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images-1With spring only a few weeks away, I’ve been doing some research on getting my three canine companions ready for boating season. I’m so looking forward to having them on board with us as we cruise the Tennessee River! Last year we spent most of the spring and summer searching for our dream boat, and by the time we were ready to take it out it was already fall. Now that we’ve had some practice with driving and docking we are ready to get the entire family (including our fur children) involved.

We’ve already bought them life vests. Our vests are like the one pictured here, with a handle to grab them if they should fall overboard or if they start to go over.  With three rescue dogs, my first plan is to bring them all out to the boat separately to begin to get them acclimated to the water and to teach them how to get on and off the boat.

In my reading and research about boating with pets I’ve discovered some other things to make boating with dogs a fun experience for all involved, and I thought I’d share them with you here…

I love the idea of putting your boat’s name on your pet’s ID Tag along with your contact information. That way if your dog gets loose on the marina, someone may recognize the boat’s name and be better able to return your pet safely. Also, be sure that you have devised a rescue plan should your pet go over-board, and make sure everyone who is out with you also knows the plan.

Remember that, just like people, your dogs need to stay well-hydrated and have some shade so they can get out of the direct sun and cool off. If you are boating on salt water be mindful to not let your pet drink too much. Salt water will make their tummy upset and your boating experience will not be a fun one, if you get my drift.  Potty breaks can be a challenge when out cruisin’ with your pets so you may need to stop at a marina from time to time to let them go. When doing so be considerate of others, please clean up after your pet, and understand that it’s never okay to toss their waste in the water.

As our upcoming boating season begins I will keep you up-to-date on our experiences and let you know how our furry children are doing with their acclimation to the boat and adventures out on the water.

Until then…. Be sure to run a Tight Ship!