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Bringing Pets to Tenerife

For those of us wishing to pack our bags and relocate to our beautiful island, or perhaps for those ‘swallows’ who spend the winter months here, it would be almost unbearable without being accompanied by our favourite furry friends.

In order to travel with your pet, it must be over 3 months old and will also need the following:

  1. Microchip
  2. Rabies Vaccination or recent booster (plus usually tapeworm treatment)
  3. Pet Passport

If you attempt to travel with your pet without all of the above, your pet is likely to end up in quarantine for up to 4 months.

You should allow sufficient time between administering a Rabies vaccination and the proposed travel date, as a blood test must be carried out to ensure that it has a sufficiently high level of Rabies antibodies.

Your Vet can also assist you in making the passport application. You can choose whether or not to add your dog’s photo to the passport.  Your Vet will then record the Rabies vaccination, boosters and the test results in the Pet Passport.

The passport lasts for the lifetime of the pet and does not expire. However, you can apply for a replacement if/when all the treatment pages/spaces are full.

Sadly, pets do not appear to qualify at present for Avios or other frequent flier points schemes!


If you wish to bring a dog to Spain that is on the ‘dangerous dog’ list, there are additional requirements.

The definition of a ‘dangerous dog’ varies and is defined and policed by each individual Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), so it is best to check the rules in your particular instance. However, if you own a Pit-bull, Rottweiler, Doberman, German Shepherd or similar cross-breeds, you can be fairly certain that your dog is on the list. Some Town Halls even specify measurements of musculature and jaw size, making some potentially docile breeds ‘dangerous’ simply because of their size.

If your dog is classed as ‘dangerous’, then you are required to produce a Criminal Records Certificate to your local Town Hall showing that you do not have a prison record. In addition, you will be required to undergo a basic medical examination at an authorised centre to prove that you are physically capable of controlling your dog. Finally, you will be required to take out an appropriate insurance policy against any damage or injury your dog may cause. Your vet can recommend an appropriate insurer or policy depending on your circumstances.

Registration must be carried out within 1 month of your dog’s arrival in Spain.

No doubt enforcement of this law in Tenerife is considered by some to be lax or non-existent. However, if you are ‘denounced’ when your dog gets into an incident with another dog or person (even if your dog was just defending itself), you can rest assured that the police will check if you have registered your dog with the Town Hall. Fines for non-compliance can be severe, with fines of several thousand Euros plus damages of up to €120,000 Euros.