Nothing completes yachting more than sharing the trip with man’s best friend. We take them in cars, on planes and even into most stores these days, so why not let them join you for a week or two while cruising the coast. Thankfully with more and more places becoming pet friendly, just look at the number of hotels who now welcome pets with open arms; it makes taking them along easy and carefree. However, they are family and you want to ensure they are having just as enjoyable of a time as you think they’re having – here are a few ways to make sure your dogs, cats, birds, and other assorted pets on board are as happy as a clam.

Familiarization with the Boat

Whether this is their first time or they come traveling with you all the time, its always nice to familiarize your pet with its surrounding, especially if they are particularly uneasy when it comes to adapting. You will also want to familiarize your pet with its bathroom location (we will leave that up to you to decide where!) as well as where their food and water sits… and a toy basket, you can’t forget one of those.

Pet Proofing Your Yacht

When it comes to pet proofing, make sure to create a safe place for your pet. They are going to need a bed, and this could mean more than one depending on the size of the vessel. Be aware if there are any slippery surfaces that may need some mats thrown down for your pet to walk on with ease. If you are going to a hot climate, make sure there are lots of shaded areas – fiberglass gets hot – and plenty of fresh water dishes scattered around that are secured. If you are going to tether your pet, never do so by the neck and always make sure you are monitoring them on it. The harness line should be a safe length – body harnesses work best when it comes to this.

Safety First

In yachting, safety is always number one, however when it comes to your beloved pets, it’s best to keep an eye on them just as you would a child running around near the street. Yachts have slippery services which can have sudden movements. Yachts also make a lot of unfamiliar noises that could frighten your pet. Rather than panic when you don’t see your pet, keep a consistent lookout for them.

It’s also a good idea to get your pet a ‘boat collar’ that could have your boats name on it, a satellite phone number etc. You may also want to consider purchasing a life jacket for your pet – especially if they are going to be out on deck with you, or just in case of an emergency. While you’re at it, sea sickness medication is never a bad idea to have at the ready, make sure to consult your veterinarian regarding what would work best for your pet.

Exercise + Health

Just like every day living, your pet still needs to have regular exercise so make sure you take this into account. Whether you’re docked and able to take them for regular walks, or if you will need to bring a ball or get them in the water swimming, don’t forget to stick to a regular routine as much as possible when it comes to their every day life. Making sure they are eating and drinking as normal, and making regular grass-patch visits is another thing to look out for. Monitor their water consumption, especially when near the salty sea, and ensure they are happy and healthy at all times!

Pets – Countries & Customs – Rules & Regs

We may love to take our pets everywhere – and they may love it too. But unfortunately, you can’t assume that your pet can come with you everywhere on your worldly travels. Each country has its own regulations regarding the “importation” of dogs and cats and other animals. Some countries quarantine animals for lengthy periods before entry. Most counties require documentation of vaccinations. Make sure you understand the rules and regs before you cross into another country’s boundaries.