Safety Tips for Sailing the High Seas with Your Dog

Ahoy there, Sea-Dogs!

Are you taking for Furry-Friend along for a sail across the high seas?

As man’s best friend, more and more people are taking their dogs on vacation, and if you have a boat trip in mind for your next weekend away or long stay vacation, why not allow Fido to be part of the crew?

Whether it be seas, lakes or rivers, sailing with your furry family member can be a great way to spend the day!  

Although it is a wonderful experience to have your dog aboard your next seafaring adventure, there are a few things you should consider before handing Fido the captain’s hat.

Before you Board

Before your Pup even lands a paw on deck, you should consider a few things before you allow your Doggo onboard and sail off into the sunset.

Preparation & Safety

Be sure to remove any hazardous items from your boat that could potentially harm your Pup if they become overexcited, or panic, and begin to jump around the cabin.

Even the most experienced four-legged sailors may get jumpy from time to time. It's always best to sail with your Doggo on a calm day, this will decrease their chances of panicking and also lessen the likelihood of seasickness.

Make sure you have a dog-life jacket and safety vest on board and that your dog is wearing it at all times. 


If you're going out on a long trip it's always a good idea to make sure that your dog has had a toilet break first!

Portable toilets and trays for dogs are available and often used on boats, but depending on your dog’s preferences and experience using porta-potties, you don’t want them to be holding it in for too long!

If you’re spending the whole day out at sea, be sure to plan some dog-friendly stop-offs. Many coastal towns have dog-friendly venues and allow pups to frolic on their beaches.

A quick stop for a refreshment break will do wonders to maximise your dogs’ comfort and enjoyment while spending the day afloat.

Essential Items

There may be a few additional items you’ll want to bring to make your Pups day as perfect as possible:

  • Bowls: make sure you bring a bowl and lots of fresh water for your dog to drink, especially if it is a warm day. You may also want to bring an additional bowl if you plan on having lunch aboard.
  • Sun Cream: yes, Doggos get sunburn too! Their precious snouts are particularly vulnerable. Lots of pet stores sell sun cream for dogs so be sure to stock up if you're heading out on a sunny day.
  • Treats: Treats are especially helpful if you want to encourage good sailing habits. Treats are especially good if its Puppies first sailing trip. They may be confused about how to behave in their new environment and giving treats for calm behaviour can help reassure them.
  • A carpet or mat: Sailboat surfaces can be a little slippery and your pup may struggle with their sea-legs! Take a piece of carpet or a mat for your dog to stand or lay on so to provide a sure footing.
  • Shade: If your boat doesn’t have a cabin or shaded area bring along an umbrella or some kind of covering to create shade.
  • Towels: Old towels are great if your dog likes to go overboard now and again to have a splash around in the sea. You may want to consider giving them a fresh water rinse off after they are done frolicking in the waves.

Other considerations

Although we love having our furry-companions join us for every adventure, every dog is different and you must consider your dog’s temperament and assess whether or not they will enjoy being on the water.

If it's your dogs' first boat trip, you may want to plan a short excursion, or if a long day is unavoidable be sure to plan plenty of rest stops along the way.

You may also want to consider access. Yes, dogs are quite agile and will probably try to jump on and off the boat but this can lead to accidents. Make sure you have a ramp so your dog can board safely, or you can carry them on and off the boat.

With a few considerations here and there, there is no reason why Fido can’t join the rest of the family for a relaxing day on the waves. Lots of dog’s love travelling by boat and having high-sea adventures with their favourite humans!

If you have the right measures in place, you can enjoy your day aboard with little stress or worry, freeing you to enjoy smooth sailing, salty air and beautiful views of the American coast with your Pawed Pirate!