Flying home for Christmas with your dog?

By: Mattie Hanahoe

On: December 13 2022

Are you hoping to fly to or from Ireland with your beloved four-legged friend this Christmas? Here’s everything you need to know about taking your pooch on a plane within the EU. 

  • Your dog needs to have a readable microchip and a European Pet passport! 
  • Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. Make sure this vaccine is up to date in their passport as Ireland is a rabies-free island, so they’re very strict with this one! 
  • Unfortunately, you cannot travel with a very young puppy as they can’t be given their first rabies vaccine before 12 weeks and you will need to wait for at least 21 days until they are immune and permitted to travel.
  • If you are bringing your dog into Ireland, it must be treated for tapeworm each time you travel. The treatment must be given by a vet between 1 and 5 days before you arrive in Ireland, and recorded in the pet passport.

  • I’m afraid this rule may break a few hearts, but your pet must weigh under 8kg with most airlines (Including their soft carrier). Fabio here was 0.2kg over but luckily they were sound!

  • The maximum size of your pet’s carrier case should be 55 x 40 x 23 cm, however some airlines require a smaller bag, so make sure to check out their website before purchasing yours! 
  • The most common European airlines that accept pets in the cabin and fly to and from Ireland are: KLM (Netherlands), Air France (France), TAP (Portugal). Lufthansa (Germany), Vueling (Spain), Aegean airlines (Greece).
  • We have personally flown with TAP, Lufthansa & Air France and the experience has been really positive. I would recommend calling the airline with the desired flight number to check the availability of a dog on board before booking. Once booked, you will need to call them back to book your dog. With TAP, you can actually book your pet online after confirming your own flight.  
  • The price you should expect to pay for your pet for a single journey is 60 euro. 
  • If your dog is not used to spending time in a carrier, you will need to spend some time before the flight to positively reinforce this new space. We recommend leaving it open around the house for them to gradually explore and occasionally leaving some treats inside. Start with small journeys and slowly build it up before the day of your flight :)


Day of the Flight 

*Don’t forget your own passport while worrying about your dog*

  • In the airport they can walk freely on their lead. They must only stay in their carry case during the flight which will be placed down by your feet.

  • If you’re lucky the air host/hostess will give you some wiggle room on this! Fabio was allowed to stay in his bag on our knees and watch the sunset out the window (i guess it depends how busy the flight is).

So yeah... That’s basically everything you need to know about flying with your dog. It seems like an awful lot of stress, but trust me when i say, It’s all worth it for moments like this!



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