Travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets: more information and FAQ

In this page:

1. What is the maximum number of pets I can travel with?

If you travel with more than 5 pets within the EU or from a third country, commercial regulations  would apply to the movement.

link to CEXGAN.

However, there are exceptions for those dogs, cats or ferrets that are going to participate in a competitions, exhibitions or sporting events, or a training for such activities.
For more information see the website about  travelling with pets (dogs, cats and ferrets)


2. Do I (as the owner or person responsible for the animal) need to accompany my pet during the trip?

In general, all pets must travel accompanied by their owner. For duly justified and documented reasons, it is allowed that the movement of the animals is done in a separate means of transport from that of the owner, if it occurs within a period of no more than five days with respect to the movement of the owner/responsible person.

3. Is there a minimum age for pets to travel?

The minimum age if travelling from a country without rabies risk (within the EU or countries listed in Annex II of Regulation 577/2013) is 15 weeks. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before being vaccinated against rabies, as the vaccine would not be effective before that, and then wait at least 21 days (the period in which immunity is established) before being able to travel.


Some EU countries accept animals under 12 weeks without rabies vaccination, although most EU countries do not. This can be checked at the following link:


If coming from a country outside the EU with rabies presence/risk (not listed in Annex II of Regulation 577/2013), the minimum age would be 7 months. The puppy would need, in addition to rabies vaccination, a serological test in an approved laboratory to determine its rabies antibodies. The test must be carried out at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination and the animal will only be allowed to enter after 3 months from the date of the blood sample.

Spain does not grant exceptions, nor does it authorise the entry of unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets.

4. How long before I travel should I contact my veterinarian?

It is advisable to contact your vet well in advance.
Depending on the conditions in the country of destination, if your pet has the necessary rabies or other vaccinations in force, or if it needs a blood test, it may take quite some time to arrange all the documentation. If you are travelling within the EU, it is recommended that you contact with your veteterinarian at least 2 months in advance, and if you are travelling outside the EU, we recommend a longer notice.

5. On December 29, 2014, new pet passports were introduced. What does this mean for my pet?

If your pet has a passport issued before December 29, 2014, it is not necessary to obtain a new one, its old passport is valid. If your pet is issued a passport after December 29, 2014, it will receive the new model.

6. I am living in the EU. Where can I get a pet passport?

You should contact a veterinarian in the country where the animal is located. The national authorities of each EU country are responsible for distributing the passport to the veterinarians they have authorised for this purpose.

7. What should I do if I have lost my passport?

You should contact your veterinarian to have a new passport issued and have your pet revaccinated again, or if your veterinarian has a record of the vaccinations given to the animal, to have the information on the vaccinations given to the animal, including the manufacturer, name of the vaccine, the batch number, date of administration and signature of the authorised veterinarian, written down on the new passport.

8. What are the main changes between the old and new passports?

-The new animal passport, for security reasons, includes laminated strips to cover certain information in the passport.

-The new passport has an additional page to record the details of the issuing veterinarian.

-In addition, the new passport adds the words "valid from" to the rabies vaccination section which allows owners to clearly see when the passport is valid for travel and simplifies the checkout process (only necessary for first-time vaccination as the date of administration of the vaccine and the date of validity do not coincide. In the case of booster vaccinations it is not necessary to fill it in).

9. Where can I identify my pet?

To microchip your pet, you must go to your regular veterinarian.

10. Is tattoo identification allowed?

Yes, but it is only valid if the tattoo was done before July 3, 2011 and must remain clearly legible.

11. Does my pet need to be identified before being vaccinated against rabies?

Yes, your animal must be treated in the correct order. In order to ensure the identity of the animal at the time of vaccination, the microchip must be checked before the vaccine is given.

12. When is a rabies serological test required?

A blood sample is required for travelling from certain countries outside the EU with rabies presence/risk. If you are going to one of these countries and then returning, it is important to take a serological test before leaving the EU.

In no case, a rabies serological test is required for travelling within the EU.

For more information visit the website about travelling with pets (dogs, cats and ferrets)

13. Does my pet need to be dewormed to travel to or within the EU?

To travel to the UK, Ireland, Malta, Finland and Norway it is compulsory to treat your dog against Equinococcus multilocularis between 1 and 5 days before entering one of those countries.

14. I am on holidays and want to bring home an abandoned or purchased animal. What are the requirements?

To bring an animal into Spain, it must meet the requirements established in European Union regulations. To bring animals from certain countries, it will take a minimum of 3-4 months to meet all the requirements.

For more information visit the website about travelling with pets (dogs, cats and ferrets)

Keep in mind that rabies is still present in many countries. When an animal is infected with rabies, the period of time between contracting the disease and the appearance of symptoms is usually between one and two months (and can be more than a year). Although the animal appears to be perfectly healthy, it may be infected.

15. What is legalization of documents, Hague Apostille or Consular Legalisation?

he legalization of documents is a bureaucratic procedure that some countries require for a document to be recognized as valid. There are two types of legalizations: The Hague Apostille or Consular legalisation, which in practice is a series of seals that will be placed by different agencies on the back of the official export certificate made out to your pet.
There are few countries that request a legalization of the official export certificate, but if a country requires it, it will be one type of legalization or the other, never both.
No EU country requires legalisation for documents accompanying your pet from a third country or another EU Member State.
For more information, see the Export Protocol

16. If I am living in a country outside the EU and I have to vaccinate my pet against rabies, can my vet write the vaccination down in my passport?

Vaccinations in the European Pet Passport must be registered by a veterinarian authorised in the EU, i.e. veterinarians in third countries should not do this. If, while you are in a non-EU country, you are required to vaccinate the animal, this must be done and a certificate in accordance with EU legislation must be requested from the competent authority of the country in which the vaccination is to be carried out (see section 5 at travelling with pets (dogs, cats and ferrets)

17. If I am travelling from a non-rabies country, but will be stopping in a rabies risk country (not listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) 577/2013), do I have to test my pet for rabies?

No. EU regulations provide for this situation, and it is not necessary to carry out the serological test as long as the animal is confined in a means of transport or in the international airport enclosure during transit. This must be declared by the owner in a document that is set out in Part 2 of Annex I of Regulation (EU) 577/2013.

18. If I am travelling from a country outside the EU, and stop over at an EU airport, where will my pet be checked before I arrive at my destination airport?

Most often, the controls established by the different EU countries are carried out when the animal leaves the customs area of the airport. In other words, if you do not take your pet out of the terminal at the airport where you are stopping, your pet will not be checked.

As the owner or representative of the animal, you are obliged to present your pet to the control authorities at the moment it enters the EU territory, i.e. at the airport of arrival.

19. What happens if I travel with my animal and do not comply with the requirements?

Make sure your pet meets all the requirements before you travel. Failure to comply with the requirements could result in the pet being detained in a quarantine facility, returned to its country of origin, or even euthanized as a last resort, at the owner's expense.

Pets that do not comply with the established requirements can pose a serious risk to both animals and people.

20. When I travel from another country to Spain with my pet, can I enter through any Spanish airport?

If you are travelling from a country that does not belong to the EU or that is not in the EU environment (Countries listed in part I of Annex II of Regulation 577/2013 , such as Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco...), you must enter with your pet through one of the designated Passenger Entry Points. Further information and a list of these designated points can be found in the section "Bringing a pet from a non-EU country".

21. What is rabies?

Rabies is a globally distributed disease, produced by a virus that can affect warm-blooded animals including humans.  Transmission to humans usually occurs through a bite or direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal on non-intact skin or mucous membranes. It is a fast-track disease, affecting the central nervous system, causing death if not treated with utmost urgency.

Learn more about rabies


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