A Complete Guide to Flying with Your Dog from the UK to Spain

A Complete Guide to Flying with Your Dog from the UK to Spain


Planning a Spanish adventure with your furry friend? This guide simplifies flying your dog from UK to Spain. Covers airlines, documents, pet-friendly Spain & more!

Dreaming of exploring the vibrant culture and charming landscapes of Spain with your furry best friend? Don't fret, it's paw-ssible! This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the necessary information for a smooth and stress-free flight with your dog from the UK to Spain.

A Complete Guide to Flying with Your Dog from the UK to Spain

Part 1: Pre-Departure Preparation

1. Essential Items:

  • Carrier:  Ensure your dog has a comfortable and airline-approved carrier that meets size and ventilation requirements.
  • Leash and Collar:  A sturdy leash and well-fitting collar with ID tags are crucial.
  • Food and Water Bowls:  Pack collapsible bowls for easy access to food and water during travel.
  • Favorite Toys and Comfort Items:  Familiar items can help reduce your dog's stress.
  • Bedding:  A familiar blanket or bed will provide comfort in the carrier.
  • Waste Bags and Cleaning Supplies:  Be a responsible pet owner and clean up after your dog.
  • Medications (if applicable):  Pack any prescribed medications with clear instructions.

2. Document Preparation:

To ensure a seamless entry into Spain with your dog, certain documentation is mandatory. Here's a breakdown of the crucial documents and official resources:

  • Microchip:  Your dog must be microchipped with an ISO-compliant microchip.
  • EU Pet Passport (or UK-issued Government Health Certificate):
    • Spain requires all dogs entering from the UK to have an EU Pet Passport issued in an EU member state or a UK-issued Government Health Certificate. You can find details and download the application form for the UK Government Health Certificate here:  https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad
    • The certificate needs to be completed by a licensed veterinarian and include details of rabies vaccination, deworming (if required), and microchip information.

3. Dog Health Check:

Schedule a visit with your veterinarian well in advance of your trip.

  • Ensure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations, particularly rabies. Different airlines may have varying vaccination validity periods, so confirm with the chosen airline beforehand.
  • Discuss your travel plans with your vet and obtain a health certificate confirming your dog's fitness for travel.

Part 2: Taking Flight with your Furry Companion

1. Airline Options:

Several airlines allow pets on flights from the UK to Spain. Here are a few popular choices:

2. Airline Requirements:

Each airline has specific regulations regarding pet transportation. Here's a breakdown of key areas to consider:

  • Cabin or Cargo:  Whether your dog can travel in the cabin or cargo hold depends on airline policies, breed size, and pet carrier dimensions.
  • Document Requirements:  All airlines require specific documentation, including microchip confirmation, EU pet passport (or UK Government Health Certificate), vaccination records, and a health certificate from a veterinarian.
  • Fees:  Be prepared for additional pet transportation fees that vary depending on the airline and chosen travel class (cabin or cargo).
  • Booking Procedures:  Some airlines require advance booking for pet travel, so plan accordingly and contact the airline for specific reservation procedures.

Part 3: Alternative Travel Methods:

1. Road Trip Adventures:

Traveling by car allows for more flexibility and stops along the way. Ensure your dog is secured in a dog car seat or dog car harness while traveling. Research pet-friendly rest stops and accommodation along your route.

2. Public Transport:

While flying is a common option for pet travel between the UK and Spain, public transportation options are limited. Here's a breakdown of the availability and resources for each mode:


  • Brittany Ferries:  Operates ferry routes from Portsmouth and Plymouth in the UK to Santander and Bilbao in Spain. They allow dogs on board under specific regulations:
    • Pets must be microchipped and have a valid EU pet passport or UK Government Health Certificate.
    • Rabies vaccination and other health requirements might apply. Check their website for specific details.
    • Pets must travel in a pet carrier or kennel that meets size regulations.
    • Advance booking for pet travel is mandatory.
    • Fees for pet travel apply.
    • Website:  https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/pet-travel/travelling-by-ferry-with-pets



  • National Express:   Does not  allow pets on their coaches. This is the general policy for most major bus companies operating in the UK.

Important Note:

  • Public transport options for pet travel are limited, and regulations can change. Always directly contact the chosen ferry operator or train company for the latest information on pet travel policies, fees, and booking procedures.

Alternatives to Consider:

  • Road Trip:  If feasible, consider a road trip from the UK to Spain. This allows for more flexibility and control over your travel schedule. Ensure your dog is secured in a crate or harness while traveling, and research pet-friendly rest stops and accommodation along your route.
  • Pet Transport Services:  Professional pet transport companies specialize in handling the entire travel process for your dog. This can be a suitable option if you require more personalized care or a hands-off travel experience.

Part 4: Pet-Friendly Spain: A Tail-Wagging Welcome

Now that you've mastered the travel logistics, let's explore the exciting world of pet-friendly Spain!

  • Legal Requirements:  Leash laws are common in Spain, so ensure your dog is always leashed in public spaces. Always clean up after your pet.
  • Public Transportation:  Regulations for pets on public transportation vary by region and operator. Research specific guidelines before attempting to travel with your dog on buses or trains.
  • Hotels and Restaurants:  Many hotels and restaurants in Spain welcome furry guests. Look for pet-friendly establishments when booking your accommodations and dining experiences.

Part 5: Essential Items for Outings with Your Pet:

  • Leash and poop bags (always!)
  • Portable water bowl and water
  • Cooling bandana or vest (especially in warm weather)
  • Treats and chew toys
  • First-aid kit for minor injuries

Part 6: Real Pawsome User Sharing:


With careful planning and this comprehensive guide, you and your furry companion can embark on a memorable and stress-free adventure in sunny Spain!

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