29 Sep, 2023 @ 11:15
1 min read

Can I leave my dog outside a shop in Spain? All you need to know as new animal laws come into effect TODAY – with fines of up to €200,000 for breaking them

EXPLAINER: Find out the summer beaches to enjoy with your dog in Spain's Costa Blanca and Valencia areas
Image by José Somovilla from Pixabay

A NEW set of animal protection laws have come into effect across Spain today with fines of up to €200,000 for breaking them.

Under the Animal Protection and Welfare Law, approved in February, there are a number of common practices that can now be reported to the authorities.

Below are the new rules that will impact most pet owners.


It is now illegal to leave your dog tied up outside a shop, for example, and to use a so-called ‘choke’ collar, and they must be fitted with a chip.

Despite certain businesses having posts outside for customers to leave their pets, doing so can now result in a fine of between €500 and €10,000, reports Diario Sur.

If your dog is adopted, then it must be sterilised. If you have bought your dog from a registered breeder, then you are not obligated to neuter it.

However you must take measures to prevent it from breeding, as it is forbidden for them to produce offspring unless you are a registered breeder.

This means that if your dog becomes pregnant, you can be fined. If you are found to be breeding animals for profit without a license, you can be fined between €50,000 and €200,000.

It is now also illegal to leave a dog unsupervised at home for 24 consecutive hours, with fines of between €500 and €10,000.

Other pets cannot be left alone for more than three consecutive days.

If someone leaves their pet on a terrace, balcony, rooftop, storage room, patio or car, they can face fines of between €10,000 and €50,000, unless they are hunting dogs or livestock animals, i.e. on a farm.

Violent or cruel methods to control or punish a dog, including hitting them, depriving them of food or using electric and choke collars, are considered a serious infraction of the law and come with fines of between €10,000 and €50,000.


The new legislation also has rules for kennels. It is now illegal for them to sacrifice animals in a bid to save money, make space for other animals or simply because they are old.

If they are found to have done so, they can be fined up to €200,000 and even face prison.

The longest jail sentence under the law is 24 months.


Killing stray cats is now punishable with a fine of up to €200,000 and potentially 24 months in prison.

All cats have to be surgically sterilised before they are six months old, and must be fitted with a chip.


If you have spiders, scorpions, fish such as piranhas, amphibians or poisonous reptiles, like snakes, monkeys or wild mammals weighing more than 5kg, you must register them before March 29, 2024.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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