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Boating with Your Grady Buddy

We love our dogs and often want them with us when we’re boating. However, taking your dog on the boat can be much like boating with children. You will need the proper equipment and preparation to ensure they have a good time and remain safe.


Take the proper equipment:

  1. A water bowl and fresh drinking water.
  2. Treats and food if they need to eat while you are out.
  3. A collar with ID tags and a leash.
  4. A doggie life jacket that fits properly.
  5. Toys to keep them entertained.
  6. A “bed” or some place that they can rest comfortably out of the sun or weather.


Before you get onboard, give your dog a moment to relieve themselves, and have a plan for where and when they will be able to go again while you’re on the excursion. If you plan to take your dog off the boat at another dock or on land, such as a sandbar, have a plan for how they will safely get off and back on the boat.


The first time you take your dog boating, go slow and make the trip short. This will get them acquainted with the boat and its movements and it will give you an opportunity to see how they react to the experience. Designate one person to care for your dog during the trip so they are not left unattended. If it’s a hot day, provide a shady spot where they can get out of the heat, and be sure to provide them plenty of fresh, cool water. You’ll also want to be aware that the deck of your boat or the sand on the beach may be too hot for the pads of their feet. You can address this by using your wash down hose to wet the deck and when on the beach, walk along the edge of the water.   


Pick a good place for your dog to sit or stand while the boat is moving. Do not allow your dog to stand on the edge of the bow or gunwale of the boat–this is not safe. One unexpected wave or another boat’s wake can throw your dog off the boat. Keep your dog safely and securely inside the boat–if your dog is too close to the side of the boat they may try to jump off while the boat is in motion. In both situations you risk injury to your dog, and you must act quickly to turn the boat around and get your dog safely back on board. One way to prevent this is to keep your dog on their leash when on the boat, especially if they are new to boating.


When properly introduced to boating, your dog will have fun participating with the family on your water adventures. Take time to prepare so everyone will have a great day!


Click here for more tips and instructions on how to properly fit your dog with a life jacket.