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Old 10-05-2014, 09:30   #16
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

I stay alone on the boat once a month when HWMO goes to work. I am very glad for the company and protection.

From Kuwait to SE Asia, customs have refused to even look at their papers, which we meticulously keep in order. In countries where it is illegal to import dogs, the authorities didn't actually see any livestock on board, but did comment on what an effective security system we have in place. This is in areas where piracy levels are high, and getting worse due to tribes who were once part of organised cartels going ferrel. We were approached by what I believe to be pirates in the Indian Ocean. They backed off with some water and bananas... And some wary glances at the dogs.

Take them. As a deterrent we will never know how good their value is in return for the cost of their food, but we reckon it's high.

And ours chase the street dogs fearlessly, so no worries there either.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:56   #17
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

When we had a golden retriever on board it was like sailing with a celebrity...everywhere we went (Mexico Belize Guatemala) people oohed and ahhd over billy. We made a lot of friends due to the dog! He was also good security with a deep robust bark, but he would probably lick to death any intruder!

Now we have a rescued street dog, a neurotic, unfriendly chubby terrier, who has "issues" with other dogs. He's been on the boat for a couple of years and has adapted well, but he's no charmer like the golden. No one would take this guy so we are stuck with each other , And of course we love him. But he is very protective, with a nasty "street" attitude that might provide some security. He does alert us to approaching boats.

We avoid countries where he isn't welcome. And accept the limitations inherent in having dogs. But he gives back to us as well. Like everything in cruising its a compromise.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:20   #18
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

our cats have lived inside the house all their lives. but going cruising with us makes no difference to them. at home they eat, sleep, and use the catbox. cruising, they eat, sleep, and use the catbox.

my word of advice? kitty litter is difficult to find outside the usa, so carry plenty. and don't even consider using beach sand; it contains tiny bugs which will quickly infest your cat and your boat.

because we have a large head area we were able to find a perfect location for the litter box. the only time we have to move it is if we want to take an indoor shower.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:24   #19
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

We are still landlubbers but have a dog and two cats. We enjoy our pets but they can be quite a bit of work even living in a house with a big yard.

I have to agree with many of the other posters, pets on a boat will tie you down and has potential to be a big interference if you want to return home for a visit or travel off the boat for a day trip or whatever.

We won't be having pets on board.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:36   #20
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What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

You see them as work... I see them as family. Cats I am not as familiar with, but I'm pretty sure the dog has bonded with your family. How does the wife (or kids?) feel about it?
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:54   #21
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

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You see them as work... I see them as family. Cats I am not as familiar with, but I'm pretty sure the dog has bonded with your family. How does the wife (or kids?) feel about it?
Destiny, I understand your post completely and we (myself included) do love our pets although I didn't specifically say that. Dogs love their owners back. Cats, not so much! Dogs have masters, Cats have servants is one way I've heard it!

Our kids are grown and won't be cruising with us, but for practical reasons my wife and I both agree having pets on board isn't for us, but certainly respect those who do.
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Old 11-05-2014, 13:30   #22
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

How on earth could you not take your dog with you cruising?! We even refitted our boat to match our dog! haha!

Actually, I think about this question often. We haven't left yet, just doing local cruising. You gotta have it set up really well for your pooch to get on and off at anchor. We are lucky our high performance bluewater racer had a MAJOR cruising refit, including the cut out transom, see the pic. This is how she boards and exits at the slip and to get into the dinghy. she is a total baby too. I won't take her to towns where there are aggressive dogs, I do worry about her lack of grass time (her favorite thing) and she hates heel and the sound of the engine.
She is the best guard dog though, she was trained to bark when people or things approach, just what you want. And although she is the friendliest dog strangers are intimidated by her (because of her size, 65lbs).
Our boat we are finishing up to sell (she is too fast/powerful for me, I used to race I don't like it) and I know we will need to make mods on the next boat for her - but she is our baby, our family, not going anywhere without her!
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Old 11-05-2014, 14:59   #23
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

Currently cruising with 2 cats and a chihuahua.

My wife's biggest reservation about going cruising was whether the cats would adjust. It was obvious 2 days in that they didn't care, and hardly noticed.

While on the dirt they were inside only cats, now they roam the deck at night, and couldn't be happier. The bottom line is; in a big house we were always together on the couch or in the bed, so the boat is just the same.

The dog does require visits to land which otherwise could be avoided, but mostly has been retrained to puppy pads for passages. While this is only possible for small dogs, our friend with a very large dog built a box for one square of sod which works fine.

Like the wife says, we had the animals before, and they are family, so they go where we do.

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Old 11-05-2014, 15:29   #24
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

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SNIP

Also, there is fur everywhere. We have to vacuum every single day just to keep up.
PO had a dog on board. When I first checked out the boat met the dog. It was well adjusted but seemed to bark at strangers. The owner's wife did a good job of cleaning up the boat before I move aboard.

But even after close to two years I am still finding dog hairs every time I clean the boat.
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Old 11-05-2014, 16:37   #25
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

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Old 11-05-2014, 23:47   #26
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

Had some friends who cruised with their medium sized dog. It went overboard unseen, somewhere in the trades one night. That was hard for them, to say nothing of the dog!

We were always concerned that when something bad happened (clew blows out of a sail or something worse) during heavy weather, and it's one of those times when both of you have to go on deck NOW, maybe even unclothes, what happens if you have to make the choice between the pet and the vessel? Sometimes *stuff* goes wrong when both of you are needed to deal with the situation, with all your focus on the incident in progress.

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Old 12-05-2014, 03:12   #27
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

We have two cats on board who know no other life. They are great rat/mice deterrents, good company and a talking point amongst fellow cruisers. We have trained them to use the heads so we don't need to source and carry cat litter. If things start to get stressful on deck they immediately run below and curl up in a secure place until everything is calm again. During night sails we shut them below. Finding vets doesn't seem to be a problem and the paperwork hasn't been too onerous so far (but we haven't taken them far yet). The fluff everywhere when they are moulting is a pain but not difficult to deal with.

They are our family and are with us for the duration. We wouldn't be without them, however, when they go we won't replace them!
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:42   #28
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate;

We were always concerned that when something bad happened (clew blows out of a sail or something worse) during heavy weather, and it's one of those times when both of you have to go on deck NOW, maybe even unclothes, what happens if you have to make the choice between the pet and the vessel? Sometimes *stuff* goes wrong when both of you are needed to deal with the situation, with all your focus on the incident in progress.

Ann

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Old 12-05-2014, 05:05   #29
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

We sailed (coastal) with our scotty for 10 years. She's gone now (old age). She was Family and therefore she went virtually everywhere we did. Even without paperwork hassles, having her with us was a major PITA sometimes. She did need to go ashore (we could never get her to do anything on the boat).

She also really disliked big waves, because she kept sliding around.

Having said all that, the thing she wanted most out of life was to be with her "pack" - us - so she stoicly put up with all of it, but she wasn't happy all the time. We've put off full time cruising until she was gone. There is no way we would have taken her off-shore.

Another point is that dogs (and cats) so get washed overboard. I would never forgive myself it that happened to a pet.

To make a long story short - you have the choice to go or not on a boat. The dog or cat doesn't have this choice.

Leave them at home.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:43   #30
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Re: What's one Word of Advice for Animals on Board?

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Another point is that dogs (and cats) so get washed overboard. I would never forgive myself it that happened to a pet.
Having 9" high gunwales rather than a toe rail helps to prevent this somewhat. I certainly feel that Puss and Fluff are safer with the gunwales.
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