top of page

What to Know Before Transporting Dogs in Cars to Spain?

transporting dogs in cars

Are you a dog lover and want to transport your four-legged friend in a car to Spain? Then, you do not have to worry because you have landed on the right page. See, if you're considering relocating to Spain with your canine companion, it's important to familiarise yourself with the entry requirements for dogs. Keep in mind that the summer temperatures in the Mediterranean coast and central Spain can be too hot for your dog, so transporting during winter would be more advisable. In this blog, we will explore the essential information to know before transporting dogs in cars to Spain and also explore why a pet transport service is important.

Key Factors to Consider While Transporting Dogs in Cars to Spain

This transportation process involves careful planning to ensure the safety, well-being, and comfort of your furry friend. Here are key factors to consider:

Pre-Travel Health Check

Before planning any journey, it's crucial to ensure your dog is in good health. Schedule a visit to the vet for a thorough check-up, ensuring vaccinations are up-to-date and obtaining any required health certificates. This will comply with Spanish regulations and ensure a stress-free trip for your dog. 

Your canine companion must be a minimum of 12 weeks old to receive its initial rabies vaccination, a procedure that a licensed veterinarian must conduct. The effectiveness of the vaccine extends until the conclusion of the manufacturer-specified vaccination protection period, typically a one-year shelf life. 

This rule applies equally to booster vaccinations, which are treated as initial vaccinations if administered outside the designated validity period. Furthermore, entry into Spain is only permissible after a minimum period of 21 days following the completion of the initial vaccination protocol, as advised by the manufacturer.

Microchipping and Identification

Spain, like many other European countries, requires dogs to be microchipped for identification purposes. Ensure your dog's microchip is ISO 11784/11785 compliant and has been registered with your current contact information. Additionally, attach a collar with an ID tag containing your pet's name, your contact details, and any other relevant information.

Legal Guidance from DGT

The Directorate-General of Transport (DGT) in Spain has issued a set of guidelines regarding safe and legal travel with pets. When transporting animals in a vehicle, the DGT emphasises the importance of keeping necessary documentation readily available and ensuring proper restraint of the animal to prevent any interference with driving. It is recommended to use a separator to minimise distractions during the journey.

Regulations and Documentation

Research and understand the specific regulations governing pet travel to Spain. This includes entry requirements, quarantine rules (if applicable), and any breed-specific restrictions. Carry all necessary documentation, such as the pet passport, health certificates, and proof of microchipping, to avoid any complications at border crossings.

Local Veterinary Services

Before transporting dogs in cars to Spain, it is important to identify veterinary services along your route and at your destination. In case of emergencies or unexpected health issues, knowing where to find a reputable veterinarian can make all the difference. Keep a list of contact numbers and addresses easily accessible during your travels. Taking your dog's health card is a crucial step in the event of a veterinary emergency. Moreover, consider bringing a compact cleaning kit containing shampoo, soap, and a brush.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Plan your route in advance and identify pet-friendly accommodations along the way. Not all hotels or rental properties are welcoming to pets, so confirming their pet policy beforehand will prevent any last-minute surprises. Websites and apps dedicated to pet-friendly travel can be invaluable for finding suitable lodging options.

Car Safety Measures

Just like humans, dogs need to be securely fastened while in a moving vehicle. Invest in a quality dog seat belt, or consider using a secure crate. This not only prevents your pet from becoming a distraction but also ensures their safety in case of sudden stops or accidents. Familiarise your dog with the restraint before the trip to reduce anxiety.

Travel Comfort

Ensure your pet is comfortable during the journey. Pack their favourite blanket, toys, and a supply of familiar food. Consider bringing collapsible bowls and sufficient water to keep your dog hydrated. Regular breaks for exercise and bathroom breaks are essential, so plan your route with these considerations in mind.

Climate Considerations

Spain has diverse climates, ranging from the Mediterranean sun to the cooler temperatures in the Pyrenees. Check the weather forecast along your route and pack accordingly. If travelling during warmer months, be mindful of heat stress, and never leave your dog unattended in a parked car, even for a short period.

Language Barrier

Although numerous Spaniards are fluent in English, learning a few fundamental commands or phrases in Spanish can be advantageous, particularly when you find yourself in more rural areas. Knowing how to ask for pet-related assistance or directions can be invaluable in ensuring a smooth experience for both you and your dog.

Adjustment Period

Upon reaching your destination, allow your dog some time to acclimate to the new environment. Keep familiar items, such as their bed and toys, nearby to provide a sense of comfort. Establish routines quickly, including regular walks and feeding times, to help your dog settle into the new surroundings.

Employ an Appropriate Restraint System

Selecting the right restraint system is a crucial consideration when organising a trip and travelling with your dog in the car, ensuring all safety measures are in place. The choice may vary based on the dog's size and breed. For smaller dogs, using a carrier positioned on the car floor is advisable. Larger dogs can be placed in the rear-facing position within the luggage compartment. To enhance safety, it is recommended to augment this system with a dividing grid.

What Additional Information Is Essential When Bringing Dogs to Spain?

  • Puppies under 15 weeks old are prohibited from entering Spain. 

  • When you walk with your dog, it's crucial to carry waste bags to avoid potential hefty fines for not cleaning up after them.

  • Using a dog belt or harness while driving is a legal requirement in Spain. If you plan to travel by car, familiarise yourself with the proper procedures for transporting your dog.

  • Given the prevalence of ticks and lice carrying dangerous diseases in various Spanish regions, it's advisable to protect your pet against these parasites and ensure they are vaccinated against Mediterranean diseases like leishmaniasis.

  • While some hotels permit dogs, restrictions often depend on size and quantity. Restaurants in Spain do not allow dogs, although some may make exceptions for small, well-behaved dogs. 

Why Choose a Pet Transport Company to Move Your Dog?

Pet transportation services are crucial for ensuring a hassle-free experience for your dog during travel to Spain by road. These professionals verify Spain's specific entry requirements, including vaccinations and documentation according to the size, weight, and breed of your dog. They also use secure crates or restraints to prevent accidents to ensure the safety of your four-legged companion. Moreover, professional chauffeurs are familiarised with local regulations and required pet accessories. 


When considering transporting dogs in cars to Spain, it is crucial to prioritise the safety of your furry companions. Adequate preparation, compliance with pet travel regulations, and attention to the specific needs of your dogs are really important. Additionally, partnering with a reliable and experienced pet transport service can significantly streamline the process. By partnering with Exec Pets, a reputable dog transport service provider, you can ensure the security of your dog during transit. So whether you need to relocate with your dog or need pet transport services in Spain, we make the journey as stress-free and enjoyable as possible for your furry friend. Contact Us Today!


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page