Before heading out on the water, make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag. The identification tag should feature contact information, the marina address, and your slip number.
Try slowly introducing your pet to boats and water. Let your pet discover the boat while it is docked before trying to go out on the water. Before pulling out of the dock, turn your engines on to see how your pet reacts. If all goes well, from here you can slowly take your pet out on “mini” cruises and work your way up to longer boat rides.
The following advice can help your pet feel more at ease while on a boat, as well as make things easy for you.
- Use a ramp to help your pet climb back onto boats. It is common for a pet weigh more when its coat is wet, so it can be tricky for them to get back on the boat.
- Purchase a pet flotation device. Doing so will help ensure that your pet remains safe out on the water. You can get your pet used to the flotation device by first dressing your pet in one in the safety of your own home until it becomes accustomed to the device.
- Take a leash. You never know if you might need it.
Dogs do not sweat, so make sure to keep watch for symptoms such as a heavy pant, drooling, and a rapid heartbeat. You can defend your pet from intense heat simply by creating shade on the boat and providing plenty of cool water. Provide extra protection from the heat by keeping their feet cool from the hot deck on the boat. It is critical to hydrate pets before they get into the water. Otherwise, they will drink the salt water and which can make them sick. Do NOT let your pet drink salt water.
When it is time to go ashore, there are a few things to keep in mind. Always keep a copy of vaccination and health records. Some places may require proof of immunization before letting pets explore on land.
Check ahead before arriving on shore. While many areas do allow pets, some marinas, parks, and wildlife areas do not allow pets.