Thinking about getting a pet (dog or cat) for the kids and were wondering if anyone had any advice for liveaboards. Do they need special training? What's the process like when entering different countries?(Caribbean and Med, mostly) How do you keep them from falling overboard?

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I think sailboats are too confining for dogs and where would they go to take a crap? You would have to walk them every day. But they are good for security purposes. I think cats are more suited for boats. They use the litter box and bury their "stinkies". And if cats fall overboard, they can climb back on if you leave a piece of rug hanging over the side (bottom side up) on both sides of the boat.
Hey, Sandra, we loved meeting Freckles for the first time last night! She is my favorite sailing dog of all time! And thanks for the pizza and the fabulous wine and champagne. Raising my glass for many more of these, hopefully at the dock or at anchor soon!
Isabella is now 41/2 months old and fairing well onboard since she was 8 weeks old. We tried the {pee pads} but to no go.. She refused the {pee mat}. We tried bringing the mat to shore too. When at anchor, we take her ashore upto 5 times during the day!!! That's the way she learned...

Have that in mind with a young puppy although, I would highly voice starting a boat dog that young from the get to. She now goes ashore 4 times a day and is doing very well. LOL, she knows nothing else when cruising is a norm of a dog's life :)

One must have a harness instead of neck gear! Plucking a dog out of the water with a tether will eventually happen. Good thing it happened on the dock while visiting a neighboring boat. Was easy to retreve her with little trama and a good lesson for us.

She adds so much also joy to others that meet her, it is worth the efforts.
Thanks, Mary! Your advice is incredibly helpful!
You are welcome Spirit :)

Oh yes, Also, if you question most airlines on what vaccines and paperwork you'll need when visiting a country most will give you that low-down. Just leave out the "We're sailing" and just say we are planning to visit... Cont. and Taca are very helpful. When we were in Bocas Del Toro, Panama and Utila, Honduras there were several boatcats and a few boatdogs.

Issy is 61/2 lbs due to be 9lbs tops. Is non-sheding and is trained to rinse off on the aft so easy to keep clean. We have a soft tote dog carrier that has proven to be worth much! Containing a puppy at times is a must for safe and saine boat... Plus, many stores/food market places frown on dogs so we can have her in the dog bag and bring her. After the market let her have a freedom walk :)

Good luck!
Has had seveal dogs on board. It is a plus and minus. Better security and companionship, against lack of freedom with the responsibility. Both have been trained to use the bow and "astro turf" door mats that are then thrown over board. Keep their shots and records to date and not a real problem checking into most places I have been.....Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras.
sailing they are tethered to a jack line like me.
My cats Monet and Matisse love to just stay in the aft berth...Lola

I'm in the Bahamas at present with the Intrepid Seadog Chip. He's great company and since I'm a rather shy singlehander, having the dog makes it easier to meet people. He will go on the foredeck if I can't get him to shore and I just use the bucket to rinse it off. About ten years ago I cruised from Florida to Venezuela and back with a dog and it was no problem in any of the islands.

Chip says hi.

What a great cute. Pets are great. What is the largest dog you have seen on a boat?

My daschund mix, Maxine, sails with me often. I'm really not certain if she enjoys it, but she tolerates it to be with me. While all dogs can swim, once they get tired they'll sink like stones; so Maxi always wears a PFD with a handle on the top for easily grabbing her with a boat hook. (Haven't had to test it yet.) I also have netting on the life lines of my Westerly which makes her feel more secure on the foredeck.

She's the smartest dog I've ever shared my home with. When we're on the Falcon 16', she's learned to jump to the high side when she hears my command "Ready to tack! Tacking!" She leaps to the opposite side of the cockpit and lays quietly until the next tack.

She doesn't care much for going below and prefers to be in the cockpit where the action is. I don't take her out for more than a few hours and I leave her home for long trips, so I haven't had to worry about where she'd relieve herself. But she does get fairly excited when we make the transit back up the creek to the marina and she's the first one off the boat!

Life is better with pets!
I have a dog living aboard and although i love him dearly and he is a great companion, if i had to do it over I would not have a pet aboard

They require the normal attention pets need plus
1 they make entry to most foreign ports a lot more difficult and some impossible
2 if you travel away from the boat, they now cost almost as much as another passenger or the boarding costs as much
3 gettng regular vet visits for them is problematic if you move around and requires you to keep copies of all their previous vet records
4 if you do take them with you on trips away from the boat, they can impose on your hosts because of their unfamiliarity with the location They are frequently stressed by the change and act up even if they are normally calm

Just a few reasons why I will not replace this faithful loving dog I still have several years with him and sometimes it gets onerous when my plans are disrupted because of him I dont think the companionship makes up for the lost opportunities in cruising
Would the same things be true for cats? Certain ports charge for pets, including cats?


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