Does your first mate have four legs and a tail? You’re not alone! More and more boaters are taking their dogs with them on their boats. Our dogs bring us just as much joy on the water as they do on the land. That’s exactly why we need to make sure our pup-on-board is safe and having as much fun on the water as we are. How can we do that? Before we give our dogs “permission to come aboard”, we need to plan. That means having the right dog-friendly boat accessories on board for safety and fun.
Being a star maritime pet owner isn’t difficult. And the proper dog boating accessories don’t have to be expensive. Of course, the size of your pooch will determine the size of most of the accessories. So, let’s jump right in! To make sure you have the accessories your pet needs, we bring you our tried and tested best dog boating accessories for 2022.
Best dog boating accessories for 2022
Best dog bed for a boat
Your fabric dog bed from home won’t do it on a boat. That’s because traditional dog beds will slide around on the deck, stay wet, get stinky, and with a good wind, fly off your boat completely. You need a specialized dog bed to keep onboard. Just like us, dogs get tired from swimming, sun, and fun, so they need their own place to rest.
The one we like is the SUDDUS Elevated Dog bed. It’s raised on legs that are antiskid. It’s also waterproof and lightweight with no heavy fabric to get soaked and dirty. It’s breathable, prevents bacteria, and is easy to clean with a hose or a wipe.
Best boat ramp for dogs
If you have a large breed or have taken a large dog on board your boat before, you know the grief of hauling 75 to 100 furry pounds onto the deck. The good news is there is no need to strain your back every time you go on and off your boat. A dog-friendly boarding ramp is all you need for your pup to easily step from the dock to the boat and vice versa.
Our choice is the PetStep Folding Pet Ramp. It’s portable and folds in half, making it perfect when you have limited storage, like on a boat. This ramp is especially good for boats because of its rubberized non-slip surface – no slipping and no problems washing it off quickly.
Best boat water bowl
Sea dogs can’t just lap up water from anywhere (or go into the gally fridge for a cold one). And, lakes, rivers, and oceans harbor harmful bacteria and other organisms that can get your pup sick. That’s why you need to have clean water at the ready. The problem is that any old bowl will eventually topple, spill, and cause a slippery mess on deck.
That’s why you need a doggy water bowl designed just for boats. It needs to be able to hold its ground in choppy waters, tight turns, wake waves, and high winds. Our favorite is the Prestige Pets Road Refresher No-Spill Slobber Stopper Water Bowl for Dogs. It stays put and won’t spill.
Best dog potty for a boat
When nature calls, you can’t always dock or set anchor and walk your dog. So where is your pooch supposed to go? You need something on deck where your dog knows it’s OK to relieve itself without making a mess you need to clean up.
Our favorite solution, by far, is fake grass because it most closely mimics the outdoor environment. It’s far easier to train your dog to pee on a patch of artificial grass than anything else. The one we like is PetSafe Pet Loo.
It’s easy to empty and to clean. Just remember that when emptying your pet loo of urine, be sure to do it in a quiet area where there are no swimmers. For solid messes, you need to bag it and take it home. And one more piece of advice, while a portable dog potty is ideal for boating, it will require some training prior to your first outing. So, plan accordingly.
Best dog life jacket
Yes, most dogs can swim. But some are better built for it than others. Plus, there’s always the chance that the currents, waves and winds will be stronger than even a strong-swimmer can handle. There’s no good reason to take the chance.
The fact is, even if your dog is a great swimmer, in an accident he could be thrown overboard. If he falls overboard in poor visibility, it will take some time to find him. Plus, a quality vest has handles for quick and easy grabbing. All of this adds up to knowing that your dog is always safe.
The one we like best is the EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device. What makes it our favorite is the fact that it’s comfortable, ergonomic, has reflective trim you can see in the murkiest of weather conditions, and comes in a wide range of sizes so can be sure it fits your dog perfectly.
Best dog sunscreen
es, it’s a thing! There is actually special sunscreen designed to stop dogs from getting burned. Just like us, dogs have a huge risk of sunburn from UV rays – even on cloudy days. Especially at risk are noses, ears and bellies. And, of course, hairless dogs, or those with limited hair, are at an even higher risk.
A spray sunscreen is the best solution, as you can spray it onto your dog and then smooth it in with your hands. Our favorite is Warren London Dog Sunscreen Spray. All you need to do is spray it directly onto the coat, or rub into exposed areas like the nose, belly, and ears. Just make sure that you re-apply every 2 hours and each and every time your pooch comes out of the water.
Basic water spray bottle
Any time your dog is hot and needs to cool off, a refreshing spray of water does the trick. That’s why we suggest you have a cheap water spray bottle at the ready. Not only will it cool your pup off, but you can make a game out of it.
Best dog boat toys
Last, but certainly not least are dog boat toys. Dogs love to play and it keeps them busy – and not chewing your boat seats and cushions. To be honest, any old ball that floats is just right for a good game of fetch. But if you want something special, try the Hyper Pet Chewz EVA-Stick. It floats, is soft on teeth, easy to clean, a bright green color that stands out in the water, and great for fetch, play and retrieve.