Travel within Europe
Travel within Europe – pets with an EU Pet Passport
For travel to the EU/EEA and the UK (and back into Ireland from any country in the EU/EEA and the UK), your pet dog or cat will need to be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to travel, and the vaccine will have to be kept up-to-date by way of regular re-vaccination. Your vet will confirm how often the vaccine needs to be done as it depends on the brand of vaccine used.
The pet has to be at least 12 weeks of age before a rabies vaccine can be administered. This therefore implies that the youngest age at which a pet can travel from one country to another is 15 weeks of age.
This applies to all movements between any EU countries and also includes travel from Ireland to Britain or Britain to Ireland.
Additionally for dogs, before travelling back into Ireland they will need to be seen by a vet 1-5 days prior to re-entry to be given a tapeworm treatment. This will need to be recorded on their passport. This is to prevent entry of a specific tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) into Ireland that is widespread in certain parts of Europe and, whilst harmless to dogs, can infect humans causing serious illness and even death. Ireland is free of this disease, and we want to keep it that way!
You do not need to administer a tapeworm treatment to your pet for travel out of Ireland to the EU or Britain.
To further protect animal and human health and welfare, it is also strongly recommended that your pet be treated for ticks at the same time as the tapeworm treatment if you had not already administered one that is still active.
Travel from Ireland to Britain
This is the same as travelling from Ireland to the EU/EEA: A valid EU Pet Passport with an up to date rabies vaccine will suffice from travel from Ireland to Britain. There is no requirement for tapeworm treatment before leaving Ireland. As the UK can set their own rules and are not part of the EU Pet Passport Scheme it is however always advised that anyone planning a visit to Britain with their pet should consult the most up to date UK guidance: Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to Great Britain - GOV.UK
British pets travelling from Britain to Ireland
If you a British resident and have a UK EU Pet Passport – unfortunately this no longer suffices for travel from Britain to Ireland (or elsewhere in the EU). This is a direct result of the UK’s departure from the EU and more specifically because of the UK government’s decision to not join the EU Pet Passport Scheme as a non-EU member (several other non-EU countries are part of the scheme and the UK can opt to do so – talk to your MP!).
The net result is that for pet travel from Britain to Ireland you will need to get an export health certificate from your local vet in Britain prior to travel into Ireland. This will record your pet’s microchip number, its rabies vaccine status and when it was administered a tapeworm treatment (which must be done 24-120 hours before arrival into Ireland).
When you have come from Britain into Ireland with your pet you can however visit a vet in Ireland who can issue an Irish EU Pet Passport for your pet. The rabies vaccination information on your UK travel health certificate can be entered by an Irish vet into the Irish Pet Passport. This can then be used for future travel from Britain to Ireland (or elsewhere in the EU) thus negating the need, and cost, of having to get a travel health certificate in Britain each time you wish to travel.
You will however continue to have to have a tapeworm treatment administered by a vet in Britain and entered into your Irish EU Pet Passport (which must be done 24-120 hours before arrival into Ireland).
The rabies vaccine section of the Irish EU Pet Passport can ever only be completed by a vet in Ireland (or elsewhere in the EU). A vet in Britain cannot complete this and therefore if your pet’s rabies vaccine booster is due before you next plan to travel it’s best it is done in Ireland (or elsewhere in the EU) before you go back to Britain.
Travel from Rest of World
The rules for travelling into Ireland (and the rest of the EU) from certain ‘low-risk‘ non-EU/EEA countries are the same as above – microchip identification, rabies vaccination at least 21 days prior to entry and tape-worm treatment 1-5 days prior to entry (as well as the recommended tick treatment). However they must travel with an 'approved carrier'.
If you want to bring a pet dog or cat into Ireland from any other ‘high-risk’ countries (i.e. all others apart from those on the ‘low-risk‘ list) then your pet will also have to have a blood test done at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination to ensure the vaccine has been effective, and can only travel back to Ireland 3 months after the date of the blood test. Dogs will also require tapeworm treatment as above.
The most up-to-date information regarding the requirements for travel into Ireland is available on the Pet Travel Section of the Department of Agriculture website.
Travel to Rest of World
The general principle is that the importing country sets the rules, so it is best to consult with their embassy or Department of Agriculture for the exact requirements. If for example you wish to bring your pet to Australia you will need to consult with the Australian authorities who will send on all the required information on what you need to arrange and have done prior to travel.
Below are links to the relevant governmental website sections of each country listed:
It is also important to bear in mind that there are several serious diseases of pets in other countries that we do not have in Ireland, such as:
- Erhlichia etc
So when abroad it is important to administer to your pet the correct preventative treatment for these potentially fatal diseases, and to be aware what symptoms to look out for.
Please ask us for this information, or alternatively, consult with a local vet at your destination who will be familiar with the best practice for that region.