5 things to know before boating with your dog

There’s nothing like hitting the water with your best friend at your side. If you’re going to bring your dog onboard, or are looking for ways to prepare your boat for your four-legged friend, then this blog is for you.


Here are five things you need to know before boating with your dog.


  1. Make your boat dog-friendly

Take some time to inspect your boat for anything that could hurt your pup. Fishing hooks are particularly painful (and hard to remove from their paw), so have fishing roads and equipment stored safely away.


Dogs also love to eat bait, so if you have any onboard, seal it off or store it where the dog cannot get into it. If there are railings around your boat, you may like to install rope netting, which will help prevent your dog from falling overboard.


  1. Get a dog life vest

Making sure your dog has their very own life vest is so important. BCF and My Pet Warehouse sell vests online and in store, with prices ranging from $35 to $100. If your pup does happen to go overboard, it can take a little while to turn around and locate them. If your dog is wearing a life vest, this gives them much-needed extra support in the water.


  1. Buy a hook

Most good dog life vests have a handle or strap on the very top, which is extremely useful if your dog does go overboard. A good boat hook is the perfect instrument for fishing your dog out, which is another reason why the life jacket is handy.


As your dog gets used to being in the life vest, spend some time getting them used to being picked up by the hook too. It may sound silly, but if a rescue does need to happen, your dog will be much calmer when being picked up.


  1. Have some test runs

Before taking your dog out on open water, let them experience being onboard while your boat is docked, or even still on land. This will get your dog used to being on the boat, without the rockiness of open water.


When you think your dog is ready to go out, consider getting some anti-nausea medication from your vet, just in case they get sea sick. Having something to clean up vomit is a good idea too.


  1. Have the basics

Before you launch, make sure you have all the things your dog will need onboard. Fresh drinking water is probably the most important, as being out on a boat in the hot sun can make dogs very thirsty.


You’ll also need an area where your dog can go to the toilet. You can buy pet toilets from Pet Barn, and most big pet stores These are small or large trays, with a portion of grass covering the top. Dogs pee on the grass, and it drips down into the tray, which you can empty later.


Need cover?

If you need support with covering your boat, your trailer or any other boating equipment, please get in touch. We provide comprehensive cover for recreational and commercial boaties, and we can prepare an obligation-free quote for you.


We love sharing our knowledge and making sure you get the right cover for your boating needs. Stay safe out there and contact us to get started.


golden retriever with blue leash