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7 Tips for Bringing Your Dog on the Boat

There’s no reason to leave your four-legged bestie at home when you venture out on the boat this summer.

Dogs love being by their owner’s side wherever they may go, and that includes the boat. Imagine heading off into the sunset for that last cast, or that last waterski, with your dog at the bow, his fur blowing in the summer wind. Dogs can learn to love the boat as much as you do, whether it’s your powerboat, kayak, or dinghy.

But in order for your furry best friend to be comfortable, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are some tips for taking your dog out on the boat with you.

Take your dog on a few short trips before a long full day. 

Dogs are going to feel uncomfortable with something loud and rumbling, or unsteady, under their four feet, at least at first.

Take your dog out on the boat for a few short trips before making them suffer a full-day boat ride. Whether you’re taking your dog out on your kayak or powerboat, make sure they are familiar with it so they feel safe.

Consider a doggie life jacket. 

Your dog may be the best swimmer of the canine world, but a dog lifejacket is a smart tool to have on the boat. A dog lifejacket will not only come in handy in a boating emergency, it also can help your dog swim longer.

Dog lifejackets also come with a convenient handle on the top of the vest so you can help your dog get in and out of the boat if you stop for a swim or go to shore.

Outward Hound makes a pretty good one for $21.99.


Bring a first aid kit.

Did you know they made dog-specific first aid kits? It never hurts to be too safe.

Bring doggie bags!

If nature calls, you don’t want to pollute the beach! Animal feces are a bacterial pollutant, which can get in the water after storms or snow melt.

Clean up after your pet to make the water cleaner for everyone. And unless you are scooping it with something else, it is a good idea to have extra doggie bags on the boat.

Black Labrador

Bring treats/toys. 

Your dog will love the boat even more than the adventure if he knows that treats are involved…

Treats and toys will also help your dog understand that the boat is a safe place. Because treats and his favorite squeaky are always comforting.

Bring water (and bowl). 

When you go boating, you find yourself really just bringing extra stuff for your dog. It’s like bringing a diaper bag with supplies for your kid…and our dogs are pretty much our kids.

You would bring a lot of fresh water and snacks for the humans on the boat, right? Well, just bring extra for your dog. Your dog may be fine drinking the water in the pond or lake, but fresh water is always better. Plus, you might be on the ocean…

Careful of hanging lures!

Your dog will be walking around the boat. So if you are fishing, make sure to keep an eye on the lure at all times so it doesn’t get snagged on your dog’s fur or caught in a more important body part, like its eye.

Your dog can learn to love boating days. And maybe he will even be a good luck charm for fishing days!

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7 Tips for Bringing Your Dog on the Boat