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There’s the big Maine coone who liked to play with water, she’d spill everything she could to play with the stream, probably enjoyed the fact that people slipped over, and then spend the rest of the day sleeping in the day head sink plotting her next move.


Or the two brown poodles who on one trip developed stomach bugs. The ... horror… oh the horror… they were adored; the chef had to roast chickens for them and their meal prep took priority over the crew food. And they got helicoptered in and out. It’s definitely a dog’s life.


One chef tells of a little dog he had the joy of cooking for; he had to put out three plates, restau fine dining style, and take away the two it decided not to eat. And the crew had to applaud when it pooped on deck.


A captain loved remembering the terrier who used to surreptitiously poop right outside the bridge door for him to step in. Every morning. Nice and warm between the toes.


Not just limited to our four legged friends, what about the 60m motoryacht with the huge fish tank in the crew mess? Fish got sea sick on the crossing and died. Did NOT see that one coming.


Or the owner who liked to walk around with his two African Grey parrots on his shoulders. The chief stew loved it when they ran all over the table and pooped everywhere. Loved it. Bird poop is so easy to clean and doesn’t damage any of the delicate surfaces, nope…


On a serious note, if you are going to have animals on board then if you do get the chance to prepare prior, make sure the animals have ID tags on their collars in addition to their microchip and they have their passport with them, plus all vaccination certs (especially rabies). You don’t want to get stopped in port for the dog’s paperwork being out of line – it’s hard enough getting Schengen crew stamped in and out.


Make sure all animals have a flotation device, and if you have the opportunity, do a good sweep of the vessel and make sure anything at chewing, scratching or tail wagging height is stowed away if possible. If you’re dealing with cats, museum glue down everything breakable… Similarly make sure there’s nothing overly hazardous is in reach either, you do not want to deal with an unhappy owner with a poorly pet… nor do you want to be responsible for whatever shoots out of either/both ends.


Mind their feet on hot teak too! If it’s too hot for your feet, it’s definitely too hot for theirs.


Get to a vet and get hold of animal seasickness meds just in case… always handy to have, even if they are experienced seagoing pups or kitties. Some human brands can be given to pets but check with the vet first.


When they’re onboard take it in turns to have play time with dogs or they’ll get bored and that’s usually when you’ll find something in their mouth that really shouldn’t be there. Like someone’s shoe. Or someone’s radio. Or the backstay… And again with cats, give them a little attention. If you can pin them down then give them a good brush every day to help keep the hair to a minimum.


Embrace the animals, for all their hairiness and slobberiness, their claws and bodily functions, you know you just can’t beat a cuddle from a pet.


BESPOKE VETERINARY SERVICES


Superyacht Veterinary Service SVS provides a bespoke veterinary and pet travel consultancy catering to transient superyachts with pets on board. They ensure that travelling on/to/from a superyacht with a pet is both a simple and rewarding experience,


for captain, owner and crew. The company’s main focus is on import, support and navigating the myriad of paperwork that accompanies pet travel, however they are not limited to this and offer a range of additional services that include: Calendar / schedule of veterinary tests and treatments to support travel plans, 24 hour remote veterinary support, Disease risk analysis - country specific, Basic animal first aid and training for crew. SVS offer annual packages for clients travelling regularly on superyachts, and ‘one-off’ support for those planning a single trip, such as charter clients. However, SVS realises that every animal and every boat is different, and also offers bespoke solutions, created to fit each animal or yacht’s needs perfectly.


PET ESSENTIALS


When talking about safety of pets aboard charter yachts, there are a few things to consider. To prevent any dangers of having a pet aboard, follow these tips. If this is a pet’s first sailing trip, it may be scared so you need to create a safe area for the pet.


FEAR AND PANIC Bring its favourite toys and blanket - these are necessary for pets to feel safe aboard the charter yacht. Animals tend to panic in unfamiliar situations and can get violent when scared, so you need to make sure the pet does not hurt itself or someone else.


FALLING OVERBOARD You need to be extra careful during sailing. Dogs should not be in the way or it or someone else might end up hurt or overboard. A pet might be a good swimmer, but it will need a pet flotation device as it may save its life. If the conditions are especially rough, it may be a good idea to tether the dog to the boat and put a PFD on the dog. A smart thing would be to attach a swim platform to the yacht. In that case, if the dog falls overboard, it would be easier to recover the animal from the water.


SEA-SICKNESS AND SUNBURNS If pets gets seasick, wait until their stomach calms and then give them some milk. Travel-induced stress is also a danger for pets. It can cause constipation, to fix it, add a daily teaspoon of vegetable oil to their food. If the pet gets sunburnt, hypoallergenic sunblocks for humans should do.


ONBOARD | SUMMER 2017 | 73


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