Updated last year

Importing a pet to a new country can seem like a complicated process due to customs laws and restrictions, but Ireland’s Department of Agriculture lays out the rules very clearly. With enough planning you should be able to move your animal to your home in Ireland without issue, provided the pet is healthy.

Dogs, cats and ferrets

Regardless of the country you are travelling from, your dog, cat, and/or ferret must travel with all original paperwork, be accompanied by a human, and arrive within five days either side of your arrival. You cannot travel with more than five animals at a time.

If you are from either an EU country, or Andorra, Gibraltar, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, or The Vatican, your pet must:

  • Be microchipped
  • Have a valid rabies vaccination
  • Have a valid pet passport or veterinary certificate
  • A tapeworm treatment at the appropriate time for dogs, unless coming from Finland, Malta, Norway, or the UK.

Failure to comply with any of these could result in your pet going in quarantine upon arrival in Ireland.

You will need to do all of the same, as well as a compliance check upon arrival, if you hail from any of the countries stated by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, such as Australia, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Hong Kong, Mauritius, New Zealand, Russia, United Arab Emirates, USA and all its territories, etc..

If you are from any other country, you will need to comply with all of the above, as well as a rabies blood test for your pet that is carried out within specific timelines. You will also need to ensure you enter via Dublin.


You must enter Ireland through the Dublin airport, unless your animal is an assistance dog.


If you are from an EU member state, or equivalent country as detailed above, you can bring a pet bird into Ireland as long as

  • You or someone acting on your behalf accompany it
  • You fill in and carry an owner declaration document with you on your journey
  • You have completed and emailed a form of Advance Notice of Import to livetrade@agriculture.gov.ie more than 24 hours before the bird’s arrival into the country

If you are from a non-EU country, you can import pet birds if:

  • You bring no more than five
  • It is accompanied by you, or someone acting on your behalf
  • The bird is individually identified
  • You have a veterinary health certificate

If you are trying to bring the bird from a third country, it is more complicated, and it is best to read through the Department of Agriculture’s detailed rules. You should also fill in the correct forms and sned them well in advance of your travel so the documents and checks can be completed and booked for your arrival.

Rabbits and rodents

The process is simple for EU member states, plus equivalent countries:

  • The pet must be accompanied by yourself or an agent working on your behalf
  • You must have submitted an advanced notice form at least one working day before your pet’s arrival

You can only bring rabbits and rodents from certain non-EU countries, but you must apply for a licence at least two months in advance of your arrival into the country. The licence will detail all requirements, such as the veterinary health checks and the specific type of container you must use to transport your animal. You will also need to fill in and email the advanced notice form as above.

 Useful links:

Irish Department of Agriculture - Pet travel
Irish Department of Agriculture - Entry requirements

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.