There is no denying that your pets are part of the family and there is no way you are leaving them behind when you move abroad!

The first thing you need to know is that pets are very welcome when you move to Madrid. In fact, owning a dog seems to be a huge part of the culture here. You simply have to open your front door and take a few steps down the street and you will soon pass countless locals out for walks with their own pooches. That’s the good news!

However, the process of moving abroad with pets is not always straight forward. You have to consider everything such as travel arrangements, documentation, vaccines and that’s all prior to arriving!

Once you have arrived the next challenge you have is finding an apartment that allows pets. But of course, once you are settled in your new apartment and reunited with your pet, either curled up on your lap (or chilling in its tank!) it all becomes worth it.

Here is our short guide to help you move to Madrid with a pet.

What do I need to do before I come?

Like many countries, the rules to bring a pet with you can be quite strict. You should always make sure you are up to date with the most relevant rules, but at this time you need to make sure you do the following:

ISO Pet Microchip

Your pet must have an ISO (International Standards Organisation) Pet Microchip. This must have a 15 digit number. Some microchips only have a 9 or 10 digit number in which case you must provide your own microchip scanner.

Make sure you visit your vet and understand which you have and that everything is in working order prior to travel.

Vaccines and Health Certificates

Your pet will need to have been vaccinated for rabies between 21 days before you travel and 1 year.

If you are arriving from a country with a high incidence of rabies (check the list here) then you will also need to arrange blood tests one month after the initial vaccination and 3 months before arriving in Madrid. Make sure you plan for this well in advance.

Please note that this applies to cats and dogs. For other types of animals you may not need to get a rabies certificate but there may be other requirements to check.
You will also need to have a health certificate signed by your vet no more than 15 days before you travel. All being well, this should mean on arrival you can take your pet straight home.

Other Certificates

It is important that the pet you bring is not only free of disease, but also is kept in an area which is normally free of animal diseases. You will need a certificate stating this to be the case.  You can get this from your local agriculture ministry.

All the certificates mentioned should be stamped by the Spanish authorities in your country to be valid upon arrival. You will need to pay a small fee for this.

How to travel to Madrid with my Pet?

Travel by Air

You will need to have a special container for your pet. This should of course have plenty of room, ventilation, food and as much comfort as possible.

For smaller pets, it is possible to take them into the cabin itself. Again, they need to be in a special container which adheres to strict aviation standards.

The standards for air travel are set by the International Air Transport Asssociation and you can see the most up to date guidance here:

Travel by ship or ferry

Make sure you speak to the ship or ferry company in advance. Each may have their own rules on how to transport your pet.

Do I need a pet passport for Spain?

Yes, you need a pet passport for anywhere in the EU.

This will have all the details of your pet, their latest vaccinations, microchip number and owners’ details.

To get a pet passport you will need to locate an EU authorised veterinarian. They will make sure that the microchip is working and that your pet has all the required vaccines within the right time periods for the destination that you are travelling to.

Arriving in Madrid

After all that, you need to make sure the apartment you are moving into is pet friendly - otherwise you run the risk of being kicked out!

That being said, in such a pet-friendly city, many landlords are happy for you to bring your pets. The easiest way to find them is to switch on the ‘Pet Friendly’ filter when searching for your apartment on Spotahome. This means you won’t have to waste your time making lots of individual enquiries.

We hope that you found our guide useful, and that it helps you have a stress-free move to Madrid with your pet.

Looking for a place in Madrid? Spotahome has you covered.

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