Ahoy pet travelers! With summer in full swing and Labor Day around the corner, what better way to enjoy this hot weather than with a boat trip? Whether you’re cruising on a ship, yacht, or kayak don’t forget your dog would love to join you if it’s permitted. So grab your pet, your water gear and follow these tips for some pet friendly summer boating fun!
Things to consider pre-voyage:
There are a few things to consider before hitting the water with your pet. If you’re pet has never been around water or a boat, try introducing it to them slowly. Give your pet a chance to discover the boat while it is docked or on the trailer. Before untying, start up the engine and see how your pet reacts. Give them treats to support good behavior. Once your dog or cat is seaworthy, start off on small trips and work your way to longer boat rides.
Make sure your pet’s identification includes your updated information, your local marina’s address and phone number, as well as dock slip number if available.
Things to consider while boating:
Have a pet flotation device on hand. Let your pet try it on around the house before hitting the water. Remember in case of an emergency this could save your pets life.
Pets can get sunburned! Especially the ears, paws and nose are very susceptible to sunburns. Most children sunscreens will be safe for dogs but we recommend contacting your vet for a list of options.
Bring plenty of water and provide shade on the boat. Remember that dogs do not sweat. Signs of overheating include heavy panting and drooling. Creating shade on the boat will help reduce the chances of your pet overheating. If your dog plans on getting in the water, provide drinking water prior. Salt or brackish water isn’t good for your pet and could possibly make them sick.
Things to consider when it’s time to go ashore:
Check ahead before arriving on shore. Remember some marinas, wildlife areas and parks do not allow pets.
Leash your pet prior to docking. Although your dog might be the most lovable harmless pooch in the world, not everybody is a pet lover. Also, dogs can get antsy during the docking process. This will help curb some of the excitement.
Always keep a copy of vaccination and health records on hand. Some destinations (especially if you’re traveling internationally) will require proof of immunizations.
Traveling by boat with your pet is a great way to spend quality time outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather. With a little preparation (and some sunscreen!) you’ll be ready to hit the water with your furry first mate.