Wow! We had such a great response to last week’s article: Top Ten Tips for Boating with Pets. We asked for photos of your pets and you answered!

First and foremost, we want to give a shout-out to Robert Austin, who graciously gave us tips from his real experience:

We have sailed over 50,000 miles with Labrador retrievers aboard. There are a couple of comments I would make:

  • Make sure the life jacket has a good and secure strap around the chest, and that there is a “handle” (fabric webbing) which you can grab ahold of, or easily get a boat hook into—then use for hoisting aboard. I would add that retroreflective fabric on the life jacket will make finding easier at night should one go overboard.
  • As for the “do the duty”, we found that house broken dogs do much better with their elimination issues if a scrap of carpet or “pee pad” is forward or aft deck—not in the cockpit. The dog tends to see the cockpit as an extension of their living space—and will be reluctant to “soil this”. 
  • In our sailboats, we had a safety harness (the life jacket) and a tether to clip on a jack line—for the dog, just as we did for ourselves when crossing oceans.  We also put 2 x 2 fishing net along the bottom of the lifelines, to make the chance of falling over far less (Never had a dog go overboard even in hurricane force winds and seas to match).
  • The dog needs a secure place to sleep. At times in sailboats that even means a “lee cloth” for the dog’s bed.
  • Dogs can hear dolphins long before we hear or see them.  We found many times our lab would trot onto the foredeck alerting us about those wonderful mammals long before we realized they were near. “

Thanks again to Robert—looks like we’ll need to update our top ten list.

And here is your array of onboard pets:

(use the left and right arrows to view the pictures)

16Susanna and Lounging Lilly Pets on Deck

Yellow Lab Lilly lounges on a center console in Florida with her best pal Susanna.

15Jordan and Charlie find some shade

14Totally Tubular

13Coco Leads the Way

12Demanding Dogs

11“Cat” Dog

10Swim Test Complete

9Homeward Bound

8Pepe takes a peek

7No Swimming, No Problem

6Weather Watchers

5Accessories Aboard

4Getting Comfortable

3Suns Out, Tounges Out

2Bone Voyage!


Thank you so much to everyone who submitted photos! Your pets look great on deck!