Traveling by Boat with your pet – FAQ
Q: How do I prepare my pet for traveling in my boat?
A: For personal boats, take time to allow your pet to become familiar with your boat.
- Provide a ramp for your pet to easily get on and off the boat, or carry your pet on and off the boat.
- Call ahead to make sure the marina or park is pet-friendly.
Q: What items should I bring with me to keep my pet safe?
A: Bring the following items:
- Your pet should wear a proper-fitting personal flotation device (a life jacket) at all times to keep your pet safe in and around water, even if they know how to swim.
- Applying sunscreen prevents sunburn to your pet, especially pets with light skin and short or thin haircoats. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a non-toxic, non-skin irritating sunscreen for your pets.
- Provide non-slip bathroom rugs to assist your pet from sliding on the wet boat and from burning their paws.
- You should have your pet in a carrier, or on a harness or leash to prevent them from jumping or falling overboard.
Q: How will my pet go to the bathroom when on a boat?
A: You can train your dog to use a piece of astroturf, a box of sod or newspaper. For cats and other small animals that use litter boxes, make sure there is a covered litterbox secured to the floor inside the boat.
Q: What should I do to prepare when traveling on a cruise with my pet?
A: To prepare for traveling with your pet on a cruise:
- For public boats, check with the boating company to find out their requirements and restrictions.
- Most boating companies will require you to provide a regulation carrier and a leash for dogs.
- You will also need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) and possibly a travel form, depending on the areas that you will be visiting.
Q: What are some other things to think about when traveling by boat?
A: Here are some other things you should think about:
- When traveling by boat, your pet should have exercise before boarding and when you make stops.
- When traveling to foreign countries, you will need an International Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate).
- You may also need a permit and have to fill out a form. Information about pet passports to foreign countries can be found at Pet Travel
- Some pets get motion sicknesses on boats. If your pet becomes motion sick in the car, it will likely be sick on a boat. Talk to your veterinarian about alternate traveling suggestions or medications.