What paperwork do I need for my dog in order to travel from Ireland to Spain by ferry?
Required vaccines and pet passport
When traveling to Spain, from a country within the European Union, you will need to make sure that your best friend is in overall good health and that they have a valid rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccinations cannot be allowed to expire otherwise, you will need to have your pup vaccinated as if for the first time and many authorities require this to be done 21 days before the travel date. Until this point, your dog will not be considered safe for travel. The day of the vaccine is counted as day 0.
In order to get a Rabies vaccine, your pup must be at least 12 weeks old.
You will also need to make sure that your dog has a Pet Passport, and is microchipped. You can apply for an EU Pet Passport from your vet, and the turnaround can take around 5 working days.
You will also need a veterinary health certificate filled in and stamped. You will find a spot for this in your pet passport where your local veterinarian can sign.
When returning to Ireland from Spain, one of the entry requirements is that your dog must be treated for tapeworms, no more than 120 hours and no less than 24 hours PRIOR to re-entry to Ireland. These specific requirements are the same if traveling to the United Kingdom as well. This will need to be recorded in your Pet Passport under section VII, “Echinococcus Treatment”. The Vet issuing the treatment will need to sign, stamp and date this entry.
Paws Friendly Tip: Before your international trip with your dog, email yourself a copy of your dog's passport and any other travel documents you might need, just in case they get lost on the open road.
Although a lot of dog owners are wary of printing their pet's name on their dog's collar it can save you a lot of heartaches to print a tag with your contact information including a cell phone number should your furry family member wander off while in a foreign country.
If your pup is a regular visitor to the vet like Poppy is, ask them for any medical records that you will need to take with you in case you have to visit an emergency vet along the way. We carry Poppy's blood work print-outs in her passport so that a vet has an easy way to see what is normal for her (If ever you are worried that your pup isn't their normal self, a blood test is a great way to check their whole body status and has been lifesaving for Poppy on more than one occasion).
Now that you have booked your ferry, here are some tips for leading up to and the date of travel.
Pre-Ferry Checklist For Traveling From Ireland to Spain
Pet passport with a valid microchip, rabbies vaccine, and veterinarian health certificate.
Remember: If your dog’s rabies vaccine has lapsed, you will have to wait 21 days after the new booster vaccine before being permitted for your dog to travel.
What to Bring on the Ferry
The pet-friendly cabins are extremely basic, however, there was a water bowl, a waste bag holder, bone, and a small pack of dog treats left for Poppy by Brittany Ferries.
Depending on the size of your dog, and whether you allow them to sleep in the bed with you, it might be a good idea to bring a dog bed for your pet's comfort. Poppy, being only 3 kilos, expects to sleep in the bed with me, and there was no issue having her curl up with me on my twin bunk bed.
The rooms do get extremely cold, so I brought an extra blanket for Poppy and an empty hot water bottle for myself, which I filled up within the first hour after departure.
Don’t forget to pack bottled water, dog food, treats, and a toy to play with.
Check the weather before leaving, if you will be sailing through rain, make sure you bring an extra towel to dry off the pup. In the cabin, you will be provided with one very small towel. The outdoor dog-friendly bathroom area is exposed, so if you don’t plan on sharing your towel with your pup, packing one for them isn’t a bad idea.