Pet passport or third country certificate
Follow and keep up to date with DEFRA guidelines. More information can be found on our Pet Travel Scheme compliance checklist page.
Allow between 1 and 4 months before travel to start the Pet Travel Scheme process. Don't forget to visit the vet to organise booster vaccinations in time.
Getting your pet ready for travel
Make sure your pet is happy to travel in your car, potentially for long periods and in hot conditions - especially if you are travelling in the summer.
If your pet has to stay in the car during the crossing, make sure you leave them plenty of space along with food, water and some toys!
Don't give your pet too much to eat or drink before the ferry sails and allow adequate time to enable them to exercise, go to the toilet and settle down before boarding.
During the crossing
Unless you have booked a pet-friendly cabin, your pet will spend most of their time at sea by themself. The car deck is closed and remains locked once the ship has sailed. You therefore need to prepare in such a way which ensures your pet is comfortable and happy during the journey.
In some circumstances however, it is possible to arrange to visit your pet mid-voyage. To visit your pet during the sailing you will need to be escorted by a crew member. Please ask at the Information Desk on board to arrange a time to visit.
If you are leaving your dog in your vehicle rather than in a kennel, make sure there is enough ventilation for your pet. Creating a flow of fresh air can be helped by opening both the driver and passenger front windows. Take care to ensure that your dog cannot escape from their carrier or your vehicle. It's well worth bringing window grilles with you to help with ventilation and preventing escape.
Your pet will need plenty of space during the journey and when left in the vehicle. Whether unconfined or in a crate he or she will need to be able to sit and stand up at full height, turn around easily and lie down in a natural position, and must not be able to escape.