BOATING WITH YOUR DOG CAN GO ONE OF TWO WAYS; EITHER THEY WILL LOVE IT OR THEY WILL PANIC.

Many people think that taking your dog on a boat will be fine and they will love it, but that’s not always the case. Dogs can get motion sickness or uneasy feelings from the water, like any human would. So always make sure that your pet is comfortable and feels safe when they are with you on a boat. Have them come down to the water with you and take some time getting used to the boat; this will help make them more comfortable and familiar to the new location. 

Taking care of your dog includes letting them use the bathroom. Dogs need to go just as much as you, maybe more, so always have a place to let your dog go to the bathroom and take a break. It's important to remember to keep your pet at the top of your list so you can make sure they're taken care of, no matter the location or weather. Dogs bladders are very easily broken, being startled by even the smallest thing can make their bladder break and you’ll have an accident on your hands. 

Water is all around you when you’re on a boat, but you do need to stay hydrated. The sun beating down on you can take a toll and for dogs and other pets, it can be even worse. Dogs need to have a fresh bowl of water nearby so they stay cool and hydrated. Keeping extra water onboard can solve a lot of problems. Dogs should always have a water dish to drink out of as well so they can get as much as they need. Don’t assume the water around you is safe to drink. The saltwater from beaches can often cause some dogs to go through what is called “beach diarrhea”. Dogs can’t take in a lot of salt in their intestinal tract. Putting your pet in the shade and away from the sun with fresh filtered water for at least 15 minutes will help them immensely. This also applies when poolside. 

Something not a lot of people might know is that dogs, and some other pets, can get a sunburn just like you! One of the most common spots for a dog to get a sunburn is on their stomach because many dogs lack hair there. Providing a shaded area, out of the sun, can usually prevent overheating but its always a good idea to keep an eye on your pet to make sure they aren't overexposed. If your dog does get a sunburn, you'll need to act fast. Getting them into a cool climate and putting a cold compress on them will help them relieve from their pain and will help everyone onboard feel better.

>Top dog breeds to watch for sunburn

-American staffordshire terrier 

-Boxer 

-Chinese crested 

-Dalmatian 

-Gray hound 

-Weimarner 

-Whippet

-White german shepherd

Not only can dogs get sunburned, they can also get heatstroke. The sun can be super dangerous for everyone, but dogs can be especially susceptible because of their fur or hair. Leaving pets in direct sunlight can be extremely harmful. Some symptoms of a dog experiencing heatstroke are exaggerated panting, rapid heartbeat, high fever, vomiting, staring, anxious expression, and warm dry skin. If your dog ever has these symptoms, go to the vet immediately. Panting a little is natural and a part of their normal bodily functions, but be sure to watch for the other symptoms of heatstroke. Never use a muzzle when a dog is panting or you could be hurting the dog a lot. Also good to note: You know when the ground is so hot it burns your feet while walking? Dogs can feel this heat, too so its important to make sure they aren't over-exposed to hot sand or cement.

Keep an eye out for where your dog is sitting on the boat to make sure they aren't being burned by the seating and aren't exposed to the hot sun for too long. Boating with your pet means watching for everything from their seat to their grooming. If you have a big, fluffy dog, you need to watch over them and have them groomed so they can be a lot more safe while in the sun. Playing fetch with ice cubes or lowering the amount of exposure to heat during a hotter day will help a bit. You need to have special things to keep your dog safe and you sane - from life jackets, leashes, and a waterproof collar. Taking your dog to a local pet store to buy all your items will help you find the best fit. Trying on different sizes for your dog will make sure the fit is perfect for if they fall into the water. A leash is important to make sure they do not run away or off the boat. It is very dangerous for a dog to jump into the water if other boats are around, especially if your boat or the nearby boats are in motion or are extremely close by that are moving or that are extremely close. Keeping dog safe is crucial, and it always helps to have your pet tagged or chipped, just in case and also making sure they are tagged. Keeping an extra boat collar for your pooch will ensure that you have all of their important information on-hand if they were to ever get lost. It's so important to make sure your pet is safe, well taken care of and looked after responsibly. 

Keeping your dog healthy and happy is every pet owners intention, but boating and living a life on the water can quickly become a dangerous place, but water is a dangerous place for everyone. Dogs can be very good swimmers on their own and will try and have fun just like you, but you'll need to keep a close eye on them, nevertheless. Watching your dog when they swim and making sure they have their life jacket on is very important as well. Your pets are precious cargo too. 

Other things to know 

Dogs can get ear infections, just like people, from swimming too much. Visiting your vet and getting a prescription will help ease the pain from the dog's ear and will keep them happy as a clam. Basic things like keeping them out of the way of other boaters and watching so they don’t step on, swallow, or get hooked in the lip by a fishing line are important.