Pet passport

I finally decided to get OJ a pet passport. We went to the vet yesterday morning to have his glands checked again, he got his rabies injection (which the lovely vet didn’t charge me for) and we filled in the passport form. I got his photo taken (this is optional) and posted all the paperwork.
OJ has to have a blood test in a months time to make sure that the rabies vaccine has worked. We then have to wait for six months before we can travel outside Ireland or the UK.
The rabies vaccine has to be given annually, and if there is a break at all in the vaccination, the blood test has to be repeated and another six months has to elapse before we can travel again.

Before I go on holiday, I have to send OJ’s passport and a form completed by the department of agriculture, and they send me a prior approval form, which means I can enter Ireland again with OJ. 48 hours before returning to Ireland, the dog has to go to the vet to get tick and flea treatment. The vet stamps the passport to say that the treatment has been given. When we return to Ireland, the passport and dog’s microchip is checked at the airport.

It all sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? Its almost as hard as getting a human passport in Ireland these days. As long as you have the passport and keep the rabies vaccine up-to-date, its simple enough. Its probably one of those things that gets easier the more you travel. The department of agriculture store your dog’s details, so that when you travel you just send them your flight details and they can email you the approval form within 24 hours.
The passport, blood test and rabies vaccine costs almost 300 euros initially.

I couldn’t decide whether this was worth getting for OJ. He hates hot weather, so I would have to think carefully before taking him somewhere warm. Do I really need him there, and is it going to be more stress than its worth if I’m worrying about him all the time? My family are usually around if I was going somewhere for a short trip and they could look after him.
On the other hand, I haven’t really found somewhere where I’m completely happy to leave him if I was to go away for longer than a week.
There are a couple of things in europe that I might be interested in attending in the future, and it would be good to have OJ with me. I know travelling to some countries might not be completely straightforward, but the more people travel with assistance dogs, the easier it will become for everybody. I am willing to overcome challenges if there are any.
It takes so long to get the passport initially, which makes it difficult to travel with a dog without planning in advance. At least now when the passport comes, I’ll always have it, and we’ll be ready to go whenever we get an opportunity.

My final reason for getting the passport now is that this job in Letterkenny has lasted longer than I thought. Its not often that I have a spare few hundred quid, so thought I might as well do something decent with the money that I wasn’t expecting to have. So, that means electric picnic for me and a passport for OJ, and now I’m going back to saving again!

Thanks a million to
for all her help.
If you want to find out more information about obtaining a pet passport in Ireland, take a look at the department of agriculture’s website:


7 thoughts on “Pet passport

  1. It does sound a lot of work but it's great to hear how close you and OJ have become. Don't understand that "spare few hundred" thing though – I'm sure you can always find a use for it. Poor OJ, having his glands discussed on a public forum again – bet he is mortified. Keep wellJohn x

  2. Hello Jenny I have been thinking of getting one for Pearce as well and asked the vet and he said it would cost £140 for it all in the UK not sure what the equivalent of that is in Euros but I think I might go for it too even though I havent been abroad alot it means you can always take them without worrying about them, Thanks for bringing it up really helpful info.

  3. Lena my vet is based in the UK because I live so close to the border, and they said the process of getting a passport is a lot more simple in the UK. I have to go through the Irish system because OJ is an Irish guide dog.Good luck with it if you do apply.

  4. Appreciate your notiong that if more people travel to foreign countries with their assistance dogs, the world will get more used to seeing us in customs, etc., and not freak out. I have been overseas many times since working with a Seeing Eye dog but have never brought my dog along, was too worried that when I arrived they wouldn't let me in the country with the dog and such. You have more gumption than I do, am glad you will be traveling with OJ, you two will be good ambassadors!

  5. JenGreat to hear you are getting a pet passport for OJ. Once you have it, it is much easier each time you travel – the Dept of Agriculture are very helpful and do keep all the details on file.We were in Marbella last month with Clive and although Spain can be a bit painful about service dog access – most of the restaurants were fine about it. I did print out a card in Spanish explaining about what Clive does and laminated it. The hotel initially refused but after a half dozen emails/phones relented and were in fact very nice to us once we arrived.Going through Dublin airport this time with Clive was fine – I ring Special Assistance serveral times in the week we're flying just to make sure everyone is okay and knows we're flying with a service dog. Coming back through Malaga took a long time at the desk – lots of questions and photocopying of all his papers but we did get through – just made the flight though.So it is great being able to take Clive – but you need to have a lot of patience! Best of luck with the application.take careFiona

  6. It's great your getting a passport for OJ. I dont think i would bother for Uma, although i would like to go to Ireland and take Uma someday. I think in european countries you would be ok but other countries with no knowledge of guide dogs or a dislike of dogs for cultural reasons might be best avoided.

  7. Thanks Beth. Hopefully I won't have too many problems if we ever go anywhere.Fiona reading how you travel with Clive has make me actually go ahead and apply for one.Terri you don't need a passport to come to Ireland. Let me know if your coming!!

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