For most pet owners, their four-legged friends are more than animals, they form an integral part of the family unit, which makes the idea of leaving them behind on holiday an inconceivable thought. While pets are not typically allowed aboard charter yachts for fear of scratching the teak decking, tearing up the interior, or worse, there are a few select boats that now admit dogs, though you’ll need to adhere to any private stipulations and check legal requirements prior to booking.
To safeguard against diseases being brought into the country, destinations around the world have their own set of legal requirements that need to be met before you can enjoy a dog-friendly charter. In the Mediterranean, a European pet passport, which requires blood tests and up-to-date vaccinations, is the way forward. In the Caribbean, pet permits need to be issued in advance of arrival, though the British Virgin Islands also insist upon a brief examination by a vet who will meet you at the port of entry. When visiting the US, a rabies vaccination certificate is needed, while Australia, the most stringent of all, charges a fee and requires all pets to be quarantined upon arrival. Without the above, the yacht can still dock, but your beloved dog won’t be allowed to disembark.
To avoid disappointment or worry, it’s best to have a well-stocked medicine bag with you, and it goes without saying that your pet must be well trained. Most yachts that invite dog-friendly charters cater to the animal’s needs, such as providing a patch of artificial grass for toilet training. For those that don’t, purchasing portable dog potties and even dog-sized life jackets is a great investment that will give you the peace of mind needed to enjoy the family charter of a lifetime.