How to Keep All Paws On Deck This Boating Season

Picture this: you’re out on the boat with a blue sky above you, the smell of summer under your nose, and your furry friend steering the ship... okay, maybe someone with opposable thumbs should be steering, but that doesn’t mean your furry friends should be left out of the fun! Just like small children, your pet requires a little extra attention and a few essentials when they go along for the ride - just make sure to follow our expert tips to ensure your pooch has a pawsome time.

Take It Slow
We love to think our furry companions are like pirates, but just like us they’ll need some time to adjust to life at sea. If possible, introduce them to the boat before taking off, or make your first trip short so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. Not only does this allow you to get a better idea about how your dog feels about boating, but it also makes your next experience a little easier.

Know Your Commands
No, you don’t have to teach them how to shake before getting on a boat, but you should try to teach them the importance of ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’ Being on the water can be exciting, so making sure that they’re able to follow safety commands is essential to keeping all paws on deck (literally). Of course, if you’re not confident in their ability to follow commands, keeping them on a leash is a great way to guarantee obedience and put you at ease.

Invest In A Pet Life Jacket
What’s a captain without a sailor? Even if that sailor is known to occasionally drink from the toilet, it’s important to treat our pups like any other four-legged member of the crew and keep a pet life jacket on board. Even if you believe dog is a strong swimmer, strong tides or poor conditions can affect their ability to stay afloat. And since most jackets come with a handle, they’ll help keep them doggy paddling long enough for you to lift them out of the water safely.

Have First-Aid On Hand
You should always be prepared for whatever the water throws your way, which is why a pet first-aid kid should always be quickly accessible. Bringing antibiotic ointment for minor scrapes, pet-friendly sunscreen for possible burns, and of course making sure you have a good supply of any medications your pet may be on should always be kept close by.

Keep Them Cool
Some like it hot...but not everyone. Make sure your pet has some form of shade or cool room to escape to in order to avoid overheating. Bringing along a soft mat for them to lay on can also help overheating, and you should always have lots of fresh water, food, and seasickness medication handy to keep them hydrated all ride long.

Have A Plan
This tip may not require any extra packing, but it’s one of the most important things to have before bringing your pet a board. You and all of your guests should know what roles they play in the event your pup accidently walks the plank.

At the end of the day, fur babies are just like children and simply keeping an eye on them is the best way to keep them safe. Pay attention to how your pet is feeling throughout your trip, and you’ll be better able to assess the best way to keep them happy all boating season long!