Taking Your Pet on Holiday with DFDS

May 24, 2018


What could be better than taking your pet on holiday with you? Not only do you avoid expensive kennel fees, but you also get to share some magical holiday memories with your furry friend.

DFDS have given you some great ways to make sure that your pet’s ferry trip is as enjoyable as possible. We will introduce you to our new pet-friendly cabins, and provide you with a few handy tips on keeping your dog, cat, or even ferret happy on the exciting voyage.


Introducing our pet-friendly cabins

Our Newcastle to Amsterdam ferries have recently been equipped with pet-friendly cabins that are sure to be a big hit with your pet. The cabins can accommodate two medium sized dogs, and they have vinyl flooring instead of carpet. This means that your cabin won’t get covered in paw prints, and it enables you to keep an eye on your pet and share the fun of the voyage together.

Whilst your pet must stay inside the cabin at all times during the voyage, the cabins boast fantastic sea views. Plus they can sleep up to four people, and they have an en suite shower and a WC, so you never have to be too far away from your beloved pet.


Other options for taking your pet to Europe

While the deluxe, pet-friendly cabins are currently only available on our Newcastle to Amsterdam crossing, it’s not just a ferry to Holland that offers your pet a safe and comfortable way to travel. This is because all of our DFDS ferries to France are able to provide your pet with a safe and stress-free voyage.

All routes from Newhaven to Dieppe, and Dover to Dunkirk and Calais allow you to hire differently sized kennels that can be chosen at the time of booking. This will ensure that your pet has enough space to safely move around during the voyage. Although the kennel must be secured inside your vehicle, if it’s a longer crossing, then you can visit your pet when accompanied by a crew member. Even if you are a foot passenger, you can still hire a kennel that will remain on the car deck so that you can check in on your pet.


Things that your pet needs before travelling


In order to ensure your pet’s safety, you should include some essential things in your travel checklist:

Pet passport

Your pet will need a valid European pet passport to travel from the UK to the EU. Pet passports are available from your vet, and they document all of the different treatments that your pet has had. This means that your furry friend won’t have to be quarantined when they return from your holiday. Plus, it offers you the amusing prospect of taking a pet passport photograph.

Whilst most of us humans struggle to get a decent passport photograph, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for your pampered pet. The pet photograph is optional, but it adds an extra degree of insurance in case of border checks. Just make sure that the size is 50mm x 50mm, and don’t forget to send any particularly eye-catching snaps to our competition for the funniest pet passport!



Everybody knows that all pets should be microchipped, and this is an essential part of taking your pet on holiday with you. The chip number and implementation date should be written by a vet on the relevant travel document.


Vaccinations and treatments

Your pet will need to be vaccinated against diseases that we don’t have in the UK. Such diseases include rabies. You should have documentation proving that your pet has been vaccinated against this, with a signed and dated veterinary certificate. In addition to this, dogs need to have proof that they have received any necessary tapeworm treatments. Be sure to read our guide to travelling with pets, and consult with your vet to find out more about these important issues.


Travel tips for happy pets

Once you’ve had your pet checked over by a vet before travel and begun your voyage, then there are some essential things to do to keep your dog, cat or ferret happy. Make sure that they have plenty of water, ventilation, and that they are comfortable. It’s a good idea to take some of their bedding from home, along with some familiar toys to keep them entertained.


Here are some helpful pet travel tips from a dog behaviourist expert that will help you on your travels with your pet:

“Take frequent comfort stops… Make sure he isn’t too hot or too cold – but resist the temptation to let your dog lean out of the car window. Dogs should be appropriately restrained at all times using either a harness attached to a passenger seat belt or a fitted dog crate. If your dog doesn’t get car sick, a long lasting chew can act as great boredom buster on a long journey.” – Katie Bean, MSc animal behaviour and welfare; IMDT accredited trainer, based in Newcastle


Final thoughts on pet-friendly travel

As well as making sure that your pet experiences a safe and stress-free voyage, check to see that your destination has all of the facilities that your dog, cat or ferret needs to enjoy the trip as much as you!

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