Now that travel to Cuba from the United States has been officially made possible, Havana has become quite the destination for American tourists. This comes with good reason as well, while Cuba is practically a next-door neighbor for the United States it has been blocked off from travel for American citizens for decades now.
Havana as a destination has a lot to offer for tourists. Between culture and cuisine alone there is much to be desired, not to mention the fact that it is somewhat of a time capsule of a different era in history. What about dog owners that want to bring their four-legged companions along with them. Is this something that is permitted?
Luckily for all the Havana-hungry dog lovers out there, it’s actually fairly relaxed when it comes to traveling with pets in and out of Cuba, at least at the time of writing. You’ll have to make sure that your pet is properly vaccinated, which is to be expected, but beyond that, the regulations are fairly light. That’s good news for dog owners anxious to get over and see the country. Of course, you’ll want to do the required research to make sure you’re completely prepared, but it’s not nearly as much of an ordeal as bringing your pet to a more stringent country like Japan.
With that in mind, what are some of the things you might want to look into if you’re considering traveling to Cuba with your favorite pooch? First of all, you’re going to need to plan out how you’re actually going to get your dog there. If your dog is more than lap-sized, you’re likely going to have to coordinate with your airline to have your dog make the trip. You’ll probably need a suitable crate for travel as well, and it’s best to go with something high quality so that there are no issues when you land on the other side. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to tote the crate around with you or find a place to store it once you get there.
If your dog is more on the petit side of the spectrum then you can likely get away with a soft-sided travel crate that goes underneath your seat. If you go this route, you’d be well advised to travel with a bark collar to keep your puppy quiet over the long trip – your cabin mates will be very happy you did.
Once you get on the ground in Cuba though is where you’ll really want to start paying attention. Cubans are known for loving their dogs, and what you’ll quickly see is that there are a ton of dogs on the street. What you’ll probably also notice is that many of them are not on leashes like you’d expect in the United States, so you’ll want to give your dog some extra special attention to make sure they are out of harm’s way. Be careful when walking on the streets, and carry your dog in your arms if at all possible.
With any luck, your dog is already well-trained for the situation and they are likely to get along well with the others, but you never know. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry, especially when you are on vacation. At any rate, just make sure to do your research so you are well-prepared and you’ll probably be OK. It’s a fairly easy trip to make with your dog, and with the great weather and places to spend time with your pet outdoors you’ll be happy you made it work.