Moving to Madrid can be stressful enough when you’ve just got your family to think about… But what if your furry friends are part of the family too? It might seem daunting to begin with, but once you’ve got everything in order, it’s quite straightforward.
This is the first in a series of blog posts that any travelling pet owner will need. In the other posts we’ll deal with the logistics, paperwork and the best neighbourhoods in Madrid for you and your pets, but first, let’s get down to basics…
Here are the top 11 questions that pet owners need to consider when moving to Madrid, before, during and after your travels.
Before the move…
- Will moving be stressful on my pets? Moving can be stressful for animals, but it’s a better option than leaving them behind. After the initial travelling, it will take a few days for them to settle into their new environment, but it’s a lot easier for them than trying to cope with losing their family or pack members.
- How can I help my pets adjust to the move? Many cats and dogs respond well to Bach Rescue Remedy. You can put a few drops in their water and it helps to relax and calm them. For cats, Feliway is another great product that helps to put them at ease. For shorter journeys, a sedative from your vet may prove to be useful. Before the move, allow your pet to get used to the crate that they will be travelling in. Make it a comfy space for them and place their bed, treats or toys inside it.
- What species of animals can I bring to Spain with me? Most of the general importation rules apply to dogs, cats and ferrets. Most other animals, including birds, reptiles, rabbits and rodents are not subject to the rabies vaccinations that dogs, cats and ferrets need, but there may be other rules applicable to their species. It’s advisable to speak to your local vet and to check the import and export requirements placed on these animals.
- I have a “banned” breed dog. Can I enter Spain with it? Madrid has laws regarding PPP dogs (perros potencialmente peligrosos) but there are no restrictions on them. If you have one of the following breeds, they must be registered within 3 months: Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bill Terrier, Akita Inu, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasiliero, Tosa Inu. If you travel outside Madrid to other regions, the regulations may vary.
- Will my pet be quarantined? As long as you’ve got the necessary paperwork there is no quarantine period.
- How many pets can I take with me? As a non-commercial pet owner you can take up to 5 pets.
- How can I talk to other pet-owners about their experience? There’s a group on Facebook called “Madrid Pet Lovers”. It’s full of English speakers in the city who have either moved with their pets, or have adopted or fostered from protectoras in Spain. If you’re unsure about anything, feel free to join the group and ask any questions you might have.
When in Madrid…
- Is it difficult to find accommodation in Madrid when you have a pet? Nope. Madrid is quite a pet-friendly city. If you’re looking online for an apartment, landlords don’t normally specify “pets allowed.” Some will specify “No pets allowed”, so obviously just steer clear of those ones. If you’re interested in an apartment, talk to the landlord and explain your situation. Some may require an extra pet deposit, but there are also others who don’t. Your best bet is to talk to as many landlords as possible, and give yourself a few options to choose from. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, send us an email and we can help with the process.
- Is vet care expensive in Madrid? This will depend on the vet that you choose. I’ve visited a few vets in Madrid, and I’m really happy with Can Contento in Lavapiés. The vets are lovely, and really friendly and their prices are quite reasonable. They charge €28 for a consultation and this covers a lot of the tests, and often medications required. Some clinics hold discount campaigns throughout the year for neutering and spaying, microchipping and for vaccinations. The Comunidad de Madrid sponsors some of these, in particular the rabies vaccination campaign.
- Where can I find a petsitter? There are a lot of websites offering pet-sitting services in Madrid. One of these is DogBuddy. Pet-sitters create a profile and you can book their services through the site. There are also a lot of catteries and kennels outside of the city too.
- What if I decide to go home again? If you decide to return home with your pet, preparation is key. Make sure you leave plenty of time to arrange everything, and leave extra time for emergencies and problems.
Madrid is a wonderfully pet-friendly city where dogs are even welcome in a lot of bars, restaurants and shops. It’s full of luscious parks and long walks that your four-legged friend is going to love.
If you’re looking for a smooth move to Madrid, or you want to save time and money looking for accommodation for you and your furry family, just send us an email!