6 Salty Safety Tips For Your Dog On A Boat

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
Before you shove off from the dock, we have some important tips for your dog on a boat

Ahoy there matey! Are you planning a boat voyage this summer that includes your dog as a first mate? Before you set sail, let’s go over some safety tips that will come in handy this summer. After all, you want this trip for your dog on a boat to go ship-shape!

  1. Invest in a dog life jacket. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, he should be wearing a life jacket that fits him properly. You don’t know what the conditions are going to like on the open water and it won’t take long for a strong swimmer to tire in choppy water. And you want to be able to pull your dog out of the water quickly if he goes overboard – life jackets have a handle so you can lift them out easily.
  2. Have a first aid kit on hand. You should always be prepared of scrapes and bumps on a boat, especially if your dog doesn’t have his sea legs yet. This kit should have antibiotic ointment, seasickness remedies and any medications your dog is on, just in case your three-hour tour becomes unexpectedly waylaid.
  3. Keep plenty of water onboard. You may be surrounded by water, but you want to make sure your dog is hydrated while you’re on the boat. It’s going to get hot out there, so on top of fresh water, you’ll need to provide shade for your furry first mate. As well, dogs need sunscreen too. Your dog needs protection from that blazing sun. Use either sunscreen that’s made for dogs or cover him up with a white t-shirt. And you’ll want to keep him off surfaces that heat up quickly in order to protect the pads of his paws.
  4. It’s potty time. Even if you’re going to be out on the water, your dog is going to need to do his business. Be prepared so your dog won’t have to hold it. Bring along a portable dog potty that simulates grass (we like the Pet Loo). This way, you won’t be swabbing the deck if an accident occurs.
  5. Have a “Dog Overboard!” plan. Whether he goes in on his own or by accident, you need to know what to do if your dog dives into the water. It won’t do him or anyone else any good if you panic and jump in after him. Know what you’re going to do before hand and make sure everyone on the boat is aware of the plan.
  6. Go for a test run before the big trip. If this is your dog’s first time on a boat, you should take him for a short trip before embarking on your long voyage. Let him get to know the boat – take him on a tour, go for a little spin and make sure he feels comfortable and safe.

By following these tips for your dog on a boat, your sea-faring adventures will be more enjoyable for everyone onboard. And if you’re a salty dog and have some tips for a dog on a boat, we’d be delighted to hear them. Please leave them in the comment section below.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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