Safety Tips For Your Sailor Dog Companion

Safety Tips For Your Sailor Dog Companion | A Letter to My Dog

If you plan to go out to sea and take your dog along, keep in mind pets are just as vulnerable as young children. They are susceptible to sea sickness, sunburn, the effects of sun exposure including sunburn and heat stroke, and falling overboard and drowning. Think safety first if you’re bringing your dog along.

Plan for Comfort

Gayle Martz and Delilah Smittle, authors of “No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide to Traveling with Your Best Friend,” recommend you think about your dog’s comfort when boating. They suggest bringing items such as a towel for the dog, a dog-sized shirt or jacket that’s water-resistant, lots of bottled water, and a pooper scooper or potty pads for extended trips when you’ll be on the water longer than the time between your dog’s normal potty breaks. Also bring medicine from the vet for seasickness.

Gordon Wilson, writing for Modern Dog Magazine, says that if your dog is new to boating or if you’re on a different boat than the dog’s been on before, plan a very short trip before going on longer trips to see how the dog responds to new noises and movements of the moving boat.

Plan for Safety

Plan what you can do in case of an emergency before your boat leaves the dock. Lorie Huston, DVM and Certified Veterinary Journalist, recommends discussing your dog’s safety and emergency plans with other passengers. If the dog were to go overboard, make sure to keep your eyes on the dog and get to it when the water calms, and call to the dog from the boat that’s been brought to a standstill if it knows how to swim or is wearing a life jacket.

Huston also recommends creating an ID tag for your dog to wear while boating that has the marina’s contact information, your boat slip number, and your contact information. She says to bring first aid supplies, pet first aid book, any medicine the dog is currently taking, medicine for motion sickness (if your dog has had that condition previously), and supplies to stanch bleeding like Petclot and gauze pads and medical tape. She also recommends using life jackets designed for dogs, as does Wilson.

She also suggests following local laws where you’ll be on the water. Make sure you comply with regulations about boats, boating safety, and dogs, and check if you must pass a boater’s safety exam.

What Can Happen on a Boat

Wilson of Modern Dog Magazine tells the story of a woman whose pet schnauzer was discovered missing from their boat after having last seen him four hours earlier. Going overboard, either unseen or while in sight, is just one of the things dogs are vulnerable to while boating.

Other things that can happen when you take a dog boating include seasickness, sunburn, windburn, and heatstroke. Make sure you bring medicine for sea sickness, pet sunscreen, shade for the animal, and cold water and ice in case of overheating.


Riley’s View: Canine Heat Regulation

Riley's View

Dear Friends,

With the help of spell check, I decided to pitch the idea of a monthly letter about all the things I have learned about humans, and share some insight about the way us four-legged beings interact with the world and communicate with others. To my delight, ALTMD accepted my proposal and even showed me how I can convert my bark into English characters using my humans computer.

My name is Riley, my blond wavy hair falls over my face slightly, while the rest of my 65lb. frame looks like a curly white rug. I am an eight year old Goldendoodle with a human like disposition, and a wildly fun Mohawk. My human styles my mohawk to give me some flare. Unbeknownst to him, I like it most because people often stop us on walks and give me attention stroking my hair and giving my head scratches.

Surfing the internet, like all dogs do, I came across A Letter To My Dog. I know my human owns a dog training company called Pooch Pals. He also contributes to websites and publications as a professional dog training expert, so I thought why can’t I. After all I am a dog and I know dogs best. The following is the first installment of a monthly series written by yours truly, Riley the Goldendoodle about none other than dogs.

Riley's View

This month, our topic of choice is about canine heat regulation. So here’s the basics about us furry kids, we don’t sweat. Unlike our two-legged humans, we cool ourselves through our tongue and the pads of our paws. In addition to giving me cool, fresh water each and every day my human wets my paws during the summer time which helps to cool me down. For those short nosed, or flat faced pups such as Pekinese or Pugs it is especially important to keep these dogs cool since these breeds are prone to overheating. My human says it has something to do with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome; I think that’s another way of saying a dog with poor breathing.

Frankly, I tolerate the heat but I much rather the winter time when I get to borough in the snow. Plus, there aren’t any holidays in the winter when humans play with those insanely loud toys that make my eyes water and shake my eardrums. I think they call them fireworks. Speaking of which, my human has something to share with all of you about desensitizing your dog to fireworks leading up to the fourth of July. If you are like me, it takes a couple weeks to get reaccustomed to the experience of fireworks that’s why I suggest starting your training now.

Licks and love,


Marc Elias, ABCDT is the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Pooch Pals, the New York-based pet training and care service. After six years of experience working for corporations, Marc sought a less traditional role aligned with his background in client services, operations and marketing, paired with his love of animals and helping people. Today, Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer of Pooch Pals LLC with a dog training certification from the Animal Behavior College. Marc and his Goldendoodle Riley are active pet therapy volunteers certified by the Good Dog Foundation. Pooch Pals is committed to positive reinforcement dog training. They believe in creating a positive culture in New York City’s pet community, and they welcome clients who are as passionate as they are about receiving personal service for their dogs including positive reinforcement training.

 photo source

Awww! Puppy Comforts Older Dog During Nightmare

Awww! Puppy Comforts Older Dog During Nightmare

If this isn’t love, we don’t know what is.

Watch as this puppy Golden Retriever comforts his older friend during a bad dream. Because that’s what friends are for, right?