How to Make Your Boat Pet Friendly

Dog on boat

Cruising with Man’s Best Friend

dog on boat

Typically a good first mate is someone who helps tie up your lines, keeps watch for floating debris, and takes regular shifts at the wheel. And if your first mate doesn’t do any of those things that’s OK too, as long as they have four legs, and a friendly disposition. That’s right, man’s best friend is a favorite crew member of many salty seafarers. But as with anyone on your boat, care must be taken to ensure they stay safe and happy: 

You prep your cooler with meticulous care, don’t you? It’s OK, we get it, having the right beverages aboard is a critical element to any day on the water. But make sure Fido has plenty of water as well. A good rule of thumb is that your dog should be drinking 1 once of water for every pound of body weight each day. So bring a couple gallons for your lab. 

Get them a snug-fitting life preserver: Your dog may be an excellent swimmer, the kind of dog that will fetch a stick from the water for hours. But if you and your pet were to go overboard you might find yourselves in over your head while waiting for help to arrive. 

Prep your boat to be pet friendly: Being on a boat is a whole different environment with unfamiliar dangers (at least for a dog). Be sure your fishing tackle, tools, and coolant are stowed well out of reach.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.