The SeaLink Bulletin

Going on a Ferry Adventure with your Dog: Here's what you need to know

Going on a Ferry Adventure with your Dog: Here's what you need to know

If you’ve been on various adventures with your dog, your canine companion has probably been begging to embark on a ferry ride with you. Fortunately, most local ferry lines are welcoming of both two and four-legged guests!

The best way to ensure an enjoyable ferry trip is to do ample research. If your dog is one of the essentials to your journey into breathtaking Waiheke Island, below are a few things you need to know.  

How to Prepare Your Dog for Travel

Consult With Your Vet
While your dog may be used to various outdoor activities, not every pet will take well to being out at sea. Before taking a ferry trip, consult with a veterinary expert. Provide specifics such as the length of travel, the climate at your destination, and the characteristics of your pet. 

Research Ferry Guidelines
Get to know your cruise liner or ferry before you book one. Don’t be prematurely tempted by luxurious facilities and a stunning seaside view. Not every ferry will be pet-friendly, and some will enforce particular restrictions. 

Reduce Their Anxiety
If your canine is new to travelling, find out what makes them feel more secure. For instance, you can take along their favourite toy or practice travelling on smaller boats. 
When boarding, allow your pet to become accustomed to their surroundings. 

Crate-Train Your Dog
Crate training your dog in advance can do wonders for an anxious traveller. When your dog is used to smaller spaces, occasionally crating them while onboard shouldn’t be a problem. 

Dog with a water bowl on a ferry

What You Should Pack

Food & Water
It should go without saying that your dog will require a source of food and water. If your dog is a picky eater, don’t run the risk of introducing them to a new diet right before or while you travel. As a safe bet, take along something grain-free, especially for pups with sensitive stomachs. 

A Spacious Crate
An ideal crate isn’t just secure—it should also have enough space for your dog to sit, stand, turn around, and lie down. If you are unsure of what crate will suit your accommodation, consider one that is sea and airline-approved. 

Harness & Collar
Most ferries won’t allow dogs to saunter off-leash. Thus, you’ll want to pack along a secure harness with lead that will keep your dog from running loose. As an added safety measure, you can also purchase a muzzle—this may be necessary for the benefit of your pet and other guests.

First Aid Kit
No matter how much research you do beforehand, foreseeing an accident is near impossible. However, being prepared has its perks. 
If you’re going to be away for a while, essentials that should be packed in your first aid kit include: 
  • Bandages
  • An antiseptic solution
  • Flea medicine
  • Toiletries 
Ensure that your veterinarian is reachable for the duration that you will be out of town or consider learning first aid basics such as treating a wound and performing CPR. 

The Bottom Line

Waiheke Island is home to dozens of dog-friendly walks, beaches, and excursions. If a ferry trip bridges the gap between you and paradise, being well-prepared is essential to a seamless and enjoyable journey. 

About the Author: Mike Powell 

Mike is the founder of Dog Embassy and a self-proclaimed dog lover. He aims to provide accessible resources for rookie and veteran pet owners. 

You might also be interested in...

I agree to receive updates from SeaLink