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Vaccination schedule for international pet transport to Ireland

Vaccinations are essential for all pets; they protect your cat and dog from life-threatening diseases and stop these diseases from spreading among other animals. Vaccinations halt the spread of zoonotic diseases such as rabies and leptospirosis. Pet vaccinations are an important step in international pet transport, and all countries across the world insist on up-to-date vaccinations before travelling.

If you are travelling with your pet dog or cat to Ireland, here’s the vaccination schedule to follow:  

Check your country category

Pet import rules in Ireland are different for different countries based on the rabies status of the country of origin. Ireland recognises three country categories. They are:

  • Category 1: EU member countries and countries/territories such as Andorra, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City fall under this category.  
  • Category 2: Low-rabies countries are included in this category: Ascension Island, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Bahrain, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands), Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russia, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Singapore, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Category 3: All countries not mentioned in categories 1 and 2 belong to this category.

Vaccination schedule for pets travelling to Ireland from the EU and low-rabies countries

Pets travelling from Category 1 and Category 2 countries must have a valid rabies vaccination before entering Ireland. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old when they receive the rabies vaccination. Make sure the vaccination is given after the microchip is implanted. The primary vaccination is the first rabies vaccination received by your pet; subsequent vaccinations are called booster doses and must be given before the primary vaccination loses validity.

If your pet dog or cat has received a primary rabies vaccine, they will have to wait for 21 days after the date of injection before travelling to Ireland. The 21-day waiting period is waived if your pet has received their booster doses, provided there is no break in coverage in the primary vaccination.

Vaccination schedule for pets travelling to Ireland from high-rabies countries

If your pet is moving from a high-rabies country, the vaccination schedule is longer, and you will have to start your travel plans earlier. Your pet dog cat must be at least 12 weeks old before they receive their rabies vaccine. They must receive the vaccine only after the microchip has been implanted.

Your pet will need a rabies serological test (RNATT) before they can fly to Ireland. The blood for the test must be sampled at least 30 days after the date of the vaccination. The sample must be sent to an EU-approved testing laboratory in an EU member state or any other country. The rabies titre test measures the level of antibodies your pet’s blood as a way of testing the effectiveness of the rabies vaccination. The level of antibodies must be at least 0.5 IU/ml for your pet to be able to travel to Ireland.

Pets will have to wait for three months after the date of blood sampling before travelling to Ireland. The three-month wait does not apply for pets that have a satisfactory RNATT result entered in their EU pet passports before leaving the EU, provided there has been no break in the rabies vaccinations after the blood test. If your pet is looking to return to Ireland after living in an unlisted country, keeping the vaccinations updated is very important.

Call the pet travel experts

Travelling to Ireland with a pet can be confusing, especially for first-time fliers. The rules are long and can sometimes change without notice. If you are transporting your pet to Ireland, an experienced pet travel agency can make sure your pet travels to the destination country safely and without stress. Reach out to us at Petraveller for more information on international pet transport and how to have a zero-harm pet travel experience.