If you plan on bringing your dog onboard the boat with you, a little pre-planning can make the experience more enjoyable for both the dog and you.

What should I do before I bring my dog on board?

First, get a checkup. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, carry a signed vaccination certificate and a health certificate. Have a stool test performed to check for worms, and make sure the dog is on preventative medication, if needed. Make sure all nails are trimmed and pads are in good shape.

Carry a pet’s First Aid Kit with you before bringing your dog

Make sure the first aid kit contains the following:

  • Ears: Panalog Ointment
  • For Minor Scrapes: Panalog Ointment
  • Eyes: Eye washes or artificial tears. Triple antibiotic ointment without cortisone
  • Shampoo: Quality conditioning shampoo and crème rinse. When you can’t give your dog a real bath use waterless shampoo or grooming. Or sprinkle on some baking soda and brush.
  • Hotspots: Panalog ointment
  • Nails: Bring a nail trimmer

Additional things to prepare before you bring your dog onboard

  • Make sure the pet is always wearing a flotation device, preferably one with a handle so you can lift their head above water or help lift them out of the water.
  • Make sure dog had identification or has been micro-chipped
  • Put the pet’s bed or bedding in a quiet area.
  • Carry a fresh water supply and keep water available at all times and avoid allowing your pet to drink the local water.
  • Carry enough food to cover the trip plus a couple extra days. Limit the dog’s intake prior to the cruise. After 4-5 hours give your pet more food.
  • Medications: Make sure to carry a supply of any medications that your pet may be on.
  • Keep a long handled crab or fish net within grabbing distance on deck to retrieve small pets that fall overboard.
  • For cats hang a strip of carpet overboard in case they go overboard. They may be able to grab onto it and climb back up.
  • Exercise: Make sure your dog is exercised either by swimming or running around the deck. Bring float-able toys for the dog to play with and also chews.
  • When on land never allow your pet to roam off leash, never allow your pet to go visit with a strange dog. Clean up and properly dispose of any feces.