Schools are out and many families will now be looking forward to their summer holidays, with many opting for a ferry ride to a destination closer to home so that their pets can come too!

If temperatures soaring, it’s important to make sure your pet is comfortable and safe on the ferry ride there. Industry body Discover Ferries, who represent 13 ferry operators in the UK, British Isles and Ireland, have put together some top tips on the best way to ensure you and your pets can enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

“Going on holiday by car and ferry is a fantastic way to travel, especially if you’re taking your pets with you,” said Emma Batchelor, Director of Discover Ferries. “But planning the right time to travel and ensuring your pets also have their holiday essentials can make the journey even more comfortable for everyone.

“For those wanting to travel to Europe with your pets after the 31 October, it is important to note that the current pet passport scheme may not be valid,” added Emma. “Pet travel requirements to Europe could alter once we leave the EU and may include a four-month preparation period if your pet needs additional blood tests and vaccinations, so getting prepared now for travel from November onwards can help ensure a hassle-free journey.”

Top tips for dog-friendly ferry travel

  1. Think about the best time of day to travel. Pets in vehicles can get very hot, even if they are not in direct sunlight, so we recommend booking travel for the coolest part of the day, such as overnight or very early morning. Travelling at this time is also often less busy, so it could make financial sense too.
  2. Be prepared – check with your ferry operator to see what advice they have for travelling with your pet, as well as information on the pet facilities available. Some operators have pet-friendly cabins, or special deck areas where pets are welcome. Others have on-board kennels that you can book. On shorter crossings, pets are often required to stay in your vehicle.
  3. If your pet will be in your car during your ferry crossing, spend time ensuring that they are comfortable, with fresh water to drink, ventilation and maybe even absorbent bedding.
  4. Checking on your pet during the ferry crossing – if you are concerned about their welfare, ask a member of staff if they are able to check on your pet, or they might even be able to escort you to check on them yourself.
  5. Making a pet stop – we recommend ensuring your pet has a chance to stretch their legs and have a drink before you board and once you have left the ferry. This will also give you an opportunity to check them over before continuing on your journey.

For more advice on travelling by ferry with your pet, which has been developed in conjunction with the RSPCA, visit:


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