Chances are, if you own a four-legged companion, you consider them a part of the family. As part of the family, they share everything with you, from long walks to car rides and even a warm bed. There is no reason they shouldn’t share the love of the ocean and yachting lifestyle with you as well. We compiled a list of top tips for pets aboard to ensure their safety and overall experience is just as enjoyable as yours.
When bringing your pets along on an extended voyage (especially international travel), you’ll want to be sure they’re up to date on vaccinations and you have all of the required paperwork needed. Ask your vet about quarantine periods and the paperwork required for international destinations. But, don’t solely rely on your vet to know international laws and requirements; do your research to ensure all is taken care of before departure.
Just in case your furry friend accidentally falls overboard or gets lost at the port, getting them microchipped is strongly advised. For additional safety measures, an ID tag with your vessel’s permanent marina location and a phone number is also recommended. Other safety measures include getting a fitted life jacket for your furry friend and investing in a GPS tracking device in case the unimaginable happens. Raymarine LifeTags attach to any collar and is a priceless investment should your pet fall overboard.
Like people, dogs can also get motion sickness while on board a yacht. Ask your vet about medications for seasickness just in case. Also, it may be a smart idea to plan your cruising with meal times, so your pets are never moving on a full stomach. In addition, always have a bowl of water available to them at all times.
Before taking your pet aboard for cruising trips, get your pets used to your yacht. Allow them to roam on the boat while docked so they can get used to the surroundings, smells, and sounds while aboard. After they get a sense of familiarity with the vessel, try taking them on a short test run to see how they react while the boat is in motion. We recommend doing this a few times until your pet is well adjusted. If all goes well each time, it’s safe to assume your pet will adjust just fine to life out at sea.
Pets, much like humans, can suffer from sunburn and heat strokes with extensive exposure. Providing them with adequate shade, keeping them well hydrated, and keeping them cool is crucial while aboard. For added protection, purchase a pet approved sunscreen such as Petkin’s Doggy Sunmist Spray.
When it comes to potty breaks, cruising with a cat is a much simpler process than traveling with a dog. For cats, a secured litter box typically does the trick. For dogs, the process may be more challenging. If you don’t plan enough stops for your pup to do their business onshore, thorough training to go onboard will be needed. Usually, owners resort to installing a piece of sod for bathroom breaks or a synthetic grass pad, as they are easier to clean. Regardless, get your pup familiar with the location of the sod/pad, and be sure to praise them when they use it so they know it is allowed.
We hope this guide is useful to you when bringing your four-legged companions aboard. If you are in the process of shopping for a yacht, search for yachts worldwide by clicking the button below. Or, use our Yacht Shopper tool to save searches and get automatic notifications when a yacht that fits your criteria comes to market.