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Guide on recommendations, requirements and advice for responsible holidays with pets

Friday 2 August 2019

The arrival of summer means that the number of travellers increases compared with other holiday periods. Those who own pets should plan these leisure periods in a different fashion and take into account a series of recommendations, requirements and advice to spend their holidays responsibly with their pets.

When travelling, animals - no more than five - must travel with the owner or person responsible for them. Dogs, cats and ferrets must travel to EU Member States with a European pet passport, be microchipped and be vaccinated against rabies.

In the case of travelling to a third country, you must comply with the requirements of the country in question. To obtain suitable information, you are advised to contact the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit.

Additional information is contained on the website of the ministerial department in the case of trips with pet birds, in order words, those species of bird other than hens, turkeys, guinea fowl, geese, quail, pigeons, pheasants, partridges and ratites.

It is important to be aware that when travelling from Spain to another EU country, the rules on the movements of birds between Member States are not standardised at an EU level, and hence each country may establish its own rules.

The ministerial department also has a series of recommendations of interest in these cases, both for travelling to and from Spain. There is also information and the relevant forms to take into account in the case of other animals that could be considered as pets, such as certain invertebrates, ornamental aquatic animals, amphibians, reptiles, rodents and rabbits.

Responsible ownership, even on holiday

The ministerial department, as part of its campaign entitled "Responsible ownership of pets", also calls for responsibility, not only when complying with prevailing rules, but also so that the pet is well attended, whether or not they are travelling accompanied.

A good piece of advice in general is to have vets in the area located you are travelling to in advance, in case this should become necessary. Also, prior to travelling to your destination, particularly if it is exotic, you would be well advised to find out about any distinctive features of the region.

When travelling with pets, you should take a series of precautions. You should pay close attention to potential dangers to pets when outside of their comfort zone, if they are not used to this situation. An animal that is not used to its surroundings may become scared and flee, and even get lost.

It is important for your pet to also wear a tag with a contact phone number.

Tips for the beach

When travelling to the beach, you should familiarise yourself with those beaches that accept animals, and any timetables. You should remember that beach sand may be abrasive to their paws and sea-salt may be in irritant in some cases. Jellyfish, sea urchins and crabs may also bite or sting your pet. You should also provide some form of shelter as pets also need to be kept in the shade. It is necessary to have somewhere to protect them.

If, for any reason, it is not possible to travel with your pet, the ministry warns you that the person who looks after your pet should have some experience with animals. It is not enough for them to be a good friend, they should also know how to assess a situation and know how to react if any problem arises with the animal.

In the event that this is not possible and you need to leave your pet in a shelter, it is advisable to use an authorised establishment. Both your vet and the local authorities can provide you with this information.

Non official translation