• Pets

    Frequently Asked Questions About Pets

  • In most cases, leaving your pet in the vehicle is the least stressful option for your pet. Your vehicle is familiar and smells of home and family. During the voyage, the vehicle decks are quiet and calm without much "action" that might excite or stress your pet. After loading of the vessel is complete, it is likely that your pet will relax and rest.

  • If you feel that your pet is not capable of controlling its bladder or bowels for the duration of the voyage, the kennel stowage area might be the best choice.

    Pets must be carried to and from the kennel stowage area inside your pet travel carrier. If your pet is too large to be carried inside the travel carrier, it must be muzzled and on-leash to and from the kennel area. It is your responsibility to care for and maintain control of your pet at all times. (Please note: basket type muzzles are the only style allowed on Marine Atlantic property.)

    Our staff will provide directions to the kennel stowage area once you are onboard, and you may visit your pet at your convenience.

  • It is recommended that you keep visits to a minimum. As a guide, recommended visitation is 1 to 2 times during the Port aux Basques-North Sydney crossing, which is 6 to 8 hours in duration, or 2 to 3 times for the Argentia-North Sydney ferry crossing, which is 14 to 16 hours in duration. This will provide your pet with an opportunity to relax and sleep. Visiting a pet too often can actually result in the pet becoming excited and worried, resulting in a stressful voyage.

    Also, keep in mind that there will likely be other pets in the kennel area and your presence may affect them, as well.

  • If your pet is not accustomed to being confined in a pet travel carrier, your voyage with Marine Atlantic should not be the first time. It is recommended you spend time prior to the voyage making sure your pet is "kennel trained" if you are planning to use the kennel stowage area option.

  • On your way to the kennel stowage area you will encounter hundreds of people, most of who are strangers and may act in unexpected ways toward your dog.

    When dogs are placed into new situations they may react unpredictably, and even the most even-tempered pet can become frightened and bite. To protect you, your dog, our passengers and our crew, we believe the use of a muzzle and leash control is the safest option. It is your responsibility to provide your own muzzle and leash. Failure to muzzle your dog may result in your reservation being cancelled.

  • Yes. The basket style is safe because it allows the dog to pant (which is how dogs regulate their body temperature) and to drink water.

  • Start at the eye of the dog and measure down to the tip of the nose. To measure for the proper circumference, start one inch below the eye and measure all the way around the nose of the dog. For proper muzzle fit, you must add length to each circumference measurement. An addition of one-fourth of an inch to half of an inch is required for a small dog. Large dogs require an additional half inch to one full inch. Special muzzles made of mesh material are available for dogs that have short noses.

  • You should control excessive eating/drinking immediately prior to your trip. If you wish to provide water for your pet to drink during the voyage, ice is a great way to provide refreshment along with preventing major spills that might make your pet uncomfortable. Ice also requires the animal to lick slowly rather than gulping water. Some travel carriers include snap-on plastic dishes for water and food - simply fill both sides of the dish with water and place in your freezer overnight.

  • For cats, a small litter box set up on the floorboard of your vehicle or inside their travel carrier will allow them to freely relieve themselves whenever necessary. If using the kennel stowage area, bring along a towel to drape over the crate to prevent other pets from looking in on your cat, and vice versa.

  • While effort will be made by our crew to set your pet free in the event of an emergency, passengers will be our crew’s first concern. Pets cannot be accommodated in our life-saving evacuation systems.

  • If you are travelling with a pet other than a cat or dog that needs special accommodation, please contact our customer relations line during regular business hours at 1-800-897-2797.

  • There are pet relief centers in each of the kennel stowage areas onboard of the vessels. Once onboard the vessel, a member of our staff will direct you to this location. We ask you to please clean up after your service animal when it is finished.

    Marine Atlantic gratefully acknowledges the help of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association in consulting on our pet policies.