Finding resources for pet care while sailing
Finding resources for pet care while sailing

Embarking on a sailing adventure with your pets is an exciting experience, but it's important to know how to care for them while on board. This blog post provides valuable tips and resources for pet owners to ensure their furry friends are safe, healthy, and happy at sea.

Finding Resources for Pet Care While Sailing

Sailing the open seas with your family is an incredible adventure, and for many, that family includes beloved pets. As you embark on your journey, it’s essential to ensure that your furry friends are well taken care of and have access to the resources they need to thrive in their new environment. In this article, we’ll explore the various aspects of pet care while sailing, including finding pet-friendly marinas, veterinary care, and supplies, as well as tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy on board.

Table of Contents

Pet-Friendly Marinas

One of the first challenges you’ll face when sailing with pets is finding marinas that welcome your furry family members. While many marinas are pet-friendly, some have restrictions or additional fees for pets. It’s essential to research and plan your stops ahead of time to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your pets.

Here are some tips for finding pet-friendly marinas:

  1. Check online resources: Websites like Noonsite and ActiveCaptain provide information on marinas worldwide, including pet policies. You can also join online forums and social media groups for sailing pet owners to ask for recommendations and advice.

  2. Call ahead: When planning your stops, call the marinas directly to inquire about their pet policies. Be sure to ask about any additional fees, restrictions, or requirements for pets.

  3. Look for pet-friendly amenities: Some marinas offer pet-friendly amenities such as dog parks, pet waste stations, and even pet-sitting services. These facilities can make your stay more enjoyable and convenient for both you and your pets.

Finding Veterinary Care

Ensuring your pets have access to veterinary care while sailing is crucial for their health and well-being. Here are some tips for finding veterinary care at your various stops:

  1. Research ahead of time: Before setting sail, research veterinary clinics and hospitals in the areas you plan to visit. Make a list of their contact information and keep it handy in case of emergencies.

  2. Ask for recommendations: Reach out to fellow sailors and pet owners for recommendations on veterinarians in the areas you’ll be visiting. Online forums and social media groups can be a valuable resource for this information.

  3. Consider telemedicine: Some veterinary practices offer telemedicine services, allowing you to consult with a veterinarian via video call. This can be a convenient option for addressing minor health concerns or getting advice on pet care while sailing.

  4. Carry a pet first aid kit: Be prepared for minor injuries and illnesses by carrying a well-stocked pet first aid kit on board. Include items such as bandages, gauze, tweezers, a digital thermometer, and a pet-safe antiseptic.

Stocking Up on Pet Supplies

Keeping your pets well-fed and comfortable on board requires planning and preparation. Here are some tips for stocking up on pet supplies:

  1. Buy in bulk: Before setting sail, stock up on non-perishable pet supplies such as dry food, treats, and cat litter. Buying in bulk can save you money and ensure you have enough supplies for an extended period.

  2. Choose long-lasting toys: Opt for durable toys that can withstand the wear and tear of life on a boat. Rope toys, rubber balls, and chew toys made from tough materials are excellent choices.

  3. Pack extra essentials: Bring extra collars, leashes, and ID tags, as well as any medications your pets may need. It’s also a good idea to have a spare pet life jacket on board.

  4. Research local pet stores: Familiarize yourself with the locations of pet stores in the areas you’ll be visiting. This will make it easier to restock on supplies as needed.

Keeping Your Pets Safe and Comfortable On Board

Life on a boat can be an adjustment for pets, but with some planning and preparation, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for them. Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe and comfortable on board:

  1. Invest in a pet life jacket: A pet life jacket is essential for keeping your pets safe while on the water. Choose a life jacket with a handle on the back, making it easier to lift your pet out of the water if necessary.

  2. Create a designated pet area: Set up a comfortable and secure area for your pets to eat, sleep, and relax. This can help them feel more at ease in their new environment.

  3. Secure food and water bowls: Use non-slip mats or Velcro to secure your pet’s food and water bowls, preventing spills and messes.

  4. Use a harness and leash: When on deck, keep your pets secured with a harness and leash to prevent them from accidentally falling overboard.

  5. Monitor the temperature: Be mindful of the temperature on board, ensuring your pets stay cool in hot weather and warm in colder conditions. Provide shade, fans, or heating as needed.

Exercise and Enrichment for Pets at Sea

Keeping your pets physically and mentally stimulated while sailing is essential for their overall well-being. Here are some ideas for exercise and enrichment:

  1. Walks and playtime at marinas: Take advantage of your time at marinas to give your pets plenty of exercise and playtime on land.

  2. Interactive toys: Provide your pets with interactive toys that encourage problem-solving and mental stimulation, such as puzzle feeders and treat-dispensing toys.

  3. Training sessions: Use your time on board to work on training and reinforcing commands with your pets. This can help keep their minds sharp and strengthen your bond.

  4. Swimming: If your pets enjoy swimming, find safe and appropriate opportunities for them to take a dip in the water. Always supervise your pets while swimming and ensure they are wearing a life jacket.

International Travel with Pets

If your sailing adventures take you to foreign countries, it’s essential to be aware of the regulations and requirements for bringing pets across borders. Here are some tips for international travel with pets:

  1. Research the requirements: Each country has its own set of rules and regulations for importing pets. Research these requirements well in advance to ensure you have the necessary documentation and meet any health requirements.

  2. Microchipping: Many countries require pets to be microchipped for identification purposes. Ensure your pets are microchipped and that the microchip is compatible with international standards.

  3. Vaccinations and health certificates: Most countries require pets to be up-to-date on vaccinations and have a health certificate from a veterinarian. Be prepared to provide proof of vaccinations and a health certificate when entering a new country.

  4. Quarantine: Some countries have quarantine requirements for pets entering from certain regions. Be aware of these requirements and plan accordingly.


Sailing with pets can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both you and your furry family members. By planning ahead and being prepared, you can ensure your pets have access to the resources they need to thrive in their new environment. With a little research, preparation, and patience, you and your pets can enjoy a safe and happy life at sea.