Healthplan Spain


Dog and cat chilling together Which Vaccinations Are Mandatory For Pets In Spain? Expat Tips

There are 15 million pets in Spain, with most of them being dogs and cats. But rabbits, tortoises, and turtles are also included in that number.

The most popular pets are dogs, with the number of dog owners in Spain rising by 38 percent in the last three years. With this in mind, it is important to know the necessary vaccinations that they need.

If you are considering becoming a pet owner in Spain, or already own a pet but are not sure which vaccinations they require, the following information will be of interest to you.


When it comes to dogs, they can easily be exposed to a range of viruses and illnesses while socialising or on their daily walks. Therefore, it is crucial that you get them vaccinated to keep them healthy and prevent the spread of diseases.

The vaccines that are ‘compulsory’, are those that are considered vital in the life of a dog. These may however vary according to the country, or even according to the Autonomous Community within Spain.

  • Canine Parvovirus: This disease affects the intestines, causing bloody diarrhoea.
  • Distemper: This is a severe and highly contagious disease that affects a dog's respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems, and can be fatal. However, vaccination can easily prevent it.
  • Rabies: Spain may officially be rabies-free, but it is still extremely important to keep dogs vaccinated against rabies in order to maintain this status and prevent the transmission of the virus through bites. Rabies is a fatal disease, and while vaccines are available, there is currently no cure.

Puppy dog sleeping

At what age should a puppy have vaccinations?

Puppies as young as six weeks old in Spain should receive vaccinations against parvovirus and distemper and two polyvalent vaccines (vaccines that are a combination of various viruses and bacterial diseases mixed into one injection).

The most basic polyvalent vaccine includes canine distemper, canine infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis vaccines, parvovirus vaccine, kennel cough and canine coronavirus.

Up until six weeks, the animal retains the defences passed on by its mother, but from that time onwards, it needs external defences, in this case, vaccines.

  • At two months of age, puppies can receive the polyvalent vaccine.
  • At three months of age, puppies should have a polyvalent vaccine booster.
  • At four months puppies should have a booster rabies vaccine.
  • At one year old, dogs should receive booster shots for both the polyvalent and rabies vaccines.

Yearly Vaccines: Boosters for both the polyvalent and rabies vaccines are required annually in most regions across Spain, except in Catalonia, Galicia, and the Basque Country where the rabies vaccine is not mandatory. However, vets recommend vaccinating against rabies even in these regions, especially if you plan to travel with your dog. Some regions allow a booster every two years instead.

Optional Vaccines: While most vaccines are mandatory, there are some optional vaccines that your dog can have, including canine hepatitis, canine leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, lyme disease, and kennel cough. The Leptospirosis vaccine is recommended for dogs that frequently visit forested areas and provides protection for at least 12 months.


While dogs are certainly more popular, Statista reports that in 2021 there were more than 5.8 million pet cats in Spain.

Now when it comes to cats, it is also necessary to consider their lifestyle. This is because, depending on whether the animal lives in a flat from which it hardly leaves or if, on the other hand, it is a cat that lives outdoors and is in contact with other animals, the same vaccinations will not be necessary

In any case, the basic recommended vaccinations are the triple viral vaccine (this is undoubtedly the most important for cats), leukaemia and rabies.

At what age should cats have vaccinations?

Cats that don’t leave their homes and live with no other cats should have their first Trivalent vaccine when they are two months old.

At three months, cats should receive the Trivalent booster.

The Trivalent vaccine protects against the following diseases:

  • Feline Panleukopenia: Or Feline Typhus, a disease caused by parvovirus. It causes the cat to be prostrate with gastroenteritis and a decrease of white blood cells. It is fatal in 80% of cases for cats under 6 months of age and in 40 percent of adult cats.
  • Rhinotracheitis: A contagious respiratory disease caused by a herpesvirus with symptoms of sneezing, mucus and ocular secretions.
  • Calicivirus: A respiratory disease that also produces feline flu-like symptoms, produced by a picornavirus.

Cute kittens

Cats who live most of their lives outside of their home should be given the Trivalent vaccine, as well as the Feline Leukaemia vaccine at 2 months (eight weeks).

Two weeks later at 10 weeks, cats should be given a Feline Leukaemia booster.

Yearly Vaccines: Boosters for all vaccinations should be given annually.

Optional Vaccines: At six months a cat can receive the rabies vaccination, however, unlike with dogs, this isn’t mandatory for cats in Spain.

If you have adopted a cat or kitten, it is important to test them for seropositivity, as feline leukaemia can be transmitted from the mother cat during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as well as from licking or sharing water bowls.

The regulations for administering the rabies vaccine to cats are the same as for dogs.

Chlamydophila and leishmaniasis vaccines are optional and are not always given to cats as they do not provide complete protection against these diseases, but they do assist in managing symptoms. Chlamydophila is usually recommended for households with multiple cats to control the spread of eye infections, while leishmaniasis is a skin parasitic disease that is uncommon in cats.

If in doubt, always speak to your local vet.