Get Away on a Canine Caribbean Vacation

As we proceed to emerge from the protracted pandemic, two issues are clear. First, our canine have been all too comfortable to have us residence. Second, we actually want a trip.

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Luckily, as we enter winter, a number of Caribbean locations supply engaging choices to convey Fido alongside for a much-needed seashore getaway. Let’s take a look at a number of U.S.-controlled islands, as, for Americans, these current the least hurdles to a pleasant, dog-friendly trip.

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Of course, first off is getting there. Not surprisingly, the place a canine is permitted to spend a flight is dependent upon his measurement. Though guidelines can fluctuate, usually solely canine that slot in a service underneath a passenger seat can fly in-cabin. Considering the comfortable circumstances of most planes, which means solely the smallest canine — 20 kilos most, and infrequently much less — qualify for coach (See sidebar). Expect to pay an additional $75 to $200 every manner. Many airways limit the variety of animals per flight, so e book early.

Puerto Rico

To enter Puerto Rico, canine should be microchipped, vaccinated inside six months of visiting and, inside 30 days of entry, a licensed veterinarian should full a destination-specific Pet Passport ($20 at

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Pet-friendly lodgings abound in Puerto Rico, with the whole lot from luxurious resorts just like the Fairmont El San Juan to budget-conscious choices like Ponce’s Solace by the Sea Hotel accepting four-legged visitors. Of course, direct rental websites like Airbnb and Vrbo additionally record pet-friendly lodging.

Dog-friendly seashores close to busy San Juan are restricted, however Hobie Cat Beach (don’t fear: cat connotes “catamarans,” not felines) within the Carolina neighborhood is a gem. Shorelines in much less densely populated areas typically don’t have any restrictions. And moreover the seashore, Puerto Rico affords two issues no different U.S. island can.

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First, northeastern Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Rainforest is the biggest of any Caribbean island. Capped by the three,500-foot Luquillo Mountains, its 200 inches of annual rainfall cascade again to sea stage through wondrous waterfalls. It’s an unparalleled place for a nature hike. It’s a jungle, so be careful for ticks, snakes and predatory animals.

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Second, Puerto Rico contains a highway devoted to all issues pork. Hey, it’s trip … set the doggie weight loss plan apart for a day with a pit stop-filled tour down La Ruta del Lechón, about an hour’s drive south from San Juan.

Puerto Rico additionally is good for the aspiring canine proprietor, providing alternatives to combine solar and  enjoyable with voluntourism and, maybe, meet a soon-to-be endlessly good friend within the course of.

The unhealthy information: Puerto Rico has a infamous stray drawback, with some 500,000 satos — Spanish for “road canine” — roaming the island. The excellent news: The most gratifying a part of a Puerto Rico trip will be punctuated by a moist kiss or 2 hundred. Rescue organizations like The Sato Project settle for help making ready canine for “freedom flights” off the island to endlessly properties on the U.S. mainland. Puppy love is a regularity. “Many volunteers change into endlessly households for a sato,” says founder and president Chrissy Beckles.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Dog-friendly St. Croix permits canine on its Cane Bay seashore. Dogs will be unleashed on the seashore except it’s turtle-hatching season, after which all canine should be leashed.

To enter the U.S. Virgin Islands, a canine should have an official well being certificates stating his space of origin, accompanied by a certificates exhibiting vaccination for rabies throughout the previous 12 months. (It is beneficial that additionally they be microchipped.)

St. Thomas is the USVI’s hottest island and, regardless of trending upscale, reasonably priced dog-friendly lodging will be discovered — and lots of don’t cost an additional payment. lists a surprisingly wide selection of choices, together with reasonably priced Airbnb and Vrbo leases. For a extra conventional lodge setting, the Emerald Beach Resort is reasonably priced, proper on the water and fido-friendly. (Note: Confirm with a property that it’s pet pleasant, as insurance policies do change.)

Besides the seashore, St. Thomas has various calm, picturesque waterways, together with mangrove lagoons. Some kayak operators will allow canine to return alongside on excursions. An area tour operator referred to as CaribbaConnect is a strong supply to plan such an tour.

Puerto Rico’s rescue group The Sato Project accepts help making ready canine for “freedom flights” off the island to endlessly properties on the U.S. mainland. The writer’s personal canine, Vector, is a Sato canine.

While all Caribbean islands have strays, the USVI’s points have been exacerbated by 2017’s Hurricane Irma. Out of that storm’s rubble emerged St. Thomas’ Off the Rocks Rescue, which collaborates with shelters throughout the USVI and finds properties primarily in New England. Volunteers are welcome to assist clear cages and socialize with not too long ago rescued canine and cats and doubtlessly discover a extra everlasting playmate.

There can be Pets with Wings, a program underneath the Humane Society of St. Thomas, that transports homeless animals to rescues and potential adopters on the U.S. mainland. Flight volunteers accompany the rescue pets by means of the airport and flight and ship them to a rescue consultant on the mainland airport. Check out these adventures on the PWW’s Facebook web page.

Nearby St. John is much less pet-friendly. Hansen Bay Beach, whereas pretty, is among the many island’s few dog-friendly public seashores.

On Saint John’s western shore, south of the island’s well-known Honeymoon Beach, the St. John Inn on Cruz Bay Beach is a captivating boutique lodge simply minutes from outdoors eating and different fido-friendly points of interest. Notably, the property is only a 10-minute stroll to the plush Virgin Islands National Park.

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For these with extra wanderlust, a greater wager could also be St. Croix, the southernmost of the chain’s main locations. The north finish’s Cane Bay Beach, in addition to Sunset Beach (by the Pink Condos) on St. Croix’s west coast, are particularly dog-friendly.

After the seashore, take your pooch on a pleasant stroll by means of Christiansted, the USVI’s most historic and nice city. It’s additionally the place most of the island’s most compelling dog-friendly motels will be discovered. Whereas Puerto Rico is tropical, a lot of St. Croix’s panorama is desert-like. For an amazing hike, drive to Point Udall — the easternmost locale not solely in St. Croix however all of U.S. territory — and revel within the rarity of a beachfront desert. That contains cacti — so paw safety is very beneficial.

As with any journey, particularly throughout COVID, be sure to name motels and airways for up to date guidelines and rules.

Flying With Larger Dogs

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Dogs that can’t slot in a crate under a passenger seat should fly within the cargo maintain, and are handled … nicely, type of like baggage. While that is an possibility, we at Dogster typically suggest in opposition to it given this sort of journey’s historical past of opposed occasions. Especially in case your canine has important separation anxiousness — or will get simply frightened by jostling — flying along with your massive canine might not be one of the best concept.

Also, not all airways enable animals to journey as cargo (together with jetBlue and Southwest), and a number of other, together with American, United and Delta, have suspended their applications resulting from COVID-related modifications. Check with particular person airways for availability.

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