Home » Spain » Spain – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

Spain – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

Spain is a popular destination for tourists and expats due to its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, and rich history. The country is known for its love of animals, and pets are a common sight on the streets. However, despite this love for animals, there are still some cultural issues and animal welfare concerns that need to be addressed. In this article, we will explore the prevailing attitude to animals and pets in Spain, the laws regarding pet ownership, major animal charities, pet supply stores, and cultural taboos associated with different types of animals.

Prevailing Attitude to Animals and Pets in Spain

Spain is a country that has a long-standing tradition of respect for animals. From bullfighting to flamenco, animals are an integral part of the country’s culture. However, the prevailing attitude to animals and pets in Spain has evolved over the years. Today, pets are treated as members of the family, and their welfare is taken seriously.

The Spanish love for animals can be seen in the number of pet-friendly places that are available in the country. From restaurants to hotels, many places welcome pets, and it is not uncommon to see dogs sitting at outdoor cafes or accompanying their owners on public transportation. This acceptance of pets is reflected in the country’s legislation, which provides protection for animals and their welfare.

Pet Ownership in Spain

Spain has strict laws regarding pet ownership to ensure the welfare of animals. The legislation covers a wide range of issues, including animal abuse, neglect, and abandonment. In Spain, pet owners are required to ensure that their pets are well-cared for and that they receive the necessary vaccinations and medical attention. Some of the laws regarding pet ownership in Spain include:

  • Microchipping: All dogs, cats, and ferrets must be microchipped for identification purposes.
  • Vaccinations: All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies, and cats must be vaccinated against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.
  • Leashing: In public places, dogs must be kept on a leash. In some areas, a muzzle may also be required.
  • Dog waste: Owners must pick up after their dogs in public places.
  • Breeding: There are restrictions on breeding dogs for commercial purposes.

Major Animal Charities in Spain

There are several animal charities in Spain that are dedicated to animal welfare. These organizations work to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals that have been abandoned or mistreated. Some of the major animal charities in Spain include:

  • Fundación Affinity: This organization works to promote responsible pet ownership and improve the welfare of animals in Spain. They provide education, support, and resources to pet owners, as well as rescue and rehoming services.
  • Asociación Nacional de Amigos de los Animales: This organization is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abandoned animals. They operate several shelters and provide veterinary care to animals in need.
  • Protectora y Santuario Scooby: This animal sanctuary is home to over 300 dogs and provides a safe and comfortable environment for animals that have been abandoned or mistreated.

Pet Supply Stores in Spain

Pet supply stores can be found all over Spain, with a variety of options available to pet owners. Here are some popular pet supply stores in Spain:


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


  • Tiendanimal: Tiendanimal is a popular pet supply store chain in Spain with more than 50 stores across the country. They offer a wide variety of products for pets, including food, toys, beds, and accessories. They also have an online store with delivery options throughout Spain.
  • Kiwa Hirsu: Kiwa Hirsu is a boutique pet supply store with a focus on natural and organic products. They offer a range of food, supplements, and accessories for dogs and cats. They have a physical store in Madrid and also offer online ordering with delivery options throughout Spain.
  • Maskokotas: Maskokotas is a large pet supply store chain in Spain with more than 20 stores across the country. They offer a range of products for dogs, cats, and other pets, including food, toys, and accessories. They also have an online store with delivery options throughout Spain.
  • Petuluku: Petuluku is a boutique pet supply store with a focus on high-quality, designer products. They offer a range of products for dogs and cats, including food, toys, and accessories. They have a physical store in Barcelona and also offer online ordering with delivery options throughout Spain.
  • Zooplus: Zooplus is a popular online pet supply store with a wide range of products for pets. They offer food, toys, beds, and accessories for dogs, cats, and other pets. They have delivery options throughout Spain.

Cultural Taboos or Sensitivities

Bullfighting is a cultural activity that is associated with Spain, and it is a controversial issue from an animal welfare standpoint. While some Spaniards view bullfighting as an important part of their cultural heritage, others consider it to be a cruel and outdated practice. In recent years, there has been increasing pressure from animal welfare activists to ban bullfighting in Spain.

Another cultural taboo in Spain is related to the hunting of Galgo Español, a type of Spanish greyhound. The Galgo is used for hunting hares, and after the hunting season is over, many of these dogs are abandoned or killed. This has led to a movement in Spain to promote the adoption of Galgos and to raise awareness of their mistreatment.

In some regions of Spain, there are also cultural taboos around keeping certain types of animals as pets. For example, in Catalonia, it is illegal to keep primates as pets. In the Balearic Islands, it is illegal to keep certain exotic animals as pets, such as pythons and boa constrictors.

Conclusion

Overall, Spain has a generally positive attitude towards animals and pets, with many laws in place to protect their welfare. There are a variety of animal charities and pet supply stores available throughout the country, making it easy for pet owners to find the products and services they need. However, there are still some cultural issues related to animal welfare that need to be addressed, such as the use of animals in bullfighting and the mistreatment of Galgo Españols.


Latest Videos

Expat Focus Financial Update February 2024 #expat #expatlife

Expat Focus 28 February 2024 2:53 pm

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feeds settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.