Boating With Your Furry Best Friends: What To Do To Keep Your Dogs Safe

25 Jul 23

Our four-legged companions are far from just our in-house pets; they’re also our family. And family are the ones we want to spend most of our time with; especially during special events and trips. So, it’s no surprise we want our lovely pets to hop aboard our boats and join us for an epic journey through the high seas and tranquil lakes. Dogs, especially, are enthusiastic in all our endeavours, and they are usually happy to go with us wherever we go (probably except for going to the vet). However, not all pets are too happy being surrounded by a vast body of water. While some pets can’t wait to splash into the cool blue, others might feel the urge to curl up in a corner and cower. 

If you’re dead set on bringing your best friend to Coffs Coast on your boat, it’s best to consider their well-being first; will they feel comfortable and safe if they’re surrounded by a vast body of water? Will they behave and listen to your commands or do they have the tendency to get rowdy most of the time?

Musing over these concerns can help you prepare for boating with your canine best friend. If you need some pointers to psyche your pet for this adventure, here are five tips you can do to make the experience comfortable for them:

Get your dog used to boating by starting out slowly before you set sail

Before undertaking a long boating journey with your dog, it’s a good idea to see how they react to a smaller excursion close to home first. Of course, you’ll already have some idea of how much or how little they enjoy the water or being away from the comforts of your home, but thoroughly testing how they react to being cooped up inside a boat can help you manage and prepare for the things that need the most work. Do they follow commands on the water as well as they do at home? Do they sprint down the boat deck barking at passing birds? Will they be able to eat, relax, and sleep as needed when weather conditions aren’t ideal? Will they get spooked easily? These types of questions become more of a concern once you hit the open ocean, so you should consider them carefully before a big journey.

You can do that by taking your boat to the nearest waterscape for a short trip. By doing this, you’ll quickly discover how your dog behaves on board and what you should work on.  

Dogs like to conform to a safe environment and if you have a strong relationship together, they will trust you immediately. You may be surprised how fast your dog feels at home. But this could depend on the nature of your dog. It is also a good idea to take your dog to a lot of different places so they can get used to new environments, sudden movements, and noise. This exposure will help lessen their trouble adjusting to strange environments.

If your dog is more timid and more afraid of water, he will need more time to adjust to this new environment. So don’t let it discourage you too much if they draw back and get anxious; just try again. If the dog is too stressed and you know that he generally doesn’t get used to new things, consider whether you should take the dog on a boat at all. Plan a different, terrestrial adventure with your dog where he is more comfortable.

Take care of your dog’s safety

Even if your dog is a proficient swimmer at home, don’t underestimate the need for a life jacket. Your dog wouldn’t stand much of a chance when falling into a stormy sea, with its gigantic waves splashing around. Don’t forget to buy a life jacket for your pets. They should wear it at all times they’re onboard.

It is also wise to order a safety net that you stretch around the boat’s railing. It’s definitely worth installing, especially for rowdy dogs. You can purchase these essential boat accessories in your local marine stores or online shops.

What to do when it comes to dogs doing their business

Taking your dog for a walk to do its business is the biggest stumbling block in boating adventures. A dog, unlike a cat, is not likely to learn to release its waste in a litterbox. They tend to release their waste anytime and anywhere and this could be a royal pain for you, especially if your dog decides to poop on your deck’s floor. It’s advisable to plan frequent stops on the mainland every 3 to 5 hours and to limit the anchorage far from shore. If your dog is already an adventurer and a water lover and can move about on a small boat such as a Stacer Bowrider boat, then it’s easier for you to go to various water locations by heading to any bodies of water that are near the mainland.

Protect your dog from heat and discomfort

Ensure that there is always a shady area on board for your pet to rest and cool down. Provide them with access to fresh water. Choose a stable bowl so that water does not splash around or the bowl will not roll around the boat.

Beware of overheating and dehydration. If you need to cool your dog, do not soak its body with icy cold water, instead, cool its legs, ears, head and groin with cool water. You can also place them on top of a cool wet towel or cooling mat.

Don’t forget to include packing basic medicines and a first aid kit for the dog. If your dog suffers from chronic problems, such as of the ears or eyes, pack certified drops or medications. You can also consult a veterinarian for the proper medicine and supplements you can bring aboard.

Pack dog toys and food

Think ahead on how to entertain the dog during your voyage. Your canine mutt can play on the beach and in shallow waters, but on board, they have limited activities to do. Pack plenty of his favourite toys so you can concentrate on driving your boat. Pack plenty of food and snacks so you don’t run out of them when your dog asks you for some treats (and how can you say no to their every whim anyway?).

Hopefully, these tips are useful for you when the time comes for your sailing and boating excursions with your dog. Following these tips can ensure the safety of your best friend onboard and enjoyment of the whole escapade.

Customer Reviews