Bringing a pet into Spain
There are specific rules for different kinds of pets. In general, pets may be imported to Spain if they are accompanied by their owners or their representative and have acertificate of origin and health (if they are more than three months old). These are valid for ten days only and must state that the pet has been under the owner's supervision for three months before being imported and should include a declaration that the pet is not intended for trade. In the case of dogs, the certificate must show that the pet has had valid anti-rabies inoculation in the last twelve months (six in some cases). Certificates should be obtained from the nearest Animal Health Divisional Office in England. A full list of these offices is available at defra.gov.uk
Owners who intend to take their pets back to England must comply with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) for their pet to be able to enter the UK without going into quarantine.
The PETS scheme began on 28 February 2000. The scheme allows pet dogs and cats from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet certain rules.
For the latest information on the Pet Travel Scheme please visit the site:
www.defra.gov.uk
There are a number of companies which transport pets to and from the UK. Here is a link to one of them to give you an idea- www.ladyhaye.co.uk
Travel agents can advise you on which airlines permit small animals to travel on their owner's lap or the rules of transporting pets in the hold.
Caring for your pet in Spain

Travelling with your pet:
In Spain it is illegal to leave a dog in a car, even with the windows slightly open. The police can be called and they have the authority to smash the windows. A dog will suffer not only in the hot summer months but also in the cooler spring and autumn months. The dog will very quickly become dehydrated and die. It happens in minutes not hours!
The law in Spain requires that your animal is separated from the driver in the car by a screen and/or restrained by a harness. This also applies to cats. Although this is the law it is unlikely that the police will enforce it.
There are many hotels and B & Bs throughout Spain which will accept dogs, cats and birds.
You are required to have your dog micro-chipped and can be fined if you don´t. Dogs are banned from the majority of Spanish beaches due to hygiene reasons.
It is also advisable to have a collar and a tag on your dog – your phone number on one side and on the reverse the words “Reward/Recompensa”. If your dog is found you are more likely to have it returned if the finder thinks a reward will be forthcoming.


Neutering:
It is important to have your pet neutered. Not only will this reduce stress for your pet, but it will help to reduce the numbers of animals in Spain who need care. Already there are literally hundreds and hundreds of dogs and cats being cared for by animal charities. 

Diseases:
There are a number of common problems that could affect your pets. I stress “could”. Please do not be alarmed, thousands of pets live in Spain happily and never have the slightest problem. There are well understood preventative measures and Spanish vets are some of the most highly qualified and well educated in Europe. 
Leishmaniasis:
This is a fatal disease which, if caught, can be controlled for a few years only. A vaccine has been developed but will not be available for a couple of years. Each year owners should take their dogs to the vet for a blood test. Cats do not get Leishmaniasis. If the test is positive the vet can recommend either injections and/or tablets. The best way to ensure that your dog does not get the disease is to keep it inside at night as mosquitoes carry the disease. They are almost invisible to the human eye. Your dog should never sleep outside at night.
Feline Leukemia Virus:
Approximately 80% of infected cats die. It is passed from cat to cat or mother to kittens. It's a good idea to make sure that your cat has been vaccinated before it arrives in Spain.
Kennel cough:
Despite its name, this is not necessarily contacted in kennels. Being near any other dogs can mean exposure to the disease. It is a respiratory infection bringing about a mild, irritating cough. It's not normally a thing to worry unduly about, but it could debilitate the dog and make it vulnerable to other infections. The vet can solve the problem easily. 

Other possible animal problems:
Ticks and fleas:
The best way to prevent ticks and fleas is to use the medication "Frontline". It is widely available from vets in Spain. Ticks are abundant in the countryside in Spain and will become a problem for an animal who is not protected. A once monthly treatment with Frontline will prevent ticks from attaching themselves to your animal and from fleas living on your animal and in your home. This form of treatment is more effective than using tick or flea collars.
Leeches:
Never let your dog drink from drainage ditches or stagnant water. This will avoid leeches which could attach themselves to their mouths and nostrils. This would be very painful and would necessitate a trip to the vet.
Poisonous toads:
Although difficult to distinguish from other toads, the poisonous toad will spit a noxious toxin at your animal should it disturb it. If your pet licks, sniffs or paws at the toad it will spit at it. This can kill a small dog quickly and cause great pain to bigger animals. Look out for salivation, vomiting and diarrhea in your pet. Your pet should be taken to the vet quickly for the antidote.
Bites and stings:
There are some insects in Spain, such as wasps, bees and scorpions whose bites or stings can cause pain and on rare occasions kill a pet. Generally, scorpions in Spain do not have a sting powerful enough to kill a human, just to make then fell unwell.
Poison:
Although illegal, poisoned meat is sometimes put out to kill foxes, which are seen as rivals to the hunters who hunt in the countryside. During the hunting season it is advisable to not allow your pets to wander in the countryside alone. Occasionally hunters may wander onto your property and despite what they might say, they have no right to be there. Call the police immediately.
Processionary caterpillar:
A processionary caterpillar is 3-5 centimeters long and if touched is very poisonous. It can harm cats, dogs, children and adults. The nests can be found only in pine trees and they look like a large candy floss bag. When the caterpillars emerge in the spring time, they descend the pine tree, following each other nose to tail. Animals and children are intrigued by the line of moving caterpillars, but please be very careful because if they touch a caterpillar they will be affected. If you discover a nest in your area, get a professional to remove it and do not try to destroy it yourself. Attempting to burn the nests will release the toxins. The only DIY option is a “sticky band” around the tree so that they cannot descend.
Please remember that thousands of pets live in Spain happily and never have the slightest problem. These are just some of the common problems that could affect your pet.

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