Although we have been covering the development of the new Animal Welfare Law since it was first conceived, you may have seen recent reports stating that all dogs need civil liability insurance this month, when the law enters into force, and whereas this is true, insurance is not the only requirement for pet owners to comply with the law.

At the tail end of last week, there was talk that the Government would not implement the requirement for civil liability insurance, but in the absence of an official statement, it must be assumed that this will still take place, as it is enshrined by law. However, a key point is that civil liability insurance is different to what many people believe “pet insurance” is, as pet insurance traditionally has been mostly for covering vet bills. Civil liability insurance is different and covers damage or injury to third parties.

However, some household insurance policies already include this. Others include it, but with restrictions, so the first thing to do is to check your existing policy and talk with your insurance agent.

That said, traditional pet insurance that covers vet bills may also be advisable in some situations in addition to civil liability insurance. The new law also prevents pets from being euthanised, except by the decision of the vet to prevent suffering. That means that there could be situations where your pet is not ill enough to be put to sleep, but is ill enough to require prolonged medical treatment.

“If there is a treatment that allows the animal to continue living in a dignified manner, regardless of the costs, the law will oblige owners to provide their pets with the necessary care to continue with their lives. This is where it is especially important to have health insurance that can cover the high veterinary costs that may arise in these situations,” according to Joaquín de los Reyes, director of business development at MAPFRE Spain.

On account of both thee matters, the internet has seen a 41% increase in searches for civil liability insurance, and an 18% increase in pet healthcare insurance in August compared to July, according to the Rastreator’s pet insurance comparator. Incidentally, there are also combined insurance policies available from some providers.

There are many other elements that pet owners are obliged to satisfy, which we will explain in brief in the runup to the law entering into force, starting with dogs next week, but in the meantime, if you would like to consult the legislation in full, translated into English, you can do so at