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Which vaccinations does my pet need in Spain?

The Local Spain
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Which vaccinations does my pet need in Spain?
Which vaccinations does my pet need in Spain? Photo: Andrew Pons / Unsplash

As any pet owner knows, our furry friends need vaccines to keep them healthy too, but which vaccinations are mandatory for your pets in Spain?

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The Spanish are pet crazy and there are a whopping 15 million pets in the country, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Pet Food Manufacturers. This is mainly made up of dogs, cats, rabbits, tortoises and turtles. 

The majority of these are dogs, a total of 9.3 million of them in fact, and the number of dog owners in Spain has risen by 38 percent in the last three years. 

In fact, there is more than twice the number of pets than kids under the age of 15 in Spain. 

READ ALSO: What are the rules on taking your pets on holiday in Spain?

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If you're thinking of joining the nation of pet lovers and getting a pet of your own or you own one already but are unsure of what vaccinations they need in Spain, we're here to help.

Keep in mind, this article will focus on the vaccines your pets need if you live in Sain, if you’re looking for information on the vaccines your pet needs to enter the country, you can find out more here for those from the US and here for those from the UK.

Dogs 

Dogs can be exposed to many different illnesses and viruses every day while out on their daily walks and socialising with other dogs, that's why it's important that they're vaccinated, both to keep them healthy and to help eradicate certain diseases. 

Vaccinations begin in Spain right from when they're puppies. The main mandatory vaccines for dogs here are:

Canine Paravovirosis: Canine parvovirosis is a disease that damages the intestines, causing bloody diarrhoea. 

Distemper: This is a serious and highly contagious disease. It affects a dog's digestive, respiratory and nervous systems and can be fatal, but is easily avoided through vaccination. 

Rabies: Although Spain is officially rabies-free, it's important to keep dogs vaccinated to help keep it that way. The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva and can enter the bloodstream through a bite. Unfortunately, it's a fatal disease and while there are vaccines, there is no cure. 

READ ALSO: What you need to consider before adopting a rescue dog in Spain

1.5-month-old puppies - From this age puppies should be given one vaccine against parvovirus, one against distemper and two polyvalent vaccines.

Two-month-old puppy - The polyvalent vaccine can also be given at this age. 

Three-month-old puppy - Polyvalent booster.

Four-month-old puppy - Rabies vaccine.

One-year-old dog - Boosters of the polyvalent and rabies vaccines.

READ ALSO: What will Spain’s test to buy or adopt a dog consist of?

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Yearly vaccines - Polyvalent and rabies vaccine boosters. The rabies vaccine is mandatory across Spain, except in Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country. Most regions say that dogs need a yearly booster, but some allow it every two years instead. 

Keep in mind, even if you are in Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country vets recommend that you vaccinate your dog against rabies anyway, particularly if you are travelling with them to other regions. 

Optional vaccines - While the above vaccines are mostly mandatory, there are several others that are optional vaccines. These include canine hepatitis, canine leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, lyme disease and kennel cough. 

The leptospirosis vaccine is recommended for dogs who regularly visit forested areas and it protects them for at least 12 months.

READ ALSO - Renting in Spain when you have a pet: What are my rights?

Cats

Which vaccines do cats need in Spain? Photo: Kari Shea / Unsplash

Although more people own dogs in Spain, there are still around 5.4 million cats according to the National Association of Pet Food Manufacturers. If you're a cat person then you'll need to know about the vaccines that your feline friends need too. 

Feline parvovirus: Also known as feline panleukopenia, the virus causes diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever and can be severe, especially in kittens. 

Herpesvirus: Also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), this is a highly infectious disease caused by feline herpesvirus type-1 and is one of the major causes of upper respiratory infections and eye infections in cats. 

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Calicivirus: Feline calicivirus is an infection that causes upper respiratory infections as well as oral diseases in cats. 

Kittens need their first vaccines aged six weeks and another dose around 16 weeks this is for all three vaccines - parvovirus, herpesvirus and calicivirus.

One important optional vaccine is for the prevention of feline leukemia, which can be fatal. If you've adopted a cat or kitten, it's important to test to find out if the cat is seropositive or not. It can be transmitted from the mother cat during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It can also pass between cats if they lick each other or share water bowls for example. 

The legislation regarding rabies vaccine for cats is the same as for dogs.

Optional vaccines: Chlamydophila and leishmaniasis vaccines are not mandatory and are not always given to cats because they do not completely stop them from catching the illnesses, however, they do help with the symptoms. Chlamydophila is usually recommended for those who have several cats at home to help control the spread of the disease and is an infection of the eyes, while leishmaniasis is rare and is a parasitic disease that affects the skin. 

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