Here are some quick tips on how you can make boating safe and easy for your pup!

There’s nothing better than having a good time on your boat on a sunny day. But imagine if you could take your dog with you. This could be even more fun to include him on your boating adventures. I’m sure he will enjoy going out on the water as much as you do. However, you still need to make sure that this activity is safe for your companion!

Getting from the dock onto the boat can be the most dangerous time for your puppy while boating, as the boat may be moving, and your dog may be fearful. Depending on the dog, you may find it is safest to carry your dog on and off a boat, always check-in with them to make sure they want to go for a boat ride and are comfortable with the experience. If your dog is large you'll need to spend some time teaching them how to get on board slowly and safely.

Boating with your canine could be extremely pleasant, but it could also be dangerous. That’s why you should take some precautions to avoid any unnecessary risks. I recently wanted to bring my Labrador on my friend’s boat. Nonetheless, I wasn’t sure if she could keep us company without any experience in this type of watercraft. Therefore, I’ve done some research to understand if boating is safe for dogs!

You can take your dog on a boat without any problem. Nonetheless, it can be dangerous for him to go on boating trips. Training your pooch properly and using the right gear is essential to ensure it’s safe for him. Commands will also help you to keep control over your dog on the boat. Thus, bringing him on the water can be fun and safe!

Before taking your dog on a boat, there are many things you should know. Safety must be your priority number one. Even excellent furry swimmers are at risk of drowning when there’s water around them. However, this shouldn’t restrict you to go out on the sea or the lake with your companion. At the end of your reading, you will know everything you need to take him on a boat!

In general, you can take your companion on a boat safely. However, you should always be aware of the dangers. Drowning is the main risk for canines on the sea or the lake. Hopefully, there are some precautions to take to keep them out of the water. Therefore, you should always take your dog boating if it’s safe and fun for both of you!

Another important factor to avoid unnecessary risk is the level of training. Dogs that aren’t obedient could be tempted to jump in the water when it’s not safe or do other dangerous things. That’s why untrained companions might not be taking on boats. Otherwise, you will have to always keep an eye on him to ensure he’s not in danger!

Besides, you should also ask the boat’s owner if taking your dog with you is OK. That might seem obvious, but many people won’t even think about this detail. Keep in mind that a watercraft is quite expensive and your companion could do an involuntary mess especially without any boating experience. Thus, you should respect the boat owner’s decision even if you don’t necessarily agree with him!

Can You Take Your Puppy On A Boat?

For young dogs, boating is generally more dangerous. Puppies without any experience could be more at risk of falling off the boat and drowning. However, it’s possible to take your pup on a boat. You just need to take more precautions to ensure he’s always safe!

For their first experience on a cruise, you should probably only plan to take care of your puppy. After some short boat rides and training, he will be more comfortable going out on the water with you!

Should You Take Your Dog Boating?

Even if you can go on a boat with your dog, that doesn’t mean you should do it. For example, he could be scared of water or simply don’t enjoy going on the sea or the lake. Therefore, you shouldn’t take your dog boating if he doesn’t have fun doing it. On the other hand, it could also be dangerous for him if he’s not well prepared for this type of outdoor activity. In other words, you should only bring your canine on boat rides if it’s pleasant and safe for him!

How Do You Introduce Your Dog To A Boat?

For inexperienced companions, boating can be very impressive. New environments, sounds, smells or things are always very entertaining for dogs. That’s why it could be an excellent idea to introduce them to the unfamiliar watercraft before going on a cruise with them. Let me share with you what you should do to make your dog comfortable on a boat!

Get Your Dog Familiar With Your Boat!

The first step would be to take your pup on the boat off the water if possible. The goal is mainly to slowly desensitize him to this new environment. Besides, it will be way safer for him to explore the boat without any movement produced by the water. You could also get your dog used to the engine’s sounds and the boating gear with positive reinforcement (treats, praise, etc.)!

Boating Training For Dogs!

The second important step is to train your companion before taking him on a boat. Basic obedience training should be mastered to keep control over him. Your dog needs to understand simple commands such as “Stay”, “Sit”, or “Leave It” to enjoy boating safely. Teaching him the right behavior to have on the boat before going out on the sea or the lake will also make your trips more fun and safe!

Preparation For Boating With Your Dog!

Now, it’s time to get ready for your first boating day with your furry friend. The first thing to think about is the equipment that he will need. You don’t want to forget essential things such as your canine’s life jacket, his leash, his collar or harness, some food, and plenty of fresh drinking water. Besides that, you could also bring some treats or toys to catch his attention more easily!

Things To Teach Your Dog Before Taking Him/Her On A Boat!

Apart from basic obedience training, there are more specific skills that your boating companion should have. The first thing to teach him is getting on and off the boat. For small furballs, you can simply carry them in your hands. For large dogs, you will have to teach them with training. The easiest way to get your dog on or off the boat is by luring him. You can simply guide him with treats on and off the watercraft!

Take Your Dog On The First Boat Ride!

For your pooch’s first real boat ride, you should have someone with you. Maintaining control over him and the boat might not be as easy as you think. If your dog panics or gets too excited when the boat starts moving, you will have to keep him safe. He might try to jump off the boat or have other bad behaviors that you will need to correct. However, make sure to reinforce his good behavior with praise, treats, or toys. After all, don’t forget to have fun with your dog on the boat, it’s the ultimate goal!

Optional Boating Commands For Dogs!

Once your companion is accustomed to boats, you could teach him more advanced commands. You could train him to go on or off the boat on his own with voice cues such as “Boat” or “Off”. Another interesting thing to teach your dog for boating is the command “Place”. It simply consists of telling your dog to go settle on his mat or anywhere else on the boat. If he enjoys swimming, you might want to improve your recall or the command “Come” to keep control over him even when he’s in the water!

Tips To Take Your Dog Boating Safely!

Even if your buddy is well prepared for boating, this sport always has some risks. Fortunately, there are several precautions that you can take to make your boat rides as safe as possible for everyone. Whatever activity you want to do with your dog I highly encourage you to always think safety first. Therefore, here are some tips for taking him on a boat without unnecessary risks!

Don’t Forget Your Dog’s Life Jacket!

Unfortunately, not all canines are great swimmers. Moreover, even excellent swimming dogs can be at risk of drowning especially in the sea or the ocean. Other conditions such as the weather, your companion’s age, or his health conditions could restrict him to swim well. That’s why it’s always recommended for him to wear a life jacket while he’s aboard your boat!

How To Find The Perfect Life Jack For Your Dog?

To ensure the life jacket fits well, you should try it before buying. Besides, the two most important elements to analyze about this gear are its security and comfortability. You should also consider other interesting features such as lifting handles or bright colors!

I’ve found some of this information about life jackets for dogs in this article from the Discover Boating website! [Link Open In a New Tab]

Put Some Sunscreen On!

Sunny days are ideal to enjoy time on your boat. Nonetheless, sunburns can be quite uncomfortable both for humans and dogs. Yes, your pooch could need sunscreen especially if his coat is short and light. Therefore, don’t forget to put some under his ears, on his nose, and anywhere else you can see his skin. Besides, make sure to use sunscreen made especially for pets because zinc oxide is toxic to dogs!

Don’t Tie Your Dog To Something On The Boat!

You might think that keeping your dog leashed to something on the boat is an excellent idea. Nonetheless, this could be extremely dangerous for him if he decides to jump in the water. The rope could hang your companion if it’s tied to something on the boat. You should either keep the leash in your hands or let him off-leash on the boat with his life jacket!

Bring Plenty Of Fresh Drinking Water!

You should always take a lot of fresh drinking water with you for your boat rides. This precaution will allow you to keep everybody (including your dog) hydrated on your cruise. Otherwise, your companion could be tempted to drink directly from the lake or sea. Unfortunately, lakes are usually contaminated by humans, so don’t let him drink directly from there. For seawater, drinking too much of it can also be harmful to dogs!

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There are many things you should know to take your dog on a boat safely. However, that’s not a reason not to enjoy boat rides together. Once you take the necessary precautions, it’s time to enjoy the time you spend with your buddy on the water. Playing with toys, fishing, swimming, or water sports will certainly keep you both busy all day long!

Last Thoughts About Boating With Dogs!

Finally, taking your companion on a boat is probably more complicated than you thought. However, I’m sure that all the preparation will be worth the fun time spent together on cruises. Every dog owner should have the opportunity to try boating with his buddy. If you have that chance, make the most of it without any hesitation! 

With all the information on this article, you have everything you need to take your dog on a boat. Let’s be honest, he will be way happier with you on the water than alone at home. The most important thing to remember is simply to use common sense to make your outdoor adventures safe and pleasant. I would love to see you having fun with your companion on a boat!