You are a dog owner and have no one who can take care of your pet in your absence? No problem! There are a few things that need to be considered, but even with a dog you do not have to miss the boat vacation.
In the following we give you the answers to the most important questions about dogs on board.
1. If you rent a boat, talk to the owner
Since not all owners allow dogs on board, it is important to clarify this before to avoid unpleasant surprises if your dog is not allowed on the boat. This will prevent unnecessary misunderstandings upon arrival at the port.
2. Familiarize the dog with the boat before start of the journey
The best way to do this is to equip yourself with favorite toys and treats and show your dog how great the environment on a boat is. In the best case, you stay in the harbor for the time being, so that the dog can gain confidence in the new surroundings. You will see, after a short time your dog will be happy to be on board. Then there is nothing to stop you from going on your first little trips.
Important: Even on the boat, the dog needs his “feel-good place” to which he can retreat. Especially suitable for this is usually a quite low-lying place, because there the ship’s movements are the least.
3. Ensure safety on board
Even though dogs are usually good swimmers, it is important not to underestimate the dangers of water. Here it is advisable, for example, to equip the dog with a suitable life jacket. Another important topic is the sufficient sun protection for the animal. Even a dog can get sunstroke if it spends the whole day in the blazing sun. Therefore, send your dog from time to time in the shade and pack best also a sun umbrella.
4. Enough food supplies
Sufficient food and fresh water – especially on hot summer days, your dog needs enough water on board to avoid dehydration.
5. Variety during the journey
If the dog just lies on the deck for hours all day and is not kept active, he will quickly lose interest. Therefore, it is important to provide an exciting activity program. This includes regular walks on land incl. bathing and playing units. A longer time on board can be covered for example with small seeking games. This challenges the animal and provides variety.
6. What to consider in foreign countries
Unfortunately, as often happens, there are no standardized regulations on this point. Normally, it is no big deal to travel the world with your dog. However, some port authorities require a lot of paperwork. The requirements are always a complete vaccination certificate (EU pet passport) and the appropriate papers and proof of deworming. To be on the safe side, you should always inform yourself about the different entry regulations before leaving for a foreign country. Even within the EU there are different regulations. In Italy, for example, a muzzle must always be carried. Depending on the employee of the authority, more or less strict attention is paid to compliance with the rules.
Good to know: Dogs can also get seasick! The following symptoms may occur: Sickness, salivation, vomiting, panting, restlessness, uncleanliness.
This can be prevented by making enough stops and giving the dog small amounts of food. If the pet gets seasick, only a break will help. The symptoms usually disappear after some time by themselves.
Summary: With the right preparation and planning, a boating vacation with your dog is possible without any problems and is a great thing for both humans and pet. However, it is important not to force the animal to do anything. If the dog feels uncomfortable and reacts with fear, for example, accommodation with friends during the vacation is the more appropriate decision.