Gransnet forums


dogs on ferries

(21 Posts)
Megram Wed 05-Sep-18 14:57:03

Does anyone have any experience of this? We are planning to take our dog on a relatively short (3 hour) crossing. The ferry company doesn't allow dogs in any area of the ship other than the car deck, where dogs are either put into a "kennel" or has to stay in our vehicle alone. We've been advised by numerous sources that the kennels are not really fit for purpose, so we are reluctant to do this. However, I'm hesitant about leaving her alone in the car. Am I overthinking this?!

Granarchist Wed 05-Sep-18 15:18:49

we have friends who lost two border terriers left in the car - I am not sure why they died but it was dreadful.

Alima Wed 05-Sep-18 15:20:56

My niece travels at least once a year from St Malo - Portsmouth. They take their Dachshund with them every time. She spends the crossing in the car, no I’ll effects.

Megram Wed 05-Sep-18 15:41:44

How awful for your friends Granarchist. Must have been heartbreaking.

Alima, that sounds reassuring. Our problem is that our dog will howl and while it won't disturb anyone, I worry about her being distressed.

oldgoat Wed 05-Sep-18 15:42:01

Not sure which ferry crossing you are planning Megram but when we travelled on a CalMac ferry from Ardrossan to Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre last year our dog was allowed to stay with us in a designated lounge for travellers with dogs.
I would also be reluctant to leave the dog alone in the car for the whole journey . What are foot passengers with dogs supposed to do?

Greenfinch Wed 05-Sep-18 15:52:17

We had the same experience last week on the Cal Mac ferry from Oban to Craignure but it was only 50 minutes.People were specifally told not to leave their dogs unattended because they might get frightened.

Marmight Wed 05-Sep-18 16:13:53

DD1 recently travelled from Portsmouth to Santander and, as a non dog lover, was horrified to find their family cabin situated in a corridor of dogs allowed cabins. Apparently they are allowed in but have to be kept in crates which are provided. There were also kennels on the car deck. Perhaps other ferries do something similar?

OldMeg Wed 05-Sep-18 16:25:43

How awful Granarchist. People who take their dogs on holiday are usually those who love them very much. That’s tragic.

sodapop Wed 05-Sep-18 16:32:46

Megram you may be be over thinking this a bit. Your dog will be fine for three hours. If you use a crate then leave her in there with a blanket and toy, or just in the car if you prefer.
Your vet may give you a light sedative if you think your dog may become distressed. Dogs have no concept of time, a lot of the worries are ours which we should be careful not to transmit to the dog. If you are calm and matter of fact about it this will help her. I live in France and people bring their dogs over all the time with no problem. I have three dogs so don't say any of this lightly.

Iam64 Wed 05-Sep-18 16:48:32

I have friends who regularly take the 12 hour ferry journey to Spain, along with their 2 dogs. They crate their dogs in the kennels, on board. One dog benefits from a mild tranquilliser from their vet, the other is fine.
Great advice and comments from soda pop, nothing to add to that.

Megram Wed 05-Sep-18 18:16:25

Thanks all! Soda pop, you are right - definitely overthinking it and I needed a voice of reason! Cal Mac Ferries appear to be the only company that allows dogs on the passenger decks (in designated areas) and the system worked well. Unfortunately they don't operate on the route we wish to take.

Luckygirl Wed 05-Sep-18 18:42:12

I have never seen a dog on a ferry -I count myself lucky! grin

Iam64 Wed 05-Sep-18 20:02:36

Why lucky, Lucky? My dogs have made short ferry journeys and behaved perfectly, in fact thoroughly enjoyed the outing.

MillieBear Wed 05-Sep-18 20:12:22

Megram we have taken our dog on so many crossings I've lost count. Irish Sea, English Channel and Spain to UK. If you would like to message me I can tell you how it all works if it will help at all.

Megram Tue 08-Jan-19 17:59:32

MillieBear, I did say that I would let you know how we got on. We chickened out in the end I'm afraid! Unfortunately, we had to take other things into consideration, and leaving her in our usual kennels seemed the best option (Even if it was Christmas!). However, we took the opportunity to check out the kennels on board the ferry ( much better than I had been led to believe) and we also managed to chat to a lovely couple who often make the trip with their dogs and they gave us lots of helpful tips. We would feel much more relaxed about doing this in future. Thank you for your advice and interest.

M0nica Wed 09-Jan-19 17:24:13

We travel regularly on Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen, a six hour journey. It is quite common to see dogs left in the backs of cars for the journey. When their owners return to their cars the dogs seem fine and not overly excited.

The decision you make must be made on the welfare of the dog and if you think that being locked in the car or the kennels will upset it, then you will need to leave it in (land-based) kennels or forego your journey.

phoenix Wed 09-Jan-19 17:32:48

What made you think she would howl?

We did a ferry crossing to Ireland many years ago, the 2 dogs were left in the car (with ventilation, of course) and when we went down to check on them they were perfectly content.

MacCavity2 Wed 09-Jan-19 18:17:44

I know it’s a shorter journey but dogs can go with owners in the lounge on the Isle of Wight ferry. We often took our cats with us happy in their cages in the car. Our cats loved their holidays on the island. Are we nuts, yes.

polyester57 Wed 09-Jan-19 18:25:33

How big is the dog? We travel regularly with ours to a Croatian island ( a two hour crossing). Dogs as such aren´t allowed inside, but you can stay on the outer deck (weather permitting) or else we take the box that he travels in in the car (he is a small-ish crossbreed) and take him inside with us in that. Never leave him in the car.

Sehh Wed 09-Jan-19 19:17:46

We often take the same route as MOnica and even the overnight crossing from Portsmouth to St Malo. Our dog stays comfortably in the car and they are cracking down on car owners turning off their car alarms now for a better trip. They allow you to check on your dog mid crossing too.

ecci53 Wed 09-Jan-19 19:26:26

Sodapop you are wrong to say dogs have no concept of time. There is research evidence as well as anecdotal evidence which clearly shows that they do.