Taking my service or pet dog

We would strongly advise against taking your pet dog on Camino. Dogs are prohibited from most restaurants, bars, albergues and some public transport in Spain. Some breeds are restricted or have to be muzzled.

Most people who take dogs are camping, those that aren’t may have to leave their dogs outside the albergue overnight, in all weathers. Dogs do not acclimatise to warmer or cooler weather as easily as humans and can become very stressed at the constant changes and separation from their owners.

Aside from the difficulty in eating out and finding accommodation, there is the issue of buying and carrying dog food, sore paws, finding a vet if your dog gets ill or injured and the potential danger of conflict with other dogs as you walk through their “territories”.

By law service dogs have much greater access to areas forbidden to pet dogs, including albergues, so it is possible to go on pilgrimage with your working companion. You must carry your dog’s service certification documentation,and it would be wise to have a brief Spanish and/or French translation to ensure hospitaleros or restaurant owners understand that you have a service dog with you. It is worthwhile to try and contact any Spanish association for similar service dogs to see what advice or assistance they can offer.

All dogs must have the requisite pet passport or official third country veterinary certificate, be vaccinated against rabies, treated for tapeworm and microchipped.

UK government advice on pet travel

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Travel Advice

Spanish Association of Assistance & Therapy Dogs

There is another Spanish Association of Assistance Dogs based in Bilbao and one in Catalonia.

Rules on Restricted Breeds in Spain

Threats and diseases for pets in Spain

©CSJ

Confraternity of Saint James,
27 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NY, United Kingdom.
Tel: (+44) (0)20 7928 9988
Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered no. 4096721 — UK Registered Charity no. 1091140
Founded in 1983 to promote the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela

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