Moving a Pet to Ireland

Rules and Regulations for International Pet Shipping

What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to Ireland?

Irish Terrier heading to IrelandIf your family is relocating to the Emerald Isle, your pet cat, dog, or ferret will be welcome to join you. However, pets require personal documentation, just as humans need a passport. Every country sets its own rules for pets to visit or relocate, so just to clarify, the following information pertains to the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Pet Travel Documents & Requirements

Although each country’s pet import requirements may differ, they are also similar in many ways. The details depend on where you live now. Ireland is part of the European Union, so if your family currently resides in another EU country and your pet already has a current EU Pet Passport, you won’t need any other paperwork to bring your pet into Ireland. 

cat travelHowever, that could change if you currently live in the UK, depending on Britain’s status once a final Brexit deal is reached. Meanwhile, the best way to stay abreast of this issue is to check this website, which explains current rules for British pets traveling abroad. You can also check this government page to learn about the latest Brexit-related developments.

What happens if you live outside the European Union? You will have to follow specific steps to obtain the paperwork your pet needs to move to Ireland. As already noted, the details will depend on where you now live. If you are moving from the United States, this USDA web page outlines everything required to relocate your pet to Ireland. To make it easier for you, all the essential information is included below.  

Read through everything carefully, because it is essential to follow the rules to the letter. If your pet arrives in Ireland with incomplete or incorrect documentation, he could be quarantined, sent home or even euthanized. The Irish are delighted to welcome family pets, but they want no part of any pests or disease your four-legged friend might bring.  

If your pet will be traveling separately from you, you will also need to sign an authorization form for whomever will accompany or transport your pet.

Be sure to check with your airline, too, because some carriers have pet travel requirements in addition to the destination country’s rules. For instance, flights departing from the US may require your pet to have a USDA APHIS 7001 (international health certificate) in addition to the EU form required by Ireland.

Health Certificates

dog moving to belgium

The requirements outlined below apply to pets entering Ireland within 5 days before or after your own arrival date, as long as you have fewer than 5 pets total. This is the case for most families. If you and your pet(s) will be traveling on the same flight or if you will be traveling separately but within the 10-day window noted, use this health certificate IF YOUR PET IS A DOG. Use this health certificate instead if your pet is NOT A DOG.

If you will be traveling with more than 5 pets, or if your pet(s) will arrive in Ireland outside the 10-day window noted above, then you must use a “commercial” health certificate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re making the arrangements yourself or our Starwood Animal Transport team is handling the details for you.

If you have multiple pets, each one must have his own health certificate. It must be filled out and signed by an accredited veterinarian and then endorsed (counter-signed and stamped or embossed) by the APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer in your state. Both signatures must be in original ink. This document must be completed within 10 days of your pet’s arrival in Ireland. 


Import Permit

Ireland does not require a separate import permit for pets.

Rabies Vaccinations

cats in need of rabies shots for their trip to Belgium

Ireland requires all pets to be vaccinated against rabies before they arrive. Your vet may use a 1-, 2-, or 3-year vaccine, however the 3-year vaccine may be used only as booster, not as the primary vaccination. A “valid” rabies vaccine is one that has been administered at the same time or after your pet is microchipped. (See Microchip section below). The timing is significant because each animal’s microchip number is a unique identifier and must appear on every document.

All European Union countries require microchips to be ISO-compliant. So if your pet has another type of microchip, he will need to get a second one (and both numbers will have to appear on his documentation). If your pet’s microchip is the right type but was implanted before he got his rabies vaccination, he will need to get a booster so that the immunization can be officially tied to his ID number.

Ireland requires all pets to wait at least 21 days after receiving their primary rabies vaccination before entering the country. “Primary” means the first vaccination given at the same time or after microchip implantation or as a booster immunization (given after expiration of a previous vaccine).

Other Vaccinations

Ireland does not require pets to have any vaccinations other than rabies. However, we recommend that you ask your new Irish veterinarian about locally-specific immunizations or preventative treatments your pet should get.

 

Tapeworm Treatment

Unlike most EU countries, Ireland does require dogs to be treated for tapeworm prior to entering the country. Your dog must be treated by a USDA-accredited vet between 1-5 days before arrival in Ireland, using a medication labeled effective against tapeworms (specifically Echinococcus multilocaris). The preferred product is praziquantel. This can be done either before or after your dog’s health certificate is endorsed by the USDA vet.

Blood Tests

Ireland does not require any additional blood tests for cats, dogs, or ferrets.

Photo of Pet

It is not necessary to include a photo of your pet with their official documentation. 

What Are the Pet Restrictions for Ireland?

Banned Breeds

Although many countries ban certain dog breeds (and sometimes cats, too), Ireland does not impose an outright ban. Instead, they list “restricted” dogs which must be muzzled when in public, held on a “strong” leash, and handled by someone who is at least 16 years old. These are the restricted breeds:

  • doberman pinscher banned in irelandAmerican Pit Bull Terrier
  • English Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Dobermann Pinscher
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Japanese Akita
  • Japanese Tosa
  • “Ban dog” (a cross or strain of any of the above breeds)

Age Restrictions for Ireland

Ireland will not allow you to import kittens, puppies, or baby ferrets that are less than 15 weeks old and whose rabies immunization is less than 21 days old at the time of entry. 

Do I Need a Microchip for My Pet to Travel to Ireland?

Cats Need Microchip Before Trip To Belgium

All dogs, cats, and ferrets must be implanted with a microchip that meets ISO standard 11784 or 11785. (The number will be 15 digits.) If your pet currently has no microchip, get that done first because, as noted above, his ID number must be written on all of his paperwork. If your pet has a microchip that is not ISO compliant, you have three choices:

  • Have your veterinarian implant another microchip that does meet ISO standards, which is not harmful
  • Carry a chip reader that customers officials can use to scan your pet, or
  • Notify Spanish customs ahead of time so they can have the right type of scanner available

What Are the Quarantine Requirements for a Pet Traveling to Ireland?

As long as your pet(s) have all the required import/health documentation, they will not face quarantine in Ireland.  

Top Destinations in Ireland

How Starwood Can Help

Our Ireland pet shipping services include:

  • Door-to-door transport
  • Assistance with health certificates, import certificates, and other travel documents needed for animal transport to Ireland (outlined above)
  • USDA endorsement and consular legalization (when needed) of all relevant documents where required
  • Airline-approved flight kennels provided with personalized labels, identification and emergency notification instructions
  • Customs clearance and delivery to your home
  • Local pet taxi service to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian, kennel, or groomer – available in major Ireland cities as well as their surrounding areas
  • Travel consultation and flight reservations

We will inform you of your pet's full itinerary before the trip and we will update you as your pet travels to Ireland.

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