Sailing With A Pet, A Safe Bet?

A sailor can take a pet on board while sailing. The only thing that depends is if the charter agency allows it and it most cases; it does. You can sail from all over the Med, but a sailor should know that different countries have different rules for letting pets navigate in their country.

Hence, proper navigation is required for a pet to enter a country and the needful authorities shall be contacted for the same. The pet should be micro-chipped because in some countries a chip is obligatory. It should be vaccinated and a sailor should be informed regarding quarantine laws because, in certain countries, pets need to be quarantined. This makes up the most for the documentation part.

Carrying a pet on a yacht can cause some practical issues. The pet can be scared and, in such cases, one should a reserve for the pet in the yacht so that it can hide. Remove anything harmful from the yacht that might cause the pet to panic.  Most importantly, ensure the pet has an identity card attached to it and that such card contains all vital information about the pet on it.

Training for toilet

The toilet is one of the necessary concerns while having a pet aboard a yacht. In case of a pet dog, one can get a piece of AstroTurf as it gives the illusion of grass to the pet. Moreover, it is convenient to clean. You can also opt for a cat litter box but should make sure that it is placed below the deck due to stability reasons. The most time consuming and complicated alternative you can choose is to train the pet on what it has to go overboard. This choice even carries a danger of the dog falling into the water.

Companionway stairs are highly convenient on a yacht. But it is important for these stairs to be convenient for the pet as well. Companionway stairs can be quite steep for a dog to climb and this can be avoided by putting a plank on these stairs.

Giving short experience

Any new experience is quite daunting at first and in cases of pets, it might be quite too much fearful. In order to prepare a pet for a sailing experience, one should take the pet to some short sailing trips. Make your pet feel the most comfortable and take its blankets and toys it uses at home while you are on the ship.  The idea is to take anything that the pet feels most comfortable in and is most attached to. Animals can get angry and violent in situations that arise panic and fear within them, to ensure that the pet does not harm itself or someone else on the ship.

Like humans, pets can also get sunburn. It is hence advisable to get a pet-friendly sunscreen for this purpose. Also, carry enough water and ensure there is adequate shade available for a pet on board. Sometimes, certain medicines for humans can work on animals as well. You can carry sea-sickness medicines for the pet; however, consulting a vet about this would be advisable.

Additional care required

Lastly, extra care shall be maintained while sailing. While there is a dog present on a yacht, make sure it does not harm anyone. Pets can be great at swimming, but floatation devices are required when there is a danger to their life. In difficult moments, one should tether the dog to a boat and put a PFD on the dog.

A great alternative could be to attach a swim platform to the yacht as if the animal falls off the boat, it would be easier to recover the pet. A harness can be used if the pet ends up falling inside the water as it is made of durable webbing material and is provided with a lifting handle. This is more feasible as it helps in supporting the pet’s entire weight as compared to a simple collar which could slip over the head and choke it badly in process of recovery. When on shore, it is better to keep the dog on a leash, and in necessary situations, put a muzzle on the dog’s snout. This is done when there are more massive dog breeds involved or if any local law demands it.

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