Pets on board: Cruising with your dog

Sometimes, it’s just impossible to leave our four-legged bestie behind if we plan to cruise for several hours or even days! Every boating enthusiast knows what I’m talking about! Here are some tips for bringing along your dog and make it a pleasant experience for all.But remember; every dog and situation is different, but most of them enjoy being on the water and love the lifestyle, with all the new people, places and smells to explore!

Before You Get on the Boat

Before leaving for a full day, gradually familiarise your animal with the boating environment.  Begin by bringing your dog onboard when staying at the dock. To prevent him from going overboard, which is not impossible, make sure to keep your pup on a leash and teach him basic obedience commands such as sit, stay and come. Also, teach boat-specific commands such as “on boat” and “off boat” so they know when it’s okay—or necessary— to get on and off board. Next time, try bringing him out to the dock, but also turn on the engine to get him accustomed to the sound. Then, take him on a short boat ride and then progressively longer rides.

If you leave for a longer period, bring a leash and harness (sometimes handy on the water for better balance), and most importantly bring a pet life jacket: If your companion were to fall into the water in the middle of a lake or in the sea, he might be too tired to get back to the boat or get to the shore. The grip on top will help you grab him from the water if he needs assistance. All dogs can swim in case of necessity, but they are not all good swimmers. Small dogs are rapidly depleted of their energy and can easily become victims of hypothermia; hence the importance of having a lifejacket with a handle on the back.

Provide potty breaks or potty area

Yes, your dog can restrain itself for several hours, but it is necessary to stop periodically along the shoreline so that your dog can take a potty break. For boaters who live on their boat for days at a time and can’t get to land, designate a specific potty area on the boat. Use a grass-like turf that contains a canine-beckoning scent and can be easily washed with a hose. If you are anchored in a bay near the shore, you can take him or her to shore by way of a paddle board, inflatable boat or event by swimming. You will ideally keep him or her on a on a leash since they might be tempted to venture into the woods. The La Vie au Lac dog leashes, made with marine ropes, are ideal because they can be immersed in water without any problem.

Bring Plenty of Fresh Water

Dogs can’t perspire, and they’ll need to lap up three times more water than usual to stay cool, especially when the sun is blazing. Bring a good supply of fresh water and set a corner in the shade to avoid heatstroke.

If you love boating, be patient with your pup so he will become a four-legged sailor with whom it will be nice to share your passion. For a chic nautical look, treat your dog with a beautiful collar or leash handmade by La Vie au Lac and indulge yourself with a gorgeous marine-rope bracelet available on our online store. You will both be cruising in style!


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