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Tips for Boating With Dogs

a dog standing on a beach posing for the camera

Can we bring our dogs with us during our boat rental? The short answer, ABSOLUTELY! We are a dog family-friendly business and feel dogs should be able to enjoy their time with family on the water as well. Our own dogs even come to work with us some days! Bringing your dog(s) on a pontoon boat ride has many perks and there are even bayside restaurants that are pet-friendly. Dock your boat at one of these restaurants, listed below, and enjoy a delicious meal with your furry friend!  At Odyssea Watersports, we love dogs and we try to make it easy for everyone to have fun on the water, including the family dog so let’s take a closer look at how you can prepare and make the most of your experience.

Let’s dive a little deeper into preparing for your next boating trip with your furry friend. Boating with dog(s) makes for an awesome summertime adventure; they love it, and you will love seeing them have the time of their life. Of course, you’ll want to take the proper precautions before setting sail to keep everyone safe and comfortable. Here are some of our best advice and safety tips for boating with dogs.


Before arriving at Odyssea Watersports…

a group of people standing on a boat in the water

Photo of Instagrammers @itsagoldenpawty @itsahuckleberry and @gingergoldengirl

  • Give us a call to let us know in advance that you will have a dog(s) with you, if possible. We have our own dogs that hang out on Odyssea beach, and while they’re very friendly, we like to put them in the air-conditioned office just to ease the excitement and or nerves of ours and your dog(s).


  • Bring your dog(s) onto the property leashed. This is just for the safety of your dog(s) and our customers. They will most likely be excited about a new place but could be nervous about getting on a boat if it’s their first time. Having them on a leash can help keep them under control.


  • You do not have to bring your dog(s) into our customer area if you do not want to. There will be paperwork for the driver to fill out and the rest of the party can wait by their cars or by the dock. This may help with all the excitement from your dog and from people seeing your dog.


  • Have a towel ready before boarding the boat. You will want to watch their claws when boarding the pontoon to avoid tearing the seats. It’s a good idea to lay a town down on the seats if you plan to have your dog on them.


Tips for Boating with your dog:

  • Life Jacket: Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, it’s a good idea to equip them with a life jacket, especially when the water is rough. The water you will be boating in when renting in Ocean City, Md will have a current so swimming may be different than normal for your dog. Many dog life jackets come with handles (see photo) making it easier to pick your dog up if need be. Find more information on dog life jackets here

    a dog sitting in the water

    Photo credit to @hennythebasenji on Instagram

  • Keep it Short: If it’s their first time on a boat, plan on keeping the trip short. Dogs can get seasick, stressed, and or dehydrated, especially if it’s their first time on the water. This does not happen often but it’s just something to keep in mind. If you see that they enjoyed it and didn’t have any issues then maybe plan for a longer outing your next time. Bonus: When you rent from Odyssea Watersports, you can always come back to our dock to drop off people/pets and then go back out to finish the rest of your rental time.

  • Keep Them Hydrated! Bring a bowl and a bottle of water (maybe even a gallon) and try to keep it cold. Making sure your doggie stays hydrated with fresh water is very important. Do NOT allow them to drink the bay water, it’s salty and can dehydrate them even more. We sell cold bottled water and coolers in our shop if you happen to forget.

  • Keep Cool: Don’t let them overheat. Keep them under the shade of the bimini boat top when possible or allow them to jump in the water to cool off. Another option is to keep a wet towel in a cooler that your dog can lay on to cool off when needed.

  • Sunscreen: Mist them with an SPF spray if they’re spending lots of time in the sun — dogs can get sunburned, too. Even dogs with lots of furs can still get sunburnt especially if they have not been in the sun for a while. Our English Cream Golden Retriever has thick fur but he always gets a little burnt during the first week of being back at Odyssea.

  • Bathroom Breaks: Have a plan for their bathroom breaks and bring bags to clean up with. This can be tricky but there are a few areas to pull up to while renting our boats so you can walk your dog around. We can show you the areas on a map or you can pull into one of the pet-friendly restaurants to use a grassy area. Please remember to clean up after them.
  • Have Fun! Bring a toy, maybe a tennis ball, to use if you stop at a sandy beach. This will give them something fun to do and they will be able to jump in the water to cool off.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants on the Bay:

Restrictions may apply, we recommend giving them a call prior to docking.

Do you feel better about bringing your dog? Was this helpful? Please feel free to share on Facebook or with any other dog owners. Ready for fun on the water? I know we are! We look forward to seeing you and your pups! Ready to book or need more information? Click the link below or give us a call at 410-723-4227.