Safe Boating with Dogs

A Guide for safe and fun boating with your canine companions.

Spending a day on a boat can be a lot of fun, especially when you have your four-legged friend along. However, just like we take precautions to keep ourselves safe, it’s important to do the same for our dogs. Here are some easy tips to help you and your dog stay safe while boating.

dog swimming with life jacket

1. Life Jacket is a Must-Have: Just like humans wear life jackets for safety, dogs need them too! Not all dogs are great swimmers, and unexpected waves or accidents can happen. Make sure to get a life jacket that fits your dog well and keeps them afloat.

2. Doggy Training Time: Before heading out on the boat, make sure your dog listens to basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” This can be super helpful if you need your dog to stay put or come to you in a hurry.

3. Fresh Water Fun: Bring enough fresh water for your dog. Being out on the water can make them thirsty, and drinking saltwater is not good for them. Make sure they stay hydrated to avoid any health issues.

4. Sun Protection: Dogs can get sunburned, especially if they have light fur or sensitive skin. Apply pet-friendly sunscreen to their ears, nose, and other exposed areas. Providing a shady spot on the boat is also a good idea.

5. Paws Away from the Edge: Teach your dog to stay away from the edges of the boat. A sudden movement or a big wave could cause them to lose their balance. Keep them safe by having them stay in the center of the boat.

6. Potty Plan: Plan for potty breaks. Dogs need to go, so be prepared to stop at a safe place on the shore or use pee pads designed for boats. Always clean up after your dog to keep the environment clean.

7. Identifying Information: In case your dog gets scared and runs off, make sure they have a collar with an ID tag that has your contact information. You can also consider getting them microchipped, which can help identify them if they get lost.

8. Calm and Comfortable: Boats can be noisy and bumpy, which might be frightening for your furry friend. Bring their favorite blanket, toy, or bed to help them feel secure and relaxed.

9. Watch the Weather: Check the weather forecast before heading out. Storms or rough waters can be dangerous for both you and your dog. Safety comes first!

10. Practice Makes Perfect: If it’s your dog’s first time on a boat, take them on short trips first. This will help them get used to the boat’s movement and the new surroundings.

Ready to Get Away

Remember, your dog’s safety is in your hands. By following these simple steps, you can have a fantastic time on the water with your loyal companion. Just keep an eye on them, make sure they’re comfortable, and enjoy the adventure together. Check our recommendations for the top boating destinations on Lake Michigan, and plan a getaway to remember with your family and furry friends today!

Latest News