bringing a pet into Ireland

All you need to know about bringing a pet into Ireland

All you need to know about bringing a pet into IrelandAll you need to know about bringing a pet into Ireland

bringing a pet into IrelandWhen we decided we were keen to move to Ireland, we first looked at how our furbaby was going to get over there. You see, we might not have any human babies but we do have Jack, and well, he is our baby. Jack is part of our little wolf-pack, and so he definitely was coming over – no matter what.

I mentioned in the previous post that there is no quarantine period when you send your pet over to Ireland from South Africa. However there are some steps you need to take in order to ensure a seamless transition into the country. Here is all you need to know about bringing your pet over to Ireland with you:

Talk to your vet.

We spoke to our vet before deciding to send Jack over and decided against giving him any drugs while he flew. We wanted him to be able to wake himself up and breathe easily – as these are concerns some Pugs have. Our vet also said that you should take into account your pet’s age. Jack was turning 3 at the time, so he was still young enough to travel. Our vet said that pets over the age of 8 or so, or pets that have ailments, it makes travelling with them a bit more tricky.

Allow 90 days for medical clearance.

In order to obtain access into Ireland, you need to take your pet to your local vet and get blood taken to check that they are up to date with their vaccinations (most importantly, the rabies vaccination). Ireland doesn’t have a problem with Rabies, in fact, your pet won’t need this vaccination whilst he lives in Ireland. So they are extra careful that any pet coming over to Ireland is fully vaccinated against Rabies. The trick with this blood work is waiting for the results. It cost us around R2000 to get the bloods taken and sent off. Your vet sends it off to a lab (In South Africa it goes to Onderstepoort), then you wait to receive the certificate that your pet is cleared to travel. When we sent off the bloods, Onderstepoort had been on a strike and was backlogged by one month. It took 2 months to get the certificate. *Important: You need the original that gets sent to your vet. From the day that the blood is taken, you have to wait 90 days before you can travel. This was a bit confusing for us, and the reason I ended up having to wait 3 weeks after Rob left to be able to send Jack and myself over (Also, it is 90 days, not 3 months).

Your pet needs to arrive within 5 days of yourself.

Either five days before or after you arrive. Any longer and it could be seen as you are trying to import a dog that is not your own. The problem when you are moving countries, you might not have a place set up yet. Although we had friends who paid for kenneling here in Ireland while they searched for a home, we didn’t want to put any unnecessary stress on Jack (so we made it kind of stressful for ourselves instead!). Rob flew over first and found a place for us to stay – then Jack and I flew over a day apart (I arrived before he did).

move your pet to ireland

If you can afford it, use a professional.

Although I am sure you can fly your pet over on your own, the hassle and stress of making sure you have all the right paper work is just not worth it in my opinion. We used Keringa Pet Wings (friend’s used them prior to us). I have to say, they were incredibly patient and understanding with all my questions and concerns. You simply fill in a form online and they will send you a quote to fly your pet overseas.

The quote includes costs for vet checks before he leaves (not the blood test), made-to-order crate for transporting, boarding while waiting for the international/connecting flight (we flew Jack from Durban to Johannesburg then onto Dublin – with a stopover in Frankfurt). You need to measure your pet and then they will make a crate that is the perfect size for them. The costs vary based on when you send them over, stop overs and boarding, as well as crate size. We paid R18000 to send Jack over mid November 2016.

keringa pet wings

Traveling and Crates.

I was super worried about this one. Jack had never flown before, nor had he ever been in a crate. This dog literally has a better life than most humans! He sleeps in our bed, under the duvet with his head on the pillow. I am convinced that if I don’t find a job, Rob and I would stop eating just so that Jack could keep eating his fancy, vet-approved meals. So I was super worried how the crate and flying would go. He loves travelling in a car (he loves the adventure and looking out the window), but honestly, he is happiest when he is with us.

pet travel

But I have to say that Keringa Pet Wings were amazing. He arrived on the other side, walked out of the crate and was his usually happy self from the get go. Here is a little video clip of Jack when he first arrived in Dublin:

If we were ever thinking of moving back to South Africa, or anywhere in the world for that matter – I would highly recommend using Keringa Petwings (and no, I wasn’t paid to say that!). Even if you just want to ask a million questions, they have been in this business for over 20 years – ask them anything, they can offer you some great advice.

I hope you found the tips informative, let me know if you have any other questions!

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  1. Had been in Belfast for 6 months in Carrickfergus just next to the shore..I know each apartment where we stayed had a pet for sure and was out for a walk in the evening near the sea shore…Belfast by far is my favourite city..Thanks for all the info.

  2. Well-detailed and so much reasonable information. Learnt about this from a colleague but not all- didn’t know your pet had to arrive 5 days before you and fly first class? 😮 So good. Thanks for helping me understand more 😉

  3. Travelling with pets can really be complicated, and I always wonder what the little critters think about being boxed and handled like cargo.
    Thanks for the information.

  4. I couldn’t ever imagine moving away and leaving my pet. It looks like a lot of work but with maximum reqard and this company seemed to help loads.

  5. Very useful article. So many people have to run around and get all the information. I remember when a freind brought his dog back to France from South America. He had to spend months just getting information about the different procedures.

  6. Thank you so much for this! I’m looking at moving to Ireland in the next year and a half, and reading through your blog has been so helpful. If you have any tips about finding a job, or other information about moving overseas, I would leave to hear from you. Thank you so much, you are such an inspiration to me!

  7. Thank you for the information. My wife and I are moving to Dublin at the end of September. This information is very helpful. Our two Boston Terriers are top priority for us. I have contacted the company you recommended. Thanks again.

  8. Such an interesting article. Thank you. We’re UK based but travel home to Galway often with Doris, our 13 year old Westie. Since Dec 2014 she has had to have a passport and gets signed off by the family farm vet before we return. I have no problem with that at all. But what does peeve me is that her passport & vaccination documents have never been checked at any port we’ve used (we always go by ferry). The last time, when I handed in mine & my husband’s IDs at check in, I gave the girl Doris’ passport as well. I said, I know you don’t need to see it, but it cost a lot of money – & it’s a cute photo of her in it.

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