Moving a dog to live in Marbella

Ranking high in the list of important issues to consider when moving to Spain, is how to get your beloved pet dog to your new home safely and in one piece. Once you have arranged the practical points of medical care and transportation you should also consider the cultural differences that you might encounter when you move your dog to this part of Europe.

Some parts of Spain are not particularly dog friendly, however in Marbella, and many regions on the Costa del Sol pets are generally welcomed and most veterinary practices here are excellent and far less expensive than in other countries.

General EU rules apply to bringing a dog into Spain, and the best advice is to always check with your travel company and vet on every aspect of the move.

Important Information relating to moving your dog to Spain:

Getting Fido into the country

  • Your dog must hold a valid EU pet passport
  • Dogs younger than fifteen weeks old are not allowed to enter Spain
  • Microchip identification is essential
  • If your dog is listed on the ‘potential dangerous dogs list’ you will need to obtain a specific licence and your dog must wear a muzzle in public. Send us an email should you need help being pointed in the right direction for this licence
  • Rules for rabies are strict and your dog must be fully vaccinated and receive the required booster injections – you should always check diligently with your vet about the requirements for rabies


By air:

  • According to Ruffgers Dog Boarding Facility large dogs are transported in cages in an airconditioned section of the hold
  • Small dogs up to 8kg like a yorkie can be kept in the cabin, but its transportation box must meet each airline’s specifications and it will not be allowed out during the flight
  • Tickets are booked through the airline and regulations should be double checked with each company

By road/sea:

  • Depending on your route and the ferry company you are travelling with you may or may not be able to access your dog throughout the journey. Pets are normally kept inside cars or transportation boxes in a closed area of the boat
  • Tickets and regulations should be checked with each ferry business

When you get furbabe to Spain!

Clearing up after your dog

You should be aware that fines can be administered to dog owners who don’t clear up after their pet when out walking – so carry a bag with you at all times.

Strap him in

In line with other sensible safety measures that drivers should adhere to whilst in Spain is the general obligation to use a harness or pet seat belt to confine a dog to the back seat of your car.

Trips to the beach

Dogs are strictly forbidden on Spanish beaches in summer but many friendly autonomous communities will have designated areas that will welcome your pooch. It’s a good idea to check with locals and/or your town hall what regulations exist throughout the year for beaches near you. There are two in Marbella, one near Nueva Andalucia en playa Ventura del Mar and one east of the centre of Marbella, at playa El Pinillo. But there is also many beautiful natural lakes to be found in the area, where your dog can happily cool down or swim.

Dangerous ticks

Ensure your dog has been vaccinated against any dangerous diseases that they might catch from the prevalent ticks that are found in many regions of the country – you should check what injections are needed with your local vet, Go Here for more information.

Beware the caterpillar!

There is a species of caterpillar in Spain that can be a deadly threat to dogs. When spring arrives you need to keep an eye out around pine trees for the toxic Pine Processionary Caterpillar  (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa) and ensure you keep your dog well away from this danger.