As with anything, especially on this forum, there are a wide variety of experiences varying from one end to the other on any subject. Here with animals, dogs, cats, whatever, there are quite a few long term live-aboards who have dogs and cats and have taken the time to train them to do their business on board the boat. That is not an easy task (and can be somewhat smelly). But once it is done the animal is happy to remain on board doing what the pet does best which is love and be part of the family
- - Other short term cruisers I have met that have dogs never took the time to train the animal to poop on the poop deck
or have brought a middle age to old age land dog onto the boat and like they say "old dogs don't like to learn new tricks." So the owners have no choice but to take the dogs ashore. This gets to be real tricky in some Caribbean
islands as they are not "dog friendly" and will get seriously upset if you get caught taking your dog ashore.
- - Then as mentioned by Catseye and others there are some seriously nasty parasites on these islands that can take down your animal. One of the worst is the Bot Fly which is probably one of the most disgusting parasites to borrow its way into your animal's skin. IMHO, there are just too many "nasties" waiting to get to your "gringo" pet so I don't take my animals ashore except for Vet visits and then they are in carriers the whole time.