Flying To and From Ireland with a Dog

Given that it’s an island, the easiest way to travel to and from Ireland is by flying. This includes if you’re travelling with a dog, especially a dog small enough to fly in the cabin. While the United Kingdom has a strict ban on pet dogs flying into the country in the cabin, there is no such prohibition in the Republic of Ireland, although not all airlines offer the option. Find out more about flying to Ireland with a dog.

Flying to Ireland with a dog

Are Dogs Allowed to Fly To Ireland?

Like many people, I used to have the erroneous belief that dogs aren’t allowed to fly in the cabin or as checked baggage on flights into the Republic of Ireland, the same as for the United Kingdom. However, this is not true about flying to Ireland with a dog (or at least not true these days, perhaps the rules have changed).

Dogs don’t need to fly as cargo into the Republic of Ireland. They can fly in the cabin or larger dogs can fly as checked baggage, if the airline allows. So the answer to can I fly to Ireland with my dog is yes, depending on the airline.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, “it is up to the airline to decide whether to carry the animal in the cabin or as excess baggage” (as previously stated on the Department of Agriculture website). There is no obligation to use a cargo handling company, it is “a matter for the airlines to decide how the pet is carried”.

Taking dogs to Ireland
Dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin or as excess baggage to Ireland

What About Flights Out of Ireland?

Dogs are also allowed to fly out of Republic of Ireland in the cabin or as checked baggage. There is no need for dogs to fly as cargo when leaving Ireland.

Up until recently, dogs were not able to fly out of Dublin Airport as excess baggage, due to an “upgrade” of their baggage system. However, as of 31 January 2024, this is again possible, with the re-introduction of a screening facility for pets in Terminal 1, which is used for pets flying out of both Terminals 1 and 2.

Dogs can again fly out of Dublin Airport as checked baggage

Are There Any Pet-Friendly Airlines in Ireland?

There are two main Irish airlines: Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Neither airline is pet-friendly, with neither airline allowing pets in the cabin or as excess baggage, whether on flights within Ireland or to and from Ireland.

Aer Lingus is the flag-carrier airline of the Republic of Ireland. Only trained service dogs are allowed in the cabin, subject to certain conditions. Previously they flew pets as excess baggage on selected flights, but Aer Lingus now only flys pets as cargo, booked through IAG Cargo.

The Irish budget airline Ryanair does not permit pets to fly at all. Only guide and assistance dogs are permitted to fly on selected routes. There is no option to fly pets as cargo.

Which Airlines Fly Pets To and From Ireland?

So, given that neither Aer Lingus or Ryanair permit pets to travel in the cabin or as excess baggage on flights to and from Ireland, which airlines can you use to travel to Ireland with a pet? In particular, which airlines allow pets in the cabin to and from Ireland?

It can be tricky to find a suitable airline. For instance, quite a few European airlines specify on their website that they don’t fly pets in the cabin on flights to and from Ireland, the same as flights to the UK.

On the other hand, many other airlines don’t specify whether they do fly dogs to and from Ireland, meaning you need to contact the airline directly to find out the latest policy, with policies sometimes changing.

These are some pet-friendly European and American airlines that currently fly pets to and from the Republic of Ireland, based on information on their websites and reports from recent travellers.

Aegean Airlines (Greece)

Start planning for a Greek vacation, with Aegean Airlines having no restrictions on pets in the cabin or hold on flights to and from Ireland. I’ve flown with Aegean before with my dog and been quite pleased with their service. An 8kg weight limit applies for pets in the cabin.

Dog on Streets of Mykonos Old Town
Fly to Greece with your dog on Aegean Airlines

Air Canada (Canada)

If you’re travelling between Canada and Ireland with your dog, the best option is Air Canada. They specify online that pets are permitted both in the cabin and hold on flights to Dublin, although not flights to Shannon.

Pets are also allowed in both the cabin and hold on any flight leaving Ireland, except for in the hold on flights departing Dublin due to the baggage system issue. Just ensure the flight doesn’t have a stopover in the UK.

When flying with a pet in the cabin on Air Canada, there is no maximum weight limit, just a maximum carrier size for soft-sided carriers of 55 x 40 x 27cm (21.5 x 15.5 x 10.5 inches). Rigid carriers should be no taller than 23cm (9 inches).

Air France (France)

I’ve heard reports that Air France allows pets to travel in the cabin and hold on flights to and from Dublin, although there is no mention of this on their website, other than to check with the embassy for the requirements of pets flying into Ireland.

Note that Air France does not fly pets in the Business cabin on intercontinental flights. An 8kg limit applies for pets flying in the cabin.

Eiffel Tower in Springtime
I’ve heard reports that Air France flies pets between Ireland and France

Air Transat (Canada)

Fellow Canadian airline Air Transat also allows pets in the cabin on flights out of Dublin, but not to Dublin. Only pre-arranged certified service dogs are allowed on flights to Dublin. Otherwise, both small and large pets must fly as cargo on other flights to and from Ireland.

No hard-sided carriers are permitted on Air Transat flights, only soft-sided carriers up to 43.2 x 25.5 x 24.1cm (17 x 10 x 9.5 inches). There is a weight limit of 10kg.

Delta (USA)

If you’re travelling from the USA to Ireland with a dog, the best option is to fly with Delta. I’ve heard multiple reports from people flying between various airports in the USA and Dublin with Delta. On the other hand, United Airlines doesn’t allow pets in the cabin both to and from Dublin.

Note though that I’ve heard recent reports on an embargo on pets in the hold – although this doesn’t affected pets in the cabin. (Let me know if you hear when this is over.) There was also concerns in early 2024 that Delta was no longer allowing pets in the cabin, but this is due to some old, incorrect information on the Delta website.

Delta does not have a weight limit for pets in the cabin. The maximum size of the pet carrier depends on the aircraft, but Delta recommends a soft-sided kennel with maximum dimensions of 18” x 11” x 11” (45.7 x 27.9 x 27.9cm).

Delta Airlines Plane Wing
It’s possible to fly with Delta to Dublin Airport with a pet

Iberia (Spain)

The Iberia website states that pets are not permitted to fly as excess baggage on flights departing Dublin, due to the baggage system upgrade, only as cargo. However, this implies that dogs can fly in the cabin or as excess baggage on other flights to and from Ireland.

Iberia flies between Madrid and Dublin, with an 8kg weight limit for pets in the cabin, including their carrier.

Iberia Express (Spain)

The Iberia Express website states that pets are allowed in the cabin on flights from Madrid to Dublin and vice versa. Larger pets are also accepted as excess baggage on flights from Madrid to Dublin (but not leaving Dublin due to the restrictions of the baggage system) – instead they can fly as cargo.

Iberia Express only fly between Madrid and Dublin. Like most European airlines, they have an 8kg weight limit for pets in the cabin.

KLM (Netherlands)

While there is no indication on their website whether or not they allow pets on flights to and from Ireland, I have heard multiple reports that pets are allowed on KLM flights to and from Dublin, both in the cabin and in the hold. Make sure it is an actual KLM flight, not a codeshare.

Note also that pets are not allowed in the hold on flights operated with a Boeing 787-9 or 787-10 aircraft or where there is transfer time of longer than 3 hours. An 8kg weight limit applies for pets in the cabin.

Norwegian (Norway)

I’ve recently heard reports that budget airline Norwegian allows pets to fly in cabin on its flights to and from Ireland. Note, however, that according to their website they still don’t accept larger pets to fly to and from Ireland as excess baggage in the hold.

I’ve confirmed that you can add a dog or cat in the cabin when making a booking on their website. An 8kg weight limit applies. Norwegian flies between Dublin and Gardermoen Airport in Oslo.

Taking dog overseas from Australia
You can fly your dog between Dublin and Oslo with Norwegian

TAP Air Portugal (Portugal)

While TAP Air Portugal make clear on their website that they don’t fly pets in the cabin to the UK, there is no prohibition on flying pets in the cabin or the hold to or from Ireland. They do mention that if you are flying pets into Ireland from outside the EU you must inform the authorities.

TAP Air Portugal regularly fly between Lisbon and Dublin. An 8kg weight limit applies for pets in the cabin.

Transavia & Transavia France (Netherlands & France)

Transavia states on their website that they can’t fly pets to all destinations – but don’t exclude Ireland (unlike the UK), and they do fly between Dublin and Orly Airport in Paris.

Both cats and dogs are permitted to fly in the cabin and hold, although their weight limit for pets in the cabin has been reduced from 10kg to 8kg .

Vueling (Spain)

Spanish budget airline Vueling states in their pet policy that pets can be booked in the cabin on its flights to and from Ireland by calling its service centre or at the airport on the day of the flight, subject to limits on the total number of pets.

Note that Vueling doesn’t fly pets as excess baggage, and they recently reduced their weight limit for pets in the cabin back down to 8kg. I’ve flown multiple times with my dog on Vueling and have enjoyed the flights.

Wing of Vueling Plane
Vueling permits pets in the cabin on flights to and from Ireland

Let me know which airlines you have used to fly to and from Ireland with a pet! Additionally, if you have issues flying with any of these airlines, leave a comment.

What About Flying to Ireland from the UK?

While there are a handful of airlines that will fly pets in the cabin out of the UK, I am not aware of any airline that flies pets in the cabin from the UK to Ireland. This is partially because virtually no British airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin, as well as no Irish airlines, as discussed above.

The same issue applies for flyings dogs as excess baggage to Ireland. The only option available is to fly dogs as cargo, also in the hold, with one of the few British or Irish airlines that allows this.

Dog-friendly London
It’s not easy to fly from the UK to the Republic of Ireland with a dog

The easier alternative is to instead take a ferry with your dog to Ireland. There are multiple ferries that permit pets on board, including with foot passengers. And as of 2023 an increasing number have better facilities for pets, including pet-friendly cabins on many of the Stena Line ferries.

Requirements to Travel to Ireland with a Dog

Before flying to the Republic of Ireland with your dog, make sure you tick off all the requirements for dogs to be transported to the country. At a minimum, pet dogs require a microchip, an up-to-date rabies vaccine done at least 21 days ago, and an EU pet passport or EU pet health certificate. Check out my guides on travelling from another EU country or from outside of Europe to an EU country.

Additionally, pets travelling to Ireland also require a worming treatment, done between 24 hours and five days of arriving in the country. It should be recorded in your pet’s passport or on their pet health certificate. The only exception is for dogs travelling directly from Finland, Malta, Northern Ireland or Norway (but no longer the rest of the United Kingdom).

Additionally, if you are flying directly to Ireland from outside of the EU, an additional step is required.

Preparation for Flying a Dog to Ireland from Outside of the EU

If you are flying directly to Ireland from outside of the EU or a list of related countries (Andorra, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City), there is an additional requirement for dogs.

You need to provide advance notice of your intention to bring your pet to Ireland, at least one working day in advance. You need to fill out and email this form, or email the details of your arrival, to the relevant email address. Pets can only fly to Cork, Dublin and Shannon Airports.

On arrival, your pet will be met and undergo compliance checks. This will usually be carried out at the port or airport. A fee will apply (approximately €50), except for pets arriving from Great Britain. For full details, see this page.

Before boarding your flight, you may be required to present confirmation from the airport that your animal has been booked in for the compliance checks. Keep this handy along with the rest of your paperwork.

Pet Relief Areas at Airports in Ireland

Like most airports in Europe, none of the airports in Ireland have pet relief areas that I am aware of. This includes the most likely airport you will fly in and out of, Dublin Airport.

Considering that Dublin Airport still hasn’t rectified the long-term issue with their baggage handling system, that has stopped pets flying in the hold departing Dublin since 2021, I am not holding my breath for a Dublin Airport pet relief area!

The Dublin Airport website states in their FAQ that only guide and assistance dogs are allowed inside the terminal. However, presumably dogs in carriers and crates, that will be boarding a flight, must be allowed inside Dublin Airport, too.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

41 thoughts on “Flying To and From Ireland with a Dog”

  1. Hello! I have experience of flying my dog in cabin in and out of Dublin to Madrid with Iberia Express in the last year. Has anyone flown with pet in cabin in and out of Dublin to Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal? I’m looking at it as a route for this year. I cannot find an email address or phone number to ring them to check what their policy is, other than it is to add pet in cabin to end of booking online. Anyone fellow dog travellers ever used this route?

    • I don’t have an answer for you but am hoping you can help me. Does Dublin airport have a pet relief area? My daughter will be traveling through there with her service dog. She has a long layover in Dublin and we can’t find anything about a pet relief area.

  2. I have called Lufthansa, KLM, SwissAiR…none of them transport pets to Dublin. I have a cat in cabin. Besides Iberia do you guys know of any other alternative?

    • I’ve asked around for extra suggestions for European airlines. (Most of the recent reports I’ve heard are from Americans and Canadians, hence why I know Delta and Air Canada fly this route.) Someone said they thought Air France flies this route, but this said KLM also did the last time they checked. Perhaps reach out to Air France?

    • Lufthansa not but KLM yes, i travel with my pet to Dublin 4 times per year and always with KLM. Unfortunately from April they raised price so much from €55 per one way to €125 so my round trip now in July will cost more for 2,5 kg chihuahua will cost more than for myself. Lufthansa take dog in cabin from Ireland but not to Ireland so you can fly somewhere with Lufthansa with your pet from Ireland €55 but you need to back with KLM or Air France or Ferry.

      • This is a huge help, thanks! I am desperately trying to fly back to Ireland from Switzerland. I have already tried Swiss and KLM without success. I will try Air France now.

      • I don’t have an answer for you but am hoping you can help me. Does Dublin airport have a pet relief area? My daughter will be traveling through there with her service dog. She has a long layover in Dublin and we can’t find anything about a pet relief area.

  3. None of the big companies would even touch Dublin ( not even cargo) since last year. But I’ve heard the small cost ones are less concerned about strict regulations. Vueling looks promising.

  4. I am flying with my dog from Dublin to rest of the Europe often, I can recommend KLM, AirFrance, Aegean Airlines, Vueling and Norwegian. They are all pet friendly in cabin.

    • Hi Kate, I am flying from Dublin with KLM with my dog in the cabin. This is our first time. Are they very strict about the kennel size?is there any dedicated point for pets check in?

    • Hi Kate, I am travelling with my dog by KLM in May. This is our first time. Could you advise me about the all procedure. Do I have to be earlier then usual at the airport?does the kennel in plane has to be place under the seat or can be just under your legs?

      • Olga – In my experience flying with my pet in the cabin, you will need to check-in in person, so I always allow plenty of time to do this. Most airlines require the carrier to be under the seat in front, but this is not enforced by all airlines, or it might only be enforced during take-off and landing. I would recommend making sure it can fit underneath for this periods.

  5. I am trying to find an airline that will let me fly from Dublin Ireland to Phoenix Arizona on July 1st with my 6lb Chihuahua in the cabin. I really struggling to find an airline, Do anyone know which airlines that accepts dogs in the cabin? Desperately looking for help or advice.
    Thank you,
    Faye B

  6. How is it possible that no changes have been made to the baggage system for carrying pets in the hold? Completely ridiculous since it pretty much forces you to pay thousands for other cargo companies. Leaving pets behind is just not an option and nothing is being updated or addressed.

  7. Hi I have a basset hound who I hoped to get from Ireland to italy in the cabin, she is a smaller dog but heavy as bassets are, is there options of booking a extra seat or has anyone mangaged a connection from ireland to Italy?

    • I’m not sure if any of the Italian airlines fly out of Ireland, but I know Vueling do, and they have a weight limit of 10kg including the carrier. is that enough? There’s only a few airlines that allow you to buy an extra seat for a dog (and sometimes the same weight limit still applies), see

      Otherwise, if you don’t want to put your pup in the hold, the best alternative is one of the ferries from Ireland to the Continent, then the train.

  8. Hi, I have been trying to get my dog over from South Africa with Qatar Airways, which initially said all was fine to do so before booking my tickets with them. Out GS Pointer will be flying AVIH in Hold. The latest restriction to allow the booking is that Dublin isn’t allowing and pets above 32kg. However I cannot seem to find any such restrictions. Would you possibly know if this is true and if so where to find the info? Or info where it states otherwise? Any help would be appreciated

  9. Hi I am just wondering is there any airlines that fly from Dublin to London and back again that allow my tiny dog on board. I can’t find a definitive answer anywhere….

    • None of the flights into the UK allow dogs in the cabin. While the reverse is possible, due to no British or Irish airlines allowing dogs in the cabin, I don’t believe this is available. The best alternative is to instead take one of the ferries to and from Ireland, some which have pet-friendly cabins.

  10. Hey, I’m just wondering does Dublin airport have any facilities for allowing dogs to go to the toilet after you’ve gone through security but before you board the flight?

    • Pet relief areas are fairly uncommon in Europe, and I haven’t heard any reports of one in Dublin, so I’d expect there isn’t anything.

  11. Hello!
    My dog has an EU pet passport from The Netherlands, but we are all based currently in USA. We are going to fly to NL soon, and may have a layover in Ireland this time. What are the policies for the layover? Is this allowed? How does that all work? Thanks very much!

    • With the EU pet passport, it makes no difference if you are travelling to the Netherlands or to Ireland. As long as it has a valid rabies vaccine that hasn’t expired, entered last time you were in the EU, it is valid for travel to the EU instead of an EU pet health certificate. One extra thing for Ireland – your dog will also need a worming treatment done by a vet between 24 hours and 5 days of arriving in Ireland (see above for more details). This can be entered in the EU pet passport by a non-EU vet (just don’t touch the rabies section) or on your vet’s letterhead. Your airline might also require a health certificate.

  12. Hello Shandos,

    I want to travel with my pet from Ireland to India. He arrived last year to Ireland in the hold as excess baggage in Dublin airport but like you said the current restrictions won’t let me take him the same way back to India. Given this situation, I wanted to know have you heard anyone trying to fly outside Ireland with pet in hold from any other airports like Cork?

    I also have one more doubt, so basically it’s at the airlines discretion that the pet can be allowed to fly in hold from Dublin or it’s the Dublin airport rule?

    If I am left with no options, I will have to stick to cargo which I belive is going to put a hole in my pocket.

    Please share some advice.


    • Sorry, I haven’t heard reports of people flying out of Ireland from other airports with their pet in the hold, as most people I talk to are flying with pets in the cabin and aren’t affected. And this is a Dublin airport rule – it’s due to a change in their baggage system. Best of luck with your trip!

  13. Hey, any used Turkish airlines to fly into Dublin with pet in cabin? Please someone say yes! 🥹 this is a plan B for us so really hoping….

    • I haven’t heard reports of people flying pets on Turkish Airlines to Dublin, but looking at their website they don’t rule this out, only flying pets into UK airports. I recommend calling up to book or seeing if it’s possible to book on their website.


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