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Pets travelling

Ireland/Britain Routes only

Pet Passport & Government regulations 

EU pet passport rules apply throughout the European Union. All Dogs, Cats and Ferrets travelling between member states need an official recognised EU Pet Passport with veterinary endorsements certifying compliance with tests, treatments and vaccinations. The endorsements must be dated (including expiry dates), stamped and signed by an authorised Vet. It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the entry conditions are met.


Government regulations for pets - Ireland /Britain/Ireland routes only

  • Microchip - The microchip number on the animal must correspond with the number on the passport presented. The microchip should comply with ISO standards 11784 & 11785. Clearly legible tattoos are also accepted – the tattoo must have been applied before 3rd July 2011.
  • Rabies - All dogs, cats, and ferrets must have a current Rabies vaccination (administered at least 21 days prior to entry into Ireland). The Rabies vaccination must be administered by a registered Veterinary Practitioner and entered into the E.U. Pet Passport (Section IV. Vaccination Against Rabies), signed, dated and stamped.
  • Tapeworm – this treatment is not required for entry into Ireland from Britain, Finland, Norway or Malta or for entry into Britain from Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta


Procedures when travelling with pets

Car passengers

  • Your pet must be taken on board the ship in your car and must remain either in your car or in the kennels provided by Irish Ferries for the duration of the voyage.
  • The kennels can be booked in advance and are free of charge.
  • Family pets are not allowed on the passenger decks at any time.


  • Pets (all dogs and cats) must be transported to and from the ferry in a secure, rigid and appropriate pet cage or box (please bring your own).
  • The animal must be able to stand or lie down in comfort.
  • The owner of the animal must be able to carry the cage or box from the terminal to the ship.
  • All animals must travel on the car deck in their cages or boxes.
  • If you turn up at the port without an appropriate pet cage or box you will not be allowed to bring your pet on board. There are no exceptions to this rule.


Kennel facilities on board

Each ship has kennel facilities which are situated on the car deck. Please note that you may not be parked beside the kennels. The kennel sizes are :

Isle of Inishmore ( Rosslare/Pembroke route)
10 kennels - 100cm high, 80cm wide, 85cm deep

Dublin Swift( Dublin/Holyhead route)
5 kennels
72cm high x 60cm wide x 88cm deep
72cm high x 57cm wide x 88cm deep
71cm high x 120cm wide x 88cm deep
84cm high x 120cm wide x 88cm deep
82cm high x59cm wide x 88cm deep

Ulysses (Dublin / Holyhead route)
6 Medium kennels- 96cm high, 64cm wide and 85cm deep
4 Large kennels- 96cm high, 96cm wide and 85cm deep.

Epsilon (Dublin/Holyhead route)
5 Small kennels - 55 cm high, 55cm wide and 80cm deep
3 Medium kennels - 72 cm high, 93 cm wide and 94cm deep
2 Large kennels - 110cm high, 140cm wide and 95cm deep


Guide and Assistance dogs

Irish Ferries are delighted to welcome specially trained "Sight", "Hearing" and "Feeling" dogs on board. All guide and assistance dogs must be pet passport compliant

The dogs are allowed to remain with their owner on the passenger decks for the duration of the voyage if they are an officially registered working dog. When on the passenger decks they must  wear the special guide dog harness or jacket at all times. Please contact us a few days before you travel so that staff on-board can be notified and will be ready to assist.

Car passengers - your guide dog must be taken on board the ship in your car and then brought up to the passenger decks.

Foot passengers - you are permitted to walk your guide dog through the terminal building and onto the ship.


Movement Restrictions

Movement Restriction on the Number of Pets.

  • From the 29th December 2014, the maximum number of pets that can travel with one owner or authorised person under the pet travel scheme will be five. Anyone wishing to travel with more than 5 pets will therefore need to comply with the commercial movement rules (see below).
  • An exemption from this requirement will be introduced where more than five pets, aged over six months, are travelling with their owner, or an authorised person, to attend a show, competition or sporting event (or training for such an event). Written evidence of attendance/registration will need to be provided. In all cases the transport vehicle must be fit for purpose, for example, in relation to size, type and ventilation. Kennels are available on board and can be booked with Irish Ferries.

Commercial Movement of Animals.

  • Any other shipment of animals that exceeds five, (not including those attending shows or sporting events) or any movement of animals for commercial purposes (for sale, for breeding or commercial gain), cannot be booked on Irish Ferries Passenger services. A booking will need to be made with Irish Ferries Freight Services (contact +353 (0) 818221560.
  • Customers should also note that there are separate requirements for commercial shipments of animals, including additional approval documentation, for the animals, the vehicle type and in some cases, for the driver of the vehicle. Further information can be obtained from the office of your nearest Animal Health Veterinary Inspector.

There are restrictions in place curtailing the free movement of birds due to the risk of bird flu.

Further information on the restrictions applying when travelling with animals is available on



If your question has not been fully answered in this FAQ please contact us and let us know customersupport@irishferries.com

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