Dogs and boats: A quick guide for boating pet owners

Ahoy there, Skipper! Do you have pets? I particularly love dogs, and how not to? I mean, they’re man’s best friend after all, and I like to have them on my ship, since I think they’re some of the best company a Captain could have onboard.But having a dog on your ship means taking into account several factors and details to ensure that they’re safe and happy, so you and your furry mate can relax and enjoy a nice boating ride. Having said that, let’s move on to the matter at hand, shall we?

Keep them Safe

Get Your Dog a Life Vest

In recent years, this kind of gear has come a long way in terms of variety, so you can equally protect your mastodon of a St. Bernard or your tiny Pomeranian, with features that can include handles (in case you need to lift your dog out of the water), or reflective tape and adjustable straps. You have no excuse for not keeping your furry friend safe.

Have An Overboard Plan For Your Dog

In the same way that you’d have an overboard plan in case one of your crewmates falls to the water, you should have one for your dog, so you can act quickly in an emergency. While it’s almost sure your dog won’t drown right away (especially if you got a life vest for it), you don’t want to risk it. Have the steps to follow written down and handy so you can follow them in a hurry. Include things like shutting off the engine and checking your dog’s condition after you’ve brought her back on board.

Don’t Let Your Dog Drink from the Lake or Sea

Dogs don’t sweat, so they can overheat fairly quickly and this means they’ll look for any available source of water. Teach your dog to only drink fresh water, since lakes are often contaminated from factories and boats, and contain a number of harmful organisms, and saltwater can get your pupper dehydrated in no time.

Sunscreen Can Help Your Dog

This isn’t an obvious one, since you normally don’t think about protecting your dog from the sun, but some short-haired breeds do require it, since UV rays can cause severe harm to their skin. Use a light SPF sunscreen such as SPF-15. Make sure it’s neutrally scented too, so it doesn’t irritate your dog.

Visit the Boat with Your Dog Prior to Your Trip

Let your dog get familiar with your vessel before taking him out on the water. If this is his first time on the ship, it’s recommended to bring him onboard while it’s on a trailer or at the dock so he can get used to his surroundings in a safe, secure environment.

Travel Tips for Dogs Onboard

  • Have a Safe Boarding Procedure in Place

You may think that getting your dog onboard is as simple as walking him on with a leash, but you’d be surprised. Dogs are usually skittish on their first journey, and this means that they could fall into the water. It’s better to directly carry your dog on board.

  • Beware of Fishing Equipment and Bait

Dogs don’t go around thinking that the tasty smelling fish you have onboard is attached to a hook, so they could get severely hurt trying to eat said fish. Keep baited hooks and bait away from your dog. Teach him that baits are off-limits and reward him with treats while they learn to ignore bait.

  • Your furry mate gets seasick too.

Monitor signs of seasickness on your dog. They’re pretty much the same in humans and dogs: dizziness, lethargy, vomiting, etc. If your dog show these signs, stop the boat and get him ashore. There’s even some seasickness medication, just like there is for humans.

  • Keep in Mind That Your Dog Needs To Relieve Himself

Take a lot of waste bags with you, and paper towels so you can clean up after your pet. Odor neutralizers are a plus too. You could also consider training him to use of puppy pads, so you could clean up easily.

Take this set of pointers to hear and your next boating ride with your furry best friend is guaranteed to be a really nice one, Skipper. See you next time, and remember to keep your pets safe and happy. A good captain is a responsible captain!

See you on the waves, Captain D

Captain D, Tip 

When going out with your pets make sure before leaving that you boat won't have any issues. Most Common issues are:

  • Running out of Gas
  • Battery Drained 
  • Engine Overheating

All this issues will make your day longer and your pets outing more frustrating.

Make sure you don't get stranded!

With our system you will be able to tell how your boat has been operating in the past and know if it is more likely that you will have issues on your next trip.