They say the Brits are a nation of dog lovers but if you’ve spent any time in Spain you’d have seen how popular pets are among Spaniards.
Pets can become like a part of the family, and losing them can be a great loss for many.
Unfortunately, it’s something that happens to all pet owners eventually, and, in Spain, it’s not as simple as burying the pet wherever you want.
There are several legal issues to consider, and it’s better to be prepared.
In fact, in Spain, the law specifically says that you can’t just bury your pet – or any animal – anywhere you like, such as the back garden.
According to the legislation, you can’t bury your pet in ‘unauthorised’ places, and there’s specific locations you are allowed to.
If your pet dies or is put down at the vet, there’s less to worry about legally because it is the responsibility of the clinic to carry out the legal procedures.
They will take care of the paperwork and registries, and will guide you through the decisions you need to make with regards to the next steps and arrangements. It is worth noting, however, that vets will often not let you leave with the body.
If your pet dies at home or in a public place, however, there are some steps to follow and things to know.
The first thing you need to do is to contact the Archivo de Identificación de Animales (like an Archive of Pet Identification) for your corresponding autonomous community to report the death of your pet and remove it from the identification registry.
You’ll need to provide them with the number of the microchip and in some municipalities there are also pet censuses that it’s necessary to remove them from.
Burial or cremation
Once you’ve reported the death, you’ll need to decide what to do with the body.
Simply put, that means choosing between burial and cremation. It is worth noting that, if you want to bury your pet, Spain isn’t home to many cemeteries specifically for pets, and the rates vary depending on the type of burial and location.
Cremation is free in some areas of Spain but in most places charge a fee based on the weight of your pet. Prices normally range from €25 to €180.
Travelling with ashes
If you’d prefer to take your pet’s remains home, wherever that may be, it largely follows the same process as travelling with the ashes of a loved one.
Ashes can often be carried on airlines as hand luggage, as long as you have a death and cremation certificate, and the urn is sealed.
As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry and call your airline if you’re wanting to scatter your pet’s remains out of Spain.