Man on a boat with his dog.

When you’re enjoying your favorite activity, you want to share it with the ones you love. Dogs are such an integral part of our lives, and bringing them aboard your boat can be the cherry on top of a perfect day. Make conditions ideal for them (and consequently for yourself) by following these recommendations. 

Boating With Dogs: 101 

Before you take your canine friend with you on your next excursion, keep these tips in mind.

  • Water, Water Everywhere.

Most bodies of water aren’t actually suitable for dogs to drink because they can be filled with harmful contaminants and organisms. Pack a bowl and plenty of fresh drinking water for your pup to sip on throughout the day. The last thing you want on your hands is a dehydrated dog.

  • Protect Your Dog From Rays.

Rays of sunshine, that is! Investing in sunscreen for dogs can keep them comfortable all day long, especially if they’re a short-haired breed. Opt for a light SPF sunscreen – SPF 15 should do it – that is unscented. Your dog probably won’t appreciate an overwhelming sunscreen smell. 

Additionally, a shaded spot will help your dog find some relief from the sun. Find a good spot on your boat for your dog to kick back and relax out of the sun. Depending on your boat’s layout, this might also be a good place for their food and water bowl.

  • Safety First!

A life jacket for dogs can be a life-saving measure in the event your dog jumps overboard. Your dog’s life jacket should fit securely, while also being comfortable so they don’t try to wriggle out of it. Choose a bold color, and one with lifting handles in case you need to rescue your dog from the water.

  • Do a Test Run.

Before you set out on an all-day adventure, find a time to introduce your four-legged friend to your boat while it’s still docked. Dogs on boats tend to get a bit jumpy, especially if it’s their first time! When you start up the engine, see how they react. Giving them time to get used to this new space can cut down on anxiety when the big day arrives. If they seem too anxious, they might not be ready for a boat ride.

  • Bring a (Human) Buddy.

It may be overwhelming to have your dog abroad when you’re a solo captain. A friend or family member can manage the boat in the event that your dog needs your attention. After all, you don’t want to be too distracted with either one!


Stay Comfortable While You’re Boating

Boating with dogs can be a wonderful experience. Now that you’ve thought about all of the ways you can keep your pup comfortable, it’s time to focus on you! Beyond packing yourself enough water and snacks, add ease to your driver’s seat. Smooth Moves’ boat suspension seats eliminate jolts from waves, so that you and your furry friend can enjoy the whole day together without aches or back pain. See why our seats are so beloved by professional anglers and find a dealer near you today!