Yachting With Man’s Best FriendApril 26, 2013
SO, YOU ARE PLANNING YOUR PERFECT CHARTER YACHT VACATION and you want “Sparky” to come along and join the fun. That’s not an uncommon request. Most dog owners feel as though their pets are part of the family and leaving them behind just doesn’t feel right.
The good news is: It’s not impossible! While many charter yachts do not allow animals, there are “pet-friendly” boats in the fleet. With the right preparation, taking your beloved pooch along can be relatively hassle-free.
First, let your charter agent know you want to bring “Sparky” with you, so he or she can help you find the right yacht and ascertain whether a “pet deposit” is required.
If your pet doesn’t already have a microchip, it’s a good idea to ask your vet about this routine procedure. The vet can implant a tiny capsule the size of a grain of rice in the scruff of “Sparky’s” neck that contains a unique ID number registering your pet in a national database.
Next, locate your state’s USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinary office by visiting www.aphis.usda.gov, or ask your pet’s vet for help. The APHIS office will inform you about the entry and exit documents required by the countries you will be visiting during your charter trip – kind of a “pet passport” – as well as any vaccinations your pet may need. Start the process at least seven months before departure, since some vaccinations must be done six months prior to travel.
With a bit of research and planning, “Sparky” can stay by your side!