Taking Your Dog on a Boating Trip: Preparation and Packing List

Boating is a fantastic way to unwind, enjoy nature, and spend quality time with friends and family. But have you ever considered taking your furry friend along? If done correctly, bringing your dog on a boating trip can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both you and your pet. However, there are certain steps to follow to ensure your dog's safety and comfort on board. Below, we will walk you through everything you need to know—from preparations to a packing list—to make your boating trip with your dog a memorable one.


Why Take Your Dog Boating?

Dogs are part of the family, and leaving them behind can be a difficult decision. Besides, many dogs love the water and the chance to be close to their human companions. Whether you're sailing, fishing, or simply enjoying a day on the lake, your dog can make great company.


Pre-Trip Preparations

Vet Visit

Before you decide to take your dog boating, a check-up with the vet is in order. Make sure your dog's vaccinations are up-to-date, and ask your vet about motion sickness, as some dogs can be sensitive to the rocking motion of a boat.

Swimming Training

While many dogs are natural swimmers, it's a good idea to give your dog some training sessions. Start with shallow water and gradually move to deeper waters so your dog can build up confidence.

Boat Training

Familiarize your dog with the boat while it’s docked or on a trailer. Allow your dog to sniff around, get on and off the boat, and listen to the sound of the engine while off the water. The more accustomed your dog is to the boat, the less stressful the actual boating will be.

Know the Regulations

Different water bodies and jurisdictions have their own set of regulations concerning pets. Make sure you're aware of any rules or restrictions, such as leash laws or areas where dogs are not allowed.


Essential Packing List

Packing for a dog is almost as involved as packing for a human. Here’s what you should bring:

Safety Gear

  1. Dog Life Jacket: Even if your dog is a good swimmer, a life jacket is a must.
  2. First Aid Kit: Include basics like bandages, antiseptics, and any medications your dog may need.
  3. Identification Tags: Ensure your dog's ID tags are securely fastened to your Nauticollar collar and all information is up-to-date.

Food and Water

  1. Fresh Water: Enough for the trip and then some. Never let your dog drink saltwater.
  2. Dog Food: Pre-measure your dog's food and bring some extra.
  3. Bowls: Collapsible bowls are convenient and save space.

Comfort Items

  1. Dog Bed or Blanket: To give your dog a comfortable spot to rest.
  2. Sunscreen: Yes, dogs can get sunburned, especially those with short or light-colored coats.
  3. Towels: For drying off after swimming or in case of spills.
  4. Chew Toys: To keep your dog entertained.

Hygiene and Cleanup

  1. Poop Bags: You'll need these for clean-up, whether you're on the boat or on shore. Dog-friendly
  2. Wipes: For quick clean-ups.
  3. Leash: A leash is essential for keeping your dog safe and under control during any shore excursions. Check out our great selection of nautical dog leashes.


On the Day

  • Exercise Before Boarding: A tired dog is a good dog. A quick walk or play session before boarding can help your dog settle down once on the boat.
  • Feeding: Feed your dog a light meal 1-2 hours before you set sail to prevent any digestive discomfort.
  • Boarding: Help your dog board the boat safely and guide them to the spot you’ve designated for them.
  • Regular Breaks: Plan some shore stops for bathroom breaks and a chance to stretch.
  • Hydration: Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
  • Supervision: Never leave your dog unattended on the boat.



Taking your dog on a boating trip can add an extra layer of fun to your outing. However, proper preparation and a well-thought-out packing list are key to making the adventure enjoyable for everyone. By considering your dog’s safety, comfort, and needs, you can create unforgettable boating memories with your four-legged friend.

Happy boating! 🐾⛵