Some tips to consider when bringing a dog aboard:
* Do think about the size of the dog…. if you already have a pooch, then think about how you will lift them – there are times when you will need to just pick them up. There are many lifting harnesses available if needed. In fact even for our 33 lb Clewie, we have a lifting harness for her – it just makes things easier if you can put a handle on her back.
* Take the bathroom strategy planning seriously. Training this sooner rather than later and quickly and clearly is the best approach. It’ll make passages – whether just a day or multiple days much more enjoyable for you and your furry crew.
* Think about “safe” spots. If your doggie is crate trained and there is room aboard for your crate – excellent. But if not, you can create alternate den like safe spots. Check for sliding potential when heeling, check above for potential items that might fall – even around for items that might fall clear, but make a thud
* start SLOW SLOW SLOW with sailing……start the engine at the dock before the big day. all of our dogs started with first time out as a motor trip – make it a normal everyday kinda thing. Depending on the weather, you might need to just wait another day to raise the sails.
* Get your doggie lifejacket before your first trip. We’ve also found it easiest to tether the dogs in the cockpit initially until they can be trusted not to run around when docking/undersail/whenever you decide