Going On Holiday With Your Pet  

February 17, 2022

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Are you planning to go on holiday and would like to take your pet with you?   

Travelling by ship in a pet-friendly cabin is a great alternative to other means of transport. It may be that your pet can’t travel on an aircraft for health reasons. Plus, often if travelling by air pets are counted as cargo and are separated from their owner for several hours which can have a negative impact on both parties.  Fortunately, we offer an attractive alternative so that you don’t have to miss out on a holiday with your four-legged friend.   

But what do you need to know to enter various EU countries or back to the United Kingdom? We have listed all the regulations, special features and inspiration for a carefree holiday with your pet.   

What do I need to know if I want to travel with my pet?  

To ensure a relaxed crossing for you and your four-legged friend, you should make a few preparations. Here is a short checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything:  

  • Food bowl and water bowl for the journey  
  • Muzzle (in some countries muzzles are compulsory)  
  • Favourite toys, bones and treats  
  • Sufficient food   
  • Dog basket or blanket for the journey  
  • Collar, leash and poop bag  
  • First-aid kit for the dog (nausea, intestinal problems, etc.)  
  • Wound disinfectant spray  
  • Tweezers for ticks  
  • Flea collar for all cases  

How do I book a pet-friendly cabin?  

If you have decided to travel with your pet, call our customer service team to ask about our pet-friendly cabins on our Newcastle – Amsterdam route. Up to two medium-sized dogs are allowed in the suitable 4-berth outside cabins. These cabins are bookable by calling 0871 522 9955. Foot passengers travelling with dogs must book by calling our customer contact centre

Alternatively, for our Dover – France crossings you can book your pet for the crossing online, but this booking process means that the dog will remain in your vehicle during the crossing. Due to security precautions, you cannot currently visit your pet during the crossing. 

What are the entry requirements for pets into the EU/UK?  

Only dogs, cats and ferrets classify for accompanying their owner when travelling to any of the EU member states. In addition, the trip must be undertaken for non-commercial purposes. Just as normal passengers need certain documents to enter another country under certain conditions, you will also need documents for your dog to ensure that the journey goes smoothly.   

Documents required for entry into EU countries  

  • EU pet passport (the “blue” passport) with required vaccination records   
  • Microchip with note in the passport  
  • The dog must be at least 15 weeks old  
  • Valid rabies vaccination (at least 3 weeks before departure)  
  • Tapeworm treatment at the vet (at least 5 days before departure)*.  

*Required for entry into Norway.  

Documents required for entry into the United Kingdom  

  • EU pet passport (the “blue” passport) with required vaccination records   
  • Microchip with note in passport  
  • The dog must be at least 15 weeks old  
  • Valid rabies vaccination (at least 12 weeks before departure)  
  • Health certificate (AHC) of the animal (10 days before departure)  
  • Tapeworm treatment by vet (at least 5 days before departure)  

If you are re-entering the EU from outside the UK, you must also declare your pet to customs. This will carry out an identity check, among other things. Make sure you fill in the  declaration before travelling. 

Further advice  

Dog owners living in the UK who wish to travel to an EU country must present a veterinary document each time they enter the country. The pet passport is no longer valid for dogs from England on holiday in the EU from 1 January 2021. 

In case you only have a vaccination card (the “yellow” passport) of your pet, we recommend you contact your vet to request all the required documents for your holiday trip. Previous vaccinations from the yellow passport cannot be transferred to the pet passport.  

Remember that these rules also apply to all countries you pass through. The entry requirements of the various European countries are quite similar, but can vary. For example, there are entry bans or muzzle requirements for certain dog breeds in different regions. We recommend you check the rules of the specific country before you travel there. 

What animals are not allowed onboard?  

 Entry into the UK and EU countries  

Under this law, certain breeds of dogs and their crosses with each other or with other dogs may be imported or brought in.  

  • Pit bull terrier  
  • American Staffordshire terrier  
  • Staffordshire bull terrier  
  • Bull terrier  
  • Czechoslovakian wolfhound*  

*Applies to entries into Norway  

 Whether your dog belongs to a prohibited breed depends on its breed designation and its appearance. Especially mixed breeds with unknown origin, which resemble the dog type of the prohibited breeds, could be excluded from the journey by customs.   

Where can I walk my dog before departure or after arrival?   

In the list below you will find dog-friendly parks and green areas near the port that you can visit with your pets before or after the crossing. We recommend that you allow enough time before boarding so that your four-legged friend can do the important business before the journey.   

IJmuiden  

Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerlandm, Zeeweg 12, 2051 EC Overveen, Holland. Map    

Newcastle  

Paddy Freemans Park, Freeman Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7AH. Map  

Calais  

Parc St Pierre, Boulevard Jacquard, 62100, Calais, France. Map  

Dunkirk  

Plage de Petit-Fort-Philipe, Digue de Mer, 59820 Gravelines, France. Map   

Dieppe  

Forêt d’Arques-la-Bataille, 76880 Arques-la-Bataille, France. Map  

Klaipeda  

Baltijos pr. 53A, Klaipėda 94125, Litauen. Map 

If you are looking for a place for a long walk even during your holiday, we recommend a wide range of beautiful walks and woods.  

DFDS – Travelling with your pet  

For more information about taking your pet on our routes to France, Netherlands, Norway, Lithuania and Sweden, click here. Please note that different conditions and laws may apply and we ask you to check your itinerary carefully when taking your pet with you.  

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