Rover and Kitty might make great crew mates. But, it takes more than the passport you carry in order for your pet to go ashore if you’re cruising through the island nations of the Caribbean. For example, many countries require an International Health Certificate. In addition, Caribbean nations such as Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Montserrat, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the U.S. Virgin Islands are rabies-free. Therefore, these nations have in place regulations that address pets coming in from countries known to have outbreaks of rabies—such as the U.S. mainland and Canada.
In general, take time to find out the requirements that you must meet and plan for these in advance of your trip. Here’s an island sampler of these prerequisites.
Anguilla: Pets may enter with a permit. Obtain this permit at least six months in advance from the Agriculture Department. For information, call (264) 497-2615.
Antigua & Barbuda: Pets not from an approved quarantined area must be quarantined for six months in the United Kingdom or another designated port with a quarantine facility. After this, a Veterinary Import License from the Veterinary & Livestock Division must be obtained. For information, call (268) 460-1759 or Email: [email protected]
Barbados: An import permit must be obtained prior to entry from the Chief Veterinary Officer. This permit can be obtained by calling Veterinary Services at (246) 427-5073 or Fax: (246) 420-8444. All cats and dogs must undergo a six-month quarantine in Great Britain after which time the import permit will be issued. This quarantine period isn’t necessary for dogs and cats coming directly from the UK, The Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, St. Kitts/Nevis, Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
British Virgin Islands: Cats and dogs may enter once the Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Division has issued an import permit. The correct forms are downloadable at www.britishvirginislands.com/ntk_permitspet.htm. For information, call (284) 495-2532.
Dominica: Pets need a valid Veterinary Health Certificate plus an importation permit from the Veterinary Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture. For information, call (767) 448-0414.
Dominican Republic: Pets must have a health certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian. The certificate must have the name and address of the owner, and complete identification of the animal (name, breed, sex, and age). The pet should also have a rabies vaccination certificate with the date of vaccination, product name and serial number listed. This rabies vaccination should be given between one to 12 months before entry. Pets must also have been examined within 30 days prior to departure and found to be free of any infectious diseases.
Grenada: An application for importing a pet must be made in advance to the Veterinary officer or an officer of the Pest Management Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture. Either of these officers must also inspect the animals prior to entry. A health certificate from the last place of residence certifying the pet has been vaccinated against diseases and is free from illnesses and infection is also required. For information, call (473) 440-3195
Guadeloupe & Martinique: Both cats and dogs are admitted with valid health certificates issued by a licensed veterinarian from the country of shipment.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: Dogs must have a certificate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry. Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination. Both dogs and cats must have a valid health certificate signed by a veterinarian.
St. Lucia: Pets (cats and dogs) must have a Veterinary Import Permit before they may enter. This is available from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Veterinary Department by calling (758) 452-3812 or by emailing: [email protected] In addition, 1) pets must be electronically identifiable by implanted microchip, 2) pets must be vaccinated against rabies and found by a blood test to show rabies and antibody trait equal or more than 0.5 IU/ml, and 3) pets must be treated no more than 48 hours before entry with a preparation for the treatment of ticks and fleas and with an anthelmintic (de-worming) preparation.
Trinidad & Tobago: Pets require an import permit that should be applied for months in advance of entry. Dogs and cats from the following countries are allowed direct entry into Trinidad and Tobago without having to go into quarantine or to have rabies vaccination or serum antibody testing: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Dominica Great Britain (United Kingdom), Jamaica, Luxemburg, Malta, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Sweden.