Spain’s Royal Canine Society launches campaign to clarify Animal Welfare Law confusion

Image of a dog with its owner.

Image of a dog with its owner. Credit: 4 PM production/

An informative and educational campaign has been launched by the Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSCE).

This has been done in an effort to dispel doubts, false myths and confusion that have been circulating since Spain’s Animal Protection and Welfare Law came into force around one month ago.

Its aim is to provide pet owners with answers and enable them to be fully informed about their rights and responsibilities amid the confusion that has surrounded the new legislation.

On the RSCE website, the Society published a list of questions and answers that relate to the role of pet owners and their animals.

Do I have to take a course to own a dog?

No. Only future dog owners must take a responsible dog ownership course.

Do I have to pay for it?

No. This course will be free of charge and preferably online. The law, in the absence of regulatory development, does not yet specify the details of these courses.

What it does make clear is that the administration will make it easier for pet owners to do this online or in person, and that once the owner has this course, it will be valid indefinitely.

Do I have to take out specific civil liability insurance for the dog?

At the moment, it is not compulsory, except in the autonomous communities where the regulations currently include it. These are the Basque Country and Madrid. In the rest of Spain, insurance is only compulsory for owners of potentially dangerous dogs (PPP).

Although the name has since been changed to ‘special handling dogs’, in an attempt to eliminate the stigma attached to this category, the law continues to maintain this category.

If I have more than one dog do I need separate insurance policies?

No. The insurance is per owner, not per dog. According to the RSCE, this question is one of the main ones that pet owners have been asking them.

The owner is responsible for any damage caused by their dogs. This type of accident is more common than we think in everyday life the RSCE explained. For example, a leash that gets caught between the legs of a walker and causes a fall, etc.

Does my home insurance cover this?

The RSCE recommends that pet owners check their home insurance policy, as it normally includes civil liability insurance which in the majority of cases, provides sufficient cover.

They also advised people to be on the lookout for some insurance companies that try to sell unnecessary policies.

How many dogs can be kept in a single home?

For the first time in Spain, the Animal Welfare Law has recognised the position of the home breeder. Currently, the regulations – both regional and fiscal – do not contemplate these breeders, nor the responsible sale of dogs.

This point of the Law is awaiting the drafting of its regulations. It will eventually determine the number of animals that can be kept at home.

Will I be able to leave my dog tied up at the supermarket door?

This is another one of the main questions that the RSCE said it gets asked about the Animal Welfare Act.

The answer is that, above all, common sense must prevail. But the legal text is clear: Leaving dogs or other pets tied up at the door of an establishment will be considered as a minor offence and is punishable by a fine.

Ideally, the RSCE believes that the dogs should be allowed in the shops and said that it intends to continue to work to defend this objective.

Can dogs have access to public spaces?

One of the aims of the Animal Welfare Act is to normalise the access of dogs to public spaces, public roads and public transport, especially in those facilities belonging to the government.

However, this is subject to other site-specific ordinances or specific local ordinances and regulations.

Can I leave my dog at home alone?

The law states that dogs cannot be left alone for more than 24 hours to ensure their welfare and wellbeing.

What news is about the sterilisation of dogs?

There will be no compulsory sterilisation for dogs, with the only exception of those from shelters or any other means in the adoption channel.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at