UPDATE: April 2013: Farley learned to really swim this year. Up till now, he’s been a timid swimmer. On the plus side, it’s great exercise. On the down side – hmm, I can’t think of one. In case you’re interested, he learned to swim by chasing other dogs in the water.
UPDATE: Nov 2012: Last year I learned a couple of things about provisioning for Farley. 1. Bring one extra bag of dog food. It’s hard to get in the Bahamas, and if one gets wet and ruined, a backup is helpful. 2. Farley is prone to ear infections from salt water, so I brought extra ear cleaner. There aren’t many vets in the Bahamas, so it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m prepared.
UPDATE: June 2012: It’s time again to think about provisioning for Farley for next winter. Top of my list it toys. I’m remembering what worked last winter and what helped him socialize with other dogs. Things that float, can be chewed or thrown, are great to have on board.
UPDATE: Sep 7, 2011 Every dog is different, and Farley needs a medical kit specific to him. Each fall I meet with our vet in Canada, and he helps me prepare a kit for Farley. I’ve ordered his medication for the upcoming season (one more item off the check list).
Being offshore means Farley is dependent on me to take care of him if he gets hurt, so before leaving Canada on our first sail south, I attended a dog first aid course.
Accessing a vet in the US is easy. It’s once we get farther south and into the Bahamas that it becomes more difficult. There are vets in Nassau and Georgetown. The Explorer Charts list others in the Bahamas. Having a pet onboard is an absolute joy, but it does take work and preparation too!
UPDATE: Aug 31, 2011 Farley has received his permit to enter the Bahamas. I mailed in my application and received his papers. He is now ready, almost. to enter. Before we cross the gulf stream, he’ll need a certificate of health. Then he’s ready to be a Bahamian Dog for the winter.
Original Post April 8, 2011:
Farley is a 3-year-old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. He moved on board when he was 9 months old.
Dogs add an element of excitement to cruising. He needs his own visa and papers to enter the Bahamas.
When provisioning your boat don’t forget to bring your dog’s favourite toys and treats. If your dog sleeps in a dog bed, bring that too. Really, if you can fit it, bring whatever you regularly use at home. We bring spare leashes and collars, just in case . . . If you have any questions about cruising with a dog, feel free to send me a message. I’d be happy to share my experiences with you.
- Cruising with Dogs (kristinastanley.net)
- Wanted: One Dog Paddle For Photo Friday (dogleadermysteries.com)
- Animals as characters? (kristinastanley.net)
- Writing and Cruising (kristinastanley.net)
- Writing Schedules: Does a dog notice?
- Dog Parks While Cruising
- Cruising and Dog Safety
- Beach Dogs
- Cruising Dogs Get Tired Too
- Cruising Dogs Need to Swim