One of the greatest advantages of owning a dog is that you always have an eager and enthusiastic companion who was born ready to join you on any and all adventures! Part of the excitement of owning a dog is being able to explore, travel and go on epic adventures together. You can take your dog with you everywhere you go regarded that your destinations of choice are dog-friendly. If you are planning a family boat trip and want to take your dog along for the ride- here are a few essential tips you need to know to take your dog boating:

Life Jackets

Even if you consider your dog to be a great swimmer, it is still a good idea to invest in a life jacket for dogs. Most dogs enjoy swimming and being in the water, but safety should always come first if you plan to take your dog boating with you. Nothing should be left to chance out on the open waters and a life jacket can be a lifesaver should your dog fall overboard or become disorientated or fatigued. You can find the perfect-fitting life jacket for your pooch at a trusted pet shop.  

Pack Water

Always ensure to pack enough clean drinking water with you as well as a water bowl for your dog. Since you will be spending time out on the ocean and in the sun- it is important to keep your dog hydrated. You want to avoid having your pooch drinking from potentially harmful water sources such as the sea, river or lakes. Always have a water bowl filled with clean drinking water available. 

Basic Training

Your dog should be well-trained in basic commands such as “sit”, “lie down” and “stop” if you plan to take them along on your boat trip. It is important that your dog is able to remain well-behaved as well as calm when needed. It is also important that you are able to command them if they get too close to the edge of the boat. 

Bathroom Prep

Allow your dog to relieve himself before getting onto the boat. It is also recommended to pack some plastic bags, newspapers and towels and to create a designated spot on the boat that he can use. You can create this bathroom spot using a patch of astroturf and continue to guide your pooch back to this spot. There are also other products you could use such as puppy pads. 

Getting On & Off the Boat

It’s just as important to prepare for the process of getting on and off the boat as it is to be prepared for the boat trip itself. Dogs can easily injure themselves getting onto the boat and could become over-excited or even disorientated. You may want to safely carry your dog onto the boat otherwise ensure that there is a sturdy ramp that they can walk on. It may take a bit of training to get your pooch used to walking along this ramp.