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How to: bring pets on sailing holidays

How to: bring pets on sailing holidays

Does leaving your furry friends behind make you sad?  No need - just bring them along. Pets on sailing holidays are great fun! 

One of the biggest worries that people often have when planning a holiday is, what should we do with the pets?

While finding the right arrangements for your pets can be challenging, with a sailing holiday, you can just take them with you.

Why shouldn’t all your family members get to enjoy some fun and relaxing time at sea? Here’s how to do sailing with pets right:

                 In this guide to pet friendly sailing holidays:

  1. Predeparture: Pick a pet-friendly sailing destination
  2. Onboard: Sailing with your pet safely
  3. Health: What to do if your pet gets seasick
  4. Code Red. Bathroom situation for your cat or dog
  5. Need help for your Pet friendly Boating Holidays?

  Predeparture: Pick a pet-friendly sailing destination

The most important step is to pick a destination and a base that allows you to bring pets.

Make sure you check with your charter consultant for fleet operators who allow pets.

It is never advisable to bring your pet aboard a yacht charter without having checked with your charter consultant and fleet operator first, as this may create delays, and inconvenience during the check-in, or even cancel your charter altogether.  While some fleet operators are more than happy to allow pets on board, they may charge for additional cleaning.

It is also important to research the travel regulations for animals for the country you are traveling to, as every country is different! You’ll want to make sure you have the correct documentation so your pet is allowed to enter with you. Although regulations vary from country to country, almost all places require your pet to be microchipped. 

In addition to documentation, there are likely some medical requirements as well. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations, and make sure to get any additional shots that are needed for your destination. 

 Onboard: Sailing with your pet safely

When you’re out at sea, safety is one of the biggest concerns.

The last thing you want is a pet overboard!

Lifeline netting is one way to prevent that and can be especially great if your pet is unaccustomed to being on a boat.

Another option is to secure your pet to the cockpit so they can’t wander off. Ask your charter consultant to help find a boat that is set up for your needs. 

Another important item to have is a pet PFD/life jacket.

If your pet should end up in the drink, a life jacket will help them stay afloat until you can reach them. You can also add reflective tape to their collar or a waterproof light to make rescue efforts easier. 

Lastly, make sure your pet’s collar has a tag with your contact info, so they can be returned to you if they get lost. 

 Health: What to do if your pet gets seasick

When you’re out at sea, you’ll want to make sure your pet’s health remains tiptop!

Animals can get seasick the same way humans can, so it’s important to monitor how your pet is doing. Make sure they are drinking plenty of water and have a nice place to rest out of the sun

Some recommend halving your pet’s food portions until they get used to being on board. It’s a bit easier on their stomachs as they acclimate.

Also, if your pet is showing signs of seasickness, but won’t take water, try giving them ice to lick just so they don’t get dehydrated. 

If you’ve never taken your pet sailing, you might want to have some common sea-sickness remedies handy. Ask your vet what they recommend for nausea/seasickness and stock up before you embark!

 Code Red. Bathroom situation for your cat or dog

With pets on sailing holidays, there are a few logistical things to figure out as well. 

One thing you will have to contend with is the bathroom situation.

While cats with litter boxes or caged animals won’t have this problem, when sailing with a dog, you will have to find a place where they can relieve themselves. 

Some owners have trained their dogs to use a fake patch of grass, piddle pad, or even a litter box. You should start this type of training at home, and as young as possible so it just becomes normal to them. 

If that option is not going to work for you, you can plan your itinerary around your pet’s bathroom breaks. Every 3-5 hours work in a stop so that you can bring your dog ashore. 

 Need help for your pet friendly boating holidays?

If bringing your pets on sailing holidays, sounds like a good way to relax and unwind, send an enquiry and Yacht4Less will help you organize your trip down to the last detail!

Keep on reading: 
First time sailing Guide [11 Must-Have Tips for Beginners] »
Romantic sailing holidays for couples »
Family Sailing holidays »


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