Taking Pets to and from Gran Canaria

Whether you are thinking about moving to Gran Canaria or leaving for elsewhere, you might wonder what the procedure is with your fluffy friends. I had this issue myself a while ago when I wanted to take Cleo (my cat) to Spain and some friends of mine wanted to move to the UK with their dog, who they got in the Canaries.

Compared to the rest of Europe the UK is very fussy. You can NOT take a cat or dog into the UK from the Canary Islands (or Spain for that matter) without a pet passport or without a rabies vaccination. That might sound easy but you have to wait for 6 months after the rabies vaccination to bring your pet into the UK. This is because it can take 6 months for rabies to show up on the blood test. The UK is rabies free and this is perhaps why!

Cleo Sunbathing

The other option is to keep your pet in quarantine if you can’t wait 6 months. This can be hard on the pet (and on your wallet!) but for some people it’s the only option. If you want to move your pet around in Europe you only need an up to date rabies shot (this lasts for a year) and a pet passport but ask your vet before you travel.

Flying from the Canaries to Spain with Pets

I’ve flown from Gran Canaria to Spain with Cleo before and it’s 30 euros flat fee with Spanair with a soft pet tote bag (fits underneath the seat in front) or 60 euros flat fee with a hard crate (no point in paying double so I didn’t do that!) If we ever move to the UK (it’s doubtful we will) she will need to wait 6 months. But Cleo is a Canarian cat through and through. I might be a sun worshipper but she lies about an inch from the heater in the winter (when the weather in Gran Canaria dares to drop below 20ºC) and she would freeze! I couldn’t inflict that on her so it looks like we’re staying put!! 😀

Talking of weather, by the way, the rain has finally stopped and the days are in the mid 20ºs which is good new if you are wondering about the weather in Gran Canaria in February and planning a trip! 🙂

Any more questions about bringing cats or dogs from the (or Europe) UK to Gran Canaria or from Gran Canaria to the UK, just ask.

43 Comments

  1. Connie

    Hi, I wonder if you could help me. I currently have 2 shih tzus that I am trying to get back to the UK in March. However trying to book their flights is working out not only extremely expensive but also extremely difficult!! I was wondering if you knew any airlines you could recommend etc. Any help you could give me would be much appreciated.
    Thanks!!

  2. Victoria

    I’ve never flown to the UK with a dog but I suggest you find some prices on http://www.skyscanner.net and phone the individual airlines, explaining the situation. It isn’t cheap to transport animals from Spain to the UK but it’s a good idea to compare prices. Sorry I can’t be more help, Connie, but I’ll let you know if I can find any more info that might help you.

  3. crisp

    hallo wolte fragen ob sie mir da weiterhelfen können ich lebe in deutschland habe ein hund und möchte gern für ne weile auf die gran canaria und möchte mein hund mitnehm was brauche ich alles den ein paar leute sagen mir ich mus ihn in Quarantäne tun und das möchte ich nicht! reicht es nicht aus wen er gechipt und geimpft ist mit dem tierauswei

    würde mich sehr über eine nachricht freuhen

    [email protected]

  4. Victoria (Post author)

    Er… you don’t happen to speak English do you?

  5. mo

    hi im wondering if anyone can help me,im moving bk to the uk in march and was wondering if anyone knows if you can drive bk in car with the dog? thanks

  6. Victoria

    Sorry for the late reply, Mo. You can do it because I have some friends who drove from the UK to Gran Canaria with a dog! Obviously you’ll need all the paperwork up to date (speak to the vet) and a big enough van. The ferries are once a week to the mainland (I think) then you can drive and get the channel tunnel on the way back. Alternatively flying might be easier.

  7. Victoria

    Also you need to wait 6 months after the rabies vaccination so get that done asap, else your dog can’t enter the UK without being quarantined (which is stressful for him and NOT cheap).

  8. mo

    thanks for yr reply victoria,you was a great helpi have all the paper work and we are wanting to go bk in march,thats when my dog can travel,do you know if there are charges for my dog to go o the ferryand if she has to travel in a box,we dont have a van only a car i keep looking and askng for answers but dont seem to be gettig anywhere any info u can give i will be very grateful,thanks again

  9. Victoria

    Hi Mo,

    Yes you will have to pay for your dog and put him in the correct-sized crate if you’re using the ferry. There is one room on the ferry where they put the boxed animals and you can go in there whenever you like when you’re on board. That’s all I know, since I chose to fly with my cat. You’d need to contact the ferry companies for prices and more info.

    Victoria

  10. Milly

    Hi Victoria – do you know if there is any demand for dog walking/ pet feeding services in GC?

    Thanks!

  11. Victoria

    I had a friend who used to do it and I know a few others who do. I also know other people who would like to but there isn’t enough demand since a lot of people are out of work.

  12. matt

    do you need a pet passport flying from spain to gran canaria

  13. Victoria

    Yes you do although they never seem to check if the pet is coming in the cabin. Spain is in Europe (rabies risk) and Gran Canaria is an island (rabies free) which is the main reason.

  14. Milly

    Hi Victoria – I’m confused about the rabies vaccination – if I wanted to take a cat from UK to GC and back again after a hol (eg 2 weeks or a month) and got the rabies vaccination in the uk in advance would i have to wait 6 months before going to GC? Or 6 months before my return flight? Also do you know of any companies (pref cheap!) that let you take cat on board with you flying UK – GC and back? Thanks!!

  15. Victoria

    Milly,

    The company I always use is Spanair. They’re cheap and you can take cats or dogs as long as you tell them when you book your ticket (book your ticket online then phone them and book the pet too – they speak English).

    A rabies shot has a 6 month duration. The first one takes a month before they know if the animal is rabies-free. If you then get a booster every 6 months then the cat is proven rabies-free and, if you have the documentation with you, it can fly. Just keep getting the boosters, they don’t cost much and it’s only twice a year. You will need to wait 6 months after the first one though.

    In GC they are quite slack about it. My cats were never even looked at (or the documents) in GC or Madrid (or in fact Holland) airports and one cat got the shot 2 days before flying (since GC is rabies-free and she’d always been there). The UK is also rabies-free but Europe isn’t (I don’t think) so the 6 month rule applies to bigger animals like dogs or when you’re travelling from the UK or from somewhere in Europe on the mainland and sometimes cats. Some airlines are stricter.

    A cat can go in the cabin if it weighs under 5 kilos (including the carrier which needs to fit under the seat – the airline will give you the max dimensions) or if it’s fat like mine and weighs more but you’re lucky!!

    With Spanair it’s 30 euros for a cat with you or 60 euros if it goes in the back in a hard box. Take it with you – it’s easier, less stressful for the animal and half the price.

    So wait 6 months after the first shot and get a booster every 6 months. As long as the boosters are up to date, your cat is fine to fly.

    Victoria

  16. milly

    Thanks Victoria – I want to go from the UK to GC not from Spain – I’ve looked at Spanair’s website and they don’t fly from the UK. It’s a shame as taking the cat in a tote with us would be ideal – she’s within the weight limit. Don’t suppose you or anyone else knows of a company that offers this service from the UK? Thanks again.

  17. Victoria

    That info was for you and other people it might help. From the UK to the Canaries it’s the same. 6 months quarantine. I don’t know which airlines do it because I’ve never flown from the UK to the Canaries with a pet but there is some useful advice on this website: http://moving.about.com/od/movingwithpets/a/pets_overseas.htm

    I know the cheap ones (EasyJet, RyanAir etc) do not take pets.

    Try http://www.skyscanner.net/ for flights, then contact the airlines individually until you find one. Hope it’s not too expensive.

  18. Victoria

    And Spanair do fly from Edinburgh to GC – I’ve made that trip before with them (before I had a cat).

  19. Victoria
  20. Eilbhe Donovan

    Re: pets again.
    Hi,
    How about coming from Ireland to GC with a dog? From one rabies-free country to another, do they still insist on the rabies shot? My dog got the rabies vaccine and when tested 5 weeks later, had not taken to it – had not produced the required amount of anti-bodies (happens to about 0.01% of animals – sigh!) – other than that, she has passport and all other shots up-to-date. Any idea?
    Thanks – btw, excellent website 🙂

  21. Victoria

    Hi Eilbhe, I have no experience of taking pets to or from Ireland and I don’t want to give you the wrong advice, so maybe it’s best to phone your local vet if you’re in Ireland. He/she will know the rules for each country.
    Victoria 🙂

  22. vikki

    hello i am currently living in gran canaria and im going to ibiza mid may i have a puppy an shes got 1 more jab left before she gets her rabies an microchip, we already have her pet passport off the vet, think we gunna go with span air that has the most info on it, she will b ok to fly from gran can to ibiza all the shots will be finished in march, and do we just have to call span air when boking flight for us?? thankyou!!

  23. Victoria (Post author)

    You have to book the flight and then call Spanair to tell them your flight number and whether the dog is travelling in the cabin with you (30 euros and weighing under 5 kilos) or in the back (60 euros and in a hard box). Your vet will be able to tell you exactly when the dog can fly. Spanair speak English. Good luck.

  24. Victoria (Post author)

    They only allow 2 pets per flight which is why you have to register the animal. Also they will ask for the dog’s breed, weight, age and the dimensions of his/her box/crate/carrier.

  25. vikki

    thankyou for the info i read online that dogs need a blood test to get sent off to check for rabies does this apply from gran canaria to ibiza or is that just if shes flying from spain to england do you know? thanks x

  26. Victoria (Post author)

    I don’t know, Vikki, my cat didn’t need that and she flew from GC to mainland Spain. It’s best to ring your vet. He will be able to tell you.

  27. vikki

    thankyou for the info!! much appriciated!! 🙂

  28. Victoria (Post author)

    You’re welcome. Hope it goes smoothly. Ring the vet with any questions though. They’re used to dealing with similar things and will be able to give you the right advice. I travelled with a cat but the rules might differ for dogs (and for entering Ibiza) 🙂

  29. Paul

    Hi
    I am currently researching moving to GC from the UK and would like to bring our two cats with us. If we make the move we would not need to bring our cats back to the UK.
    Do you know if we need to get passports and rabies shots in these circumstances?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Victoria

    You will need some kind of documentation I guess, Paul, although I’ve never travelled with a cat FROM the UK, only from the Canaries to Spain and from Spain to Holland. Your best bet is to phone your vet and ask him/her. Once you are in GC, if you DO need to bring your cats back with you, you can get a rabies shot there. You might also need to get the cats microchipped.

  31. Paul

    Thanks Victoria

  32. Victoria (Post author)

    Check out this link for some news about taking a cat or dog to the UK from Gran Canaria: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=626359982

  33. Steve

    Hi there,..We have only just recently returned from GC & totaly unplanned have aquired a stray who from day 1 stayed with us in our bungalow(she attached herself to us as much as we did her).After a visit to TARA in Arguineguin told us how to start the ball rolling about getting her home.’Zear’ is now at the Telemascota vets in Playa del Ingles,chipped,Aids & Lukemia free.We have paid her board & lodgings up untill 7/01/12 .Since being back in uk we are finding it hard to know the best way to get her back.ie.Airline,cost,crate,ex.baggage/cargo,etc.etc. Everyone seems to have there own oppinion?Surely someone here in the uk must’ve brought a cat back from GC? We can’t be the only daft soppy couple who’ve done this?..Any suggestions or ideas Victoria???..(Would’ve bought them all back if we could or won the Euro Mills.)

  34. Victoria

    Steve, forget all the conflicting advice and just read what the British Embassy in Spain have to say about it, at this link: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=626359982

    Although I have never travelled to the UK with a cat, I have flown my Canarian cat to Spain and to Holland. Both times was easy. I just needed a microchip, cat passport and up-to-date rabies shot for her. I bought a soft carrycase and travelled with her in the cabin on Spanair for 30 euros.

    What you need to do is keep Zear up-to-date with her rabies shots and then make arrangements to bring her back. Spanair is the only airline I used to do it but I don’t know if they fly to near where you live. The cheap airlines (easyJet, Ryanair etc) do not transport pets. When you book the flight you have to state that you have a cat. The airline will ask you the weight of the cat, as well as the length from nose to tail and the height to the top of the back (or at least Spanair did).

    The best advice I can give you is to read the article at http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=626359982 which is the latest government advice about the matter, then phone the airlines. You can also book your ticket online and then phone and say you’re bringing a pet back (at least with Spanair, I don’t know about the others).

    Hope that helps and hope all goes well with your little Furbaby 🙂

  35. Angela

    Someone told me that you no longer have to wait for dogs to travel as their is no rabbies on the Island of gran Canaria, is this correct as im looking to move back to the Uk due to lack of work…

  36. Victoria

    Angela, all the info you require is here: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=626359982 As you can see from Jan 2012 the law is different. You still need a rabies vaccination but not the long quarantine period. The dog needs 21 days after the rabies vaccination not 6 months like it used to be. There’s no rabies in GC or in the UK and they want to keep it that way. Ask your local vet for further advice.

  37. Bella

    Hey,I have a dog in GC with my brother and I need to get my dog to france,do you know any airlines that fly pets with you from gc to france for a reasonable price?

  38. simone

    Hi, me and my partner ate looking to move from UK to gran canaria amd want to move out pet Jack Russel with us. We have heard so many conflicting stories about it costing a fortune and flights are expensive, however by my own research, being contacting vets, the rabies jab is around £40 and valid passport come with that and flying him over is only coming up at around €120 plus the cost to buy the pet crate. Is this correct or am I missing some big expense or secret charge!! Amy info with be greatly appreciated xx

  39. debbie

    i want to take my cat with me to move to the canary island what do i need to do for him regarding injections and how does he get there x

  40. steve

    it has good ideas really appreciate this article beneficial keep it up posting this

  41. steve

    great article keep it up

  42. Paul Craig

    The 6 month Rabies rule DOES NOT apply to other listed EU countries.

    The UK government STATE that a Rabies vaccination MUST BE done AT LEAST 21 days prior to arrival or departure of the Unoted Kingdom and NOT 6 months.

    https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/rabies-vaccination-boosters-and-blood-tests

    The link above will give you all what the UK government requires.

    You can bring a 15 week old puppy in to the UK as long as 21 days have passed since its Rabies vaccine so the information above in regards to 6 months is needing updated!

    My dog is coming on holiday with me from the UK to Gran Canaria for two weeks and then returning home.

    Thomas Cook Airlines are taking her (the dog) and us direct from Glasgow to GC and back with no quarantine. As long as you have the relevant paperwork and follow the rules as per the link above then you will have absolutely no problem.

    Like me, I’m away for two weeks with my dog and my vet has stated that I MUST see a vet in GC no more than 5 days before returning to the UK. the reason for this is so the dog can be re done for tapeworm etc. He is giving me the medication to take with me but I can’t administer it as it MUST BE signed off on your pet passport by an approved veterinarian of the country of departure.

    Pets in the aircraft hold MUST be ‘manifested cargo’ within the uk which means you gotta go through an approved courier.

    Hence why I am with Thomas Cook Cargo and this is not cheap! It is costing me twice my ticket to take my dog, but I can’t leave my beaut behind ! 😀

  43. Rachael

    Hello,
    I’m moving over to grab canaria this January with my dog.
    I was wondering if anyone offers doggy day care service or dog walking service for him whilst I am at work.
    Please let me know if you know of any people/ websites!

    Thank you

    Rachael

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