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Your Pets

At different times throughout the year, MWR Rota will host events for your furry friends like the annual Doggy Dash and Splash.

Are you bringing, or planning to bring, pets to Spain? Here is some important information you need to know beforehand.

Requirements for Pet Entry to Spain
As soon as you know you’re moving to Spain, start preparing your pet for entry requirements. To insure you’re able to get everything done in a timely fashion, you should start on this early in the process or at least understand the process and plan accordingly.

Specific requirements for pets (defined as dogs and cats only) entering Spain include:

  • Pets must be at least four months of age when entering Spain
  • Animals must be identifiable with a 15-digit microchip (ISO 11784/5). Tattoos are not a sufficient form of identification
  • All vaccinations must be given after the microchip has been implanted and should be given to your pet at least 30 days prior to moving
  • Each pet must have a certificate of health for the European Union (EU), signed by any veterinarian accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, under the Veterinary National Accreditation Program. Once completed, the certificate must be endorsed by an official veterinarian employed by the Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Veterinarians employed by the U.S. military are considered official veterinarians, and a certificate signed by a military veterinarian does not need APHIS endorsement.
  • The health certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue
  • There is no quarantine requirement for entry into Spain
  • Check with your local veterinarian and the veterinarian in the country you’re moving to prior to your arrival

*** Be advised that the Navy does not pay to ship your pets. Individuals moving to Spain are responsible for the cost of shipping their pet.

***Ensure your transportation office knows you’re shipping pets to Spain, so they may help make reservations with your airline for you or direct you to the place to make reservations. Airlines charge fees for shipping pets and this expense is not reimbursable.

General Pet Travel Information
Pet owners are responsible for complying with all required documentation, immunizations and border clearance requirements and should be prepared to pay any necessary fees to obtain them. All animals are subject to examination by the customs’ veterinarian at the Spanish port of entry (usually Madrid Airport). Clearance of animals may be delayed after working hours and on weekends.

The passenger must provide an International Air Transport Association-approved container for the pet. It must be large enough for the animal to stand up, turn around and lie down with normal posture and body movements (some commercial airlines simply require that the animal “be comfortable,” so again, it is wise to check on specific requirements of the airline you are booked on). Mark “LIVE ANIMAL” on the container, clearly indicating your name, address, destination and the animal’s name. Include your sponsor’s local phone number on the container and a note in English and Spanish stating if the pet is friendly with strangers. Refer to the individual commercial carrier website and work directly with the airline to clarify flight eligibility requirements for your pet.

The maximum weight accepted as excess baggage, container and pet weight combined, is 99 pounds for commercial airline flights and 150 pounds on the AMC Patriot Express flights. Once you arrive and settle in, you may begin planning some trips with your pet. Traveling with your pet within Spain and the rest of Europe, either by land, air or sea, requires a European Union Pet Passport. This travel document can be purchased at Rota VTF on base, or at any off-base Spanish veterinary clinic. Be sure to bring your pet passport to all your veterinary appointments both on and off base to update the document at every visit.

If living in on-base housing, you are limited to a maximum of two pets (defined as dogs and/or cats) with no limit on size. All base housing units are fully fenced, but pet owners cannot leave their pets outdoors full-time out of consideration for their neighbors. Dog run enclosures are prohibited in housing areas. Most Spanish landlords will impose similar limits on pets and may impose size or weight limits. Regardless of the number, if one lives on or off base, all pets must have a 15-digit microchip and be registered with the Rota Branch Veterinary Treatment Facility (VTF) within 15 days of residency or of obtaining the animal. On-base residents must also register their pets with the housing office within the same 15-day period. All service member owned pets must be kept current on vaccinations. Spanish law requires annual vaccines for dogs and cats. If your pet has been administered a three-year vaccine in the States, it must be boostered after one year to be in compliance with local regulations. If receiving vaccinations off base, it is still necessary to inform the VTF of vaccine compliance.

Be advised that the Navy does not pay to ship your pets. Individuals moving to Spain are responsible for the cost of shipping their pet. This expense is NOT reimbursable or a tax write-off. In addition, commercial airline regulations have become increasingly stringent regarding pet travel to include barring specific breeds for part of the year due to hot and cold weather. The average cost to ship a pet utilizing a pet shipping company is approximately $3,000. Keep these factors in mind when considering a pet while in Spain.

During your stay in Spain you will be required to comply with Spanish law regarding care of animals. This includes purchasing a European Union Pet Passport and registering your pet’s microchip with the Spanish tracking system, which can be done at the Veterinary Treatment Facility on-base or any Spanish veterinary clinic for a nominal fee. You are required to keep a proof of vaccination and microchip with you at all times when walking your dog off base. Other requirements, such as muzzling and leash, may only apply based on where you live or travel within Spain with your dog.

Naval Station Rota does not have a pet boarding kennel on base. There are limited facilities available in the surrounding area off-base. The VTF maintains a list of kennel facilities and pet sitters. Be aware that it can be difficult to find a kennel that can accommodate large dogs for boarding. It is important to locate an acceptable facility and secure your reservation well in advance if you require boarding for your pet.

Exotic Pets & Dangerous Dogs
Non-domestic pets or exotic pets are not authorized in family housing. They include, but are not limited to snakes and other reptiles, chickens, ducks, monkeys, ferrets, rats and tarantulas. Hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs are allowed. If renting on the economy, check with the landlord. Certain breeds of dogs are considered “dangerous animals” under Spanish Law 50/99. This label applies to all dogs of the breed, regardless of past behavior or temperament. Dangerous dogs in Spain include the following breeds and cross breeds: Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Argentino Dogo, Fila Brisileiro, Tosa Ina and Akita Inu.

Visit the following links for more pet information:
Welcome Aboard packet
CNIC Naval Station Rota – Pets
Rota Branch Veterinary Treatment Facility Facebook Page

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