Are you a dog owner and there is no one in your circle of family and friends who can look after your four-legged friend in your absence? No problem! There are a few things to bear in mind, but even with a dog you don’t have to miss out on a boating vacation.

Below we answer the most important questions about dogs on board.

1. If you are renting a boat, talk to the rental company / owner

    As not all rental companies/owners allow dogs on board, it is important to clarify this in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises if your dog is not allowed on the boat. This will avoid unnecessary misunderstandings when you arrive in port.

    2. Get the dog used to the boat before the start of the trip

      It is best to equip yourself with favorite toys and treats and show your four-legged friend how great the environment on a boat is. Ideally, you should stay in the harbor for a while so that your dog can gain confidence in the new surroundings. You will see that after a short time, your dog will be happy to be on board. Nothing will stand in the way of the first short trips.

      Important: Even on the boat, your four-legged friend needs a “feel-good place” to retreat to. A relatively deep spot is usually particularly suitable for this, as this is where the ship’s movements are at their lowest.

      3. Ensure safety on board

        Even though dogs are generally good swimmers, it is important not to underestimate the dangers of the water. For example, it is a good idea to equip your dog with a suitable life jacket. Another important issue is adequate sun protection for the animal. Even a dog can get sunstroke if it lies in the blazing sun all day. Therefore, send your dog into the shade from time to time and pack a sunshade as well.

        4. Enough 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 your dog spends hours on deck all day and is not kept busy, he will quickly lose interest. It is therefore important to provide an exciting social program. This includes regular walks ashore, including swimming and play sessions. A longer time on board can be bridged with small search games, for example. This challenges the animal and provides variety.

            6. What needs to be considered abroad

              As is so often the case, there are unfortunately no uniform regulations on this point. As a rule, traveling the world with your dog is no big deal. Some port authorities, though, require a huge amount of paperwork. However, a complete vaccination record (EU pet passport) and the relevant papers and proof of deworming are always required. To be on the safe side, you should always find out about the different entry regulations before traveling abroad. Even within the EU there are different regulations. In Italy, for example, a muzzle must always be carried. Depending on the staff at the authorities, compliance with the rules is more or less strict.

              Good to know: Dogs can also get seasick! The following symptoms can occur: Nausea, salivation, vomiting, panting, restlessness, uncleanliness.

              Sufficient stops and small amounts of food can help. If your four-legged friend becomes seasick, only a break will help. The symptoms usually subside on their own after a while.

              Conclusion: With the right preparation and planning, a boating vacation with a dog is possible without any problems and is a great experience for both humans and four-legged friends. However, it is important not to force the animal to do anything. If the animal feels uncomfortable and reacts with fear, staying with friends during the vacation, for example, is the more sensible decision.

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