Saturday, December 10, 2011

What to Consider Before Bringing your Dog To Grenada

Gunther checking out poisonous Mr. Frog
 I'm the wife of a med student and have all the time in the world to tend to my dog's needs.  He's very happy here despite the lack of doggie companions and hot weather.  I teach him tricks and do obedience training with him often to help stimulate his mind so he doesn't get bored.

If you're a student and are thinking of bringing your pet over, I highly recommend reading my list below prior to making your final decision.  I include what life is like for Gunther here in Grenada along with details on what it took to get him here (paperwork, airlines, kennel, restrictions, fees).

*Dogs Banned in Grenada-
"Dangerous Dogs"
1. Any dog of the type known as Pit Bull Terrier, that is to say Staffordshire
Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bull Terrier or any
mixed Breed dog which can be identified as partially of any of those breeds.
2. Any dog of the type knows as Fila Brasileiro.
3. Any dog of the type knows as Japanese Tosa.

*You will most likely be charged duty for your pet upon leaving the airport-
Here is the breakdown of what I paid for my dog:
How much I told them I paid for my dog- $280 US dollars
They charged me:
D-593.88
CSC- 74.24
VAT- 322.92
Total: 991.04 EC ---> 382.81 USD

*The process of transporting your dog as cargo can turn out to be disastrous even if you've prepared everything before hand.  In my case, my flight was canceled so naturally, we canceled our dog's flight (with Amerijet).  This company doesn't frequently ship animals out to Grenada so I had to wait for the next available flight (one week after) that resonated with my new American Airlines flight.  Luckily, I decided to leave the island one month in advance just in case something like this were to happen so I'd have plenty of time to work out a new schedule.
*Just in case- if your dog makes it to Grenada before you do, have a student or friend on the island standby to receive your animal at the airport (Yes, you guessed again. This is what happened to me. My landlady was kind enough to fetch him for us. She provided duty receipts and all and I gave her a fat tip).
*I have never seen any dogs in any indoor places including stores, malls, restaurants, facilities, govt. buildings.  Grenada isn't as "pet friendly" as many places are in America (such as San Francisco where there are dog parks everywhere you turn).
*You can bring your dog to campus but it must be on leash at all times. 
*Make sure your dogs don't play with Grenadian frogs. There are two main types (one thumb sized and the other big (as seen in picture above).  The big ones are poisonous!
*I leave the AC on 24/7 so my dog won't over heat while at home. I pay ~$230 USD (~600 EC) a month.  Room is about 10'x15' with a high ceiling.
* Avoid flights that layover in Barbados at all cost.  They will euthanize your pet if they feel like they have to.  You will have no power to fight their decision.  Different country, different rules.
*There are no dog parks here.
*I apologize to those who have been offended by my advice in not picking up dog poop. Though there are large uncontrolled/unregulated/not vaccinated amount of dogs roaming around, leaving their poop behind as they please, there is no excuse to not pick up after your animal yourself.  Not picking up after your dog will definitely make contamination problems worse. As you may know, feces that get left behind, get into earth's water sources and contaminate water.  I just hope that Grenada has a proper waste facility in which waste is unable to penetrate into the earth.  This way, your poop picking up efforts will not be for nothing.  Of course, initially when I advised to not pick up poop, I never allowed for my dog to defecate in main areas and only in my private garden so if you're one of those people who don't pick up after your dog after all, make sure you do have common decency to not leave any surprises for pedestrians.
*Most dogs found in Grenada are either stray or guard dogs
*Locals will either love or be scared of your dog (a lot of the older adults tend to tense up when they pass by me and my dog). 
*Call your airlines to double check if your dog is permitted to fly (I think bull dogs aren't on some airlines because they have trouble breathing in certain conditions)
*Always keep your dog on a leash when in public as stray dogs can be feisty and locals will feel more secured.
*Most people that walk their dogs in public are foreigners.
*There are dog sitting services on the island where you can leave your dog when you leave the country for vacation. Though I'm pretty sure you'll make friends you can trust that would be glad to watch over your dog during break.
*The dog food available on the island sucks (made with a lot of corn meal and fillers) and on top of that, it's pricey.  It's equally as pricey, if not more, to ship food from your country or origin.
*I walk my dog very early in the morning when there's virtually no one in sight just so I can let him off the leash and play catch with him.  We always play on the soccer field in front of the main grocery store, IGA.
*My dog overheats easily so I never walk him from 8am-5pm.
*Bring some of your pet's favorite toys to keep him busy.  I brought a Kong over that I always stuff with goodies and freeze.  I leave it to my dog for him to chew on to keep him busy while he's alone at home.  It also stimulates his brain.  I also bought tug toys, balls, and a couple of Frisbees. 
*As a med student, you'll most likely have little to no free time.  Will you have enough time to take your dog out for walks, play with him, bathe him, socialize him, and buy him food?  Most students I know that brought their dogs over also have a significant other to help take care of dog responsibilities.  It's definitely a great idea to being your dog companion over but make sure you'll have the time to tend to his needs. Otherwise, you'll end up with a deprived dog.
*Try making friends with other students that also own dogs when you arrive to the island.  They will be your only source for socialization.
*If your pet is flying, make sure you buy a kennel that's airplane approved.
*Dogs are not permitted on SGU school buses. You may want to consider buying a car if you plan on taking your furry friends around with you (I just walk him everywhere).
*Dogs are not allowed to live on campus.  There are many pet friendly apartments nearby. Make sure you inquire about all pet policy details (deposit, pet rent, etc.)
*If you decide to bring you pet here, try tiring him out the day before so he'll most likely knock out during the trip instead of stress out.  

 Important Links:
*All you need to know- Information from the Significant Others Club of SGU- Paperwork Requirements
*If you're pet is unable to fly with you due to heat embargo regulations (weather is too hot and unsafe for your pet to be stored in cargo), you can chose to transport him using Amerijet (I used this method and it was very reliable).  They only ship one way to Grenada.
*U.S. Pet Air Travel Regulations
*Traveling with Pets- American Airlines Regulations (I flew with them)
*Pet services and Supplies in Grenada
Airline Approved Kennel. Check with your airline for details.

5 comments:

  1. Hi! there is NO law banning dogs in Grenada however there is a dangerous Dogs Act. There is no piece of legislation banning dogs and you are showing it in a wrong light. They are strict about the importation of Pit Bulls put they aren't banned.

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    Replies
    1. can you please email me at laufeynarmenta@gmail.com with more info on this please?

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  2. I just came with my dog for the first time, and I'm surprised to see you had to pay so much at customs! I told them I paid $200 USD, and the officer inputted $100 USD into the computer and charged me $67 in fees total.

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    Replies
    1. No surprises there. Everything is done on a whim here in Grenada. You probably just got a friendly person working at the time, while the author perhaps didn't. There are no clear cut rules on what to charge. It's just whatever they feel at the moment.

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  3. This is very nice post, thanks for posting this useful information.
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    ReplyDelete