Safe Pet Travel On Water

It is the time of the year for a lot of fun, family things.  Picnics, laying out at the pool, hiking, things that involve the whole family.  The four pawed family members as well.

 When you think of going by air, or jumping in the car/boat/rv to start your adventure, you always make sure you have what is needed to keep your family safe, comfortable and healthy.  The same needs to be done for the pets.

 The next couple of blogs I do will be going over tips to keep in mind when traveling with your pets.  I will be letting you know safety tips for traveling with your pets in the car, on a boat, in a recreational vehicle and by air.  Today will be boating.


 Before you leave, call SILVERMARK (1-800-659-7363) or log on to Pets Best pet insurance ( to buy your pet insurance.  We can make sure you have just the policy you need, to be there when you need it. 

  •  Do a little research:  call to make sure that wherever you’re heading allows pets and ask about their policies, as many require that you keep them on a leash and don’t leave them alone.
  • Get ID tags:  Outfit your pets with up to date ID tags with your cell phone number, marina address and slip numbers.  If there is room, consider including that you’ll offer a reward for their safe return.  Now might be a good time to consider a microchip be implanted in your pet for easy identification.
  • Bring along their health records:  bring along copies of your pets’ health records and vaccinations.  Some marinas and camping spots require this kind of documentation.  Now is a good time to ask your Vet their recommendation for fighting seasickness.
  • Prepare a doggie bag:  Pack a bag so you’re prepared for anything.  Stock it with things like cleaning supplies, a towel or travel bed so your pets have a place to rest or sleep onboard, portable bowls, food and water, a pet first aid kit (see below), and lots of toys.
  • Assist their doggie paddle:  Fit your pets with a personal flotation device, or life jacket.  Find one with a lifting handle to make it easy and safe to lift your pets from the water.  Give them time on land to get used to wearing it.
  • Before you leave home give them plenty of food, water and exercise.


  •  Help them get their sea legs:  Gradually introduce your pets to your boat and the water.  Give your pets a chance to explore their surroundings while the boat is docked.  Turn on the engine so they get accustomed to its sound, smell and feel.  If possible, take short cruises and gradually build up to longer trips.
  • Clear the deck:  Store away any potentially toxic or dangerous materials (e.g., cleaning materials, fuel, hooks, etc.).
  • Ramp it up:  Give your pets a helping hand with a ramp that helps them get on-board and off.  Use the ramp both from the dock and from the water.
  • Cool it down:  Protect your pets from the heat by providing shade and plenty of water.  Wash the deck with cool water to protect their paws.  If the deck is wet, you might lay a towel to cut down on “slip and slide”.
  • Watch for wooziness:  If your pets are overly tired or disoriented, seasickness might be to blame.  Some vets recommend giving them ginger or medication.  Ask your vet before giving you pets anything.
  • Prepare a potty:  If you can’t make regular stops, make provisions so your pets can go to the bathroom on board.  For cats, bring a litter box.  For dogs, you can buy a portable doggie potty that simulates grass.

 Recommended Pet First-Aid Kit

This is for a basic pet first-aid kit. For convenience, you may want to make one for your home and another for your car. It is also a suitable Disaster Preparedness kit.

  • Sterile gauze pads (3″ x 3″ and 2″ X 2″) and gauze bandage rolls (1″ and 2″)
  • First-aid adhesive tape, 1″ roll
  • Cotton swabs (Q-tips®)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Plastic freezer/sandwich bags
  • Small bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Styptic pencil or cornstarch (stems blood flow from minor cuts)
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Antiseptic cleansing wipes
  • Kaopectate® or Pepto-Bismol®
  • A current pet first-aid book
  • Eyewash
  • Eyedropper
  • Mineral oil (a lubricant and laxative when given by mouth)
  • Digital or rectal thermometer in a plastic case
  • Leather work gloves (to protect you from being bitten)
  • Latex gloves
  • Leash
  • Thin rope
  • Splint materials (tongue depressor, 12-inch wooden ruler or thick magazine)

Place the contents in a plastic storage box, tackle box or coffee can with lid.

This should get you going!  SILVERMARK hopes you drive safely, have fun and show us the pictures when you get home!  1-800-659-7363

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