Tips for Safely Taking Your Dog Boating

There’s nothing more enjoyable than getting out on the open water with your best friend. Unlike you, dogs don’t have a natural aversion to water, and they love to feel the waves in their face—or even better, take a dip! However, before taking your furry companion on the boat or out on a paddleboard for the first time, it pays to plan ahead. Here are 12 tips for boating with dogs that will keep both of you safe and having fun:

Pick up a life preserver!

The most important piece of gear you can carry with you on the water is a life preserver. It is impossible to stress enough how important it is for both the safety of your pet and others around him or her that a life preserver be worn at all times. There are many different types of devices out there, but not all are designed for dogs.

  • When looking for a good one, it’s always better to get one that was specifically designed for your dog’s size and shape rather than trying to find another type of device and make modifications yourself. A life jacket should fit snugly around their body without being too tight or constricting in any way; if there’s even just one little bit where they can wiggle free then they could potentially get away from you if an emergency arises!
  • If possible, try putting two fingers between the neckline and underarms when buckling up their vest so that it doesn’t feel too tight or uncomfortable while still providing adequate support if needed (and remember: keep checking regularly throughout). Also make sure there isn’t any part sticking out because those things tend to snag easily–especially on slippery surfaces like rocks or docks–which could result in injury during times like capsizing boats/pontoons etcetera…

Get your dog used to being on a boat before taking them out to the water.

You should start by taking your dog for short trips on the boat, with him or her in the carrier or crate. You can take them out and let them sit or lie down on deck. If they’re not used to being around water, even this small amount of exposure will help acclimate them to being on a moving vessel.

While you’re doing this, give your dog plenty of treats so he knows that going on a boat is a good thing!

Your pet may be frightened at first by all of the new sights, sounds and smells that surround him as he gets closer and closer to the water, but if you handle him firmly but gently (dogs can sense fear), he’ll learn that boating is fun rather than terrifying.

Bring plenty of water and towels for your dog.

While it is fun to go boating with your dog, you need to make sure that they are safe. To do this, you will need:

  • Plenty of water for your dog. Bring a bowl or two just in case you run out of cups and bowls on the boat.
  • Plenty of towels for laying on and wiping up drool after playtime or swimming time!
  • A leash so that he can walk around safely while not in the water

Always keep an eye on your dog when boating with them.

  • Always keep an eye on your dog when boating with them.
  • Don’t let them roam free, and keep hold of their leash at all times.
  • Don’t take your eyes off them for more than a few seconds.
  • Don’t let them jump overboard, especially if you see other dogs doing it.
  • Never let your dog get too close to the propeller if you’re in a motorboat or jet ski (they could get tangled in it).

Try to choose a dog-friendly lake or body of water to bring your dog on.

When you’re thinking of taking your dog boating, it’s important to find a lake or body of water that welcomes dogs. You should also make sure that the area is known to be safe for dogs and people.

It’s also important to ensure that the lake or body of water has an established leash policy—this will help keep your pet safe while on the water.

Find ways to keep your dog comfortable and secure on the boat, for the safety of everyone involved.

You don’t want your dog to be uncomfortable or in danger while on the boat. Here are some things you can do to keep them safe:

  • Make sure they have comfortable bedding, like a crate or a blanket filled with soft material.
  • Put them in the cabin where there’s air conditioning so they can cool down if needed.
  • If there is extra space for them, bring along a small pool for them to swim in and to keep cool at times when it gets too hot inside the boat (make sure this is big enough so that they cannot accidentally fall into it).
  • Keep your dog away from places where other people may walk by accident—such as near an anchor line, engine compartment or fishing gear—and always make sure that nothing heavy lands on top of him/her if someone were to trip over his/her leash!

Make sure you are aware of any potential dangers that could occur in case you fall into the water, such as boats or rocks.

Before you embark on a boating adventure, make sure that you are familiar with the dangers that could occur in case you fall into the water. Think about what kind of boat and what kind of water conditions are involved. Are there rocks or other boats nearby?

Next, make sure that your dog is aware of these same hazards and knows how to get out of them. It may be necessary for your dog to wear a life vest or leash while riding in your boat so they can’t jump overboard if they want to!

Be prepared for emergencies, whether they occur on land or in the water.

Being prepared for emergencies is a key part of traveling safely. Whether you’re on land or in the water, it’s important to have the right equipment and supplies with you.

In addition to your first aid kit (which should include antiseptic wipes and bandages), satellite phone, flares, fire extinguisher, life preserver and radio (a handheld VHF radio is best), make sure that everyone has a life vest. If your vessel isn’t equipped with a tow rope or anchor line—and if conditions are windy—it’s also wise to bring along one of those items as well. You never know when something might happen while boating!

Consider your dog’s comfort level and fear of loud noises when boating. If they show signs of distress, remove them from the water.

When you’re out on the water, loud noises may startle your dog and make them feel scared or anxious. If your dog is afraid or anxious, they may want to leave the boat and jump in the water if they feel an opportunity arises.

So what can you do to help keep your pup safe? The first step is learning how dogs react when they are in unfamiliar environments while boating with their owner.

  • Dogs are naturally afraid of loud noises (especially ones that sound like thunder) because these sounds remind them of dangerous situations that could harm them. This fear is often heightened when a dog has never been exposed to this type of environment before, so it’s especially important for new dogs owners to be careful when introducing their pets into this situation for the first time – particularly if there will be other people around who might not know how sensitive some pups can be!

Never leave your dog unsupervised around a boat or near open water.

  • Never leave your dog unsupervised around a boat or near open water.
  • Make sure that all passengers are wearing life jackets. That includes dogs as well!
  • If you’re on a motorboat, make sure the engine is off before letting your pooch have free reign of the deck.
  • Don’t take your pup along with you while operating or steering during rough conditions, especially if there’s an inexperienced person present in the boat—and definitely not if it’s a small child who isn’t wearing a lifejacket!

Boating with dogs can be fun and rewarding, but always prioritize safety

  • Keep your dog on a leash. It’s always safer for a dog to be leashed when out in public—and it’s especially important when around water, as dogs can easily lose their footing.
  • Make sure your dog can move around freely. If you have an energetic breed like a Border Collie or German Shepherd, make sure they have plenty of space to run around and play while you’re boating. This will help keep them happy and healthy while still keeping them safe from harm!
  • Make sure the steering wheel is clear of any obstructions that might get caught under it as well as ensuring there are no loose items floating around near where your boat is operating. Keeping these objects off board before departing is also recommended by many experts who specialize in recreational boating safety practices.”


Boating with your dog can be a fun and meaningful experience for both you and your best friend. By following these tips, you can ensure that you have prepared as much as possible to keep both of you safe when out on the water. Always remember to be aware of all potential dangers, such as weather or dangerous vessels passing by. Never leave your dog alone near a boat or open water, and try to stay aware of their fear level at all times. Above all else, be sure to buy them a life jacket!