Spain’s New Rules For Dogs Travelling In Cars

Advice On Safe Pet Travel

Jack Russell safely secured. Credit: eva_blanco/

Is your furry friend ready for the road? Recent changes to the Animal Welfare Law have revolutionised pet travel in vehicles, with hefty fines up to 10,000 euros for non-compliance.

The Animal Welfare Law, effective a few months ago, has introduced significant alterations in pet care, particularly for dogs during car travel.

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), led by Pere Navarro, stressed: ‘Animals that are not carried properly in the vehicle represent a significant risk of injury to all their occupants.’ However, the DGT hasn’t provided detailed guidelines, leaving it to the law itself to clarify.

Safety And Comfort For Canine Companions

Article 18.1 of the Animal Welfare Law requires drivers to ensure pets are comfortably and safely positioned in the vehicle. This is crucial to avoid any interference with the driver.

Dogs must have adequate space, with advice on addressing their physiological needs such as water, food and regular breaks. During summer, proper air conditioning and ventilation are essential for their well-being.

Rest, Sustenance, And Documentation

The law also mandates sufficient rest periods for dogs, alongside access to water and food, ensuring their health isn’t compromised.

Carrying the dog’s documentation is another key requirement. According to the DGT, ‘dogs usually go in a carrier in the back, fixed to the seats, or with a device that anchors them to the seat belts, which must be a harness, not a collar.’

This two-hook harness prevents the dog from moving forward, ensuring no undue pressure is placed on the driver. A short connection system is advised to prevent the pet from hitting the front seats.

This legislative change aims to enhance road safety and animal welfare, ensuring pets are treated with care and respect during travel. It’s a step forward in acknowledging the needs of our canine companions, integrating them more safely and comfortably into our journeys.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.