Many people in Barbados own a pet of some sort, the most popular being dogs. Besides being an extension of the family, many people keep dogs for security purposes, acting as great guards and alarms against potential intruders.
In this section of Living in Barbados, we have information and practical tips on owning and caring for your pets, particularly dogs and cats.
Owning A New Pet
One can hold many different types of pets on a small island like Barbados, the most popular being dogs and cats. Many people breed birds, fish, reptiles, and other exotic animals interested in some potential owners.
If you are interested in buying or adopting a new pet, the best place to start is by asking someone who already owns a similar pet. You can also check the classifieds in the daily newspapers or enquire at one of the pet shops around the island.
Are you looking to adopt a dog or cat? You can contact the Barbados RSPCA at +1 (246) 426-3077, The Ark +1 (246) 420-1541, or any Veterinary clinics listed in the yellow pages.
If you already own a dog or cat and wish to import them into the island, there are some procedures that you will need to follow before your pet arrives.
Importation and Quarantine
Barbados is a rabies-free country, and there are stringent laws against the adoption of animals on the island.
At present, the laws of Barbados do not allow for the direct importation of animals (cats and dogs) from other countries because of concerns over the transmission of rabies. Instead, animals must be quarantined in the United Kingdom for six months before arrival on the island.
Bringing a dog or cat into Barbados can be rather complicated. It would help if you started organizing all of the paperwork early. Please ensure all the documents are fully complete; immigration may deny your pet entry. Another reason for denied entry is, of course, ill-health.
It is best to contact the Veterinary Services Department for the latest information, thereby avoiding and eliminating much stress and surprise at this time.
To import any animal into Barbados, you will need first to get a permit from the Animal Health Administration, Senior Veterinary Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Pine Plantation, St. Michael, Barbados. Tel. 246-427-5492; email – [email protected] Once issued, the permit is valid for six months.
Dogs and cats may only be imported directly (without quarantine, but an import permit is still required) into Barbados from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, St. Kitts, and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.
Pets from all other areas require six months of quarantine in the UK if their country of origin is outside of the EU. If your cat or dog is from within the EU and has a pet passport, a permit will be granted once it is resident in the UK for a limited time before entering Barbados. It is always best to contact the Ministry for the latest information.
Custom duties are levied on all animals imported into Barbados. To facilitate this, owners/importers must employ the services of a customs broker. Failure to do so will result in significant delays in receiving the animal.
you can easily find food and supplies for cats, dogs, and birds at supermarkets and pet supply shops. Depending on the quantities you are using to keep your pets fed, you might also want to consider buying in bulk, either from a wholesaler or a membership shopping club.
Supplies for other types of animals and specialty items, go to a pet supply store; you can find names within our directory or in the Yellow pages.
Of course, because of the island’s heat, please always remember to give your pet plenty of clean drinking water at all times and an appropriate amount of shade.
There are numerous veterinaries located around the island. The best way to find one that suits you is to ask for a recommendation (you can find telephone numbers in the phone book, Yellow Pages pr online. They are all of a very high standard and offer clinics, surgical facilities, house calls, and the sale of medical supplies.
There are several boarding kennels in Barbados, offering long and short stays with varying levels of facilities and care.
Again, the best way to find out is to ask for recommendations from friends or colleagues and, of course, to conduct personal interviews.
Prices also vary from one business to another, so it’s always best to have a list of questions you want to answer when you speak to the owner.
Training & Shows
A small handful of independent, certified professionals specializes in obedience training. The classifieds in the newspaper will always give you information on contacts, times, and dates.
There are also several breed-specific kennel clubs in Barbados, holding shows throughout the year. The Barbados Kennel Club (246-417-0607) is an excellent place to start if you would like to get in touch with breed-specific clubs and make contact with like breeders and breed owners.
If you are also looking to get a specific breed of dog, this is also the right place to contact someone who can give you contacts on current or upcoming litters.
Owning a pet in Barbados can be fun. Just remember to keep up with the vaccinations and maintain a healthy, happy pet in your home, no matter the type of animal you have.