For the right dog, a boating adventure is a dream come true. It's like a rolled-down car window times 12, with great scenery, good company and fresh air for added pleasure.
For dogs who love water, swimming skills are obviously a must. Your dog should always wear a life jacket when on the boat. That holds true even for dogs that traditionally take to swimming quite easily. Such breeds include the following: schipperke, Labrador retriever, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, Spanish water dog, Irish water spaniel, Newfoundland, Irish setter, English setter, golden retriever, Portuguese water dog and the Chesapeake Bay retriever.
Gayle Martz and Delilah Smittle, authors of No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide for Traveling With Your Best Friend, suggest that you bring these items on your trip:
- A towel just for your dog
- A shirt or sweater made out of water-resistant material
- Lots of fresh bottled water
- Barbless hooks (if you're going fishing)
- A pooper-scooper, unless you're near the shore and your dog can take periodic bathroom breaks
Pet-friendly marinas are another aspect of your trip to consider. MarineFuel.com tracks this for marinas across the U.S. and provides additional helpful information.