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Top Tips for Taking Your Dog Out Boating

1. Canine life jacket

Dogs are part of the family and are happiest when they’re by your side, so what happens if you want to head down to your boat at the marina for the day? Or you’re planning a long-distance trip? Check out our tips for some plain sailing with your pooch.

Taking a safety-first on your boat is always the best practise. Just like humans, make sure your pup is protected and has their own life jacket. Even if you consider your dog a strong swimmer, choppy water or a strong current could catch them off-guard if they were to go overboard.

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2. Steady build up of time on the boat

The feeling of being on water takes some getting used to and it goes against the dog’s instincts, especially if they have a nervous temperament. It may take many short stints and lots of practise getting on and off the boat. Regular visits to the marina before will help your dog become confident and happy.

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3. Be aware of slippery areas

Most boats have textured floors so that visitors don’t slip, but these are made with humans in mind. Take your dog on the boat on the lead and check if they have any problems navigating around, if so you might need to bring some carpet or something similar that will provide the grip that your dog’s paws need so that your dog isn’t at risk of slipping in any danger areas.

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4. Get a ramp

If you have a larger dog, you may want to get a ramp so that your dog can get on and off the boat easily without you having to pick them up.

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5. Go for a walk before the trip

The calmer your dog is behaving whilst out on the water, the better. If there is the option to walk your pup before you go sailing, your dog will be much happier and their behaviour on board should be much easier to manage.

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6. Prepare a dog bathroom

On shorter trips you’ll be able to plan in doggy bathroom breaks on land, but if you’re venturing off for a longer period of time you may want to invest in a patch of artificial grass or a ‘dog potty’ that you can tuck away in a corner.

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7. Make sure your dog knows commands

Although all dogs have their moments, you want to make sure that your dog is well trained with the basic commands that will keep you and them safe onboard. In an unpredictable environment you need to know that your pup will obey and listen to you.

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8. Bring some home comforts

Bring some of your dog’s favourite items or toys with you which will help them to feel at home. Add some treats and bones to your list so that when they need something to do, you’ve got distractions on hand.

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Boat insurance from Towergate

Boat insurance from Towergate is available for different vessels and levels of cover depending on what you use your boat for, from third party cover to weather events and personal accident. For more information visit our boat insurance page or call us on 0344 892 1987.

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About the author

Adam Summersby, caravan insurance articles author

Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.