Water and Boat Safety for Pets

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Basics of boating with your pets.

Here are some basics of boating with your pet.

  • Check if your pet is comfortable around water: You need to be sure that your pet is at ease around water before bringing them on a boat. Try this before boarding a boat because some pets may not enjoy being in or near water.
  • Keep fresh water on board: For their health and well-being while boating, your pet must have access to enough fresh water. It’s recommended to carry at least one gallon of water per day for each animal travelling with you.

Tips to keep your pet safe while boating

Here are some tips to keep your pet safe while boating.

  • Invest in a life jacket

Just like humans, your pets should wear a life jacket when on a boat. Make sure to get a life jacket that is specifically designed for your pet species and fits them properly.

  • Keep a shade

Pets can quickly become overheated in direct sunlight, leading to dehydration, heatstroke, and other health issues. To avoid this from happening to your beloved pet, install a bimini top, sunshade, or umbrella to protect your pet from overheating.

If you don’t have any of the above, you can create a shaded area by arranging towels or blankets. It’s also best to avoid travelling during the hottest part of the day.

  • Have a portable potty system

You should have a plan ready in case your pets suddenly need to relieve themselves while you’re on the water. The first thing to do is designate a specific area on the boat for your pet to use the bathroom.

Also, bring plenty of litter bags and cleaning supplies to help you clean up after your pet. Lastly, several portable toilets on the market are specifically designed for pets. Typically, these devices have a tray or pan with a disposable pad to collect solid and liquid waste. Remember to train the pet to use these portable toilets before you take them on board properly.

  • Have plans in place if your pet falls off

Even well-behaved dogs sometimes fall off boats, so it’s essential to be prepared for this possibility. For comfort and safety, practice bringing your pet back from the ocean before venturing out on the water. If your pet falls into the sea, make sure you have a strategy in place to save it. This may involve appointing someone to watch the animal and tossing a ladder or flotation device into the water for the animal to climb on.

  • Monitor the temperature of the deck

Deck temperatures can be terrible, especially in direct sunlight, which can cause the pet’s paws to burn and overheat. To check the temperature of the deck, use a reliable thermometer or press your hand against the deck for a few seconds to know how hot it is for your furry companion.

You can also provide a cooling mat or towel for the pet to rest on the deck. These mats are designed to keep pets cool and comfortable, even in hot weather. When temperatures are high, it’s essential to limit your pets’ time on deck. Make sure to take frequent breaks in shaded areas.

  • Have a leash or harness

This is a crucial tip, as pets on boats may desire to jump overboard due to the excitability of nerves. Make sure to bring the necessary equipment, as some areas have laws that require you to have your pet on a leash when on a boat. Leashes will give you greater control over your pet and prevent them from getting into places or things they shouldn’t be around.

  • Bring a first aid kit

Just like humans, pets can also experience accidents or injuries while on the water. A first aid kit on board can help you provide immediate care until you can reach a veterinarian.

When choosing a kit, pick one that is waterproof. The kit should be placed in an easily accessible location, and you should be familiar with the contents of the kit.

  • Keep fishing gear, if any, away

It goes without saying that you should secure your fishing tools in a hard-to-reach area when you have pets like a dog in a boat.

If left lying around anyhow, your pet could get distracted and hurt themselves or get tangled in a fishing line. Your pets could also become anxious around the tools and act out as a result. Fishing tools are usually expensive, so putting them away from your pet could prevent you from having to replace them and spending unnecessarily.

  • Bring toys to keep pets engaged

Bringing your pet’s toys is an essential aspect of sailing with your four-legged friend. Your pet needs the mental stimulation provided by its toys. It also provides an avenue for them to burn off excess energy. Your pets can also be comforted by having their favorite toy around them.

Also, bringing their toy on the boat allows you to bond with your pets when on water. But be sure to control their playing area so they don’t mistakenly jump overboard.


These are some of the most frequently asked questions about boating with pets.

Do dogs get seasick on boats?

Yes, just like people, dogs may experience seasickness on boats.

Your dog may have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Along with excessive panting or drooling, some dogs may also lose their appetite.

Is it safe for dogs to go on a boat?

Yes, it can be safe for dogs to go on a boat as long as certain precautions are taken. Keep in mind that every dog is different, and some may be better suited for boating than others.

How to make a dog comfortable on a boat?

Every dog is different, and some may take longer to adjust to dogs and boating than others. To increase their comfort, familiarize your dog with the boat by taking them on short trips, building shades on deck, and bringing familiar items along.

What to bring for my pet on a boat?

When taking your pet on a boat, it’s important to bring along everything they need to be comfortable and safe. Items should include:

  • life vest
  • freshwater
  • food and treats
  • portable potty system
  • first aid kit
  • your pet’s favorite toys
  • a leash or harness.
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By Published On: June 10, 2024Categories: BoatsTags:

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