Bringing Pets to Ireland

What to expect when bringing pets to Ireland

dog moving to Ireland

If you are moving to Ireland or even going on vacation you can bring your pets with you and with the help of pet-loving experts, it is not too difficult. Whilst the process of bringing your pets to Ireland is not as complicated as other countries, such as Australia, it is still important to be prepared and know the pet import regulations.

When bringing pets into Ireland from outside the EU, countries will be classified as either lower risk or higher risk countries. The USA is listed as a lower risk country and as such does not require a blood test or the 3-month minimum wait after the rabies vaccine. You can check here to see which classification your country falls under.  

General Rules

To be classified as a non-commercial relocation the pets must arrive within 5 days before or after your own travels. Or alternatively, you can nominate another person to be the designated travel buddy (i.e. legal representative) for your pet. The maximum number of pets you can bring with you to Ireland is five. Further, your pets must arrive in the country with all the original paperwork, not copies.

If these rules are not followed, your pet will be at risk of denied entry or of being placed into Quarantine upon arrival.  


The following Import Regulations apply if you are looking to bring your pets from the U.S into Ireland.

1. Microchipped

Your pet must be fitted with an ISO approved microchip (which is usually 15 digits). It is important that your pet is microchipped BEFORE their rabies vaccination.

It is also imperative that the microchip can be read by a scanner upon arrival in Ireland. You can bring your own scanner with you to be sure or you can also contact the border officials at the EU port of entry to make an inquiry.  

2. Valid Rabies Vaccination

After the Microchip has been inserted, the first rabies vaccination administered is the primary vaccination. After this vaccination, there is a minimum 21 day wait period before the pet can be brought into Ireland. 3-year vaccines are valid, however, if a booster vaccine is given and there has been a break in the vaccine period, the booster will be considered the primary vaccine.

Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before the vaccination will be deemed valid. And it must be administered by a USDA accredited vet (if the pet is coming from the USA).

3. Either EU Pet Passport or EU Health Certificate

Your pet must be accompanied into Ireland with either an EU Pet Passport or an EU Health Certificate. The Pet Passport is only valid if it has been issued by an EU country and it certifies that the rabies treatment was valid and was administered by a vet in the EU country.

If your pet does not have a Pet Passport, an EU Health Certificate (i.e. EU Annex IV Health Certificate) will be necessary. For the Health Cert to be valid the following requirements must be met:

  • It must be completed by your vet; AND
  • Signed and endorsed by your countries official state vet (i.e. the USDA for pets coming from the U.S); AND
  • Upon arriving in Ireland, it must be signed and endorsed by the country which also completes the compliance checks

4. Tapeworm Treatment

All dogs must be treated for Tapeworm before coming from the USA to Ireland. This treatment must be administered no more than 120 hours (5 days) and no less than 25 hours (1 day) before the scheduled ARRIVAL time in Ireland.

5. Must enter Ireland through Dublin Airport

Pets coming from the States into Ireland can only arrive at the Dublin airport. They may travel on any airline willing to transport them and must travel in an airline approved pet carrier. Compliance checks upon arrival into Ireland MUST be organized in advance.

These checks may be performed at the airport or at the Quarantine facility.  If the checks are being performed at Quarantine, pets will be securely transported by staff to the facility. Owners are not allowed to be in the vehicle with pets on the way to Quarantine. Once the pet has passed all the compliance checks, only then may you take your pet with you.

6. Provide advance intention

You must email the respective airport your advance intention of bringing a pet into Ireland. This must be done at least 24 hours prior to travel. The airlines will then inform DAFM by completing the advance notice form.

Banned or Restricted breeds in Ireland?

Whilst Ireland does not have a list of banned breeds, there are several restricted breeds of dogs. The following restrictions are placed on the below breeds:

  • You are personally liable for any injuries caused by the dog; and
  • Your dog must be on a strong and short lead when in public; and
  • The person holding your dog must be older than 16; and
  • Your dog must be muzzled

Restricted breeds in Ireland:

  • English bull terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Bull mastiff
  • Dobermann pinscher
  • German shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Rhodesian ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Japanese Akita
  • Japanese tosa             
  • Bandog
  • American pit bull terrier

Need help?

We are your team of friendly pet travel experts that love helping you move your furbabies across the globe. Whether you require a door to door service or just need help with some of the paperwork, we can create a customized travel plan to suit your needs. Click here for a free consultation and quote.

If you have any further questions about international pet travel you can read our FAQs here. Alternatively, you can contact us here and one of our pet travel consultants will be in touch!

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