To enter Spain your dog will need a microchip; registered to you and you will need this paper of registration, a European passport and a rabies vaccination done not earlier than 3 weeks and not later than 12 months before entering Spain.

The first thing to do upon arrival is registering at a Veterinary Clinic in your area. Unless you speak Spanish you will be looking for a Clinic where they speak English and even better if they speak your language. Your dog will be registered as a patient at the clinic and the microchip will be registered in RAIA (the Andalucian Registry Website). For this we need the original registration paper from your country to prove that you are the owner of the dog. Then if your dog gets lost and is found you can be contacted as soon as possible!! You then need to register your dog at the Town Hall of your municipality. If you have a dog that belongs to the Dangerous Dogs (Rottweiler, PittBull/Staffordshire Terrier, Doberman, Akita/Tosa Inu, Dogo Argentino/ Napolitano/Cane Corso ) you will also need to obtain a license to own this dog.

Spain is a subtropical area and thus you need to also protect your dog from diseases that do not exist in Northern Europe. These diseases are:

  • Leishmania: This is a protozoan disease transmitted by ‘Sandflies’ (a big mosquito type). Your dog will develop an immune deficiency due to infection of the white blood cells. Prevention consists of preventing your dog from being bitten by the sandflies or vaccinating against the disease.
  • Tick fevers: Ticks in Spain are infected with many protozoan infections like Babesia, Ehrlicha, Borrelia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia etc, therefor it is utmost important to protect your dog from being infested with ticks. There is a vaccination only for Babesia.
  • Heartworm: Mosquito’s transmit the larvae of a worm that lives in the blood of dogs and then develop into adult worms that will congest the heart causing death. Prevention consists of vaccination or monthly deworming


Amongst other risks are the Processionary Caterpillar that live in nests in the pine trees and hatch in the months of February and March; they cause a deadly allergic reaction as the tongue of your dog will swell to 10 times the size.

Contrary to other countries, in Spain it is obligatory to vaccinate your dog every 12 months against rabies. Flea protection is necessary all year round because the temperature rarely drops under the 0C. During the summer you have to be careful to prevent heatstroke, especially the short- nosed breeds. DO NOT leave your dog in the car, not even in the shade with a window open, temperatures in the car can raise to over 80C in a very short time, do not cook your dog!

With thanks to:


Pointer veterinary

Pointer Veterinary, clinic and surgery. Estepona