Nothing is better than bringing man’s best friend aboard a boat. The family dog does virtually everything with the family, so why not include them in the beach trips on the craft. Nearly every dog is a water lover, so they will enjoy swimming and beaching with everyone. Dogs are equally at risk as humans when it comes to swimming from the boat to the beach. What are five tips for dog owners traversing from the boat to the beach. 

Thoughts Before Heading To The Beach by Boat With a Dog

First and foremost, make sure that the dog enjoys swimming and is capable of swimming. If your dog is not interested in the water and cannot swim a substantial distance, do not bring it to the beach by boat. Testing the dog’s ability in swift currents can lead to tragic consequences and must be avoided. 


The ocean currents can be powerful for even the best swimming dogs. The tides changes in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are significant, which causes the water to move in or out swiftly. Even the best swimming dogs can be set down when entering the water and walk up the beach well down the shoreline. 

It is best to have a person the dog trusts on the beach before the dog enters the water to encourage it to continue swimming in the right direction and act should an unforeseen circumstance occur. You may want to consider going to and from the beach at slack tide. 


Human or dog jellyfish can inflict a painful sting. Some may think that the fur coat will protect the dog from harm, but this, unfortunately, is not the case. 

Gaze in the water before you or your dog jump in to cool off. If you see jellyfish, avoid entering the water altogether. In coastal waters, jellyfish can be so thick that you can almost walk on them. 


Believe it or not, many secluded islands that are only accessible by boat are filled with wildlife that can harm a dog or human. 

Some of the barrier islands in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia have significant alligator populations. Many people don’t realize that alligators will enter saltwater to feed. Dogs are at risk of alligators on barrier islands. Take a good glance at the water before you enter and continue to monitor as you swim and enjoy the beach. 


Dogs can become quickly dehydrated when they have extreme sun exposure combined with exerting energy swimming and running on the beach. Try to find areas where the dog can rest that are well shaded to the sun from beating down on them.

Pack plenty of fresh water and a bowl for the dog to drink from and remain hydrated. Dehydration can sneak up just as quickly in a dog as it can in a human.  

Paw Burns

Much like the feet of humans, dog’s paws are sensitive to heat. The paws of a dog are quickly burned on the hot sand. Burns can be painful for pets and should be avoided. 

Before entering the dry areas of the beach, test the temperature of the sand. If the sand is reaching excessive temperatures because of sun exposure, keep your dog near the waterline where the sand is cool. 

Is it worth bringing your dog to the beach by boat

If your dog is a skilled swimmer and is not in fear of a boat, the answer is yes—no need to leave the family friend back home when they can enjoy the day with you. Just a few precautions will keep everyone safe while spending a day in the sun on the water. You will likely join other boaters on the beach who have brought a dog along for the adventure.