How to bring your pets with you when you move to Ireland.

Pets are valued members of our family and it’s important they come with us when we relocate. But there are a number of important steps that you must take in order to get your pets to Ireland safely and smoothly. Below is a detailed guide on what is required to move your pets to Ireland based on the type of pet you have and whether you are coming from an EU or non-EU country. Be aware that some airlines in some countries may require you to use a professional pet relocation service which will increase the cost of their trip. But do shop around, as quotes can vary greatly.

Important
  • The movement of live animals to and from Ireland is regulated by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
  • You must arrive in Ireland within five days of your pets arriving.
  • The maximum number of animals that are allowed to travel per person is 5.
  • Snub nosed/short nosed dog and cat breeds are more prone to respiratory problems during air travel. Consult with your vet before transporting a snub nosed animal.
  • Although no dog breeds are banned in Ireland, there are restrictions on certain dog breeds.
  • Learn more about the requirements of pet ownership in Ireland.

What You Need to Know in Order to Relocate Your Pets to Ireland

Moving Pets into Ireland from the EU

Cats, Dogs or Ferrets

Your pets may enter any Irish port of entry including airport and ferry terminals.

Your pet must:

  • Be identified by a microchip*
  • Have an EU passport which certifies that the animal is immunized against rabies. In addition, dogs from Finland, Malta and the UK must have been treated against Echinococcus multilocularis (tapeworm) not more than 120 hours (5 days) and not less than 24 hours (1 day) prior to their scheduled arrival in Ireland.
  • If you are moving more than five pets, they need to have a veterinary certificate as evidence that the animals have had a clinical examination within 48 hours of departing. However, if you can provide proof that your pets have been brought in to compete in a competition, then you will be exempt from this requirement.

Tips
  • Pet passports are issued by Veterinarians.

Pet Birds^

  • Pet birds may only be brought into Ireland when the owner is relocating or holidaying to Ireland.
  • A Form of Advance Notice of Import must be completed and submitted at least 24hrs in advance of the bird arriving in Ireland.
  • The bird must travel either with its owner or the owner’s representative and an Owner Declaration for Pet Birds.

Pet Rodents and Rabbits

  • The pet must travel either with its owner or the owner’s representative.
  • An Advanced Notice of Import must be completed and submitted at least 24hrs in advance of the rodent or rabbit arriving in Ireland.A detailed guide on #moving to #Ireland with pets. #moveabroad

Moving Pets into Ireland from ‘Low-Risk’ Non-EU Countries

Cats, Dogs or Ferrets

Pets being transported into Ireland from a non-EU low-risk country can be brought in under the following conditions:

  • Your pet must be transported in an approved airline/pet cargo carrier. 
  • Enter Ireland only via Dublin Airport.
  • Be identified by a microchip*
  • Be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate, Annex IV to Commission Implementing Decision 577/2013 certifying that the animal is immunized against rabies.
  • Dogs must be treated against Echinococcus multilocularis (tapeworm) not more than 120 hours (5 days) and not less than 24 hours (1 day) prior to their scheduled arrival in Ireland.
  • Have evidence that the pet is being moved for non-commercial purposes. This must be presented to the approved airline in advance.
  • Be accompanying you on holiday or moving to Ireland. You must not be intending to sell your pet.

Pet Birds^

You must complete the application form for an import permit within sufficient time to enable the pre-export requirements to be completed. The bird must:
  • Travel either with its owner or the owner’s representative.
  • Be transported in an approved airline/pet cargo carrier. 
  • Be individually identified.
  • Be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate signed by an official veterinarian to confirm compliance with the pre-export requirements.
  • Be accompanied by a declaration signed by the owner/person representing the owner in the form contained at Annex 111 to in Commission Decision 2007/25/EC as amended.
  • Be imported through either Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport

Pet Rodents and Rabbits

  • If you wish to import your rodent or rabbit, you need to complete and submit an application form for an import permit as well as an advance notice of import. The application should be made in sufficient time to enable the pre-export requirements to be completed.
  • The pet must be accompanied with a licence issued by the Animal Health and Welfare Division of the Department. The licence will set out the requirements for import which include a veterinary health certificate.
  • The rodent or rabbit must be transported in an approved airline/pet cargo carrier. 
  • For a non-domestic rodent or rabbit being kept as a pet, the owner is responsible for checking with the Parks and Wildlife section of the Department of the Environment as to whether a CITES licence is required to import such an animal.
Moving to Ireland: A Practical Guide

Moving Pets from ‘High-Risk’ Non-EU Countries

Cats, Dogs or Ferrets

If your country is not on the non-EU low risk country list then you can only bring your pets into Ireland under the following strict conditions:

  • Your pet must be transported in an approved airline/pet cargo carrier. 
  • Enter Ireland only via Dublin Airport.
  • Identified by a microchip*.
  • Accompanied by a veterinary health certificate, Annex IV to Commission Implementing Decision 577/2013 certifying that the animal is immunized against rabies. Dogs must be treated against Echinococcus multilocularis (tapeworm) not more than 120 hours (5 days) and not less than 24 hours (1 day) prior to their scheduled arrival in Ireland.
  • Undergone a blood test at least 30 days after rabies vaccination to confirm a neutralising antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml.  Your pet may only enter Ireland when at least three months has expired since a successful blood-test
  • Have evidence that it is being moved for non-commercial purposes. This must be presented to the approved airline in advance (air ticket reservation etc…).
  • Be accompanying you on holiday or moving to Ireland. You must not be intending to sell your pet.

Pet Birds^

You must complete and submit the application form for an import permit within sufficient time to enable to pre-export requirements to be completed.

The bird must:

  • Travel either with its owner or the owner’s representative.
  • Be transported in an approved airline/pet cargo carrier. 
  • Be individually identified.
  • Be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate signed by an official veterinarian to confirm compliance with the pre-export requirements and a declaration signed by the owner/person representing the owner in the form contained at Annex 111 to in Commission Decision 2007/25/EC as amended.
  • Be imported either through either Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport.

Pet Rodents and Rabbits

  • The pet must be accompanied with a licence issued by the Animal Health and Welfare Division of the Department. The licence will set out the requirements for import which include a veterinary health certificate.
  • The rodent or rabbit must be transported in an approved airline/pet cargo carrier. 
  • If you wish to import your rodent or rabbit, you need to complete and submit an application form for an import permit as well as an advance notice of import. The application should be made in sufficient time to enable the pre-export requirements to be completed.
  • For a non-domestic rodent or rabbit being kept as a pet, the owner is responsible for checking with the Parks and Wildlife section of the Department of the Environment as to whether a CITES licence is required to import such an animal.
* European Pet Microchipping

The microchip must be a transponder readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785. If your pet has a different type of microchip, your vet can remove it and replace it with an EU compatible chip.

Tips
  • Don’t forget to update your personal contact details contained on the chip when you relocate.

Pet Birds^

Pet birds are defined as any species except fowl, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, quails, pigeons, partridges and ratites reared or kept in captivity for breeding, the production of meat or eggs for consumption, or for restocking supplies of game. They must not be traded commercially.A detailed guide on #moving to #Ireland with pets. #moveabroad

Travelling with a Recognised Assistance Dog

These rules apply similarly to those travelling with the aid of assistance dogs. If the dog is accompanying a person from outside the EU, it is advised that they contact Animal Health Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) before travelling:

Quarantine Requirements

If you are fully compliant with the regulations, then your pet will not need to be quarantined. Compliance checks will be carried out within approximately three hours of your pet arriving. Once these checks have been carried out, your pet will be released to you.

Important

If you do not comply with the regulations, then your pet will either be:

  • Returned to the country it came from at your expense or
  • Placed into quarantine for the necessary length of time for the animal to meet the health requirements. This is done at the expense of the owner.

The Sedation of Animals for Air Travel

Although animals may be excitable on the way to the airport and prior to loading, research has shown that they usually revert to a resting state in their dark, closed cargo hold and subsequently sedatives may have an excessive effect. Pets travelling by air frequently need veterinary care to recover from the effects of sedation and unfortunately many pets have even died from over sedation.

Some animals can react abnormally from sedation. In addition, the physiological changes from sedatives may be enhanced due to the air pressure inside the aircraft. Increased altitude can also create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats that are sedated or tranquilized. Pug or snub nosed dogs and cats are especially affected.

Sedation can also affect an animal’s natural ability to maintain their balance and equilibrium. When the travel container is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury.

The Alternative to Sedating Your Pets for Air Travel

Veterinarians suggest pre-conditioning your pet to its travel container instead of sedating. You should do this as far in advance of your trip as possible.

Let your pet get to know the travel container that you will be using by leaving it open with a treat or familiar object inside e.g. a favourite toy. This will encourage your pet to spend time in it. Your aim is to make your pet as relaxed as possible in the container so that their trip is more comfortable.

Alternatives to Flying Your Pet in the Hold

If you are concerned about cost, or your pets ability to cope with a long flight in the hold, there are some alternatives to consider. For small pets, some airlines such as Air France will allow you to transport them in the cabin. This can actually work out cheaper than flying them in the hold.

An alternative to flying your pet is to travel on a boat which provides a kennel service. This may require you to travel to another part of the EU before travelling on to Ireland. This option of course takes much longer than flying, but combines the practicalities of travel with an enjoyable holiday. It’s is also a great option for people who don’t like to fly.

Although your pet will be required to stay in the ships kennel, you can visit them during your journey. Most ships also provide a dog walking area. Be aware that due to size, some breeds cannot be accommodated. Your carrier of choice will be able to provide you more detail on their restrictions.

When arriving in the EU, you will need to satisfy the requirements of the country that you are entering. Be aware that some countries may ban certain breeds that they consider ‘dangerous’. Consequently, boats entering these countries will not allow these breeds on board.

Arriving in Ireland with Pets

There are a number of accommodation providers in Ireland that allow pets, but some of them may charge an additional fee to accommodate them. There are also many that don’t allow pets, so make sure that you book well in advance and make it clear how many pets you will be bringing, their breed and size so there is no misunderstanding when you turn up.

Tips

Essential Pet Travel Items

Being prepared and having the correct equipment is essential for travelling with pets, you will need the following:
  • These Petmate Airline Cargo Crates come in a range of sizes and colours. They are sturdy and good quality. making them a popular choice amongst pet owners.
  • You will need to ensure that you fit two bowls into the crate to supply your pet with food and water. These stainless steel bowls come in a range of sizes to suit all types of pets, and securely fasten to the crate door. These bowls are super sturdy, so won’t crack and split like plastic ones.
  • Water bottles are an excellent alternative to bowls which can easily spill. This pet crate water bottle fits securely to the crate door to provide your pet with refreshment during their journey. If your pet has not used these before, then you will need to train them to use it prior to their journey. For dogs, smear some peanut butter on the nozzle, for cats (which we all know are not as easy to please), try their favourite food.
  • These extra large pet pee pads are super absorbent and essential for lining your pets crate to keep them dry and comfortable throughout their journey.
  • Pet pheromones are a popular with anxious pets. Natural Pet Phero-Soothe is available for both cats and dogs and can be wiped around the inside of the pet crate to help soothe them throughout their journey.
  • If you have a small pet that is able to travel in cabin, these In Cabin Pet Airline Travel Accessory Kits provide all the essential equipment that you will need, including a meal on the Go Travel Pouch, two collapsible bowls for food and water, temporary pet ID tag, pet carrier name tag, dry food and document storage pouches, and TSA Fast Pass® leash and harness. They come in a range of colours and three harness sizes.

Further Reading

Keen to gain more information and knowledge about travelling with your pet? Try these books:
RelocatingtoIreland.com is a participant in the Amazon EU and Amazon Services LLC Associates and Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I personally believe will add value to my readers.