SAILING CROATIA WITH YOUR PET – Fun & Safety!
Of course you would like to spend your perfect vacation with your beloved furry friend!
After the charter company confirms that it is allowed to take your pet on board I would like to give you some advice that may be helpful for your sailing trip with your pet. Here are some suggestions of how to make the experience more pleasurable for both of you.
Please take care that you have the necessary documentation for your pet in order to enter a country. Also please make sure that your pet is micro-chipped, in countries like Croatia it is obligatory. Do not forget to have your pet vaccinated on time, and check quarantine laws some countries require pets to be quarantined.
Put an ID tag on your pet!
Information to include:
- Your boat’s name, permanent marina location and slip number
- A phone contact for when you’re afloat
- A secondary phone number (such as a relative, or land based friend)
Get a personal flotation device (PFD) for your pet, regardless of how good a swimmer your pet is, a sudden dunking can cause panic. Tip: get a brightly coloured life jacket with a handle on top, this is much easier to see and retrieve. Get the pet used to wearing the PFD before setting out. A life vest for your animal is a must.
Teach your dog basic safety commands, such as stay, sit, on boat, off boat, or the all time favouirite “do your business”.
Make sure there are no hazardous or dangerous materials within your pet’s reach.
Get seasickness medication and sunscreen for your pet. Some of the same medications used for humans, such as Benadryl and Dramamine, also work for pets, please consult your vet before giving your pet ANY medications.
Pets can also get sunburnt so make sure there is enough shade for them and that they have enough water. If you can, it would be smart to get a pet-friendly sunscreen.
When on shore, keep your dog on a leash, and if needed put a muzzle on the dog’s snout. This is normally necessary with the larger dog breeds or if it is demanded by local laws.
To make them feel safe, bring toys and blankets it uses at home to help. Take also your pet’s bed or basket if it is very attached to it. Do not forget its collar, leash and muzzle if needed. Use a harness, made from strong webbing material, that provides a lifting handle capable of supporting your pet’s entire weight.
Toilet training on board. Train your dog to go on a piece of Astroturf on the foredeck. You put a small grommet in the Astroturf and tie a rope to it. Then you can wash the Astroturf by hanging it over the edge while under way.
Companionway stairs need to be adapted for your pet, please make sure that your pet knows how to cross them and the gangway without getting hurt.
Never tether your dog to the boat. In very rough conditions the dog should be below, in the cabin. Pets can’t undo the tether if they go overboard so please also surveille them.
I hope that my advices and suggestions will make this a great experience for you and your pet!