Travelling to Ireland with a dog - how do you do it?

  • 18/05/2019
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Previous summer my girlfriend and I decided to make a road trip in Ireland in our VW bus.

While we often go to far-away destinations, we opted for Ireland this time as we wanted to take our dog, Ushi, with us.

Bringing your dog with you to Ireland isn’t easy. You will need to make a few adjustments to your trip and check the legal requirements of bringing your pet in advance.

But, as we can say afterward, it is well worth doing so, as it brings great memories for you and your dog.

Step 1 - Taking the ferry to Ireland.

There are two ways of going to Ireland: by plane or by ferry.

We opted for the last one. Why? Well, planes may be faster, but it requires to put the dogs in the luggage compartment of the airplane.

Traveling by plane can be very stressful for the dog. On the ferry, on the other hand, most ferry companies have kennels where you will need to leave the dog.

But you can take your dog for a walk on the deck anytime you want. As we had a 17-hour ferry voyage, we decided to go for a walk with our dog every 2 or 3 hours.

Step 2 - Bring your passport.

Even before you are allowed on the ferry or flight, you will have to make sure your pet is allowed into Ireland.

This means your dog will need to show his or her pet passport. Any dog owner has this if their dog is vaccinated against rabies, etc.

If you don’t have a pet passport, your dog will have to go in quarantine for six months, which isn’t worth it for your pet.

Step 3 - Look for dog-friendly hotels.

Dog friendly hotels wasn’t a problem for us as we traveled with our campervan, but we ran against many other dog owners who talked to us about the number of dog-friendly hotels in Ireland.

Most accommodations won’t like accommodating our furry friends. However, there are several dog-friendly hotels or B&Bs throughout the country, but if you plan to stay in these, it’s recommended to book well in advance.

Step 4 - Transporting your dog on your road trip.

By far, the hardest or easiest thing to arrange. Another great reason to travel with your fully-equipped vehicle to Ireland is the fact that renting a car in Ireland in which you can safely transport your dog is merely impossible.

Even if you decide to rent a campervan, you are likely to be refused to take your pet.

The best option here is to take your own car that has a safe kennel in it. The familiarity your dog has with the kennel will make the experience less stressful too. 

Still, don’t want to bring your pet to Ireland?

Most people are a bit weary against leaving their pet at home while they are traveling. What if your flight is delayed or you need to pay more costs for having your pet looked after.

One of the Irish travel Insurance company covers kennel and cattery fees up to 200 euros per 24 hours you are delayed in case of a medical emergency. For more details, visit https://www.theaa.ie/aa/insurance/travel-insurance.aspx .

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