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Everything you need to know before taking your dog boating

on August 06, 2020

Dogs are part of the family, as much as we want to enjoy a day out boating they want it to. So get ready and take your dog out boating.

dog on boat

Everything you need to know before taking your dog boating


Life can get very stressful and busy. If you are an avid boater the correct way to prepare for a boating trip on the water is in advance.

Imagine sailing offshore with the waves crashing against the boat and a gentle breeze in the air during a nice warm day. You can take your best friend along for some company and enjoy a marvelous day on board. this already sounds like the best trip!

But if you take your beloved canine companion with you, it will only add to the charm of your trip, of course. You can spend some really good quality time with your favorite pup.

They are after all a part of the family and if the whole family goes aboard for a boat trip, the pooch and other pets should go with them, they also deserve some relaxation time with their humans out on the freshwater.

I do not think that you will even enjoy your boat vacation while your pooch is at home? Hence, a holiday does not even feel like a holiday if your best mate is not with you!

dog on larger vessels

Taking your dog on a boat ride is a great idea because, unlike most cats, almost all dogs love the water and they also love to swim.

On a hot day during the summer months, there is nothing else your pup would want to do except, swimming with their favorite human. They will jump into the water headfirst if you do not pay attention.

Although boat with a dog will be all about the fun and good times, there are local laws and greater risks involved when taking your pet on a boat!

There are some really simple things that you need to consider, and they can save you from a lot of trouble and help you keep your dog safe!

Nobody wants a good vacation ruined because you were not properly prepared for boating with dogs.

Things you should consider before taking your pets on boats

Here are some things that you should keep in mind when you are on board a boat with your dog.

These tips can help ensure that you safely boat with your dogs:

1. Get your pups a dog life jackets

If you decide to take your dog on a boat, one of the first safety tips we have is, to make sure that you purchase a high-quality life jacket for your pet.

most life jackets are essential for your dog's safety

Although some dog owners train their dogs to swim and most dogs are pretty good swimmers by nature, a life jacket is important to keep your pup from drowning, if for some reason, they are unable to paddle or swim on their own.

Unlike human life jackets, pooch life jackets are usually only available at some marine outfitters and pet shops.

For many aging dogs, life jackets can be a much-needed safety net to keep them from potentially dangerous situations because they might not be such strong swimmers anymore. It is advised that you only travel a short distance with your older pet, for their health and safety.

We all know how it feels when our humans get into an accident and end up in the hospital with broken bones or head injuries; however, for some of us (and by extension) our pets too this could happen at any moment without warning!

That is why every pet owner should make sure their animal has its own personal flotation device on hand - especially if you are taking them on a boat ride because drownings are totally preventable with just one simple gadget

small dog life jackets

A few things to consider when choosing a life jacket for your dog:

1. Finding a good and secure fitting life jacket is essential.

Take your dog with you to the store, so that they can be properly fitted onsite. This will save you and your dog time and during emergencies. Before buying anything, make sure the jacket is comfy enough around all sensitive areas like shoulders blades.

2. Lifting handles

This feature is very helpful when you want to retrieve your pet out of the water and put them back on the boat. This way you can easily grab onto your pet and pull them out of the water. This prevents you from having to pull them up by their paws, as prevents discomfort for your dog by not having too much weight hanging below their neckline. It is also more secure and can carry more weight than a leash eliminating the risk of the leash snapping. This also does not let buckles fall.

3. Choose one that is brightly colored

A bright color, preferably one that is reflective, that will stand out, will help you identify your dog's jacket if something were ever to happen during an outing offshore (like getting caught between two boats).

Unlike a human life jacket, a pooch life jacket is usually only available at some marine outfitters and pet shops.

We recommend that you have a look at our selection of life jackets and vests for dogs.

Another one of our safety tips is to practice swimming with your dog before they just jump into deep waters.

2. Only allow your dog to drink fresh water

The last thing you want is for your dog to get sick after having fun in the water. When taking your dog on a boat trip, never allow them to drink water from a lake or the ocean.

dog drinks water on large boats


It's a good idea to have fresh water on hand for your furry friend while on the boat. You can also bring along bottled waters if you want! Make sure you take an ample amount. Be sure to fill their bowl regularly and make sure that they know where their water bowl is located.

3. Get a good sunscreen for your dog

Make sure that your dog is wearing sunscreen while you are out on the water, which will protect them from harmful UV rays that can cause burns or cancerous tumors. If your dog spends long periods of time in direct sunlight without protection, they can get these tumors when they're on the boat or even on the dock.

This is especially important for short-haired, light-colored dogs, which get burned easily when exposed to the sun for a long time.

Be sure to choose an unscented sunscreen for your dog, because their skin could get irritated and have a reaction to the lotion.

If your dog has any wounds, even minor scrapes, apply a thick layer of sunscreen on those areas and be sure your dog does not lick it up.

4. Remember to pack the puppy pads

If you love your dog and want them to feel comfortable while onboard, it's time for a toilet!

Add an onboard toilet for them, so they can do their business at sea without worrying about getting out or leaving behind any messes when the engine turns back up. A lot of dogs are already trained to use the puppy pads which makes cleaning up much easier.

When you have a dog or cat on your boat, it is important to keep wipes and paper towels on hand in case they have an accident and you need to clean the mess up too.

The best way to get rid of your dog's poop smells after you clean up, or just near their toilet, is with an odor neutralizer. You can purchase one at your local pet store.

So, if you are thinking about taking your dog on your boat with you this summer and want to make sure it is an enjoyable experience for both of you, these four considerations should be on the top of your list.

cute, sleepy dog on boat

Do not be shy to have a look at our other informative blogs, there is a wide range of topics, from sailing destinations to the best fish finders for your boat.

Bonus tips!

Before you go boating with your dog on your boat, be sure to give your vet a call first. They will be able to provide medical advice.

It will also be a good idea not only to have first aid kits for humans on board but a special dog first aid kit will also be needed! Add things like dog bandages, antibiotic ointment, and so on.

Also before you leave on your trip, remember to find places that allow pets so there won’t be any surprises when making plans for a day trip or even a longer vacation.

doggy on the water

If you own a boat and are in need of boating supplies, visit our website

We hope you find some inspiration here for your next outing with your canine companion.

Have an amazing boat experience with your dogs!

Find the perfect boater supplies at Marine Supplies US

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