General travel advice
Your pet should be healthy and fit for any travel journey. An animal is not normally fit to transport if it's ill or injured, except for minor illness or injury.
Ahead of the journey:
- get advice from your vet on how best to transport your pet and protect its welfare
- ensure your pet has received all the relevant vaccines
- remember to tell the airline or ferry operator that you want to travel with your pet
Protecting the welfare of pet dogs and cats during journeys: advice for owners
Travelling by sea
Arrive at the port early so the ferry operators can give you the best suitable position in the car deck for pets. Make sure:
- the ferry operators know you have a live animal in your car
- your pet is secured in a container, not loose in your car
- your pet is comfortable and has enough water
- your pet has enough ventilation by leaving at least 1 window partly open. But make sure your pet cannot escape
- you never leave your pet in a car in direct strong sunshine or high temperatures
- that during hot weather, you travel overnight if possible when the temperature may be cooler
Most ferry companies don't allow you to visit your vehicle while the ferry is at sea. You can ask the ferry company for a copy of their access policy.
Travelling by air
Before you make any booking, check with your airline to make sure they can take your pet and ask about their requirements. Some airlines may ask you for a private fitness to travel certificate. This can be issued by your vet.
It's your responsibility to make sure your pet travels in a suitable and approved International Air Transport Association (IATA) container. Your container must be clean, leakproof, escape proof and have enough space for your pet to:
- turn normally while standing
- stand and sit erect
- lie in a natural position
You can buy containers online, from pet shops or they can be made-to-measure by some companies.