7 Boat Accessories for Dogs You Might Have Overlooked

You’re pumped about spending hot summer days on your boat.


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And, of course, your best friend wants to go, too. I don’t know about you, but my best friend is my dog.

Before you let your dog hop on board, you need to plan ahead. That means you need the right dog-friendly boat accessories for their safety and your peace of mind.

We’ve got you covered. This list of boat accessories for dogs has all the essentials on lock-down, and they’re way cool too, by the way. They’re not just for health and comfort, but for playing around and having fun. After all, having fun is the main reason you’re heading out on the water.

With these seven suggestions below, you’ll make sure the puppy-on-board experience is an enjoyable one.

The Boat Accessories Your Dog Needs

Water Bowlbtbtbl2-table__imageBuddy Bowl
  • Spill-proof and splash-proof
  • Easy to clean
  • Available in a variety of size options
Boat Rampbtbtbl2-table__imagePetStep Folding Pet Ramp
  • Portable and folds in half
  • Great for cars, boats and other small spaces with limited storage
  • Has a rubberized non-slip surface
Boat Ladderbtbtbl2-table__imagePaws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder
  • Slip-resistant
  • Portable and durable
  • Reduces straining and possible injury
Lifejacketbtbtbl2-table__imageOutward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
  • Side buckles for better fit and release
  • Bright colors
  • Sizes available from extra small to extra large
Pet Pottybtbtbl2-table__imagePet Loo Portable Pet Potty
  • Great for travel and small places
  • Drains urine away from paws
  • Easy to clean
Dog Bedbtbtbl2-table__imageFurhaven Pet Bed Crate or Kennel Pad Dog Bed
  • Can be placed indoor and outdoor
  • Water-resistant exterior
  • Available in five sizes
Sunscreenbtbtbl2-table__imageWarren London Premium Dog Sunscreen
  • Protects from UV rays
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Lick-proof when dry

1. Water Bowl

Don’t be one of those folks who think pets can just lap water up from anywhere. Natural bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers and oceans, can harbor harmful bacteria and other organisms that cause illness. You don’t want your pup to get sick.

In this article by Dr. Mary Fuller, DVM, she discusses the dangers of letting your pet drink from natural water sources. And it kind of freaked me out. So now I want to spread the word.

Of course, you might have already known about this. Either way, you need a way to keep water at the ready. But any old water bowl won’t work—simpler bowls are bound to topple, spill and cause a mess on deck.

That’s why you need a specialized doggy water bowl for your boating expeditions. You need a bowl that can withstand choppy waters, unexpected turns, wake waves and high winds.

My Favorite: Buddy Bowl (Available on Amazon)

The Orginal Buddy Bowl 1/2 Gal Clear
  • Spillproof and splash proof bowl keeps your floors dry
  • Perfect way to keep your dog hydrated when on the go whether in RV, boat, or car
  • Helps to prevent ear infections by keeping long ears dry
  • Works for small, medium, and large sized dogs. Great for full grown cats as well
  • Child-proof: While small hands can splash, they will not be able to dump the whole bowl.

I think that the popular Buddy Bowl is a perfect fit for the boating lifestyle, and they’ve got options to suit any dog owner.

  • They’re spill-proof and splash-proof to keep your deck dry.
  • Tiny puppy on board? Opt for the small-sized 32 ounce. There’s a 44 ounce for mid-sized dogs, and a big, old 64 ounce for large breeds or boats with multiple thirsty doggies on board at once.
  • They’re used on ride-alongs by military and police K-9 officers.
  • They prevent pets from drinking too fast. Although rare, dogs can get water intoxication. They’re more prone to this while out in the heat and sun all day long, and even more if they’re swimming in (and accidentally ingesting) saltwater.

If you’ve got a good boat-friendly water bowl, your pup can have fresh water all day, without worries!

2. Boat Ramp

If you’ve taken a larger dog on board your boat before, you know the pain of hauling a big dog onto the deck—yikes. But there’s no need to strain your back every time you go out on your boat. With a dog-friendly boarding ramp, our pups can easily step from the dock to the boat and vice versa.

My Favorite: PetStep Folding Pet Ramp (Available on Amazon)

Petstep Original Folding Pet Ramp, Khaki/Beige
  • Unique soft non-slip rubberized walking surface. Superior Traction in wet or dry conditions. No sandpaper or carpet making it soft on paws
  • Universal non-slip grip fits all vehicles and edges. Holds any size dog
  • Folds in half for easy storage and portability (molded ergonomic handles on both sides)- opens and closes in seconds (no hardware required)
  • Advanced composite plastic construction holds up to 500 lbs (animal use only). Weighs only 18.5 pounds
  • Will not rust or corrode and can be cleaned with soap and water

My choice is the PetStep Folding Pet Ramp. It’s portable and folds in half, which is great for cars, boats and other small spaces with limited storage. It’s multipurpose, meant to reduce strain when getting your dog in and out of boats and other vehicles—even on and off furniture. But this one is especially good for boats, since it has a rubberized non-slip surface—that means no slipping, no water damage and no problems with washing it off quickly.

What else can you ask for in a dog-loading ramp for your boat?

3. Boat Ladder

The best part of boating for dogs is probably the swimming. They love getting wet and mucky. If you’ve got kids or anyone else on board who’s going to be diving into water and splashing around, I’m betting that your dog won’t be able to resist jumping overboard with them.

The question is: How can you get that water-logged dog in and out of the water? If you’ve attempted this by hand, you’ll know that it’s uniquely difficult to hoist a big, wiggling, wet and slippery dog out of the water and back onto the boat’s deck. Many an arm has been scratched up by doggy claws and many a back has been strained this way.

Answer: A pet boat ladder that’s safe and reliable.

My FavoritePaws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder (Available on Amazon)

Paws Aboard Safe and Convinient/Portal, Durable and Slip-Resistant Doggy Boat Ladder - Yellow
  • The Doggy Boat Ladder provides a great way for you to enjoy the water with your pet.

Check this Paws Aboard ladder out. It’s slip-resistant (no falling back in), portable and durable ( perfect for boats), reduces straining and possible injury (for you and Fido), it’s lightweight (easier to install/remove) and it’s easy to attach and remove (less headaches). Oh, and it’s bright yellow (for high visibility).

With this ladder, your pup can easily clamor out and back into the boat, without injuries or worries.

4. Lifejacket

For most of us, our dogs are part of our families. You wouldn’t want your kids or your dogs to be without lifejackets, would you? I didn’t think so.

There are those who’d say, “hey, dogs can swim.” Sure, most dogs can swim, but some are better built for swimming than others are. Then there’s always a chance that the winds, waves and currents will end up being stronger than expected, and even a strong-swimming dog will be at risk. Why take a chance?

In my book, here are the reasons why good-fitting pet lifejacket is absolutely necessary, and some questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about skipping this item:

  • Is your breed bred for swimming? Even if you think yours is, some individual dogs just plain don’t like the water.
  • What if there’s an accident your dog is thrown overboard?
  • What if he accidentally falls overboard? If there’s poor visibility, it may take time to find him.
  • A good vest will have handles for easy, quick grabbing.
  • Your trip will be worry-free knowing that your dog is always safe.

My FavoriteOutward Hound (Available on Amazon)

Outward Hound Granby Splash Orange Dog Life Jacket, Large
  • SIZING BASED ON GIRTH: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your dog is short and stout or long and lanky, there's a dog life jacket fit for them. Available in sizes XS-XL and featuring adjustable straps, we've made it easy for you to choose a size that supports them based on their girth measurement. We recommend sizing up if the dog's girth size is on the higher end of this size.
  • SPLASH WITH SAFETY: The Outward Hound Granby Splash life jacket for dogs is designed with bright colors and reflective accents to provide better visibility while swimming. A front neck float helps keep your dog's head above water whether they are a novice or experienced swimmer.
  • NOVICE & EXPERIENCED SWIMMER-FRIENDLY: The Granby Splash dog life jacket is constructed with ripstop material that provides maximum buoyancy in the water without restricting movement on land. Adjustable straps and side release buckles provide a secure fit and neoprene belly band supports their chest and belly while getting their float on!
  • MULTI-HANDLE DESIGN: Dual grab handles make it easy to restrain and lift your dog out of the water and provide easy access for a rescue should they get into trouble while swimming.
  • PLAY IT SAFE: No pet accessory is indestructible. Do not leave with unsupervised pets. Remove and replace if damaged.

One popular choice is the Outward Hound series of pet life jackets. Look at why they’re top-notch:

  • Front float keeps Fido’s head above water (helps prevent water ingestion and going under)
  • Two handles (easier, quicker to grab)
  • Side buckles for better fit and release (easier to put on/remove)
  • Bright colors (better visibility)
  • Sizes available from extra small to extra large (no excuses not to buy)

This boating pet accessory is truly a no-brainer for your pet’s safety and peace of mind.

5. Pet Potty

When your dog needs to go, it’s a ritual that involves in-bred behavior and communication. So, it’s not likely that they’ll relieve themselves at all in the water.

You can always plan to dock or set anchor and walk your dog from time to time during your day of boating. Even so, it’s a good idea to invest in a portable pet potty for your boat. Having a specific place for your dog to do their business will be more sanitary, safe and comfortable than relying on docking at the right moment.

My FavoritePet Loo Portable Pet Potty (Check Price on Amazon)

PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Dog Potty, Alternative to Puppy Pads, Large
  • PEACE OF MIND: Great for working pet parents or those that live in apartments and want to train the dog to use the restroom indoor
  • LESS ODOR: The covered waste bin and Wee Sponge powder work together to trap smells and help keep the potty odor-free. Made of PET- Polyethylene Terephthalate plastic.
  • CONVENIENT CLEAN-UP: The Pee-Pod slides out of the base and the Wee Sponge powder turns the urine into a gel on contact to easily dispose of the waste
  • EASY-TO-CLEAN GRASS MAT: Synthetic grass mat can be easily cleaned with water; Simply remove from the base and rinse
  • PERFECT FOR SMALL SPACES: The Pet Loo is great for smaller spaces such as RV’s, campers, apartments and patios

Now, not any pet potty will do. Some are made more for apartments and houses, and not for the movements and unpredictability of a boat deck. And there’s no room for accidents in this area—not only is pet waste smelly and messy, it can cause slipping dangers. You don’t want that.

So, let’s look at some features you may need: safe, secure, clean and convenient. That’s why my favorite option is always the one by PetSafe known as the Pet Loo. This thing’s pretty cool, and pet-owning boaters will enjoy these features/benefits:

  • Great for travel and small places (bingo!)
  • Drains urine away from paws (no tracking)
  • Powder absorbs urine/controls odor (no bad smells)
  • Strong base for support (won’t buckle)
  • Easy to clean (just dump and rinse)
  • Specially-designed tray prevents spills (perfect for active boating)

Tip: A portable pet potty is perfect for boating days but may require initial training prior to the wafirst outing. Be wise and plan accordingly.

6. Dog Bed

We’ve established that you want your pup to be comfortable on your boat. That means they need a cozy bed to rest in that’s both comfortable and cool. It also needs to be water-resistant, easy to clean and really sturdy. Pet cots are nice but can flip on boats. A better choice is a bed or mat, that won’t slip.

My FavoriteFurhaven Pet Bed Crate or Kennel Pad Dog Bed (Available on Amazon)

Furhaven Pet Dog Bed Kennel Pad - Reversible Two-Tone Water-Resistant Crate or Kennel Foam Mat Pet Bed for Dogs and Cats, Green/Gray, Extra Large
  • PET FRIENDLY DESIGN: The bed features a traditional open mattress design that gives pets plenty of room to sleep in a variety of positions; it's an ideal choice for both cuddlers and sprawlers alike
  • WATER-RESISTANT: The kennel pad cover is made from durable polyester canvas with water-resistant coating that protects against spills and accidents, making this bed an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor setting
  • PRODUCT DETAILS: Green & Gray; Jumbo, 42" x 24" x 1.25"
  • AVAILABLE VARIANTS: The bed comes in Green & Gray, Chocolate & Blue, and Blue & Poppy; it's also available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, and Jumbo
  • EASY CARE: Pets can present some unique cleaning challenges, which is why Furhaven made sure that the removable dog bed cover is easy to clean for your convenience

I love this Furhaven option. It has all the features to make them great for naps on a boat. Check them out:

  • Indoor/outdoor (use at home or boating)
  • Water-resistant exterior (keeps him dry)
  • Easy to clean (just wipe)
  • Inner foam core provides comfort and support (especially good for senior pooches)
  • Flat design stays put better (for those bigger waves)
  • Available in five sizes

What more could a pupper want in a boat bed?

7. Sunscreen

Last but not least, everybody needs sunscreen on the boat. But did you know that your dog needs some too?

Pets can get sunburned, especially on their noses, ears, and bellies. And some pets are hairless or have limited hair. These guys are even at higher risk.

My FavoriteWarren London Premium Dog Sunscreen (Available on Amazon)

Warren London Dog Sunscreen Spray w/Aloe Vera- Dog Skin Soother w/Dog Sun Protection- Made in USA- 4oz
  • Sun Protection For Dogs - Use this dog dry skin spray year-round to provide dog sunscreen protection. Simply spray this doggie sunscreen directly onto the coat, or rub into to exposed areas for dog nose, snout, and ear protection.
  • Moisturize – Natural Aloe Vera will provide dog itching skin relief to avoid dry and scaly skin from the sun. This dog sunblock also works as a great after sun lotion, and will sure to be a snout soother for doggies whom got too much sun exposure.
  • Works on All Coats & Breeds- A great dog sunscreen for white dogs and all color coats. Use this pet sunscreen for dogs with your favorite hairless dog lotion, dog wipes, or other dog pool or dog beach accessories.
  • Use with Your Favorite Dog Supplies - Long or short hair, this dog sun screen will provide sun protection for all types of dogs. Partners well with dog accessories like a pair of dog sunglasses, dog sun shirt, dog sun hat, dog life jacket, dog beach tent, dog swim trunks, dog goggles, or doggles.
  • Easy To Use - Apply a light even coat to your pet for hours of protection and skin hydration. Dries In Seconds. Non-oily and lick-safe once dry. A handy spray bottle makes application a breeze! Made in USA

One popular pet sunscreen is Warren London Premium Dog Sunscreen. Here’s why:

  • Protects from UV rays
  • Safe, non-toxic
  • Natural aloe vera moisturizer
  • Lick-proof when dry
  • Dries fast
  • Made in U.S.A.

What’s not to love about it? It’s safe for pups and will protect them from harmful rays.


By choosing the right dog boat accessories, your canine pals can enjoy boating and be safe. Then your family can have fun on the water, without extra worries. If your dog could talk, they’d thank you!

Bark if you’re ready to go, Fido!