A PETITION has been launched calling for the whole of Spain to follow Málaga's example and allow pets into all hotels, bars and restaurants.
In the Costa del Sol capital, unless the owner expressly prohibits it, customers can take their cats and dogs with them when they go on holiday or go out for a meal or a drink thanks to a change in local bye-laws.
Three in 10 Spaniards want to take their dogs on holiday with them and say they will decide their destination according to whether or not pets are allowed.
More and more seaside towns are setting up sections of the beach where bathers can bring their dogs year-round, with shaded areas, water bowls, tethering areas and special equipment for clearing up after their pets, with Gandia (Valencia province) and El Campello (Alicante province) being pioneers on the east coast.
And for regular travellers, new expats or returning expats who want or need to take their cats and dogs across borders, hotels that allow animals are essential.
German airlines allow small pets in baskets to be carried on as hand luggage, and expats in Spain returning for Christmas or short breaks often take their cats and dogs with them.
Málaga has gone a step further and allows pets into all accommodation, plus eateries, pubs and cafés – and if the owners do not wish to let animals in, he or she must state this clearly on the door and in all advertising.
Now, a petition on the pro-animal campaign site SOS Vox is urging the rest of Spain to follow suit.
“Málaga's change in law helps to continue to improve the relationship between man and animal,” says the petition's author, Blanca Rodríguez, from Almería.
At the time of publication, over 6,000 people had signed in just two days.
Photograph from SOSVox.org