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Boating with Your Dog

Family on a boat with their dog.

Since it’s that time of year when many of us will be packing up the family and heading out on the water, this often includes man’s best friend. Taking a dog on a boat can be an enjoyable experience, but it's important to prioritize their health and safety. In order to ensure a safe and pleasant boating trip with your doggo consider these few tips and ideas.

Allow your dog to become familiar with the boat before the trip. Let them explore the boat while it's docked, so they can get comfortable with the surroundings and understand their boundaries.

Provide a secure and comfortable space for your dog on the boat. This can be a designated area with a cushion or bed where they can relax and feel safe during the trip

If your dog’s not a strong swimmer or if you’re boating in rough waters just like humans, dogs should wear a properly fitted life jacket when on a boat.

Ensure that the boat has secure railings or barriers to prevent your dog from accidentally falling overboard. Keep an eye on them at all times to ensure they stay within the safe areas of the boat.

Dogs can get sunburned, so provide shade and consider using pet-safe sunscreen on exposed areas, such as the nose and ears. Additionally, keep fresh water available to prevent dehydration.

Plan for bathroom breaks during your boating trip. Dogs may need to relieve themselves on a designated area of the boat or on land if you make stops.

One of the great joys about boating is all the snacks and food. Make sure to bring them fresh water and food too, as well as any necessary bowls or containers. Keep in mind that boating can be physically demanding, so your dog may need extra hydration and food.

Unfortunately not everyone gets their sea legs. Some dogs may experience motion sickness on boats. Consult with your veterinarian beforehand about possible remedies or medications to alleviate their discomfort.

As always prioritize your dog's safety and well-being while on a boat, as much as you provide safety for everyone else, after all they are a member of the family too. Assess their comfort level and monitor their behavior throughout the trip. If your dog shows signs of distress or discomfort, consider ending the boating excursion and finding alternative ways to enjoy time together on land.

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