Take Your Dog Boating

If a dog is man’s best friend, and you wouldn’t leave your best friend home on a great boating day, why would you leave your dog home? Lots of boaters bring their dogs boating. Here are a few tips that will help you bring your canine companion with you on the water.

  • Slowly introduce your dog to boating. A new environment like a boat can be intimidating to your dog. Go slowly when introducing your dog to boating, first by just visiting your boat without leaving the dock. Then take short trips. Dogs get seasick just like humans, and short trips help them get used to boating.
  • Plan how to get your dog onboard. There’s a good chance your canine will fall overboard at some point. Don’t wait until that happens to figure out how to get him back onboard. Create a plan ahead of time for how to get your dog back on your boat. It’s a good idea to have your dog wear a harness, as lifting a dog by the collar puts dangerous pressure on the neck.
  • Get a lifejacket for your dog. Your pup might be a good swimmer at a pond or lake, but he or she could struggle in challenging conditions like currents or rough surf. So it’s a good idea to purchase a lifejacket for your dog.
  • Be prepared to handle waste. Create a plan for having your dog go to the bathroom while boating. Will you make stops, or will you just clean up after your dog on your boat? Your dog won’t understand the difference between being outdoors on a boat and being outdoors at a park. Be prepared to clean up messes and dispose of them properly.
  • Bring plenty of water. Dogs need lots of water. If you’re offshore, they’re obviously not going to drink saltwater. If you’re a freshwater boater, lakes are often contaminated and have bacteria that is harmful when ingested. Pack plenty of clean water for your dog.