Guide to Boating with Dogs: Part Two

Dog on a boat? Follow these recommendations for his and your safety.
Bringing your dog out on the boat? Invest in a life jacket for his safety and yours!

Bringing your Dog on a Boat? Follow these recommendations.

Dog on a Boat? For some families, no outing is complete without including the dog—boat cruises included! Dogs are welcome on GBC’s boats, but we have a few suggestions to make your dog’s—and your—outing a success. Our recent article guide about Boating with Dogs offered some tips to prepare your pet for your boat ride. Here we focus on helpful tips for you and your dog while aboard:

1. Keep your dog’s first outing on the water short.

Your dog’s initial boat ride should be brief, so he can adjust to the movement of the water. Sometimes, like people, they can experience seasickness. If so, your vet may be able to prescribe medication.

2. Remember to bring water and sunscreen for Fido.

Short-haired dogs can get sunburned on a boat, so make sure you’ve got sun protection that tried and true, and is not irritating to your dog’s skin. If you consulted Part One of our blog, you’ve already purchased a collapsible water bowl, or brought a bowl from home. And make room for your dog in the shade as well! Select a boat from our fleet that offers generous sun protection—and don’t skip their feet when you apply it, as boat surfaces can be reflective and hot.

3. If you dock the boat and take your dog swimming, remember that it’s difficult for them to get back aboard.

At sea, most canines cannot get back aboard from the water without human help—so if your dog is too heavy for you to assist back on board, you may want to rethink that doggie paddle… A dog in a boat is a safe dog.

4. If your cruise is a long one, you’ll need a plan for your dog to relieve himself.

If you can train your dog to use puppy pads on a boat, that makes cleaning up a snap. Pack plenty of doggie waste bags and paper towels. If you make stops on land in Lantana, Boynton Beach, Delray, or anywhere along your route, that’s a great time to take the dog for a walk.

5. Don’t let your dog drink from the Intracoastal.

If he’s had ample drinking water on board the boat, he most likely won’t be tempted. The water on the Intracoastal is not safe for people or pets to drink.

6. Use common sense.

With a dog on a boat, basically follow the same safety rules as you would for kids—and then some. Use caution around slick or slippery areas, keep an eye on your dog’s location, and keep him happy with plenty of water, food, and shade.

For many of us in South Florida, pets are a part of our family—so plan to include your dog on your next boat trip! Any questions? Call GBC at 561.865.7797 to help select the best dog-friendly boat for your next outing.