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Dogs on the Ferry

Cheshire, UK
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Dogs on the Ferry

After a magnificant trip this year to Orkney, we are planning Shetland for 2013, travelling from Aberdeen to Lerwick with Northlink.

We have two large dogs who have a very large and comfortable space that is almost their second home in the back of our LWB Landrover.

The ONLY advantage to the onboard kennels is the chance of getting them out for a wee. BUT (1) I'm not sure they'd be happy in a kennel (coming from a rescue centre they find that sort of environment very stressful). (2) I am also not sure they would be very keen on weeing on a boat anyway - they're so used to grass.

Any advice from fellow travellers who've travelled with dogs on this route?

Edited: 27 July 2012, 12:31
Cheshire, UK
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12 posts
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21. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

I completely understand your qualms. All I can say is, they had a really good walk before we boarded and had another walk as soon as we left the ferry!!! They seemed fine. They appeared completely settled as far as I could tell - but they do love the car, it has plenty of room, they get on well, and we left them to get on with it... my wife on the other hand was terribly sea sick!

Cheshire, UK
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22. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

Just to add a bit more, I have heard it said that it might be possible to give a toilet break if the ferry stops at Kirkwall - but my assessment was that didn't look feasible and we decided it would be best to not disturb the dogs anyway. Our dogs are both large (GSD & CollieXLab) and I decided they would be more stressed if we'd gone for the kennel option - partly because you're hardly any better off with the toileting situation as you need a staff escort to go down to the kennels and that's not always possible; and partly because they're both rescue dogs and I think they'd find a kennel environment inately more stressful. On the positive side I met a number of Shetlanders who regularly took their dogs on the ferry and spoke very positively about their dogs taking it in their stride. Had you thought of seeing your vet about if there'd be any advantage in them having a mild sedative?

Glasgow, United...
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23. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

Thank you for all the comments, I'm sailing Aberdeen to Lerwick in 2 days time & worried about leaving my 20 months old dog in the kennels on the ferry. She has never been kennelled & though has used a crate she has never been alone for such a long period.

I have an adaptil spray to use on her bedding & hope that will be enough....it has been said she's a but of a mummy's girl ...

Would leaving her be better than going in/out of kennels ? She can go for 14 hours without toiletting if it's raining & even then has to be dragged out !

0323 in morning , less than 48 hrs to trip...in fact will be half way there in 48 hours & can't sleep for worrying about her. She was absolutely fine on a 55 mins ferry trip but was with me....agh

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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24. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

If your little'un is used to her crate then she may be happiest there once you settle her and then say a temporary goodbye. I've not taken a dog on a ferry, but after having looked after my niece's dog when she goes away the pampered one is often happier when she has a familiar-smelling cloth or toy in her portable crate.

If you've got a T shirt or small towel that you've worn or used then tuck it in with the little miss, and ideally all will be well.

Cheshire, UK
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12 posts
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25. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

If you're not worried about the toileting issue then the only concern is separation. And perhaps the greatest separation anxiety is your own rather than your baby's!

When I was in the army back in the 90s and serving in the Balkans, I used to phone home via a satellite link once a week and talk to my wife and children. Proper conversation was impossible because of the delay on the line. In the end we decided that the whole experience was so stressful that we were all happier when I didn't call. If you visiting your dog is not a relaxed and pleasant experience for you & your dog, and if you're confident that toileting really isn't a major issue, you may be better to leave them as comfortably as possible and let the journey pass without interruption.

All I would say is, I worried a lot before the journey with our dogs - but having done it the once I wouldn't hesitate to make the journey again. They seemed very content with the arrangements we had made.

UK
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26. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

If I wanted to take my two Mastiffs to Shetland, I'd take the Hamnavoe or the Pentalina across the Pentland Firth to Orkney, and catch the Lerwick ferry from Kirkwall. I certainly wouldn't "hope" that they'd be OK in a car or kennel on a ferry for 12-14 hours.

Edited: 07 May 2015, 08:46
Cheshire, UK
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27. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

That is why it boils down to you knowing your own dogs as well as listening to the experience of others.

:)

UK
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28. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

Spend 12-14 hours on a car deck with them then, then you'll know 😊

Cheshire, UK
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29. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

You aren't allowed on the car deck when at sea on the Aberdeen to Lerwick Ferry - but I guess you know that.

30. Re: Dogs on the Ferry

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