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Old 01-12-2014, 21:07   #1
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Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

So I have been on CF for about a year now and man, am I glad I didn't listen to the people who told me to ditch my dog. Those of us with furry friends know that they are like kids and we can't just ditch them. Now saying that, I WAS worried about our dog adapting to being on a boat.

Well I'm happy to report on our recent week trip the dog was completely at home on the boat! I just thought I would post a positive experience about sailing with pets. I hope to be able to post more about each island we visit with all the procedures for each island for check in. I searched far and wide and found very little real world experiences on CF that deal with check in withs pets in each place.

here is our bear bear on our boat!

(Haven't bought life vest for her yet..)

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:35   #2
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

Congratulations.
Have you been able to re-train her to evacuate on the bow (or wherever)?
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:30   #3
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

Congratulations on a great experience with your beautiful girl. As an animal advocate and animal shelter volunteer, people who say, "Ditch your pet if it's inconvenient" just do not understand how devastating this can be to an animal. (ok, deep breathes. I will not rant! I will not rant!)

Interested to see future posts on checking her in at different islands you visit.

and please get a vest for her......
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:08   #4
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

We have been cruising with our dog for over a year now. We are lucky in that he is really small, so the adjustment to a small space was no problem and he was used to being carried up and down companionway type obstacles to start with.

It took him exactly three days to learn to potty on the deck. They were harder on us than they were on him. It's kind of heartbreaking, but an old dog (12) can learn new tricks. After that first time, we gave him a load of fresh cooked bacon. He still gets a treat every time, but they are healthier now.

He didn't love the offshore stuff at first, but this season he is a champ. On a recent day, with fairly crap conditions, where we were pounding into the wind with a broken prop shaft, he was curled up between the combing and the lifelines, sleeping with the fresh breeze and a bit of spray on his face. He's a salty dog officially.

One thing I haven't heard people talk about is what a great tool dogs can be for meeting locals. Our dog has been a conversation starter everywhere we go. We've learned more Spanish talking about him to locals than we did taking Spanish class. We've made lots of local friends because of him, and he's kind of famous in this area. I know, stupid right. Just saying, as cruisers we don't always discuss one of the most important topics: what is the best way for me to learn, experience and actually integrate into the culture I've worked so hard to sail to? For us it's been a dog and also our photography projects, they force us out of our comfort zones and into the local population.

Anyway, this year is big for our little guy. Many people will disagree with our decision, but we are taking him to the South Pacific. Having talked to people who have actually sailed with dogs there, and other factors including our visa situation, intended cruising grounds and his age, we feel it is better for him to be with us than without on this adventure.

Where did you guys cruise?

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:03   #5
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

Thanks for these stories. We are just about to embark on an adventure with our two dogs - they love the boat and are really at home - but we have yet to venture long distances offshore. Any ideas of how to keep them entertained on journeys of more than a couple of days and tips for dealing with import regulations much appreciated. Best wishes. Martin & Dawn (plus Buzz and Bonnie)
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:09   #6
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

Where you cruising to? How big are the dogs?


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Old 02-12-2014, 09:13   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

I think that's terrific, and I am really interested to read about your experiences. Specifically, I look forward to your experiences with checking in/ out at different places, necessary documentation, quarateens, etc. as I expect I will be facing similar in the future. Best of luck!
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:19   #8
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

I thought you might ask that and tried and failed to add a picture. Will try again, but they are collie-type, medium-sized dogs and great fun. Martin
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:20   #9
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

I don't know. We ditched the dog. I think it's great that people cruise with their dogs, but managing the slipping and sliding, and mostly the poop and piss is anti-relaxing to us. On the deck? No way! And our dog (well, their dog now) loves her new home and is thriving. We miss her more than she misses us.


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Old 02-12-2014, 09:49   #10
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

We cruise with our two small dogs on the Great Lakes. We have had no issues whatsoever. Take them to shore in the dinghy or paddle board four times per day. They got used to the routine in just a couple days. The dogs don't care where they are so long as they are with us.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:58   #11
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

Yes, dogs are part of the family. It can be some work getting them ashore all the time. Our dogs loved the boat... especially riding in the dingy!
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:00   #12
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

Dogs love boats, mine goes with me where ever we sail and to thank me, she lets me sleep until seven instead of five in land mornings
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:25   #13
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

As to regulations: Mexico couldn't care less. We don't bother with paper work anymore. The last few times we've entered, we just let him run around the immigration areas and they spend more time playing with him than bothering us. From what I've heard, everything south of here, as well as the Caribbean, is the same. Super great places to cruise with dogs. The only place that is super difficult is the South Pacific, but we believe we have a working plan for our dog there. Med might be a little tough too.

For health: Make sure they are up on their shots. There are a lot of vet and vet techs cruising. At least we've met a fair few. They love to go over ur dog, listen to their hearts and even do pee tests with kits they keep on their boats sometimes. We normally pay them back with cookies or something. We have a book on board that breaks down medications and how to dispense for ur dogs body weight. Pet medications are just human meds, rebranded and with lower doses. If they have lots of hair, get yourself proffessional clippers so u can keep them short. The clippers are expensive, but it can be life saving for them in the summer.

I support cruising dogs, but I have seen some big ones that might be happier staying at home.


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Old 02-12-2014, 10:43   #14
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

This may be an idiotic question, but I need to ask anyway. Please don't flame me. How do you keep the pooch on the boat when you're in the slip and have to do something where you can't bring him along? Install an invisible fence type system around the deck (would hate locking him up below decks)?
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:15   #15
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Re: Our recent test trip with our dog.... (the dog loves the boat!)

When you do get a vest or harness make sure you get one with an easy to grab handle on the TOP, preferably between the shoulders. That way when the dog goes overboard you have a secure lifting point and are not trying to lift by the collar. It is just a matter of time before it happens, usually involves the dinghy and a dock. Have fun!
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