Testing the waters
Before you take your pet out for their first boat ride, it’s a good idea to give them some time to get used to the new floating environment. Start by bringing your pet onboard when the boat is docked or anchored. That will give them a chance to adjust and you, a chance to observe their behavior. Just like people, pets can get nervous or seasick out on the water.
Whether or not your pet can swim, we strongly recommend putting a life jacket on them whenever you go out on the water. Lakes and rivers are different than pools, and your pet would probably tire faster when trying to swim in waves or against a current. They might also try to hold onto you and make it harder for you to swim to the surface in the event of an accident.
The good news is that there are tons of animal life jackets available to keep your furry friend afloat if they get tired. Some come with a handle you can use to pull your pet out of the water.
Bring food and water for your pet, just like you do for the humans onboard. Animals can get heat stroke too. They should drink three or four times as much water as usual when they’re out in the sun.
Keep a square of artificial grass in a corner of the boat for when nature calls.