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Pet travel to Ireland is subject to the rules of the European Union Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), making travelling with a pet dog or cat to Ireland from another European Union (EU) country very simple. No need to panic if you reside in a non-EU country as the requirements for entering Ireland with a pet dog, cat or ferret are clearly stipulated for countries outside the European Union too. So if you’re taking your dog on an Irish adventure soon, or relocating to Ireland with your cat, here’s the information you need for importing a pet to Ireland.

importing a pet to ireland pet cats and dogs travelling to ireland EU pets scheme

Pet travel to Ireland from another EU country

In order to travel from another EU member state to Ireland, your cat, dog or ferret must have:

  • A working Microchip (in line with the technical requirements of Annex II of the EU Regulation on the movement of pets), or has a clearly readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011
  • been vaccinated against Rabies
  • a valid EU issued Pet Passport

You can also enter Ireland with a pet passport issued in one of the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Switzerland
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City State

Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs

All dogs arriving in Ireland must receive a Tapeworm Treatment 1-5 days before the date of entry. The Tapeworm Treatment must:

  • be approved for use in the country where the treatment is applied
  • contain praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against tapeworm (Echinococcus Multilocularis)

You do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re travelling directly to Ireland from:

  • Finland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Malta

Pet travel to Ireland from a non-EU Listed C

Your pet dog or cat be imported easily to Ireland from these non-EU countries:

Ascension Island; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Australia; Barbados; Bahrain; Belarus; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands); Bosnia and Herzegovina; British Virgin Islands; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; Curaçao; Fiji; Falkland Islands; French Polynesia; Hong Kong; Jamaica; Japan; Malaysia; Mauritius; Mexico; Montserrat; New Caledonia; New Zealand; North Macedonia, Russia; Saint Helena; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Sint Maarten; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Singapore; Taiwan; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom excluding Northern Ireland; United States of America (including American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico; US Virgin Islands); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna.

In order to travel from one of these countries to Ireland, your pet must have:

Airport Compliance Checks for pets arriving in Ireland

When travelling with pets from a non-EU country, dogs, cats and ferrets from the these countries may only enter Ireland through:

  • Cork Airport
  • Dublin Airport
  • Dublin PortShannon Airport
  • Port of Cork at Ringaskiddy
  • Rosslare Europort

You must provide advance notice and organise compliance checks for your pet in advance of your arrival into Ireland.

There is a fee for compliance checks on pets, but there’s no charge for compliance checks on Service Dogs or pets entering from Great Britain.

If you haven’t followed the pet travel regulations for Ireland, or your cat, dog or ferret fails the compliance checks, they may be quarantined for up to 4 months.

Travelling to Ireland with more than 5 pets

Under the rules of the EU Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), you can enter Ireland with up to 5 pets as long as each pet meets the stated requirements for travel. If you are travelling to Ireland with more than five pets (dogs, cats or ferrets) you must provide proof that:

  • they are participating in a competition, exhibition or sporting event (by providing for example a registration document) and
  • they are more than 6 months old

Pet-Friendly travel options to Ireland by plane, train & ferry

Available options for travel to Ireland with a cat, dog or ferret depend on your country of origin. However, you’ll be pleased to know that pet transport methods to Ireland are widely available, including airlines, ferry companies and train services.

Some of the airlines, ferry companies and trains offering pet friendly routes from Ireland to continental Europe are:

Importing a pet to Ireland from Scotland, England or Wales Great Britain)

  1. You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped.
  2. Vaccinate your dog, cat or ferret against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.
  3. Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
  4. Visit your vet to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) for your pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.
  5. Your dog will need a Tapeworm Treatment 1 to 5 days before arriving in Ireland, and again when returning to GB.

Taking a pet to Ireland from Northern Ireland (NI)

For Brexit pet travel purposes, NI is subject to the same Pet Travel Scheme rules as EU countries. This is due to its shared border with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state.

Pets travelling without their owner

As a rule, pets imported to Ireland must travel with their owner. However, the owner may give written permission to another person to accompany their cat, dog or ferret on their behalf. In this case, the owner must be reunited with their pet within 5 days of the cat or dog’s relocation.

Always check for the most up to date pet travel rules for Ireland on the government website.

Check out pet friendly attractions, hotels, beaches and parks in Ireland, and remember to leave a review after your visit.

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