Cats and dogs for us are often more than just pets. They are family members with whom you want to share the joys of life. Including the joy of travel. Especially if you are traveling by yacht. Let's say right away: sailing with cats and dogs is not easy. Starting from the bureaucracy with documents for exit-entry (and they will need more than [...]
Cats and dogs for us are often more than just pets. They are family members with whom you want to share the joys of life. Including the joy of travel. Especially if you are traveling by yacht.
Let's say right away: sailing with cats and dogs is not easy. Starting from the bureaucracy with documents for exit and entry (and they will need more than you and the boat!) To the arrangement of toilets on board - yachting with pets on board will bring a lot of trouble. But, according to the sailors, who do not leave their four-legged friends to “dry” on the shore, it’s worth it.
Let's start with the basics. From documents.
Veterinary passport, microchip, certificates and forms
From August 1, 2019, new rules regarding veterinary documents have come into force. Now for traveling with your pet abroad you must have an international veterinary passport. Vetpassport issued after a clinical examination of the animal and the presence of all the necessary treatments, including vaccinations. You can issue a document in government agencies (cheaper and more troublesome) and in private veterinary clinics that have the right to provide this service (more expensive and easier).
The passport must be filled out in Ukrainian and English and contain notes about treatment against helminths and parasites, vaccinations against rabies and other diseases, depending on the animal. The data is confirmed by the signature of the doctor who vaccinated and the seal of the clinic. Also, the passport must contain a mark about the individual 15-digit number contained in the microchip, which is used to identify the animal when crossing the border. The mark is also certified by the doctor's signature and seal.
Chip contained in a sterile capsule, and itself chipping is a quick and painless procedure like a subcutaneous injection. If the animal is identified by means of a clear tattoo and the owner has documents confirming that the branding was done before July 3, 2011, then such identification is also considered to meet EU standards (but it is better to have an electronic chip - more chances to avoid bureaucratic red tape at the border).
You will also need rabies antibody test certificate... The test only conducts in Kiev (see the tab Approved rabies serology laboratories - Non-EU countries), but you don't have to travel to the capital. Private clinics collect the material on site and send it to the laboratory. The procedure takes about 3 weeks. The test must be done no earlier than 30 days after vaccination and no less than 3 months before the date of entry.
Without such a certificate, pets will not be able to enter the EU from third countries. Responsibility for failure to comply with the rules rests with the owner of the animal or a person authorized by him.
There is information on the network that vaccines "Rabikan", "Rabizin" and "Shchelkovo" are not always recognized and it is better to use Nobivac R, Biocan R, Hexadog R, Defensor, etc. The duration of vaccination depends on the used vaccine and cannot exceed 1 year. Cleaning / prophylaxis of parasites and worms should also be done between 48 and 24 hours prior to departure.
Also, to enter the EU, animals must have veterinary certificate, which is issued by the border inspector of veterinary medicine on the basis of the F-1 veterinary certificate. Certificate F-1 is written out before each trip abroad and contains information about where the animal is going. The international veterinary certificate obtained on the basis of this form at the border is valid for 10 days until the moment of entry into the country of destination, but in the case of moving by sea, the travel time is added to this period.
Is this all of this? Unfortunately no. You will also need Responsible person declaration and (most likely) a certificate stating that the animal has no breeding value.
You can delve into the bureaucratic nuances of processing travel documents for four-legged pets here (in Ukrainian) and here (in English). Also, before traveling, you must familiarize yourself with the legislation of the country where the animal will be imported, since different countries put forward different requirements for the registration of animals, the number of vaccinations, stay in quarantine etc.
It is unlikely that you want to give your friend to quarantine for many months somewhere in Britain. And in order to avoid such a scenario, it is better to know in advance all the conditions of entry.
Pet owners say that taking a cat / dog that has never sniffed the sea right away on a multi-day swim is not a good idea. It would be nice first just take your pet to the yacht (any) and do a couple of test exits with him for several hours. So the animal will get acquainted with such a new way of movement for itself, and if it doesn’t "nag", then at least it will not be shocked when you give up the mooring lines for a long transition. If such training exits did not work out, then during the first exit you will need to stay close to the animal in order, if necessary, to calm him down and cheer him up.
It is better to hang a net on the handrail - it will become additional protection against "unauthorized" dumping of the animal overboard. And don't forget the special life jacket.
Change diet his friend is not worth it, he must eat the same as at home. The idea of feeding a cat / dog sitting on dry food with just caught tuna seems to be consistent with the logic of the food chain, but it will not benefit the pet (rather, the opposite). Habitual and proper nutrition will help less stomach and intestines "stress" less, which is important to prevent motion sickness and reduce the negative consequences of it.
So the next question is - Do cats and dogs have seasickness? Yes they can. Dogs are more susceptible to it than cats, which have a better developed vestibular apparatus. Nevertheless, the cat can also be “covered”.
How do you know if your pet is prone to seasickness? Here, as well as with a person - you can only find out on board. There is special veterinary medicine for motion sickness, whose principle of action is similar to human. But similar does not mean identical. In any case, you should not give your pills to an animal without consulting a veterinarian. The drug should be prescribed by a veterinarian, indicating the regimen and dosage.
Another important point is toilet arrangement... And again, cats are easier here than dogs. Basically, cats will continue to walk in their litter box, while the dog will have to learn how to do it. Dogs will need a container with soil from their usual lawn, perhaps with artificial grass. You can train an animal to pee overboard, but yes, it’s dangerous - after all, we don’t go on board ourselves.
If you want to take your pet with you on the yacht - start planning such a trip a month and a half... Approximately so much will be needed to calmly, without fuss and panic, make the necessary procedures and collect documents.
If you are taking a yacht for charter, be sure to check the company's policy regarding animals on board (the same applies to renting a boat through sharing platforms).
Your pet, if not covered in hair, can also burn in the sun, just like a person. Remember this and do not forget to smear it with special sunscreens. By the way, if the animal is long-haired, then before the trip, you can take it to a haircut, especially if the transition is planned in warm regions.
Make him a place in the shade for relaxation. This is important, especially in the early days, while the pet is just getting used to the new "home". Don't forget to bring familiar toys.
The animal will need a lot of water, so keep this in mind when planning your yacht's "freshwater" supply.
Use every available opportunity to moor and walk the animal on the ground (especially for dogs). Give your pet a token with your contacts in case he gets lost.
Also needed in advance coordinate the carriage of the animal with the airline... It is better to arrive at the airport with some time to go to the veterinary inspection and exchange the Form F-1 for an international veterinary certificate.
Call the consulate or embassy of the country you are going to and clarify the rules for the import / export of animals. Rules vary by country! Island states like Britain, Australia or Japan are especially fond of "fierce".
Instead of an afterword
Traveling with animals requires preparation, effort, money and patience. And if you are ready to put up with bureaucratic procedures on the shore and the contents of the tray, found in the most unexpected places on board, then take your pet with you.
In the end, we want to share with our pets the joy and passion of sailing, to share our happiness with them. And this exceeds the difficulties that will have to be faced.
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