You’ve decided that all the family is going on holiday. All the family includes taking your beloved pets. But a number of questions now arise such as: what is the procedure for flying with pets? Are pets allowed in an aircraft? Can I take my pet to Alicante airport or Spain?
The first thing you need to do is give yourself plenty of time to arrange things as there are a number of considerations and complications to take into account before being able to bring your dog or cat into Spain.
You must also find out which airlines carry pets as many do not and obtain the airline approved crate in which your pet will travel.
If you are flying to Alicante from another EU member state you can travel with your cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport. This passport is available from any authorised veterinarian and must contain details of a valid rabies vaccination.
If you are flying to Alicante from a country not in the European Union, a licensed veterinarian in the originating country must complete the non-commercial EU health certificate for Spain within 10 days of travel.
This process is quite complicated and will involve your pet being chipped with a chip that is readable with EU scanners. For example, even if your dog is already chipped in the United States it will need to undergo the process again as chips differ from country to country.
If you are flying with your pet to or from the UK, please also see our Brexit page for more information.
Every airline is different when it comes to their pet policy, but as a rule, animals are mostly required to travel in the hold. If the airline does permit pets in the cabin, your pet must meet certain requirements such as weighing less than 8 kilos and being able to fit under the seat in front of you. This rule does not apply to guide dogs who are allowed to travel in the cabin with their owner.
Generally speaking, if you want to bring your pet with you to Alicante it will have to travel in a pressurised cargo hold. While this might seem to raise concerns it is reassuring to note that thousands of pets travel around the world this way every year.
Nearly all airports have specially designated special grassy areas where pets can relieve themselves prior to being handed over to the airline for loading. Once you hand your pet over to the ground staff you will not be able to see it again until you arrive in Alicante. Do not under any circumstances give your pet any kind of medication to help relieve stress as if the dog looks tired, lethargic, or sick the airline will refuse to allow it aboard the aircraft.
If possible, only take direct flights and ask a member of the cabin crew to check with the captain to make sure your pet is safely onboard the aircraft. By simply doing this you know that your pet is on the plane and that the captain will be sure the hold is pressurised so that it is suitable for live animals.
Before you travel, have your dog checked by a vet and make sure its pet passport or travel papers are valid and that all vaccinations are up to date.
All guide and assistance dogs are allowed to travel with their owners free of charge. The dog must, however, be properly equipped with a collar, leash, and muzzle. When travelling with a guide or assistance dog, be sure to tell the airline at least 48 hours in advance.