In Spain, one of the few exceptions in the Real Decreto for leaving your house during the State of Alarm is to walk your dog. Here's everything you need to know to avoid issues if you get stopped by the police.
How far can I walk my dog?
There isn't a country-wide set time that you can be out with the dog, or a set distance that you can walk, but in some provinces they are fining for being more than 150 metres from the house. It depends on the police officer that you get stopped by in many cases. The general recommendation is to take your dog out to allow them to toilet, and then get back home again.
The Cost of Civil Disobedience
Police are handing out on-the-spot fines for breaking any of the enforced rules. You can be asked to return home immediately with your dog at any time.
Fine for non-compliance: From €600 - €30,000
One Person Only
Only one person is permitted to walk the dog at a time. The dog must be handled by an adult over 18 years old, so children cannot accompany the dog on a walk at all.
If a minor walks the dog, the dog can be taken from them.
Fine for non-compliance: at least €300
Parks are closed to the public, and entry is expressly prohibited.
Fine for non-compliance: From €100 - €600
Contact between other people and dogs is not permitted at all, so don't be tempted to say hello to your neighbour and their dog. (Reactive dog owners will be used to this!) Allowing your dog to sniff or greet someone also carries stiff fines. Although animals cannot get sick or carry Covid-19, they can still transmit the illness as a surface so touching an animal who has been in contact with a carrier has risks.
Fine for non-compliance: From €3,001 to €60,000
Dogs must be walked on-leash.
Fine for non-compliance: Up to €300 (€3,000 for PPPs who are expected to wear muzzles as normal)
Clean Up After Yourself
Once your dog has toileted, you are still expected to pick up their poo, and owners must now carry a bottle of water with detergent or vinegar to pour over pee.
Fine for not picking up poo: €300 - €3,000
Fine for not rinsing pee: Varies depending on your location. Up to €750 in most areas, but in Palma the fine is up to €1,500.
Carrying ID (For Owner and Dog)
In Spain, dogs are required by law to have a registered microchip. If your dog was brought from another country, it's important to note that the chip number must be registered in Spain (you can do this with your vet). Even if the dog has a chip implanted from another country, if it's scanned here your contact details will not be accessible.
PPPs are also required to have insurance and you must have a special license to walk them. In Madrid insurance is obligatory for all dogs.
Normally if you are asked for your dog's identification you have a certain period of time to present it in a police station before getting a fine, but during the State of Alarm it is recommended to carry your dog's documentation at all times.
- Proof that the dog is microchipped (this can be the red card that is provided by the RIAC <Registro de Identificación de Animales de Compañia>, a cartilla sanitaria <vaccination booklet> or pet passport
- Insurance details
Fine for non-compliance: From €500 to €6,000
Not for Rent / Sale
The sale of animals between private parties is expressly prohibited.
Fine for non-compliance: €3,000 - €6,000
In the lats few weeks multiple adverts have been seen on sites like Wallapop offering to rent dogs for walks. If you are walking a dog that you cannot prove is yours, and whose documentation is not in order, you may also be fined.
Fine for non-compliance: up to €1,000
A dog is for life...
With the increase of Covid-19 cases, came an increase in abandoned animals. The highest fines are applied in cases of abuse or abandonment.
Fine for non-compliance: up to €30,000
Over the next few weeks, the streets are going to be disinfected by cleaning crews. I contacted our local ayuntamiento to ask if the products that they were using were dangerous to dogs. They responded to say that the products were not harmful, "Buenas tardes Louise, Quien está desinfectando las calles es la empresaria de limpieza, y lo hace con productos desinfectantes como tal, no nocivos."
However, it is still recommended to clean your dogs' paws after being out and about. You can use soap and water, just like we'd wash our own hands.
Source of fines: La Razon