Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into Ireland from another EU country or certain listed countries, including Northern Ireland

The pet must arrive in Ireland with their owner. If the owner cannot travel with the pet directly, then someone else (an authorised person) may travel with the pet directly on the owner’s behalf, BUT only if the owner’s own journey is within 5 days of the pet/authorised person’s journey.

All pets must be accompanied by original paperwork, not copies. Your pet must arrive in Ireland with you, or within five days before or after you travel if it is accompanied by a person authorised by you.

Five is the maximum number of animals allowed to travel with you under the pet travel rules. These rules apply no matter which country you are travelling from.

It is up to each individual airline to decide whether to carry the animal in the cabin or as excess baggage – the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine does not decide on this.

Service animals must comply with the rules on EU pet travel. For more information on travelling to Ireland with a service animal, please see - Bringing your pet dog -travelling with guide and assistance dogs  ( 

Please read through the information below carefully. If you have any questions on pet travel after reading, please contact:

Email address:

  • telephone from within Ireland: 01 607 2827
  • telephone from outside of Ireland: 00353 1 6072827


Coming from an EU Member State or One of the Countries/Territories Listed Below:


1. Been Microchipped

The microchip must be inserted before the rabies vaccination is administered and must be readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785. If the microchip cannot be read when you enter Ireland, your pet could be put into quarantine under official control or refused entry. You may bring your own microchip scanner, if the microchip is not readable by a device compatible with ISO standard 11785.

2. A valid Rabies Vaccination

  1. The vaccination must be given after the microchip is inserted.
  2. The pet must be at least 12 weeks old before the vaccination is given, and it must be given by a vet authorised by the authorities of your country.
  3. You must wait until the appropriate immunity has developed, as stated by the datasheet of the vaccination given, which must be at least 21 days after the primary vaccination is given, before you can bring the dog, cat or ferret to Ireland. If the datasheet of the vaccination used says that immunity is not present until day 30 after vaccination, then you must wait 30 days before travel and your vet should record the same in the health certificate.

A rabies vaccination with a 1 or 3-year validity period is acceptable for entry into Ireland, but please see explanations below re primary vs booster.

Once there has been no break in coverage after a primary rabies vaccination, subsequent vaccinations are considered booster and not primary vaccinations.

If there has been a break in coverage, the next vaccination will be considered a primary vaccination and the appropriate waiting period will apply. 

In the case of booster vaccinations, the waiting period does not apply.

All dogs, cats and ferrets entering Ireland must comply with these requirements. There are no exemptions to this rule. If you are travelling from an area which has been declared rabies-free, your dog, cat and ferret still needs to comply with the rabies vaccination requirements.

3. Is Accompanied by a Valid EU Pet Passport or EU Health certificate.

Ireland accepts pet passports from all EU countries, Northern Ireland and from the following European countries/territories: Andorra, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City State.

A valid passport is a passport issued by an EU country or a country/ territory listed above, which certifies that the rabies vaccine given is valid.

If your pet dog, cat or ferret does not have a pet passport issued by an EU country or the countries/territories listed above, it must be accompanied by an EU Health certificate before entering an EU country, including Ireland.

An EU Health certificate must be:

  • completed by your veterinary practitioner, AND
  • signed and endorsed by an Official (State) Veterinarian of the country of departure, within 10 days of pets arrival into the EU, AND
  • immediately upon arriving into the EU, signed and endorsed by the EU country which performed the compliance checks

An Official State Veterinarian is a veterinarian directly employed by the government in the country of departure.

If the pet is travelling by sea, the validity is extended by the number of days of travel by sea.

The endorsed certificate is valid for travel between EU Member States for up to 4 months, or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever is the earliest. Please note this is between EU Member States only, and not to travel out of the EU and back in again. If the pet leaves the EU at any stage, then a new health certificate signed by an official vet within the last ten days is required to re-enter the EU, and all the other rules re vaccination and tapeworm etc will apply.

4. Has Been Administered Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs

If your dog is entering Ireland from any country apart from Finland, Malta, Norway or Northern Ireland, a vet must treat your dog for tapeworm (specifically Echinococcus multilocularis) and record the treatment in the pet passport or EU health certificate before each time you intend to travel to Ireland.

The treatment must contain praziquantel and must be administered by a veterinarian no less than 24 hours (1 day) and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before the scheduled arrival time of the dog in Ireland. Your dog may be refused entry into Ireland or quarantined under official control if it has not been correctly treated against Echinococcus multilocularis before entry into Ireland.

5. Pets Coming From Other EU Countries or the Countries/Territories Listed Above May Enter Ireland Through Any Port/Airport of Entry.

  • It is up to each individual airline to decide whether to carry the animal in the cabin or as excess baggage – the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine does not decide on this.
  • Spot checks are carried out on pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering Ireland from EU countries and the countries/ territories listed above. These checks are carried out at the port/airport of entry and are free of charge.


Pets Failing Compliance Checks

If you do not follow these rules, or your pet fails the compliance checks, it may be refused entry into Ireland, or may be placed into quarantine under official control for the necessary tests or vaccinations. In very limited circumstances, the pet may be euthanised. These measures will be implemented at the owner’s expense.


If any of the following situations apply to you:

  • you are buying a dog, cat or ferret abroad and having it shipped to Ireland unaccompanied, that is, you are not going to collect it and travel home with it, or
  • your pet is in another country and you want to have it shipped to Ireland unaccompanied, that is, you are not going to collect it and travel home with it
  • you are travelling to Ireland to buy, sell or gift a dog, cat or ferret, or if any change of ownership is involved after arrival, including delivery of a purchased or rehomed animal
  • if you are travelling with more than 5 pets (the exception is if you are travelling for a dog show/competition, and you will need to provide written confirmation

Your pet may not enter Ireland under pet travel rules. These pets must follow a different set of rules. Please see section on Bringing an Unaccompanied Pet Cat, Dog or Ferret into Ireland.