Take Your Dog Boating

By Patrick Farrell May 23, 2013

Boating Tips

Here at NBOA , we love man’s four-legged best friend. That’s why we put together this helpful article full of tips on how to safely bring your pet on boating excursions.

Before heading to the water with your furry companion, here are a couple things to take care of on land.

Check with your insurance policy to verify that your pets are protected. Should you have questions on your policy, feel free to call an NBOA Marine Insurance agent to review your policy together.

Fit your pet with an up-to-date ID tag that includes your cell phone number, marina address and slip number. You may even want to include that you’ll offer a reward for the pet’s safe return.

Bring copies of your pet’s health records and vaccinations. This documentation may even be required by some marinas and camping spots.

Prepare a bag with all things you may need for your pet while on the water. Be sure to include things like cleanup supplies, a towel or blanket, portable feeding and watering bowls, food and fresh water, a pet first aid kit, and lots of toys.

Fit your pet with its very own personal floatation device (PFD.) Prior to boating with your pet, give him time on land wearing a lifejacket, which will help him get use to it.

Now you’re ready to introduce your pet to the boat and water. It’s best to gradually introduce your pet. Be sure to give him the opportunity to explore his surroundings while the boat is docked. Also while docked, turn on the engine so he gets accustomed to its sound, smell and feel. Start with short trips then gradually build up to longer ones.

Prepare the boat deck for your pet by removing any potentially toxic or dangerous materials. Also help protect your pet from the heat by providing a shaded area, and washing the deck with cool water.

Consider getting your pet a ramp to get on board and off, both from the dock and from the water.

Watch your pet’s behavior on board. He may become seasick. If he does, some vets recommend giving him ginger or medications like Dramamine. But it’s best to consult your vet before giving him anything.

Don’t forget to plan for potty breaks. If you won’t be able to make regular stops, make provisions for your pet to relieve himself on board. You can buy a portable dog potty that simulates grass.

pup on a boat


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