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Pets on board

Top tips for a relaxing sailing holiday with your furry friends

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For those of us who consider our pets to be important family members, it is not always feasible to leave them at home. Therefore, if you choose to rent a boat, your furry friends may also become part of the adventure.

Vacations are meant for relaxation and appreciating the wonders of the places we explore, alongside our beloved companions - including our pets. Although it may present some difficulties for them, with a little bit of pre-planning, you can ensure that you and your pet have the most enjoyable holiday together. Are you ready to set sail?

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Tips before sailing 

Dogs and cats can have different reactions to the boating environment. It is known that most cats despise water, but some breeds can love it and wouldn’t mind getting wet or going for a swim. On the other hand, most dogs enjoy the water and are more open to new experiences but some of them can feel more stressed and anxious. 

In both cases, it is good practice to accustom your pet to the sea. Taking them to the beach to sniff around, and getting used to shallow waters and the noises of the sea is a great way to understand if your pet is happy in such an environment.

Once you pass this step, you should do the same on a boat: try a few short trips first, and let them explore the deck to make sure they feel comfortable on board before you are ready to depart. Allow some time to get used to the boat and make the experience as relaxed as possible. 

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Travel essentials

Just like it happens for us, some essentials can make your pet feel at home and therefore should be carried along. Pack snacks, toys, treats, favorite objects, beds, or anything they like that you know will make them feel happy and comfortable. If your pet takes any, don’t forget to bring medications. 

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Safe spots 

Pets are good at finding spots they feel comfortable, so let them decide where to stay. You can help them by making the place their place: add a bed to keep them secure and provide water right next to it. If they feel anxious, a spot beside your bunk could help relieve some stress.

Cats are usually more independent and will tend to change places according to their needs. Make sure the boat has enough shaded spaces where your pet can rest away from the sun’s rays. 

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Pet safety 

Whether your pet can swim or not, they must be always safe on the boat. Life jackets are accessible for both canines and felines and donning one will alleviate some of the anxiety of your pets accidentally plunging into the water. Cats, being generally cautious, are less prone to falling overboard.

The inside of a boat can be quite slippery for our furry friends. A few carpets here and there can help them to have a better grip when the boat is shaking. A leash could also be a good solution for dogs that tend to be quite unpredictable. You can also put together a small first aid kit in case of an emergency, and ask your vet for suggestions. 

In any case, a well-trained pet is the best control measure for a smooth and relaxed holiday. 

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Toilet

When sailing, you spend most of your time away from the land. This means fewer potty walks for our pets! A toilet is essential for making sure they can do their business even when in the middle of the sea. 

You can arrange a toilet spot on the boat by placing a piece of synthetic grass or litter and accustoming them to the place. However, it might not be easy to train them to go potty in the designated space so make sure you always have doggie bags with you and throw them away as soon as you land. 

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Yacht charter: rent your boat with Sailogy!

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Seasickness and sunstrokes 

Seasickness can be a serious problem for your pet but you can only find out once you’ve set sail. Many drugs for pets prevent motion sickness, so a visit to the vet before the departure can help you understand the best solution and dosage for your friend.

Although pets won’t overexpose themselves to sun rays, the risk of sunstroke on a boat can be behind the corner. Make sure they have fresh water available at all times as they cool themselves through their tongue. You can recognize if they’re overheated for the uncontrollable panting: if this happens, use cooling pads or wet towels to relieve the heat. 

If you wish, you can have a little pool where your pet can take a bath from time to time.

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