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You’re on the lake relaxing with friends and family, the sun is out, you’re making memories that will last a lifetime, but there’s only one problem: your furry friend is at home. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of Axis owners who won’t leave the dock without their fur babies, and you can join their ranks. Here are some tips on how to boat with your dog. 

Test the waters

Some dogs will take to the boat right away, and some will need a little time. Have a plan if your dog suddenly sees a squirrel and decides to go “dog-overboard.” It’s best to get the dog used to the boat slowly over time, taking short cruises and embarking on longer trips when they are ready.

Water and Shade

These are probably the two most important things, because they keep your dog from overheating. When fido starts panting, it’s time to bring out the water bowl and get them some shade. Dogs can’t sweat like humans, so they need to regulate their temperature by other means. A Bimini sunshade is critical to shield from the sun. You can also use the freshwater shower to hose them down when the afternoon sun starts getting hot. And if your dog loves the water (and can swim), they can cool off by jumpin’ in for a quick swim.

Doggy Life Jackets

If your dog doesn’t swim, they should wear a life jacket at all times. They are specially made for canines, so they are comfortable and many feature top handles that you can use to help the dog out of the water. 

Food & Treats

It can be helpful to hold some sway over your dog, and treats are the quickest way to most dogs’ hearts. Use them to reward your dog when they do something you want, or just to keep them from jumping out of the boat to chase animals. 

Potty Breaks

It’s (obviously) best to plan ahead here, taking frequent trips to shore to make sure you don’t have an interior to clean up. Most adult dogs will understand that Soft Grip does not equal grass, and they will get pretty quickly that there are times they can go and times they can’t. 


Boating with man’s best friend can bring an extra level of fun and humor to the experience, and we highly recommend it. Just follow these tips and you’ll have a furry first mate in no time. If your boat doesn’t have some of the essentials like an extended sunshade or freshwater shower, you can design your custom Malibu with our online custom boat-builder, or visit your local dealer to upgrade your on-the-water experience. 

Ready to Go All Out?

Contact your local dealer to schedule your on-the-water demo & join the Axis Wake Movement. You’ll be glad you did.