What You Need to Know When Taking Your Dog Boating

Lots of pet owners take their dogs with them everywhere they go. They’re frequent passengers in the car, they go on vacation with you and some stores even allow them to come inside with their owners.

So, if you take Fido everywhere you go, why not take him out on the boat too?

Adjust your dog to being on a boat first

Most dogs love water so it seems like a natural pairing. However, just as it takes us a little time to get our legs under us when we first go boating, the same is true for dogs. Before heading out onto the water, bring your dog onto the boat so he can get a feel for his surroundings, as well as the movement of the water.

Be prepared for your dog’s first trip out on the water

Once your dog gets acclimated to your boat there are a few more things to consider so that your pet is comfortable and safe during the trip:

  • Never forget to bring plenty of water, not just for yourself, but for your dog too. Just as it’s important for human beings to stay hydrated, it’s also imperative for pets. Also make sure you have dog food and snacks.
  • Make sure you have a doggy life jacket for your pet, making it safer for your dog to hang out in the water with you.
  • If your dog is larger, you might want to think about having a floating ramp so that it’s easier for him/her to come aboard.
  • You should also have a tether and harness for your dog, making it easier should you need to lift your dog.
  • Your dog might prefer waiting until you return to the slip or hit a beach area to go to the bathroom but you should always have pee pads, newspapers or old pieces of carpet on the boat just in case.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing his tags or consider have a microchip embedded in case it somehow gets away from you once you’ve docked.
  • If you plan on letting Fido play in the water, you might want to pick up some floating toys, like a ball, so he can have even more fun.
  • Did you realize your dog can get a sunburn? You should have sunscreen – and there are some specifically made for dogs – on hand and make sure your dog’s legs and belly are covered so the sun doesn’t cause him any skin issues.
  • You may have a pet first-aid kit at home but you should also have one on board your boat if your dog is with you. There are some particular items in the kit that could be very useful should your dog have an issue.


Boating with your dog can be all kinds of fun for you and for your pet – just make sure you’re prepared with the appropriate supplies and have taken the proper precautions.

You’ll need to invest in a few important supplies, and you’ll need to spend some time getting you and your pet adjusted to the new situation. Once you all get your sea legs, boating can be immensely fulfilling.