Across the US, ferries serve as vital links connecting island communities and bay-dwelling residents. But what if your furry friend is part of the journey? In this guide, we’ll navigate the waters of traveling with dogs on ferries, covering everything from preparation and safety to keeping your pet comfortable during the ride.

Why Travel with a Pet on a Ferry?

  • Necessity and Exploration: For many island dwellers, ferries are essential for reaching the mainland, especially for vet visits. Additionally, some pets may enjoy the novelty of a boat ride.

How to Take a Pet on a Ferry

  • Know the Rules: Ferries vary in their pet policies. Some require cages or muzzles, while others only need a leash. Research your specific ferry’s regulations and contact them for any updates.

Here are some rules for different Ferries serving the U.S.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry Pet Policy Video

How to Prepare Your Pet for a Ferry Journey


ferry, waves, deck, stairs, railing, lifesaver

Vaccinations and Medical Records

  • Stay Up-to-Date: Busy ferry environments increase the chances of pet interaction. Ensure vaccinations are current and carry medical records for emergencies.
  • Motion Sickness: Consult your vet about motion sickness solutions, such as maropitant citrate (Cerenia).

Where Do Dogs Go to the Bathroom on a Ferry?

  • Pre-Embarkation Routine: Encourage your pet to relieve themselves before boarding. Bring poop bags and tissues for any accidents.
  • Communication: Discuss procedures with ferry staff in case of accidents.

Don’t Forget to Make a Checklist

  • Essentials:
    • Leash
    • Carrier crate
    • Blanket
    • Medical records
    • Dog’s license
    • Treats
    • Fresh water
    • Food and water bowls
    • Chew toys
    • Poop bags
  • Additional for Vacation:
    • Veterinarian contacts at your destination.
cute dog on ferry with his owner

FAQs: Traveling with Dogs on Ferries

What are the best ways to prepare my dog for traveling on a ferry?

Provide exposure to ferry-like environments and gradually accustom your pet to the crate.

What safety precautions should I take when traveling with my dog on a ferry?

Secure your pet appropriately with a leash or in a crate.
Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures on the ferry.

How can I keep my dog comfortable and entertained during a ferry trip?

Bring familiar toys and comfort items.
Consider a cozy blanket or bedding for added comfort.

What documents or requirements do I need to meet before traveling with my dog on a ferry?

Check vaccination requirements and carry medical records.
Be aware of any specific paperwork or pet tickets required.

How can I ensure my dog remains calm and well-behaved while on the ferry?

Practice obedience training in different environments.
Use positive reinforcement for good behavior.

Are there any pet-friendly amenities or accommodations available on ferries?

Explore ferry features catering to pet comfort.
Inquire about designated pet areas or facilities.

What are some tips for managing dogs during boarding and disembarking from a ferry?

Stay calm and assertive during the process.
Follow ferry staff instructions for smooth boarding and disembarking.


Embarking on a ferry adventure with your dog requires preparation and knowledge of ferry policies. By adhering to guidelines, preparing your pet, and having a checklist, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable ferry journey for both you and your four-legged friend. Here’s to smooth sailing and wagging tails!

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