You can bring your pet dog or cat to and from the EU (and many other countries
around the world) on holidays without need for quarantine!
To do this you will need have your pet microchipped (if not already done)
and have a valid Pet Passport. We can help arrange the passport for you.
After that the rules for travel between Ireland and other countries vary, and are subject to change, so for the most up to date information it’s best to consult the Department of Agriculture website where all this information is available.
Travel within Europe (into or out of Ireland from/to any EU or EEA country, including UK)
For travel to and from any country in the EU and EEA, your pet dog or cat will need to be vaccinated against rabies at least 22 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 - by law it cannot be done at a younger age. This therefore implies that the youngest age at which a pet can travel from one country to another is 15 weeks of age. You cannot therefore buy a puppy or kitten from the UK for example at an age younger than 15 weeks. You also cannot export a puppy or kitten to the UK at an age younger than 15 weeks.
This applies to all movements between any EU countries - including travel from Ireland to UK or UK to Ireland.
Additionally for dogs, before travelling back into Ireland from continental EU they will need to be seen by a vet 1-5 days prior to re-entry to be given a tapeworm treatment, and 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!
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.
There is no requirement for tapeworm treatment for dogs travelling between Ireland and the UK as both countries are free of this parasite, but your pet does still need a Pet Passport to go to/from the UK.
If you are rehoming dogs or cats to the UK or selling puppies or kittens to the UK this is deemed as a 'commercial movement' and in this case different rules apply. Each animal still has to adhere to the passport rules above but in additon you will also need to go through some steps to acquire health and export certificates for each animal being exported, and the vehicle they are travelling in must be assessed and approved (to ensure the health and safety of the animals during transport). You should contact your local Department of Agriculture office to get the information you need. Blacklion Pet Hospital can of course help arrange all that is needed for you.
Travel from Rest of World
The rules for travelling into Ireland (and the rest of the EU) from certain ‘low-risk‘ non-EU 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 is available on 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 heart-worm, Leishmania, Brucella, 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.