tips to consider when bringing a dog aboard

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


  1. Great tips! Have you checked out somethingwagging.comits a dog blog, they recently moved aboard a sailboat too with their dog who is a full sized golden retriever. LoL
    I’m definitely thinking our next dog will be smaller, especially since we want to eventually retire to a sailboat. I had no idea Clewie was so small! She’s smaller than Ziva ( 45 pounds). 🙂

  2. Hi there….. Yes, I read something wagging as well. I do enjoy their blog. Yes, Clewie is small – most people assume she’s a puppy. When we added a second, 50 lbs was my limit, but Tack had such a great mellow personality, I was convinced to increase it to 55…. It will be more difficult as he ages or if he has injuries. BTW, our previous dog who we cruised with was about 45 lbs…..She could handle everything (getting in/out the boat dinghy) and it wasn’t until she had to have ACL surgery that I realized the toll of lifting 45 lbs multiple times a day into and out of the boat can have.

    I didn’t realize Ziva was only 45 lbs, she seems bigger 🙂 I loved learning she loves the ball as well…. she’s really beautiful… they both are (not to leave Dante out).

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