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Can I Visit Ireland with a Dog or Cat?

The Short Answer

Yes, providing your dog or cat meets the regulations listed below. Make sure your pet:

  • is at least three months old
  • has a microchip ID
  • has a rabies vaccination
  • has a follow-up blood at least three after the vaccination, to ensure it is successful
  • has a European PETS passport (the vaccination is a precondition)
  • has been treated for dog for tick and tapeworm

The Barking Mad Answer

The law in the Republic of Ireland may sound crazily strict -- but for good reason, since the country has been successful in keeping rabies out of the country. Here are those items in more detail:

  1. Make sure your dog or cat is at least three months old
  2. Give your cat or dog a microchip ID - The chip, typically inserted below the skin at the back of the neck, helps identify your pet if it gets separated from you. This is something your vet can do and it is not painful for the animal - Important Note: In many European Union countries, a readable tattoo is a valid form of ID, but Ireland and the United Kingdom only admit microchipped animals
  3. Have your pet vaccinated against rabies after being microchipped - Even if  you had your pet inoculated in the past, you will need to get up-to-date shots
  4. After about four weeks, return to your vet for a blood test - in fact, the waiting period will vary depending on the animal -- your vet will advise you -- but the purpose of the test will be to see if the vaccination has worked
  5. Ask the vet to issue you with an EU PETS passport - if the blood test is successful, your vet will be able to issue you with this passport, which is a requirement when entering any European Union member state (including Ireland and Northern Ireland)
  6. Tick and tapeworm treatment - Not more than 48 hours before you enter Ireland, and not less than 24 hours, you need to take your dog or cat to a vet again, this time to be treated for ticks and tapeworms.

What about Accommodation in Ireland with Pets?

There are a number of hotels in Ireland that allow pets -- you need to check the individual hotel website to be sure.

  • Certain tourist-board approved B&Bs and guest-houses are marked as 'pet friendly'
  • These pet-friendly guesthouses are usually family run
  • Their hosts are typically pet lovers, who understand the needs of dogs and cats
  • B&Bs owners can offer advice about for pet owners, such as places to take your dog for a walk
  • B&B rooms tend to be cheaper than hotels

What about Northern Ireland?

  • The laws about brining pets into the Republic of Ireland are very similar to those about bringing pets into the UK.
  • You will need the same European PETS passport, which requires the rabies vaccination as a prerequisite.
  • Once you arrive in either Ireland or Northern Ireland with the correct documentation, however, you and your dog can typically travel freely between both states, since there is no physical border.

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