If you happen to be a dog owner and a keen sailor - it's only natural that you'd want to combine two of your favourite passions and get out on the open ocean.

Although getting on your boat may be fairly hazard-free for you, it can be a bit of a minefield for a dog - so grabbing a water bowl and a lead just before you leave the house isn't going to cut it!

It's not rocket science, but Mylor Chandlery have put together a list of our top tips to taking your best friend out for their first ever sail.

#1. Master The Commands

The first thing you need to do before you even step foot on your boat is to have your dog familiarised with some key commands. Sit, stay and heel are your top 3 directions to stop them from falling overboard, walking over anything hazardous or getting under your feet.

#2. Make Sure They Have A Life Jacket

You may want to consider investing in a doggie life vest to keep cosy on the boat and safe in the water. Our Crewsaver Petfloat comes in a range of different sizes to fit your pooch, with a storage pocket and a low profile for a super comfy fit.

#3. Keep Your First Sail Brief

The first trip out with your dog should be short - 2 to 3 hours max - to see how they react to the new environment.

Although most dogs love being your first mate, it's good to look out for signs of stress, such as tail tucking, trembling, cowering and similar anxiety indicators that may suggest your pet isn't enjoying it.

#4. Create A Checklist Of Essential Supplies & Treats

You may want to consider taking these on board...

  • Dog food and/or treats (depending on how long you're out there)
  • Water bowls
  • Puppy pads
  • Toys and distractions
  • And...

#5. ...Pet First Aid

Every responsible sailor will have an up-to-date first aid kit on board, but have you included one for your dog? This may seem like an unnecessary precaution, but including a few dog-appropriate bandages and treatments for scratches and scrapes will give you peace of mind.

#6. Prepare A Bathroom Spot

At some point your pet is going to need to relieve themselves, so when nature calls, make sure they have a corner on deck they can go to. You should purchase a mat or a piece of artificial turf, and if needed, puppy training spray to attract them to the area.

#7. Be Vigilant At All Times

Dogs, like children, get up to mischief, so keep an eagle eye on them at all times to make sure they're staying safe and out of trouble.

#8. Keep Them Hydrated

It's probably something you've already thought of, but it's really important that you bring a water bowl or keep a water bowl on board your boat. Dogs can't sweat and therefore they can't cool themselves down in the same ways humans can. So fill up a water bottle that you can decant into a bowl whenever your dog gets overheated.

Post By Ed Mason