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All you need to know about bringing a cat or dog to Ireland

Relocating from one country to another with your pet requires you to follow a series of steps to make sure your cat or dog is accepted into their destination country without incident. If you are moving to Ireland, it is best to start preparing well in advance to be able to travel on schedule.

Ireland has a set of rules and regulations for pet import, and it is essential to follow these rules exactly to be able to bring your pet dog or cat into the country. The rules are different depending on the country you are travelling from. You can bring a maximum of five animals into Ireland, irrespective of which country you are moving from.


Irish laws require that the microchip be inserted before the rabies vaccination. The microchip must conform to international standards and be readable with an ISO Standard 11785 device. If your pet has a different microchip, you can send your hand-held scanner. If your pet dog or cat has two microchips, documents must indicate that. The microchip is one of the most important requirements for travelling to Ireland; make sure your pet has the right kind of microchip implanted, because if the microchip cannot be read when your pet enters Ireland, he or she may be refused entry.


Like any other country, Ireland requires your pet to be fully-vaccinated and have records to prove it. Vaccination rules change depending on the country you are travelling from. All pets must be vaccinated for rabies after implanting the microchip, and the vaccinations must be administered by an authorised vet at least 21 days before travel. Dogs travelling from countries other than the UK, Finland, and Malta need to be treated against tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before the date of travel.

Rabies titre test

If you are travelling to Ireland from a high-risk rabies country, your pet will have to undergo a rabies titre test 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Your vet must scan the microchip before the titre test and ensure the samples are processed at an approved lab. After the test results have been received, and if the numbers are within approved limits, your pet can enter Ireland, but not before three months after the blood was drawn. If you are travelling from a high-risk country, it is advisable to start the process well in advance. If you do not have three calendar months before leaving, then your pet will be kept in the quarantine facility for the remainder of the period.

Health certificate

All pets entering Ireland from other EU member countries must possess a valid pet passport. Your licensed vet can issue a pet passport if you are travelling from an EU country. If your pet dog or cat does not have a valid EU pet passport, you will need an official veterinary certificate before entering Ireland. The veterinary health certificate should be in the form of Annex IV to Commission Implementing Decision 577/2013, and it should state that your pet is immunised against rabies and treated for tapeworm (for dogs only).

Compliance checks

According to Irish rules, all dogs and cats that enter the country from non-EU countries have to undergo compliance checks at the airport. Pets are allowed to enter the country via Dublin only, and these compliance checks must be organised in advance at the Lissenhall Veterinary Hospital or Vets Direct. If your pet is declared non-compliant, he or she will be sent back to the country of origin at your expense or will be placed in quarantine until it is considered compliant.

Use a pet relocation specialist

There are several time-bound and complex steps to fulfil to bring your pet to Ireland. The safest method is to enlist the services of a professional pet relocation service, who will manage all the paperwork and travel arrangements on your behalf. If you are moving to Ireland with your dog or cat, get in touch with Petraveller for all your relocation needs.