Enjoy Boating with Your Dog

You love your dog. So why would you leave your pooch home on a gorgeous boating day? Let your dog in on the fun by being one of the many boaters who bring their dogs boating. Here are a few tips that will make your day of boating with your dog enjoyable for the both of you.

  • Start slow. At first, your dog might be intimidated when you introduce him or her to a new environment like your boat. Go slow at first. Start by visiting your boat without leaving the dock. Then slowly begin taking short trips. Dogs can get seasick, too. Short trips will help them get used to boating. 
  • Get your dog a lifejacket. Even if your dog is good at swimming in a pond or lake, he or she could find swimming difficult in currents or rough surf. So get a lifejacket for your dog.
  • Carry lots of water. Dogs drink a lot of water, especially when on a boat under the hot sun. They obviously shouldn’t drink saltwater, and even if you’re on a lake, lakes are often contaminated and have harmful bacteria. Make sure to pack your dog plenty of clean water. 
  • Consider how you’ll get your dog onboard. Your dog will likely fall overboard at some point. Rather than wait until that happens to figure out what to do, create a plan ahead of time for getting your dog back onboard. One good idea is having your dog wear a harness. That way you’re not lifting your dog by the collar, which puts dangerous pressure on the neck.
  • Plan how to handle waste. Think about how you’ll have your dog go to the bathroom while boating. Maybe you make frequent stops, or maybe you just cleanup after your dog. Be prepared to clean up messes and dispose of them properly.