Short answer is yes. Potentially dangerous dogs, known in Spain as PPP which stands for “perros potencialmente peligrosos”, must be insured by law. There is a public list available indicating the breeds that need an insurance and require you to possess a licence.
Since the end of September 2023 there is a new Animal Welfare Law in Spain that includes the obligation to take a course and obtain insurance for all types of dogs. However, it is not yet mandatory and is not applied. Until the law is implemented the information in this article reflects the current situation.
List of Potentially Dangerous Dogs in Spain
In Spain you will need a licence to legally own a dog of the following breeds:
- Akita inu
- American staffordshire terrier
- Canary dog
- Argentinean dogo
- Bourdeaux mastiff
- Brazilian mastiff
- Naepolitan mastiff
- Pit bull terrier
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Tosa inu
In order to get your licence to own a potentially dangerous dog Spanish law requires you to have taken out a civil liability insurance for damages to third parties with a coverage of no less than € 120,000. Note that local regulations can impose more specific and stricter rules. As an example, a citizen in Tarragona where the insurance coverage has to be over € 150,000 was recently fined € 2,500 for walking his dog without the corresponding licence.
Insuring Other Dog Breeds
You must also insure other dogs whose biting can cause major injuries. Generally speaking any robust, muscular dog with a strong character, short hair, wide and short neck, strong chest, big head with broad skull and deep jaw. Bear in mind that a veterinarian could also request that your dog in particular should be considered potentially dangerous and would need an insurance.
The situation is different for non-dangerous dogs and may vary depending on where you live. Although there is no compulsory insurance under the Spanish law there are other regional or local regulations (e.g: in the region of Madrid and the Basque Country among other) which might require you to get a dog insurance regardless of the breed.
Insurance Helps with Vet Costs
Having a dog insurance will also help you with the costs of taking your pet to the veterinarian. Health checks, urgencies or last-minute surgeries can cost much less if your dog is insured. Unsurprisingly, an insurance company reported that 8 out of 10 calls from pet owners are related to sickness or accident.