Guidelines For Travelling With Your Pet

May 15, 2024by Gary Cooney

In the previous post, we discussed flying with your pet, so today we’re outlining the general guidelines set out by the authorities to help make travelling with your pet a little easier.

Within Ireland, the DAFM (Dept of Agriculture, Food and Marine) have a list on their website of approved carriers of pets. Aer Lingus & Turkish Airlines are the only airlines officially allowed to transport your pet from Ireland to another country, while carriers such as Pets-on-board and Lufthansa-cargo can transport your pet internationally with minimum fuss. Check out their websites for more details and additions.

  • For the moment, the DAFM only allow dogs, cats & ferrets to travel.

General Guidelines for flying with pets

  • Most pets are carried in the aircraft hold, a heated and ventilated area for your pet's comfort. Tell the Captain that your pet is on board to guarantee that the temperature of the cargo hold is maintained.

  • Check with your airline to discover their policy on booking pets. Remember some airlines do not fly pets.

  • Pets are not allowed to travel in the cabin of most planes. Check with the airline for their process for travelling with a service animal.

  • Animals need to be 10 weeks or over to travel.

  • In general, the max weight of the container (which you must provide) must not exceed 64kg/141 lbs - check with your airline to be certain, though.

  • Certain breeds of dogs are restricted due to the damage they can cause if loose in the holds:

    • Akita, American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Argentino, Fila Brazillero, Mastiff, Pit Bull Terrier, Tosa, Rottweiler.

  • Snub-nosed dogs or cats such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs or Persian/Exotic cats, will not be permitted due to their inability to breathe easily and cool themselves down. This is for the safety of your pet.

  • All airlines retain the right to refuse any live animal should it seem dangerous or aggressive.

  • If the flight is operated by an airline partner, contact them as they may have their own restrictions.

Within the EU

Cats, dogs and ferrets can be taken aboard within the EU without the need for quarantine but there are strict rules.

They must be:

  • vaccinated against rabies

  • treated for tapeworm

  • microchipped

  • have a pet passport or third-country official vet certificate.

Travelling between Ireland and Britain with your pet

When travelling between Ireland and Britain or within Ireland with dogs, cats and rabbits:

  • Contact the airline at the time of booking

  • They’ll charge an extra fee and alert you of the breeds that are restricted from flying.

  • You must provide your own crate and when you present your dog for check-in, you’re agreeing that the airline is not responsible for how your dog reacts to flying.

  • The Dept of Agriculture, Food and Marine must give approval

  • When travelling between Ireland and America with Aer Lingus, household pets (cats and dogs only) can be booked via reservations as extra baggage.

  • You will have to pay an extra fee - check with your airline.

  • Check with your airline on what you need to do if you’re not travelling with your pet or you wish to transport a different kind of animal.

Assistance Dogs
  • Contact your airline at least 48 hours before travel

  • With Aer Lingus, suitably harnessed dogs can travel for free in the passenger cabin.

The following airlines/ferry companies have indicated that they will carry pets to/from Ireland within the EU.