TRAVELLING WITH A PET
Pets can travel free of charge on our Cairnryan/Larne route – so there’s no need to leave your furry friends behind.
If you’re travelling by car you can take up to four pets for free, and all pets must stay in the vehicle during the crossing. Unfortunately this means foot or coach passengers are unable to travel with their pets due to no appropriate facilities to accommodate them onboard - guide and assistance dogs are exempt from this and are welcome onboard. If you’re bringing a pet from outside the UK, you will need to check the legal requirements before you travel.
Below we’ve put together a few tips on how to make the journey as hassle-free and comfortable as possible for you and your pet.
You can also download the latest government advice leaflet here.
If you are travelling with a guide or assistance dog, please ensure you notify us when making your booking via the special assistance section in the booking journey. Find out more about travelling with a guide or assistance dog by visiting our Accessibility page.
From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to use the existing pet passport scheme when travelling to Europe or Northern Ireland with your pet. Instead you’ll need to follow a different process in advance of travel. For more information on the new animal health certificate (AHC) process and guidance about pet travel to Europe and Northern Ireland from 1st January 2021, visit the gov.uk site or our dedicated Brexit pet page.
We’ve also put together a list of handy travel tips of everything you’ll need to know, so that you can be fully prepared for all your future journeys to Europe and back.
When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, owners should visit their vet at least one month before travel and make sure their pet has:
A microchip for identification.
A valid rabies vaccination - there are different requirements for pets entering from certain third countries, such as a rabies blood test.
An animal health certificate unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.
Tapeworm treatment for dogs. A vet must treat your dog for tapeworm and record it in the animal health certificate if you’re travelling directly to: Finland, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway. Note: Your dog must be treated for tapeworm to enter or return to the UK from an EU country - unless travelling from the above mentioned countries. This must be done no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering GB.
These requirements also apply to assistance and guide dogs.
Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.
More details can be found on our Pet Brexit page or visit the government pet travel advice page for more information.
Dogs, cats or ferrets are allowed on our ships, as long as they meet all the EU entry requirements and have a valid AHC or EU Pet Passport. For more details visit the gov.uk site.
As all pets must stay inside the vehicle during the trip, we’ve put together a few tips on how to make the journey as comfortable and hassle-free as possible for both you and your pet.
Passengers with pets need to check in at least 45 minutes before departure.
It is the passenger’s responsibility to clean up after their pet.
All pets must stay in your car during the journey. Our policy meets EU rules on pet travel.
Make sure to feed your pet at least a few hours before boarding the ship – if you do it later then they may get travel sick.
You should also leave some water in the car in a non-spill bowl for them, so that they can stay hydrated.
Always allow time for your pet to go to the toilet before boarding.
Give your pet plenty of exercise before they travel – that way, they’re likely to be less restless on the car journey.
It’s also a good idea to give them some toys to amuse them during the voyage.
Leave your pet’s bedding in the car with them so they feel cosy and at home – we wouldn’t want them to get nervous or scared!
Make sure your car is as cool as possible when you leave them, particularly in the summer months, and always leave a window or two cracked open for them.
If your pet is poorly on the way to the ferry, you’ll find the nearest vet information for Cairnryan and Larne ports below.
As your pet stays in your vehicle during the voyage, it’s important to make sure they’re fully fit and well before boarding the ship.
Academy Veterinary Centre
6 Academy St, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, DG9 7DR
Monday to Friday: 8:30am - 6pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 12noon
Tel: 01776 703131
1b Glynn Road, Larne, BT40 3AY
Call for opening times
Tel: 028 2827 2199
Need help ?
View our Frequently Asked Questions before travelling with P&O Ferries.