Do you have a dog aboard? Thinking of taking one with you on trips or long-term cruising?
Two years into our cruising, we adopted Paz — and consider her to be the best thing that came out of our years aboard Que Tal. A number of the articles I’ve written touch on topics related to having a dog on board.
I’ve listed these below — the one that seems to get the most interest is Training a Dog to Be a “Boat Dog”, which refers to teaching them to use a piece of carpet on the bow instead of needing to go ashore when nature calls.
Additionally, as I find other resources for boating with a dog, I’m adding them in a list. If you know of other web sites, books, helpful products or anything else that should be added, please put a note in the comments below — comments come to me as an e-mail — and I’ll add items to the list so that others can benefit.
The Boat Galley Articles:
- A Dog-Friendly Boat
- A Sure-Footed Dinghy Dog
- Boat Dog Food
- Boat Dogs & Separation Anxiety
- Cat Aboard!
- DIY Dog Grooming
- Dog Treats – DIY
- Dogs on Boats 101
- Finding a Great Dog Sitter in a New City
- Flying with a Small Dog
- Gamma Seal Lids
- Getting a Bahamas Pet Permit
- Kid-Safe Ant “Poison”
- One Tough Cookie
- Pets & Storms
- Protect the Kids & Pups: Lifeline Netting
- Put On Your Shoes!
- Storing Dry Dog Food
- Storing Medications
- SUP-er Dogs
- Tick Removal
- Training a Dog to Be a “Boat Dog”
- Water Bottle for a Small Dog
- Watermakers, Vitamins and . . . Dogs? Cats?
Other Online Articles:
- The Best Way to Find Your Lost Pet When Traveling — such a simple yet innovative idea!
- 8 Reasons We Love the Help Em Up Harness — if you’re cruising with a larger dog and need a good way to get them on/off the boat, dock, dinghy, or even into a vehicle, read this!
- Kemeh’s Korner — lots of articles on various aspects of being a boat dog on Mother Jones
- Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs — site can be slow to load, just be patient. Includes a video demonstration.
- s/v Smitty — Sailing/Cruising with a Dog — great post with a checklist of things you’ll need to provide for your dog
- Monkey’s Fist — Cruising with a Dog — collection of articles from a number of cruisers about their experiences in cruising with their best friends!
- A Non-Spill Dog Bowl — how to keep water available for your dog, even when it’s rough
- A Dog’s Medicine Chest
- Tools for DIY Dog Grooming
No, I don’t own these — I wouldn’t recommend the books we did pick up along the way. These have been recommended by other “cruising dog families” and also get high reviews on Amazon. Links are to Amazon, unless otherwise noted.
- The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats — highly recommended by a couple of friends, particularly for its use of things that you’re likely to have on board, a list of human medications that can and can’t be used on your pet, and what should be in your pet’s first aid kit.
- Doggy on Deck: Life at Sea with a Salty Dog – Absolutely Everything You Need to Know Before Cruising with Fido — recommended if you’re considering getting a dog or are wondering about how yours will react to cruising.
- LibertySails — Cruising Dog FAQs — lots of good information!
- BoatUS — Boating Pets — Lots of helpful tips on keeping our pet safe and happy.
Several of the cruising forums also have had discussions about various issues in cruising with pets — some of the information is helpful, other bits are questionable. Above all, remember that you know yourself and your dog and make decisions accordingly.
Warning: like many other “marine” products, some of these items aren’t cheap! The only special item we bought for Paz was a life jacket (other than always using a harness instead of a collar that could potentially break her neck).
For a larger dog, however, the ladder or ramp could mean the difference between being able to cruise and not, as they could also be used to get the dog in/out of the dinghy.
- Help ‘Em Up Harness — the solution for larger dogs who need help getting aboard with a special hip lift device
- Paws Aboard! A number of innovative products such as a boat ladder for dogs that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
- PupGear — dog boat ramps and a number of “indoor potty” products.
- CrittersInflatable — yep, an inflatable life jacket for your dog. See more info (including a testimonial on how it saved one cruising dog’s life) in the comments, below.
Please be sure to add more resources in the comments below — and also let me know if you have a blog with stories about your boat dog, so that others can read what it’s like with a dog aboard.