Mandatory Dog Insurance In Spain To Take Effect Next Month

A woman walking dogs on a beach

The law comes into effect in September 2023. Credit:Oleksandr Pidvalnyi/ Pixabay

A noteworthy requirement has emerged in the new animal welfare law (Law 7/2023), bought into effect in March of this year.

The new law requires all dog owners to secure public liability insurance for each pet. This obligation will come into effect on September 29, 2023, marking a significant stride in enhancing pet protection, reports HealthPlanSpain.

Article 30 of the legislation explicitly states that individuals who own dogs must engage and sustain civil liability insurance coverage for potential third-party damages throughout the animal’s lifespan.

This inclusive coverage extends not only to possible harm inflicted by the dog but also holds owners accountable for the animal’s actions.

The aim is to ensure adequate financial safeguards are in place to address any resulting expenses.

While the concept of insurance for dogs has already been compulsory in various regions, such as Madrid, the Basque Country, and La Rioja, it is only one part of the new regulations introduced.

These include a compulsory training course for dog owners, a prohibition on the sale of most animals in pet stores, and more stringent penalties targeting those who subject animals to abuse or neglect.

Almost three out of every ten households in Spain share their home with a dog. Approximately 9.3 million dogs live in Spain, yet only around 3 per cent of these are covered by insurance.

To put this in perspective, the UK has insurance cover for 28 percent of its 10.1 million canine residents.

This proactive approach not only contributes to the welfare of dogs but also proves economically prudent.

For instance, the Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSCE) approximates an annual expenditure of around €300 on the healthcare necessities of each dog.

As an average figure, basic packages are around €24 annually, while more comprehensive options extending to approximately €90.

Individuals with existing home contents insurance policies may already have some degree of coverage for their pets.

However, come September, another requirement will be necessary – dogs included in an insurance policy must have a microchip, which is also law.

The new legal framework also spells out penalties for non-compliance with the insurance mandate.

While most instances of non-adherence are deemed minor infractions, more severe cases including the absence of insurance could invite fines ranging from €500 to €10,000, emphasising the seriousness of responsible pet ownership.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.


    • Alan

      07 August 2023 • 14:22

      Yet another necessary yet useless law. Useless because it will not be policed, laws prohibiting dogs on beaches for instance. I live opposite a very busy beach where one of the laws are NO DOGS. There are hundreds of dogs allowed to roam free, unleashed with no police intervention, actually no police presence to be seen and this is in the centre of town. Dog licenses should be mandatory, and enforce micro chipping for all pups.

    • Brian

      07 August 2023 • 15:42

      So what happens to the owners of hunting dogs as they are not even in the animal welfare law here in Spain, which is a disgrace…like they are nothing

      • Tobi

        07 August 2023 • 17:07

        Such a stupid law and it will probably lead to hundreds of dogs being abandoned. Owners who would love to be able to afford a health insurance for their pet are now being forced into a public liability insurance…. even if they have a gentle pet that would never harm anyone.

    • Lee Johansen

      07 August 2023 • 20:51

      What is the impact of this law on tourists traveling from outside the EU with a dog? Does the liability coverage they may have as part of a homeowners insurance policy met the laws requirements?

    • Marileen

      07 August 2023 • 22:43

      I agree with Tobi, I am a pensioner with three rescue dogs and this bill will be added to an ever-decreasing income. My dogs are gentle and well-behaved, kept on a lead in public are microchipped and vaccinated. This new law will solve nothing in the welfare of the mistreatment of dogs, but will only cause hardship to the kind souls who rescue them.

    • Peter Squires

      08 August 2023 • 10:50

      Apparently, this still has to be passed by the various communitates which are able to ignore it if they wish. There is likely to be a three month introductory period as nothing is in place as yet including the online exam to ensure (not a joke) that you can handle your dogs. Here in Valencia Vox now rule who are sceptical about welfare acts that over-reach the problem so it is possible they will ignore it.

    • Roy

      09 August 2023 • 16:33

      Waste of time. How about compulsory insurance for cyclists????

    • Colin Compton

      11 August 2023 • 09:56

      Does this apply to UK visitors who bring their dogs to Spain for a month or 2?

    • Brian Flude

      19 August 2023 • 13:22

      9.3 million dogs in Spain they estimate lowest cost of insurance about 24 Euros per dog , you do the maths , was this law written by the insurance companies and of course each policy carries tax . What do you do if you foster dogs for a charity or a stray that is not chipped ,has no legal owner but under the new law the municipality has to take it in and fund all the feeding and vets bills .

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