“El perro es el mejor amigo del hombre”
So, you’re thinking of bringing your four-legged friend to Benidorm. You love the sea, the sun, the sangria. Everything is perfect. Except your furry pal isn’t by your side.
Spain is very pet-friendly. You can usually sit with your dog on the outside patio of bars and restaurants, there are dog parks and even dog beaches.
Getting your pet to Benidorm can be costly. But, if taking your dog for a walk along the promenade and sitting in coffee shops stroking your doggo sounds like your perfect holiday, then it’s definitely worth it.
The Pet Travel Scheme, shortened to PETS, came around in February 2000. This allows UK resident dog, cats and ferrets to travel to certain other countries and return to the UK without the need for quarantine, provided that the conditions are met.
Your pet must be registered with the PETS scheme. In Britain, PETS is administered by DEFRA.
Basically, as long as you are complying with the law, step by step, you can make use of the PETS system.
The Spanish peninsula, the Canary islands and the Baeleric islands are all included in this scheme. However, Ceuta and Melilla aren’t.
Before you Start
You need to make an appointment at your local vet, they can sort these out for you!
- Get a Microchip
Since April 2016, it has been by law that all dogs are microchipped, so your dog should already have one! If not, make sure you get one, right now, otherwise, you can be facing hefty fines! If your furry friend is still a puppy, they must be chipped by 8 weeks of age.
- Get the Vaccines
Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exception to this. Even if your pet has a current rabies certificate, they must be vaccinated after microchipping.
- Blood Test Time
Your vet will then administer a blood test to ensure the vaccine has provided satisfactory protection against rabies.
- Tapeworm Treatment
Usually, dogs will be required to have a tapeworm treatment.
If your dog is already microchipped and the rabies certificate is up-to-date you may be able to skip a few steps! Always speak to your local vet for advice.
Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months, put down, or returned to the country you travelled from if you don’t follow these rules. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.
If your furry friend doesn’t have a pet passport. Then, now is the time to get one. They’re not going anywhere without one of those!
The Pet Passport is issued by a government-authorised vet. These are known as Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVI). If your local vet doesn’t have one on site, they can point you in the direction of the nearest one.
The passport stays valid, providing you continue to meet the requirements.
There are only certain travel options that are available. This includes Ferry, Rail and Air.
If you’re travelling by air, you must use an approved airline and company. By air, this is the current list of approved routes: Airlines and Airports.
Flybe, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Iberia, including Iberia Express, will get you to Spain.
If you are travelling by Sea or Rail, this is the list of approved routes: Sea and Rail Routes
Brittany Ferries from Plymouth or Portsmouth will get you directly to Spain. The Eurotunnel and other ferries will get you to France to then drive down to Spain.
Other Important Info
Your pet must arrive in the UK no more than 5 days before or after you.
You need to fill in a declaration confirming that you aren’t going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pet.
Your pet can travel with someone else if you’ve authorised it in writing.
Hazards and Laws in Spain
It goes without saying that the temperature is very different. Your pet may not be accustomed to this. If you plan to take your dog on walks, check the temperature of the pavement with the back of your hand.
In the heat of the summer, locals take their dogs on walks in the morning or later on in the day when it starts to cool. Always ensure you have fresh water. If you have forgotten your water, it is very uncommon for a bar to give your pet fresh water. Most bars have dog bowls available.
All dog faeces must be picked up by law. It is also recommended to wash urine away with water, the Benidorm town hall is in talks of making this a law.
There are a few harmful critters in Spain that you must be aware of:
- Sand Flies
These can cause Canine Leishmaniasis. This can be transmitted between dogs but can be prevented. Ensure your dog wears a collar that repels the flies and has up-to-date treatments of repellant. Our dog has monthly treatments of Vectra 3D to repel flies and insects too. Symptoms include nosebleeds, fur loss, loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Pine Processionary Caterpillars
These are found in woodlands. You can recognise them by their orange-brown colour and blue bands. The threat is from the tiny hairs. Dogs can stand on these hairs and then lick them as they start to itch. This transmits the hairs to the tongue which can result in itching, vomiting, swelling and even death.
The Mediterranean Scorpion can give a nasty sting to curious animals.
Mosquitos can cause irritation to both humans and animals.
Keep checking back as I’ll be updating with the best places to go with animals and also the best places to stay!