Dog-friendly boating: A guide to sailing with your furry friends

Discover how to make your boating trips a tail-wagging experience for both you and your furry friend in this comprehensive guide to boating with dogs.

The allure of the open water beckons not only us but also our beloved furry companions. Boating with dogs can be a wonderful bonding experience that allows you to explore new horizons together. Whether you're sailing, yachting, or cruising, having your dog onboard can enhance the joy of every journey. However, to ensure a safe and enjoyable voyage, it's important to understand the dynamics of boating with your canine companion.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about sailing with dogs. From preparation and safety measures to navigating water activities and selecting dog-friendly destinations, you'll find valuable insights that will make your boating trips memorable for all the right reasons.

Preparing your dog for boating

Before embarking on a boating adventure, it's crucial to prepare your dog mentally and physically. Introduce them to the boat gradually, creating positive associations with this new environment. Ensure your dog is comfortable with water and wearing a life jacket, as safety is of the utmost importance.

Choosing the right boat for your dog

Selecting the appropriate boat is essential for your dog's comfort and safety. Factors such as boat size, type, and features should be considered to ensure a pleasant experience for your canine companion.

Read our top notch articles on topics such as sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our Magazine.

Safety measures for dog-friendly boating

Safety should be a top priority when boating with dogs. From securing your dog on the boat to familiarizing them with emergency procedures, this section provides practical tips for ensuring your dog's safety throughout the journey.

Essentials to pack for your dog's boating trip

Packing the right essentials for your dog is crucial for a seamless boating trip. From food and water to bedding and toys, we'll help you compile a comprehensive checklist to ensure your dog's needs are met.

Navigating water activities with your dog

Boating isn't just about sailing; it often involves various water activities. Discover how to safely include your dog in activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, and beach play.

Tips for a smooth sailing experience

Smooth sailing involves anticipating potential challenges and planning accordingly. Learn tips and tricks for managing common scenarios and ensuring a stress-free experience for both you and your dog.

Addressing seasickness and anxieties

Just like humans, dogs can experience seasickness and anxieties. Explore methods to alleviate these discomforts and ensure your dog's well-being onboard.

Here are a few tips on how to calm your dog on a boat during the journey:

  1. Familiarize: Gradually introduce your dog to the boat and its surroundings while it's stationary to help them get accustomed to the environment.

  2. Positive Association: Associate the boat with positive experiences by offering treats, toys, and praise when your dog is on the boat.

  3. Short Trips: Begin with short trips to build your dog's confidence on the water, gradually increasing the duration as they become more comfortable.

  4. Comfortable Space: Create a cozy and familiar space on the boat with their bed, toys, and a blanket to make them feel secure.

  5. Calming Music: Play soothing music or use white noise to mask unfamiliar sounds and create a calming atmosphere.

  6. Familiar Scents: Bring along items with familiar scents from home to provide a sense of security.

  7. Positive Reinforcement: Reward calm behavior with treats and praise, reinforcing the idea that being calm on the boat is a good thing.

  8. Potty Breaks: Make sure to provide opportunities for your dog to relieve themselves before the journey to prevent anxiety related to needing to go.

  9. Safety Measures: Use a well-fitting life jacket to ensure your dog's safety and boost their confidence in the water.

  10. Gradual Exposure: Gradually expose your dog to the boat's movement by starting with gentle rocking while docked and gradually increasing movement.

Remember that every dog is unique, so be patient and observe your dog's reactions to tailor your approach to their specific needs.

Training your dog for boat etiquette

Proper behavior onboard is essential for a harmonious boating experience. Train your dog for boat etiquette, including commands and behaviors to follow.

Exploring dog-friendly destinations

Discover a range of dog-friendly destinations where you and your furry friend can create lasting memories together. From serene lakes to coastal paradises, there's a destination for every preference.

Health and hygiene considerations

Maintaining your dog's health and hygiene during boating trips is crucial. Learn about preventive measures, vaccinations, and hygiene practices to ensure your dog's well-being.

Ensuring comfort and relaxation onboard

A comfortable and relaxing environment is essential for both you and your dog. Explore ways to create a cozy space onboard where your dog can unwind and enjoy the journey.


Boating with dogs opens up a world of adventure, companionship, and shared experiences. By following the tips and insights in this guide, you'll be well-prepared to embark on safe and enjoyable boating trips with your beloved furry friend.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite sailing destinations.

FAQs about boating with dogs