Dogs and cats travel between Ireland and Europe all the time and as Europe has fewer cases of rabies now than 30 years ago, it is a welcome treat that pets can travel so easily.
In order to travel to Europe, pets need a pet passport. There are more details about the pet passport here.
There is a very definite order of how to correctly get your pet a passport for entry into Europe and then back again into UK.
Step 1 – Your dog or cat needs a microchip.
Step 2 – They then need a rabies vaccination. They must be at least 3 months old before they have this. Some rabies vaccines in the UK last for 3 years and others will last for 3 years but need a top up after one year, so you need to know when the vaccine expires.
Step 3 – Your vet issues you with a pet passport and 21 days after the initial vaccination, your pet can travel to Europe and back again.
Step 4 – If your pet is travelling by plane, then the airlines demand that they are checked within 5 days of the flight to ensure that they are fit and healthy.
All European countries accept the pet passport, but there are some exceptions and changes to the rule depending on if they are within EU or just European, for example:
Cyprus and Greece ask that dogs and cats travelling there are treated against ticks and tapeworms 24-48 hours before they check in for their flight.
Switzerland is in Europe but not in the EU, so the Swiss have similar rules for the importation of pets to the rest of Europe, but they will not allow dogs with docked tails into the country.