Boating with dogs: How to keep your pet safe on the water

Pets are part of the family, and for many, a day out on the water just isn’t the same without their four-legged companions. Depending on the type of boat you have, the waters you’re navigating, and how your dog responds to being on the boat, you’ll have to use your best judgement to determine whether or not it’s safe to bring them aboard.

However, if you’re confident your dog will be comfortable on the boat, here are a few important tips to keep in mind when boating with dogs.

Slowly introduce your dog to the boat

The first few times you bring your dog on the boat, make sure the trips are short and slowly build to longer trips and different locations.

Know your local laws

While there are no federal laws regarding dogs on boats, it’s important you check with your state or local government to make sure there are no rules or regulations you should follow.

Equip your dog with a life vest

Just like the humans on board, you should invest in a jacket for your dog, even if they are good swimmers. There are life vests designed specifically for canines, and with a little research, you’ll have a good fit that will keep your dog above water in case the unexpected happens.

Plan for the worst

With the right preparation,hopefully you’ll never have to deal with a dog going overboard. However, it’s important you plan for a worst case scenario with a plan that everyone on board is aware of.

Equip your boat with dog-friendly supplies

Make sure you have extra leashes, doggy bandages, and copies of your dog’s medical paperwork onboard. It’s also important you bring some food, clean water, spray sunscreen, and of course, a few treats for your dog as well.

Boating with your dog can make a day on the water even more enjoyable, and with a few simple steps, you can prepare yourself and your pet for a great time!