Your How-To Guide on Boating with Pets - Superior Boat Repair
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Your How-To Guide on Boating with Pets


Boating can be a lot of fun for the whole family—and that includes your pet! To help you safely introduce your pet to boating we here at Superior Boat Repair & Sales have written up a handy guide. If you’re located in El Dorado Hills, Roseville, or Folsom, California we hope you’ll stop by our dealership for all your boating needs!

Safety Gear

Before you take your pet out on the water you’ll need to gather a few supplies to ensure you and your animal’s safety. If your pet doesn’t already have a collar and tag with your information on it we advise you to purchase one. It’s also advised that you have your pet microchipped before heading out on your vessel. It’s likely that you already have a first aid kit on your ship with gauze and anit-bacterial ointment. We suggest slipping in some medications into your first aid kit, such as dramamine for seasickness or any other regular medications your dog takes, just in case of an emergency. 

The most important safety piece of safety equipment you’ll need to purchase is a life jacket for your pet. Be sure to purchase one with handles in case you need to pull your animal out of the water quickly. You’ll also want it to have a few reflective strips and be brightly colored to better keep an eye on your pet. Life jackets come in a number of sizes and buoyancy levels. Be sure that the life jacket will fit snugly and is buoyant enough to support your pets size. 

Introducing You Pet to Your Boat

If you can, we encourage you to have your boat on dry land when you first bring your pet aboard. Let them sniff around and explore the area and offer a few treats to reinforce a positive experience. If your boat is stationed at the docks, you’ll need to take their onboarding slowly. Let them get a good sniff of the docks and adjust to the various noise and movement going on around them. You’ll want to bring a few treats and toys onto the ship, for familiarity and fun for your pet. One they’re on the ship, allow your pet to explore. If they become anxious, offer a few treats, toys, or even a familiar item such as a pet bed if possible. This outing should be very brief to gauge your pet’s reaction. Afterward, be sure to reward your pet for their good behavior.  

On an Outing

Once your pet is acclimated to the ship you can try taking them out on the water. If you plan to be out for a long period of time we recommend bringing some food and a bowl for your pet to eat from. No matter how long your trip is, you’ll always want to make sure that your pet has access to shade and clean water while on your boat. Your pet will also need somewhere to go to the bathroom. If you have a cat, a litter box is an easy solution to this problem. However, most animals aren’t trained to go in a specific area so you’ll want to bring along some trash bags and paper towels for clean up. 

We hope this guide has been helpful preparing you and your pet for your first trip together out on the water! If your boat needs to be serviced, or you’re interested in purchasing boating accessories, we encourage you to stop by either of our locations in Rancho Cordova and Homewood, California. We have an amazing service and parts department, as well as an on-site pro-shop!

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