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  • Katie

Cha-Ching! The cost of sailing with a pet

So here's the deal, sailing with a pet is expensive. Generally speaking, a dog is going to be more challenging, and more expensive to travel with than a cat. So if you are looking to have an animal on board, but want to minimize headaches and costs, I would suggest a cat.

Sailing around the world with your pet can eat a large part of your budget (pun intended). We spend roughly $4000 a year on Logan. Many of the blood tests required for dogs must be sent off to a reputable lab in the United States which can cost $500-$1000 per test. Sometimes, weather windows close and tests expire, causing us to have to spend even more money repeating tests.

Another consideration when sailing to more remote islands of the world is that they likely will not carry the type of dog food your dog typically eats. We stocked up on a premium dehydrated dog food when we left the U.S. and it has lasted us through the South Pacific. We supplement his diet with some of our dry stores, such as rice and oats, as well as freshly caught fish along transit to help with costs- Mahi tacos are his favorite!

It can be challenging and expensive getting to an "approved" veterinarian. We have found traveling in the South Pacific that Bio Security approved veterinarians are the only ones we can see if we want to export to another country. In New Zealand, this means that we must rent a car to drive 4 hours each way to see the veterinarian no more than 5 days prior to departure. Unfortunately in New Zealand, dogs are not allowed on the bus, which would be a cheaper options.

In Fiji, we had to pay for a veterinarian to come out to the boat, and pay for blood tests to be sent to the United States.

Another thing to consider is all of the preventative medications to stock up on as well as which countries accept which preventatives. I stocked up on Trifexis, as I found it to be the best for preventing fleas. However, when we were leaving French Polynesia, we needed to get another preventative because Trifexis didn't cover a specific parasite Fiji was concerned about.

To us, the expense is worth it. Logan brings joy to us when the going gets tough. However, I caution people who are just setting out cruising, as it will be adding another cost and create more hurdles to jump through. But, if you like a challenge, go for it!

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