You can bring your pets to and from the EU (and many other countries around the world) on holidays without need for quarantine!
To do this you will need have your pet microchipped (if not already done) and have a valid Pet Passport. Your vet can help arrange the passport for you.
After that the rules for travel between Ireland and other countries vary, and are subject to change, so for the most up to date information it’s best to consult the Department of Agriculture website where all this information is available.
Travel within Europe
For travel to and from EU and specified other non-EU European countries and home again (full list here), your pet will need to be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to travel, and the vaccine will have to be kept up-to-date by way of regular re-vaccination. Your vet will confirm how often the vaccine needs to be done as it depends on the brand of vaccine used.
Additionally for dogs, before travelling back into Ireland from mainland EU they will need to be seen by a vet 1-5 days prior to re-entry to be given a tapeworm treatment, and this will need to be recorded on their passport. This is to prevent entry of a specific tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) into Ireland that is widespread in certain parts of Europe and, whilst harmless to dogs, can infect humans causing serious illness and even death. Ireland is free of this disease, and we want to keep it that way!
To further protect animal and human health and welfare, it is also strongly recommended that your pet be treated for ticks at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.
There is no requirement for tapeworm treatment for dogs travelling between Ireland and the UK as both countries are free of this parasite, but your pet does still need a Pet Passport to go to/from the UK.
Travel from Rest of World
The rules for travelling into Ireland (and the rest of the EU) from certain ‘low-risk‘ non-EU countries are the same as above – microchip identification, rabies vaccination at least 21 days prior to entry and tape-worm treatment 1-5 days prior to entry (as well as the recommended tick treatment).
If you want to bring a pet dog or cat into Ireland from any other ‘high-risk’ countries (i.e. all others apart from those on the ‘low-risk‘ list) then your pet will also have to have a blood test done at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination to ensure the vaccine has been effective, and can only travel back to Ireland 3 months after the date of the blood test. Dogs will also require tapeworm treatment as above. Again the most up-to-date information regarding the requirements is available on the Department of Agriculture website.
Travel to Rest of World
The general principle is that the importing country sets the rules, so it is best to consult with their embassy or Department of Agriculture for the exact requirements. If for example you wish to bring your pet to Australia you will need to consult with the Australian authorities who will send on all the required information on what you need to arrange and have done prior to travel.
Below are links to the relevant governmental website sections of each country listed:
It is also important to bear in mind that there are several serious diseases of pets in other countries that we do not have in Ireland – such as heart-worm, leishmania, Ehrlicia etc. – so when abroad it is important to administer to your pet the correct preventative treatment for these potentially fatal diseases, and to be aware what symptoms to look out for. Please ask your vet for this information, or alternatively consult with a local vet at your destination who will be familiar with the best practice for that region.