Pets in Spain: Diseases and dangers for pets in Spain

If you are intending to bring your pets to Spain, there are a number of diseases and dangers for pets in Spain that aren’t found in most other European countries that you should consult with your Vet about vaccinations.


All dogs should be given the rabies vaccination and annual rabies booster injections.

Other vaccinations are not obligatory, but are strongly recommended are against:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parvovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis
  • and some kennels request that a dog be vaccinated for kennel cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica).

These are the standard vaccinations prepared and given by a vet. The vet records the dose in the dogs health record.

Tick and Flea Treatments and Worming

Ticks and fleas are seasonal and vary depending on the area. Spot-off treatments can be carried out monthly and these are available at vets.

Hazards for pets in Spain

Apart from the often intense heat, to which your pet may not be accustomed, there are things that you should bear in mind.

There are few creatures in Spain that could harm your pets.

1. Leishmaniasis

One major problem are Sand Flies which can affect dogs and cause Canine Leishmaniasis.

This awful disease can be transmitted between dogs but can easily be prevented. You can purchase a special collar that repels the flies.

The flies are most active at dusk and dawn.

The symptoms include nose bleeds, fur loss, loss of appetite and weight loss.

2. Pine Processionary Caterpillar

Dogs are also particularly at risk from the Pine Processionary Caterpillar that is found mainly in woodlands.

Dogs can sniff or lick the caterpillars and their tiny hairs can cause irritation. The same creatures can be very harmful to humans if touched.

3. Scorpions

Scorpions are common in Spain and all domestic animals can be stung if too curious.

4. Food poisoning

Take extra care when walking your dog, as some have died after eating poisoned food in rural areas.

Poisoned bait (e.g. meat laced with strychnine) is laid in some areas by hunters and poachers to control natural predators such as foxes, wolves and lynx.

Poisons are also laid in some urbanisations to keep down the feral cat population.

Buying and Owning a Pet

The seller of a domestic animal has to provide the following documents:

  • Sale certifícate (Contrato de compra-venta)
  • Microchip number and identity card (Formulario de identificación canina)
  • Vaccination book signed by the vet.
  • Original pedigree document (if applicable)

The new owner of the pet has to:

  • Vaccinate the animal against rabies when the animal is six months old and keep up to date with rabies booster injections
  • Register the animal at the local municipality (ayuntamiento)
  • There are further regulations for dogs classed as “potentially dangerous”

If you want to keep reading laws about potentially dangerous dogs breeds in Spain and pet passaports, check the links!