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Old 16-03-2012, 17:27   #1
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Cruising the Caribbean with a Puppy

We are looking at cruising to the BVI's in May, June and July. We have a puppy that is 10 1/2 months old. We've heard different stories of how hard it is to cruise with pets. We heard that it was really hard to go into the Turks and Caicos, and in fact is was very easy. We hear that the BVI's are really hard, so wondering if there is any truth to it. I've read what they require on their site but am just looking for someone who has been there and can verify if they are really strict. Just wondering what to expect. If there is anyone out there that has been and experienced the BVI's with a pet and is wiling to share your experience, we would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 16-03-2012, 17:47   #2
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Re: Cruising the Caribbean with a puppy

Have not sailed the BVI with pets, but in general:

In 2004-2005 cruised with a menagerie aboard. Dogs & Cats are easy in most countries. Most of the time you just need current health documents and many places just don't care. We skipped the Caymans because of their pet regulations.

The official regulations for each country can often be found on-line, but of course actual practice may differ.

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Old 16-03-2012, 18:04   #3
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Re: Cruising the Caribbean with a puppy

The BVI is the hardest. You need a rabies shot and a titer test to prove the level of rabies antibodies. Takes four to six weeks. Have the vet pullt he blood, freeze it, send it to Manhattan, Kansas, get result, have vet certifiy, then send the forms off to the USDA vet in your state to have it certified (for $144). Then do tapeworm and flea treatments. FAx (not email, not in person) forms off to the BVI and get permit faxed back. You get a year from the date of the rabies shot on which the titer test is based. We screwed that up: rabies in January, titer in September, rabies in october, permit good only until January. PM me if you can't find the forms on line.
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Old 24-03-2012, 06:35   #4
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Re: Cruising the Caribbean with a Puppy

We cleared into the BVIs in November, 2012. The BVIs have the most efficient admin of pet entry in the Caribbean I've found and we have taken our two dogs as far south as Dominica. We did all of ours by email, and we were also able to make an appointment at the USDA to walk our papers in and wait to get them back at the Annapolis MD office. Email address for the BVIs is
We submitted all the paperwork via email and received an emailed permit (no signature) back. With the emailed copy they said they would meet us with the permit. However, I requested a fax when we got to a marina in Hampton with a fax and they sent me a faxed copy with a signature. When we arrived in the BVI the vet was phoned, and he came out to the marina to examine the dogs and sign the paperwork. Dogs have to stay on the boat, confined until the vet arrives. They do ask for advance notice of arrival and we used sailmail. There was a fee, I think it was $20 a dog. Keep a copy of the papers with you when you walk the dogs as my husband was stopped on Jost Van Dyke and asked to present proof the dogs were properly admitted.
The info we had and forms attached. Look for the Cruising Compass article titled "Cruising the Eastern Caribbean with your Dog", November 2010 (two parts). Got a copy of this article from another cruiser and it was very helpful for Dominica and further south. Have never been asked on a French speaking island about the dogs and when I mentioned them at Customs in St. Martin the official said "Why would I care about your dog?" Dominica is, IMHO, the most difficult. English regulations and Creole speaking Customs with English the official language but clearly the second language for most folks. Very difficult to get any answer at all via email so I suggest you fax or telephone and be persistent. They require 10 days processing time, I would double that so you don't feel stressed. Happy to answer questions just pm me.
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:55   #5
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Re: Cruising the Caribbean with a Puppy

Thanks for all your help and advice, it is greatly appreciated. KDH, a special thanks for the forms, that will be of great help.
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Old 24-03-2012, 10:06   #6
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Re: Cruising the Caribbean with a Puppy

PS: I would keep a pup out of the water at "shark time". I know not a likely problem, but who knows? Shark time= early am and after maybe 3:30-4 pm.... that's when you see them out and active... just a thought....

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