Introducing a Dog to Boating On the Lake

Introducing A Dog To Boating On The Lake

If you love boating and have a dog, chances are you want to share your hobby with man’s best friend and you should! So, it is always a good idea to consider introducing A dog to boating on the Lake. Dogs are competent swimmers, and lots of boat owners enjoy taking their dogs out to the lake with them.

Just be sure that you take appropriate precautions beforehand to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort. Below is a guide to introducing your dog to boating on the lake.

1. Buy Your Dog a Life Jacket

That’s right, Dogs need a life jacket just as much as we do if not more so. Even dogs who are strong swimmers may end up drowning because of rough water or tiredness. Be sure that your pet’s life jacket fits nicely (cozy, but not too tight), before your first boat ride. They come in several sizes.

2. Boat or dock introduction

Before you take your dog on a boat on a lake, introduce them to your vessel while docked. Teach your dog where and how to get off and on the ship and fundamental commands to keep them safe while still on board.

Boarding steps are particularly valuable to dogs and their owners, so make sure you have a nice stable set of steps for your pets to climb aboard before setting sail. Bigger dogs, may be able to jump onto the boat by themselves but having some steps for your pets to climb up may be good either way.

Help your dog get used to the sound of the boat’s engine while sitting still to ensure it will not scare her while you are out on the water.

Besides, it is a fantastic idea to keep some special treats and toys on the boat to better guarantee your dog is able to play while on the boat in a safe location.

3. Identification

Ensure your pet is wearing a harness, attached to the collar, and that the tag is connected correctly. Assuring that the tag is not hanging to far off of your pet will ensure that the tag doesn’t get caught on anything while on the boat.

It is also a good idea to get a pet life jacket for your dog that has a strap or handle on the back of the life jacket. That way while you are boating you have a safe and easy way to grab and lift your pet out of the water if needed. Never lift your dog straight up by the collar as they could begin choking.

If you’re out on the water with your pet while out of town, make a temporary ID label that is printed with your mobile number and local info.

4 Sunscreen and shade

Even dogs are vulnerable to sunburns, particularly if they have short fur. Make sure you shield your pet with a sunscreen that’s unscented to prevent irritating your dogs skin. SPF 15 is generally sturdy enough unless the dog has particularly short fur or bare patches or when the day is abnormally hot.

Additionally, have a secure place prepared for the furry friend to take shelter, if possible. If your boat does not have a shaded or a different covered area, be sure to bring an umbrella or something to shield your dog from direct sunlight.

Human sunscreen is not suitable for dogs! So make sure you grab one that is accepted by your veterinarian. Guard your pup’s eyes against debris and also damaging UV light using shades for dogs that are also incredibly stylish!

5. Water

Ensure you have plenty of clean drinking water readily available for your dog at all times in a foldable bowl that is easy to store and transfer. Saltwater and polluted fresh water can make your dog very ill, so do your best to keep them from drinking it.

6. Potty preparation

Ensure you have sufficient paper towels and waste bags on hand in case nature calls while he is on your boat. Or you can train your dog to use pet pads while on the boat.

To keep him from craving to move while on the boat, be sure to occasionally dock and walk your dog around a location that is dog-friendly or has a puppy “rest stop” and offer him the opportunity to have a bathroom break.

7. Small carpet or throw rug

Dogs absorb warmth through the pads on their paws, so have a little carpet or throw mat readily available for her to stand when the deck gets extremely hot.

A rug or carpet also offers a space where your dog can rest or stand without falling and slipping. All of the motion on a boat can make a puppy a bit nervous, and they can be calmed by having a safe place to lie down.

Also, the waterproof travel bed has a non-skid bottom which helps keep it in place while the boat is in motion so that your dog can rest comfortably and enjoy the ride.

8. Dog overboard!

Before the issue arises, you may want to make a rescue program for your dog if they happen to go overboard. Assign everyone a specific duty and location in case the unexpected happens.

Most of all, especially if your vessel has an outboard motor, then be sure everybody on board knows that if a dog unpredictably ends up jumping in the water, turn off the engine immediately.

9. Keep His first outing brief

Ensure your dog’s first boating adventure is a short one to see how he likes it and also to prevent overwhelming him. If all works well, slowly increase the amount of time. A short maiden trip may also help gauge whether or not your dog is prone to sickness.

Why Should You Have All the Fun?

If you are a passionate boater, you may also have other affinities while you are out on the water such as fishing or watersports. Find out more about how to keep your puppy safe as you are enjoying everything the water has to offer.


Your pet might love the water and can be eager to jump in to cool off on a hot day. Again, this is the point where a leash may be useful or the grip on the rear of a dog life jacket might come in handy.

Your puppy could get excited and attempt to jump in following their friend, but he can end up injuring himself by doing this. Bearing that in mind, make sure another individual who is on the boat has a hold of the leash.


Fishing experiences with your puppy is an excellent way to spend a fishing adventure! Many dogs are entirely pleased to lie in a comfortable corner of the ship, calmly dreaming of the cats back at home.

Before even getting on the boat, condition your dog so that they don’t attempt to chase the lure while fishing. Since dogs are hunters, it’s natural for them to see a quick motion, like bait zipping past, and run after it.

Teach your dog to “leave it alone” or even stand next to your dog while you are casting so you can make sure they don’t get hooked. Take safety measures to keep fishing equipment secured, so your dog does not accidentally step on them or place them inside their mouth.

Dogs have been known to get hooked. So, if this does occur, keep your dog calm and do not try to remove the hook. Attempt and stabilize or lighten the hook’s load then get to a vet as soon as possible.

You do not need to leave your pet at home once you head to your favorite fishing areas. Simply prepare beforehand, connect your boat’s dog ladder, and take your loyal companion with you on your remarkable fishing trip.

Keep Him Safe in the Water

Before introducing a dog to boating on the Lake it is a good idea to take them to some swimming lessons. Although some dogs swim naturally in the water, puppies also benefit from swim training. Experts recommend beginning the training in a shallow area where you can walk together with your puppy and keep him where he is comfortable.

In case a pet is hesitant to get his feet wet, then bring a favorite toy or two so you can throw it in the water to lure him into having a dip. To teach your puppy to utilize all four legs to swim, encourage him until he perfects the doggie paddle.

If he is still timid, you can get them a dog life jacket explicitly made for puppies. When you are Introducing your dog to boating or swimming, never do the following:

  •  Never Just Throw Him in

Not only does this place your pet at risk of drowning, but you will violate your dog’s trust and might even frighten him enough that he loses interest in getting near the water.

  • Never Leave Him Alone

Just like a kid, never leave a puppy alone in the boat even for a minute. Dogs may drown, also, which means you are going to want to manage his swimming at all times.

  • Keeping you Safe in the Water

Some dogs attempt to follow their pet parents when in the water, which may quickly become a dangerous situation. The dog could think he is playing with you or may think he is rescuing you! But instead, he can drown himself and you.

So it is crucial to train your puppy in warm water shallow enough as possible to endure and to remain several feet away from you in the deep water. One training method for this would be to throw a toy that floats where the water becomes deeper.

Bringing dogs onto a boat can lead to lots of great memories. You just have to plan ahead, prepare and train your puppy for the experience. As soon as you’ve completed the preparation work, you might discover that you have a real sea pup on your hands!

Boating with Dogs

If you want to know more about Boating with Dogs click here for more information. We hope you enjoyed this article on Introducing a dog to boating on the lake and would love to hear any other suggestions you may have. Got some other ideas? Leave a comment below.

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