Taking Your Pet Aboard

by Ian Kuhl on June 14, 2014

in Featured, Franklin Marine, Sailing Adventures

Many of us have a faithful companion or two with four legs.

Going boating for the day, weekend or longer can be difficult if you haven’t got a baby sitter for your little mate.

Depending on the pet and boat it can be very rewarding taking your mate along with you.

Sailer and Dog anchored off "Broughton Island"

Sailor & Dog anchored off “Broughton Island”

Pets can keep big and little kids entertained for hours especially on longer passages.

There are several things to do to make it fun for all.

Life jackets are essential to keep your pet afloat, they are available in about five sizes to fit most breeds.

It’s best to bring pet in for a fitting.

Life jackets have a handle on the top so are very handy for getting your pet in and out of dinghies and boats.

Life jackets are also great for tethering the pet so they can’t fall or jump overboard.

I once had a big staffy on our boat up the barrier reef, we were motoring along on a smooth day when some interested dolphins were right beside us jumping out of the water.

It was a re draught to a bull for the staff how straight away went to lunge at the dolphins pushing in on his territory.

Fortunately he hit the mid life line and bounced back.

A dog harness is good if the life jacket is too hot.

When the going gets rough or too much action on deck put your pet below in a secure spot where they don’t slide around.

Obviously, they will need to go to the loo somewhere.

We trained our dog to do its business next to the anchor winch so when we pulled the anchor up and washed of the mud from the chain the rest I was ahead off to with the deck wash.

A dog will want to go ashore if possible and I have definitely been to more beaches when travelling with a dog than without one.

Cats can be a little easier in some ways that they use kitty litter trays and are easier to toilet train.

Some cats will jump ashore by themselves if given the chance and it can be hard finding them again especially in the bush.

National parks can be difficult but if you stay below high water mark on the beach with the pet on lead you should be right.

Best to check with parks.

Food and water are the usual and our dog often got some fresh fish .

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