It’s always a bummer when you head out for a day of fun on the boat with the family and you have to leave one of the most lovable members behind. The good news is with proper preparation and precautions, you no longer have to leave your pup behind when you go boating!

Germaine Marine knows how much you value quality time spent with the whole family, and that should include canine friends too. We’ve put together a guide that’ll help you prepare to bring your dog boating. Before you sail off into the sunset, stop by our dealership in Arizona serving Phoenix, Mesa, and Gilbert! We also proudly serve Salt Lake City, Provo, and Orem, Utah!

Your Dog’s Water Comfort

There are just some dogs who know no greater joy than water. You know those dogs who go crazy when they see a hose being sprayed, or will jump right into a swimming pool without warning? Those dogs would get a real kick out of the ocean, especially if they were front and center on a boat. Ask yourself some crucial questions regarding your dog’s water comfort first. Would your dog be able to swim back to the boat or remain steadily afloat if they fell overboard? If you have an older dog, they might not have the energy to handle this type of situation. Smaller dogs can develop hypothermia faster. You should only bring a dog aboard if you feel totally confident that they can handle themselves on a boat and in the water.

Have an Emergency Plan

It’s critical to have a plan in place in case an emergency occurs. Waiting until there’s an active emergency, like your dog falling overboard, to come up with a plan is a bad move. There should be one person on the boat who the dog is most likely to respond to. This person should stand at the back of the boat and call out to the dog in the water. In the best case scenario, the dog will respond and swim toward the boat. If the dog doesn’t respond, someone will need to dive in and bring the dog back to safety.

Important Supplies

You won’t want to head out for a day on the boat empty-handed. Make a list of important supplies to ensure you bring everything that you’ll need for your dog’s big boating adventure. For example, you’ll need plenty of fresh water since you can’t rely on the water surrounding the boat to be suitable for drinking. Also, remember that your dog should always be wearing a collar with tags for when you dock and return to land. We view our dogs like family, so they will need to wear a lifejacket just like the rest of the family. Water conditions are constantly fluctuating, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog will be safe with a lifejacket.

You may not consider treats and toys as essential supplies but you’ll be glad you brought them if your dog needs the distraction or positive reinforcement. At first, your dog might be acting a little crazy due to all the excitement going on around them so you might try using treats or toys to calm them down. If you have a super laid-back dog then they might grow bored rather quickly, which is another instance where toys and treats can come in handy.

Your Dog’s Needs

As fun as this new experience might be for both the pet and the owner, keep in mind that unfamiliar situations can cause unwanted stress for dogs. Before getting them all riled up, give them some time to get used to the new environment. It’s a good idea to introduce them to the boat before taking it out on the water. Bring their favorite toys and treats into the boat while they’re getting familiar so they can be encouraged that it’s a safe place. Talking in calm, happy voices will also help reassure them. Always look out for signs of discomfort like whining or pacing. If your dog starts to display these signs, he might not be handling it so well. You’ll want to pay attention to their food and water intake while you’re out boating as well.

Visit Germaine Marine in Arizona for all your boating needs! Our knowledgeable experts are ready to answer any questions you might have or to help you with your next boating investment. We proudly serve Phoenix, Mesa, and Gilbert! We also proudly serve Salt Lake City, Provo, and Orem, Utah!