Are ESAs Protected In Ireland?

Emotional support animals provide constant companionship, unconditional love and support to individuals experiencing any emotional disorder, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, suicidal tendencies, and more, merely by being present with them when they feel distressed and emotionally vulnerable. The reason why so many people with mental disabilities are turning towards emotional support animals is because these pets bring significant improvement in their lives and help them get them out of their dark place.

Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

Girl Walking With A DogBesides working on an emotional level that enriches our lives, emotional support animals also provide us with physical and social benefits. Here are just some of the ways that these little fellows add more balance, structure and meaning to our lives.

Nurturing an ESA makes you feel needed and gives you a reason to get up on days when you wished you were invisible. The animal needs to be fed and let out (especially dogs). Having this kind of responsibility gives you a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. The great thing about a pet is they are so grateful to you that they never ask for nothing in return. For senior citizens and someone who has recently lost a loved one, having an emotional support animal by their side can help take away loneliness and give them a reason to live.

When you are around your ESA, especially a dog, you feel safe and at home. If you tend to dislike the idea of being by yourself when your parent or spouse isn’t around, having a dog may help you feel less anxious for two reasons: because you have company and you are sure your dog will do its best to protect you at even the slightest sign of danger.

Emotional Support Animals and Irish Law

Ireland does recognize and protect both emotional support animals and service animals. However, if you are travelling from another country to Ireland with your ESA, you will need to take into account the following considerations:

Pet Microchip

Your ESA must be microchipped first with an ISO-compliant pet microchip that is a 15-digit, non-encrypted code. A tattoo is acceptable as an identification form as long as it was given before 3rd July, 2011, and should be clearly visible. Your pet’s present rabies vaccination should also have been administered after the tattoo has been applied.


Veterinary Clinic With A French BulldogIn case your pet is entering Ireland from a rabies-controlled or rabies free country, it will be required to get rabies vaccination once the microchip has been implanted, and after 21 days have passed, however, not more than what the vaccine’s expiration allows.

Rabies Titer Test

If your pet is coming from a country with a high incidence of rabies, you should have your pet microchipped and then vaccinated for rabies (in the similar order). Once you are done waiting for a month, a rabies titer test needs to be carried out. Prototypes must be processed at certified laboratories. Assuming that the results are positive, your pet will be able to enter the country no sooner than 90 days after the date the blood sample was taken. This step is only applied for pets entering from high-rabies countries.

Tapeworm Treatment Only For Dogs

Before your dog can enter the country, it must go through certain tapeworm treatments 1 to 5 days prior to entering Ireland. This does not apply if your pet is directly entering from Norway, the UK, Malta or Finland.

Certification of Health

The rules will differ here and will be dependent on whether your pet travel is accompanied, or whether it involves a sale, a purchase or transfer of ownership.

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