Taking your dog out on a boat can be a rewarding experience, but make sure you’re prepared for the voyage. The following tips can help you keep your pet safe and happy while out on the water:
Not all dogs can swim and those that can aren’t all great swimmers. Additionally, water or weather conditions can cause problems, even for a pet that is typically a strong swimmer.
Any dog can get fatigued or disoriented and older dogs, especially, can tire easily. Pets with low body fat can have trouble when exposed to water for long periods. Health issues, such as hip or joint problems, can also make swimming difficult for some pets.
While there are no regulations regarding life jackets for pets, a dog life jacket can help keep your pet safe while aboard your boat or around any body of water.
Pet life jackets are designed to keep the animal afloat in a horizontal, swimming position. The pet life jacket also serves as a retrieval device, should your pet fall overboard.
Make sure the life jacket fits securely and has lifting handles to make retrieving your pet safer and easier. Also, a bright color will make it easier to spot your dog in the water.
Give your pet a chance to get used to wearing its life jacket before actually getting on a boat. Allow your pet to practice swimming while wearing its life jacket, too.
Queen Mary 2 is the only liner to regularly carry animals. Her kennels, which are staffed by a dedicated Kennel Master and can be accessed by owners, take dogs and cats in pampered comfort to and from New York. Queen Mary 2’s Kennel Programme is available on all Transatlantic Crossings between New York and Southampton in either direction, and is managed by a full-time Kennel Master who takes care of responsibilities such as feeding, walking and cleaning the ship’s 24 kennels, 12 upper and 12 lower. Two lower kennels can be opened for larger dogs or just for more space. Cats are required to be on the upper level with two kennels, one for the litter box and one for the living area. Travelling dogs and cats also receive a complimentary gift pack. The kennels and adjacent indoor and outdoor walking areas are open throughout the day, enabling guests to spend significant time with their pets. Reservations for the kennels may be made at time of booking, and are based on availability. Cunard recommends that passengers book their passage as far in advance as possible.
One of the key reasons that ferries remain a popular transportation option for passengers is the freedom and flexibility that ferry travel offers. Not only do many of the ships have fantastic onboard facilities – from dedicated children’s areas to cafes, restaurants and even cinemas, swimming pools and comfortable, en-suite cabins on the longer crossings – you also have the freedom to take your pets, your whole family and as much luggage as you can fit in your vehicle with you.