You’re pumped about spending hot summer days on your boat.
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
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)
- SPILL PROOF - And Splash Proof. Holds water upside down. No more wasted water. Water stays cleaner.
- EASY TO CLEAN - Dishwasher safe, comes apart for easy cleaning.
- NON-TOXIC - BPA free, made from tough food grade plastic.
- HEALTHY - Keeps dogs from drinking too fast and keeps long ears dry. No water gets up dogs nose.
- GREAT FOR TRAVELING - No more spills in the car when traveling.
- 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)
- 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 Favorite: Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ladder (Available on Amazon)
- 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.
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 Favorite: Outward Hound (Available on Amazon)
- PERFECT FIT - Belly buckles & chest straps ensure a safe & secure fit for any size dog. Please consult sizing guide, located with the product images. You may also contact Outward Hound's website live chat for sizing assistance.
- SIZED RIGHT - Choose from XS to XL and consult the sizing guide to order the best fitting dog life jacket for your furry friend. Note that all pups are unique and special, especially yours! Sizing may differ dog to dog. Please choose your size after taking every measurement listed on the chart. And take any other unique traits (large shoulders, long torso, etc.) into consideration.
- DUAL RESCUE HANDLES - The Medium, Large, and X-Large dog life jackets are constructed with dual grab handles for easy rescue & restraint
- HIGH VISIBILITY - Never lose sight of your dog with bright orange coloring & reflective piping
- SAFE & DURABLE - Foam panels add buoyancy & secure neck float helps keep your dog's head above water
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 Favorite: Pet Loo Portable Pet Potty (Check Price on Amazon)
- 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
- 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.
- SLEEP SURFACE: Gentle polycanvas material covers the open sleep surface of The Furhaven Kennel Pad Pet Dog Bed. The bed features a fun reversible design that allows you to utilize both sides of the mattress to better complement your home decor.
- EASY ON JOINTS: The medical-grade polyurethane provides solid cushioned support for dogs and cats. The kennel pad's low-profile form factor makes it an ideal pairing with your pet's favorite bed, blanket, or rug for enhanced comfort.
- WATER-RESISTANT: The water-resistant coat of the bed cover ensures quality protection against spills and accidents, making it ideal for use out on the porch, veranda, garage, or the yard. Perfect for indoors and outdoors!
- PRODUCT DETAILS: Jumbo, 42" x 24" x 1.25"; Color: Green/Gray
- AVAILABLE VARIATIONS: The pet bed comes in different colors: Green/Gray, Chocolate/Blue, and Blue/Poppy. It's also available in the following sizes: Extra Small (19" x 12" x 1.25"), Small (27" x 20" x 1.25"), Medium (32" x 22" x 1.25"), Large (36" x 24" x 1.25"), and Jumbo (42" x 24" x 1.25").
- 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?
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.
- Protect - Use this dog sunscreen year-round to defend your dog's vulnerable areas from harsh UV rays.
- Moisturize - Natural Aloe Vera will keep your dog's skin moisturized so it will not dry out or get scaly from the sun.
- Made In USA - Safe & Non Toxic Ingredients that help protect your pet's skin from the sun.
- 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!
- Get your pet ready for the beach, pool, vacation, or any event in the sun. Use as a compliment or alternative to typical sunscreen for dogs, sunblock for dogs, dog sunblock, pet sunscreen, nose balm, or dog jacket.
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!