Your pets are you best friends for life. You would not leave them alone in the house or in someone else’s care while you luxuriously stretch out in your boat off to a perfect vacation. Pets and sailing-boating have something in common- they are both high maintenance hobbies-passions. Having a pet play Skipper onboard is not impossible. In fact, it can be quite fun to dress them up in their life jackets and Gilligan's Island Hats. Here are some of the tips to ensure your pet’s safety while sailing:
1. Prepare your boats for pets
Check your boat before bringing any animals on board, especially for cat owners. Boats are full of tiny holes and openings perfect for your cat to comfortably sit in (no matter how small it may look). Also, make sure the engine compartment is sealed, and close off any holes leading to it, or in it. You would not want to drag your cat out of the engine compartment while afloat..
For cat owners, you may want to add safety nets or ropes around the side of your boat. We all know cats hate water so if they slip or jump overboard, the nets can save you pet’s life. It is also important for cats and dogs to get familiar with your boat. Let them get comfy onboard before sailing.
2. Pet Safety
Yup! Life jackets do exist for your pets, and it comes in all different sizes and color. Some may even come in bright and vibrant color and a useful handle. You can check your local veterinary store to see if they can order one for you. Dogs can possible go overboard and is advisable for them to wear one. But before you put them on this life jacket, try introducing to them first. For cats, however, the nets are the main safety precaution for them as life jackets can interfere with their mobility.
3. Get a pet microchip
What’s the worst that can happen when traveling with your pet? Well, authorities can take your pet away from you because of insufficient documentations. How to prevent it? Get pet microchips with their vaccination information. These are the most common requirement in most countries (if you plan going on cross country sailing). You may want to put the boat’s information engrave in your pet’s collar.
4. Schedule pet potty stops
Pets need to use a bathroom break too! Most cats are trained to use cat litter. You can simply put cat litter on top of a non-slip mat to avoid it getting on the way. Clean it as often as possible so the boat won’t smell something that came out of a toilet. Dogs, on the other hand, can be trained to use newspaper which makes it easier for everybody onboard. But whenever possible, make marina stops a necessary as throwing poop in the open waters are illegal – everywhere in the world.
5. Keep your pets hydrated
Always keep your pets hydrated. Make sure your pets can hide under a shade or an under an umbrella. Keep them away from the harsh sunlight and keep an eye on your pets. Prepare a bowl of fresh water beside them and refill it as often as possible.
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