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Insurance, chip, rules of coexistence... What you need to know before buying a pet

Acquiring an animal as a pet is an increasingly common practice among Spanish consumers. But do we really know the responsibilities we have acquired? Should we take out some kind of insurance? We answer these and other questions in the following report.

The acquisition of Pets It is an increasingly widespread practice in Spain, where there are more than 28 million pets, according to the latest data from the Spanish Association of Industry and Commerce of the Pet Sector (aedpac).


Consumers who acquire a pet must face a series of responsibilities and risks, such as the animal getting sick, suffering an accident, getting lost or causing damage to third parties.


This has meant that the number of policies contracted to insure animals is growing in recent years.




Pet insurance includes different coverages. One of them is the Civil liability, that is, the coverage of injuries or damages that may be caused to third parties, whether they are people, other animals or things.


There is also the health coverage, for cases of illness or accident; and others such as compensation in case of theft or loss.


In the Community of Madrid, the Law 4/2016 on the Protection of Companion Animals of the Community of Madrid establishes the obligation for all dogs to have civil liability insurance, even if they are not the so-called potentially dangerous dogs (PPP).


Specifically, this law classifies as minor offense not having subscribed a civil responsibility insurance in dogs and, where appropriate, in other species that are determined by regulation.


Said regulation establishes that the owner or holder of an animal will be responsible for the damages, losses and inconveniences that it may cause to people, goods and the environment in general.


For this reason, all dog owners are obliged to take out civil liability insurance, for the amount determined by regulation. In addition, when it comes to animals, dogs or not, that are classified as potentially dangerous, the owner must obtain the mandatory municipal license.


This obligation has been reinforced with the new Animal Welfare Law, which establishes that, in the case of dog ownership and throughout the life of the animal, the owner You must contract and maintain in force civil liability insurance for damages to third parties, that includes in its coverage the persons responsible for the animal, for an amount sufficient to cover the possible expenses derived.


Civil liability covers bodily injuries, material damages and consecutive damages caused to third parties, but not those that may be caused to the owner of the pet, their partner, parents, children, grandchildren or any person who accepts their custody.


The Community of Madrid sanctions with fines to those who do not have said insurance, being considered as responsible the holders, owners or holders of pets, as well as those people who habitually deal with their care, feeding or custody.


The coverage of damages is applied, in a general way, also in the extranjero, in the event that an animal suffers a mishap during the holidays. However, liability coverage applies only at the national level.


There are specific insurances on the market for exotic animals, such as birds, birds of prey, snakes, turtles or lizards; and also for horses.



Another obligation of consumers when they acquire a pet is its identification.


The law of the Community of Madrid establishes as an animal marking system the implementation of a microchip homologated, bearer of a unique code validated by the Companion Animals Identification Registry, which in the case of cats and dogs will be implanted subcutaneously in the left area of ​​the neck.


Those animals that are not marked by means of the systems provided in the previous section may not be registered in the Registry of Identification of Companion Animals.


Following the marking, and in order to correctly complete the act of identification, a request will be made, preferably electronically, for registration in the Pet Animal Identification Registry, with the inclusion of the data of the owner, of the animal and the acting veterinarian, within a maximum period of three working days.


The assigned and implanted code will be stated in the animal's health card or official passport.




At the Region of Madrid, more than five animals belonging to the canine, feline or any other species determined by regulation may not be disposed of in the same address, without the corresponding municipal authorization.


In the same way, the owners must adapt the appropriate measures to prevent the animal from dirtying the public or private spaces of common use with its droppings, or the non-immediate collection of the same.


You can get more information about the pet regulations at this report.




Another issue that we must take into account when we acquire a pet is that relating to its breed and the guarantee of pedigree offered by the buyer. For this, it is necessary to pay attention to the previous information that they provide us and demand documentation that accredits said information.


In the case of Dogs, they must provide us with the certificate issued by the Royal Spanish Canine Society. In the case of not having that document, we can write to the Royal Society indicating the dog's microchip number so that they can tell us if they are registered in the Spanish Book of Origins (LOE). If it is not registered in this file and they do not provide us with the certificate, it will mean that the dog does not have a pedigree, even if it is a breed.


In the case of cats, the pedigree is processed by the person in charge of the breeder, who will be the one who registers the litter with an association such as FIFA o ETHICS. The consumer will have the right to receive a photocopy of that document, with which we can go to one of those associations to register the cat.




If the purchased animal does not meet the characteristics with which it was sold (for example, it does not belong to the breed that was offered or it dies a few days after being purchased), know that you can make a claim. First contact the establishment to try to solve the problem and if they do not reach an agreement you can file a claim with the Municipal Consumer Information Office closest to your home, General Directorate of Commerce, Consumption and Services or Traves de internet.


Update date: September 8, 2023