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Bringing Your Pet to Grenada

Many, many students bring their pets to Grenada, and as long as you plan ahead, it is usually a hassle-free experience. 

The first rule of bringing a pet is that you should NOT fly on Air Jamaica, or plan to make any stops or layovers in countries that still have connections to the United Kingdom.  (This includes Jamaica, Barbados, and the British Virgin Islands.)  The UK still has stringent quarantine rules in effect, and automatically takes any animals directly to quarantine in England for 6 months.  So, make sure that your flight will not stop in Jamaica, Barbados, or the British Virgin Islands on its way to Grenada. 

You can fly through the country of Trinidad with an animal, but Trinidad demands that your pet be physically examined by a representative of the Veterinary Ministry or another qualified vet.  The airport vet is only available between the hours of  9am and 5pm.  If your flight arrives in Trinidad outside of this window, your pet will not be allowed off of the plane until it is examined by a qualified vet (finding a vet in the middle of the night in Trinidad is a challenge, we assure you).  So be mindful of your arrival time when flying through Trinidad with animals.

The best airlines to fly with when bringing animals to Grenada are US Airways, American Airlines, and LIAT.  If your plane must stop anywhere between Miami and Grenada, Puerto Rico is the easiest place to go through, because it is a protectorate of the US, and so follows the same rules.  

Once you have decided which airline to fly with and the route you will take, you should make sure that you get an import permit from the Veterinary Officer of the Grenada Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Lands, and Fisheries (SGU usually includes a permit in your welcome packet).  Fill the permit out and fax a copy back to your admissions officer.  KEEP THIS PAPER, as you might be asked to show it when you get to Customs.   If you need to obtain another copy of a blank import permit, you find contact information for the Ministry of Agriculture here

You will also need to obtain a Certificate of Health from your veterinarian, stating that the pet has had all its shots and is in good health.  The Certificate should be dated no longer than 2 WEEKS before you arrive in Grenada.   

If their animal is small enough, some students choose to travel with their pets as carry-on in the airplane cabin, while others will check them as extra baggage in the cargo hold (large dogs must always fly in cargo).  There are positives and negatives to both of these choices.  While you may want to try and ease your and your pet's travel stress by having them close to you while you fly, if you are unable to calm them, hearing them cry or whine for the entire flight might become even more stressful for you and your fellow passengers.  However, actually seeing your pet on board might prevent other fears you might have about the airline temporarily misplacing your pet.  Another factor to think about is, (depending upon your airline of choice) fewer companion animals are allowed at one time in the cabin than are allowed in the cargo hold per flight.  So, sometimes you might have to decide to miss the flight you planned to take, because there are already too many pets reserved to fly in the cabin.  Regardless, if you are traveling with a pet, always get to the airport extra early so that you can make sure all potential issues can be solved before you fly.

If you choose to put your pet into the cargo hold, make sure to clearly label the outside of the carrier with your name, contact number, a contact number in the states, another contact number in Grenada (if possible), your itinerary, and a couple of FRAGILE-LIVE ANIMALS-THIS SIDE UP signs to ensure as little stress for your pet along the way as possible.

When you land in Grenada and collect your baggage and your pet, you will be asked at Customs what your pet is worth.  You may also be charged a duty on your pet. 

Another choice for pet transport is Amerijet.  If you can get your pet to Miami, Amerijet will fly your pet from there directly to Grenada, and will take care of all travel and paperwork issues for you.  They will give you the day and time when you can come to the airport to meet your pet after it has arrived in Grenada.  Make sure that you begin making a reservation for your pet about a month before you would like it to arrive in Grenada, because Amerijet's flights fill up quickly.

One final option is using a pet travel service.  This is a very expensive option, but will absolutely give you the most fuss-free, comfortable way for you to get your pet to Grenada.  Most pet travel services will pick your pet up at your current home, and will make all arrangements for getting your pet from there to your new home in Grenada.  If you are interested in using this option, simply Google "pet travel service", and a number of companies will come up. 

After you are here in Grenada, if you have a dog, it's very important to give them flea, tick, and heartworm medication.  Even if your animal doesn't already use them, you should ask your vet to prescribe them.  Because Grenada has a tropical climate, heartworm is quite prevalent; it can be harmful or even fatal to your pet.  Fleas and ticks are also abundant here, and will find your dog--even if they never go outside.  If you have a cat, you might also want to consider putting them on flea and tick medication as well. 

If your animals are on a special diet, It is recommended that you bring as much pet food as you can from home, or have it shipped to you. Pet food is very expensive here, and only the major commercial brands can be found.  In addition, cat litter is not always available.  You might choose to have some of this shipped in as well.  Amerijet is also a very good, inexpensive option for having heavy things like pet supplies shipped in. 

NOTE: If you plan on leaving the island with your pet at the end of a semester, American Airlines frequently imposes a pet embargo at this time. The embargo means that they will transport very few, or no animals at all during this time (the semesterly embargo is only in effect for flights out of Grenada, so if you call American Airlines Customer Service in the States, they will usually not know what you are talking about).  To avoid this problem, many students will leave their animals on the island when they go home for vacation, and find a housesitter to care for their pets while they are away.  If you need to bring your pet home at the end of a semester, make sure you start planning early! 

NOTE: if you are a cat owner of an outdoor cat, and plan to bring the cat to Grenada, you should seriously consider whether to let the cat outside here on the island.  Cats here in Grenada potentially face more dangers than they may be used to, because many dog owners allow their dogs to roam around loose for most (if not all) of the day, and there is a good deal of fast-moving traffic near the University.  Use your best judgment when deciding whether to allow your cat to be an outdoor cat while they live with you in Grenada.


Tips from SOs who've traveled with their pets

  • Be sure to tell the airline if you are flying with a pet and specify that it is an international flight.
  • Even if you tell the airline ahead of time that you will be bringing a pet, they still only consider them on a first-come, first-served basis.  Try to get to the airport at least an extra hour early, and get there even earlier if you are traveling at peak times (i.e. beginning or end of terms). 
  • Tape a small baggie of dry food to the outside of the carrier, in case someone other than you needs to feed your pet during unexpected delays or layovers.
  • Pack some pet food in your carry-on just in case your luggage is detained.
  • Buy metallic water dishes that attach to the carrier, fill them with water the night before, and freeze them.  The water will melt throughout the day so your pet can have water while traveling.  
  • Engrave dog tags with flight info and include them on the pet itself and the carrier.  That way, if there is a problem, the pet can be routed properly to your destination.


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