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Old 16-01-2022, 20:53   #1
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Keeping a dog on board while cruising

So my wife, daughter, and I are planning on leaving to cruise this summer. We will start in the Caribbean and our plan is to eventually circumnavigate. We recently lost our 21 year old dog and it's been pretty hard. We were hoping to get another dog to take with us. Our plan is to wait until we get a boat and get a puppy (something that is known for being mellow and low energy), we figure if they grow up on a boat they will adjust and be happier than if they grew up in a house an then had to transition.

Our main question is how much does having a dog on board limit where we can go? We are planning on returning home for 3 months a year to work so I figured we would get a rabies titer and vet sign off each year in the US to take with us. I also am perfectly OK if we end up paying some extra fees to go through customs. However, I don't want to put us in a position where we are denied access to a lot of countries or the dog is never allowed off the boat when we do get to places.
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Old 16-01-2022, 21:06   #2
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

Basically pet dogs and cats are unwelcome where there is no rabies, so for starters, Hawaii; New Caledonia (if it covid opens); Vanuatu (~similar covid situation); New Zealand; Australia. In addition, the rabies quarantines in Oz and NZ are 6 months, off your boat, but check that, because, NZ used to send Quarantine around to check that cats were on board boats, so maybe they do it for small dogs, so long as they have NO shore time. New Caledonia's quarantine was for a shorter time, iirc.

Basically, I'd politely suggest that you do your grieving for your former canine companion, then cruise, then enjoy another one, if you still feel like it. You and your family will have lots more freedom.

Ann
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Old 16-01-2022, 22:55   #3
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

I wanted to take my dog way back when. But seems like kind of lots of logistical challenges. Even leaving the dog to go grocery shopping & training to do its business on a piece of astro turf. Don't own a sailboat but do own a dog still. Altho dog has been at dog sitters for past 3 weeks while gf n i been on back to back 7 day ncl cruises.
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Old 16-01-2022, 22:57   #4
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

Entry requirements for Australia is highly dependant on where the dog is coming from. If coming from NZ, its easy peasy with no quarantine requirements

If from a non-rabies country, it easy but with some paperwork requirements and a minimum of 10 days of quarantine.

If from a rabies country, the paperwork requirements are much more onerous with significant health checks prior to departure by approved vets. However if every 'i' is dotted, every 't' crossed, all boxes ticked and all certificates in order, then the quarantine is still only 10 days. However this will be extended if paperwork is less than perfect.

The only quarantine facility is in Melbourne (the Australian Government Post-Entry Quarantine Facility). There are procedures in place to get your dog to this facility if entering from other ports but you pay for the additional transport (of course).

See more here https://www.awe.gov.au/biosecurity-t...-cats-and-dogs

Ann's advice is pertinent (IMO) Basically, I'd politely suggest that you do your grieving for your former canine companion, then cruise, then enjoy another one, if you still feel like it. You and your family will have lots more freedom.
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Old 17-01-2022, 12:03   #5
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

I’ve taken my small dog to almost every island in the eastern Caribbean from Puerto Rico to Grenada. As long as you have all the paperwork in order it’s just it adds at most 10 minutes to the check-in. . The French islands are the easiest and require no effort at all. . The British islands are more formal and act like the dog is a criminal but with the proper paperwork you could still get in easily. The titer test as you are familiar with takes the longest to get test results but once you have that should cover you for a couple years easily. One of my favorite islands St. Lucia does require a pet inspector to review your dogs paperwork prior to going ashore. But that’s a simple phone call to arrange and cost additional $45.
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Old 17-01-2022, 12:21   #6
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

I circumnavigated with my dog aboard a few years ago, the only places I had trouble with were Malta, New Zealand, and Australia. In Oz he had to stay below locked in his cabin.

All other places there was no problem. In Tonga they told me he was "officially" not allowed ashore, but he was sitting next to the official when we were doing the paperwork and I got the idea it would be okay, we stayed in Tonga a month or so and he went ashore several times a day.
Pretty much the same thing in Easter Island.

Of note, I used to drive offshore Tugs, I towed a ship into Newcastle England, where I bought a Jack Russel Terrier, (from Scotland) Customs came aboard one day (as they did once per week to see if we needed anything out of our bonded stores (and a bottle of Glen Feddich for him), and noticed my pup. Since he was aboard the ship he was actually foreign now and could not go ashore. Strange custom..

IMHO having a dog aboard enhances cruising so much that it is worth the small hassles one has to deal with.

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Old 17-01-2022, 13:15   #7
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

We've cruised with our dog since we got the boat, and it's not a problem. Yes, there are some places we don't go, but that's the decision we made. she did a great job crossing the Atlantic. They're also great security. We were in an anchorage where boats were getting robbed. None of the boats with dogs got robbed.

Some people don't care if they have a dog or not, and some people really can't live without a dog. I fall into the second group. Dogs don't care where you are as long as they're with you. Since you'll be getting a puppy, I'd look for a dog that has a breeding history of being on boats.

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Old 17-01-2022, 13:51   #8
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

We have cruised the Bahamas for the last 2 years and are planning on heading south through the Caribbean down to Grenada for hurricane season this year.

We started with 3 small old dogs. As far as the Bahamas go it was very easy to bring them along. Our old dogs did not take to boat life so well as far as moving goes, but are happy when we are stopped and are happy to be with us.

You do have to watch them in some places as there can be lots of feral dogs and we have friends whose dogs have been attacked. Talking to the locals or a trip ashore without dogs lets you know if it will be a problem.

Vets are few and far between so emergencies can be a bit of an issue. So far we had to put one of our dogs down for congestive heart failure (that we were aware of before we left). One of the others has cancer and it is just a matter of time until he is not happy and we will need to put him down also. And the last one also is in the beginning stages of heart failure. So my guess is they won't be around as we move down through the Caribbean.

But overall it has not been a big issue for the the areas we have been.

Ken
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Old 24-01-2022, 12:51   #9
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

Anyone have any experience going through Panama with a dog onboard? Most of the websites and paperwork are written as if you are flying into Panama, and not cruising on a boat. I'll be coming from Costa Rica, so I plan on visiting a local vet, getting the deworming treatment (all other vax's are good), new health certificate, etc. But reading the info online as if the dog was coming from the US, it says I need to file paperwork with the Panama Embassy in DC first. That's not going to happen. Anyone have any experiences they can share when checking into Panama with a dog onboard?
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Old 24-01-2022, 14:12   #10
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

I did not have any problem with my dog going through the canal, I went through a couple of times, I do not recall anyone even asking about him.

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Old 24-01-2022, 14:23   #11
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

I'm a dog lover but my advice is NO. It's restricting, it's difficult finding a place for a dog to do it's duty. It's early and often trips to shore for the dog. It's dangerous, they don't grip fiberglass well. Dog food? They dont do companionway ladders well. You cant go some place overnight while the boat is anchored because it's too hot for the dog alone. Many countries dont allow them or insist on quarantine.

Get your puppy when you return to land.
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Old 25-01-2022, 00:09   #12
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by tls30 View Post
Anyone have any experience going through Panama with a dog onboard? Most of the websites and paperwork are written as if you are flying into Panama, and not cruising on a boat. I'll be coming from Costa Rica, so I plan on visiting a local vet, getting the deworming treatment (all other vax's are good), new health certificate, etc. But reading the info online as if the dog was coming from the US, it says I need to file paperwork with the Panama Embassy in DC first. That's not going to happen. Anyone have any experiences they can share when checking into Panama with a dog onboard?
My advice is to ask in https://www.facebook.com/groups/CruisingwithPets. Someone will have the answer.

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Old 26-01-2022, 09:23   #13
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

Maje,

Thank you for the suggestion. I'll give that a try.
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Old 26-01-2022, 10:09   #14
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

agree with the NO for dogs. I love them as much as everybody else but for the sake of the puppy .. wait until you are on land to start life with another dog
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Old 26-01-2022, 17:05   #15
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Re: Keeping a dog on board while cruising

I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion. My dog goes crazy if I step off the dock onto the boat and try to leave her behind. She has her space onboard where she feels safe and comfortable, and loves riding out on the front trampoline while under sail. When it gets a little rough, she just comes back to the cockpit and the centerline of the boat, and takes a nap. She's done this for years. Yes, its a logistical hassle in and out of some countries, but that's my burden not hers. For example, on this trip I was planning on stopping in Cayman after leaving Panama. I learned from Cayman officials that I cannot enter with a dog that had been in Panama in the past 6 months. So, we just won't stop there and will go direct to Cozumel.

My questions about Panama entry are to get real feedback from a cruiser or two that has done it. There seems to be a lot of wink-wink answers coming from different sources, so looking for experience
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