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Old 08-11-2016, 01:54   #1
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Caribbean Cruise with the dog? Any current exp..

Hey guys and girls

We have sailed 2D down to the Canaries and are gearing up for the crossing to Barbados.

We have a dog on board and have been working with the very helpful Barbadian Vetinary Service and Agricultural Ministry to ensure we tick the boxes for getting her in.

We have also been getting the details together for the other islands on our cruise plan and making sure that the dog gets all the jabs and tests she needs before we sail in Jan.

But I am frankly quite worried and stressed about the seemingly endless red tape, and not quite sure how once we are in the Carib we are supposed to satisfy some of the more difficult criteria.

For example to enter St Vincent it says the dog needs to have been quarantined for 6 months in UK before entry, well that might be a bit tricky.

So anyone out there with current experience who can put my mind at rest (one way or the other) would be hugely appreciated.

The plan at this stage is to sail to Barbados in Jan and then go to St Lucia to drop off crew before sailing into the Grenadines and ending up in Grenada for the hurricane season??

Cheers
2D
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:48   #2
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Re: Caribbean Cruise with the dog? Any current exp..

We had a cat on board, and never had a problem when clearing into the islands of the Leewards and Windwards. We stated in the declaration form that she stayed on the boat and would never go ashore. It's much more difficult for a dog to stay on board at all times.

On the islands that are rabies-free, you will have issues if you try to take your dog ashore. You may be able to convince the customs/immigration agent that your vaccination paperwork is enough to allow the dog to come ashore to "do it's business" and get a little exercise, or maybe not. The rules can be very unevenly enforced.

I talked with a cruiser in Bequia who had taken his golden retriever ashore for a potty break. A customs agent saw him and told him that if he brought the dog ashore again, it would be shot on the spot.

You should try to find out which islands are rabies-free and trying to stay that way, versus those that have rabies and are therefore not restrictive. There are Internet sites that can help. For example, I recall that Martinique is lenient about letting dogs ashore, but I've also heard of cruisers' dogs being poisoned by eating poison-laced food left out by locals there. They do this to protect their sheep and goats from feral dogs.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:06   #3
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Re: Caribbean Cruise with the dog? Any current exp..

No personal experience yet. But there are quite a few blogs describing cruising with pets.
Try some of these:

Cruising The Caribbean With A DOG! And Navigating The Pet Import Process. Sailing Blog | LAHOWIND | LAHOWIND

Tropical Sailing Life - Cruising with Pets

UPDATE: Cruising with Pets Onboard in the Caribbean

I'm sure there are a ton more.
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Old 15-12-2016, 14:56   #4
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Re: Caribbean Cruise with the dog? Any current exp..

We are leaving soon to return to Tortola to pick up our Jeanneau for the third season with our Kerry Blue Terrier. It is typical of British Islands, tougher restrictions but not bad. We took her to Grenada the first year and it was such a pain, (we did take some risks with her by not checking her in), that we have since decided to cruise in the northern islands, down to Guadeloupe, then back for hurricane season on the hard in the BVI's. She loves the water, jumps off the boat and swims to the beach, a part of our sailing experience that we would not want to deprive her of. Also we enjoy the French Islands and St. Martin...great cheese, cheap wine and food, excellent services, and the restaurants mostly allow her on the patio areas...very dog friendly. Good luck and safe crossing.
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Old 16-12-2016, 06:03   #5
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Re: Caribbean Cruise with the dog? Any current exp..

A cautionary note: it's not a good idea to let your dog run loose on any of the islands, even if close to you on a walk.

Feral dogs are a problem on many islands--they attack the locals' free-ranging goats and sheep. It's fairly common for the livestock owners to put out poisoned food for the feral dogs to eat. I've read of a cruiser's pet dog eating poison and dying on Martinique, and I know first hand of fatal pet dog poisoning on Nevis, where I lived for six years.
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Old 16-12-2016, 06:20   #6
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Re: Caribbean Cruise with the dog? Any current exp..

On French islands you must show dog's passport (EU wide document) and the veterinary record. A dog condition is very common there that makes dogs go nuts - it is some kind of parasite. I have seen posters throughout Martinique back in 2014. Seemed a serious concern.

You are also not allowed to let your dog roam there. Fines are pretty stiff especially in public areas: beaches, roads and cities. Poo must be collected too - I have seen a gandarme fine a cruiser in le Marin. The only time I have seen a gandarme fine anybody though.

Have fun. Avoid French islands perhaps.

b.
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