Pet Friendly Marine Activities in San Diego


Because of San Diego’s location on the Pacific coast, it offers plenty of marine activities for families to enjoy together. One of the most spectacular of these is San Diego whale watching. If your family includes a dog, it may be possible to take him on a whale-watching adventure. However, there is some preparation you need to do beforehand to help him enjoy the trip.

Introducing Your Dog To Sailing

If your dog is already an experienced sailor, there may be little that you need to do to get her ready for the trip. However, if you haven’t taken your dog on the water before, she may need a little practice to acquire her sea legs. If possible before the trip, rent or borrow a boat and train your dog to get in and out of it. Keep the boat on land at first so that it doesn’t move as your dog is jumping in and out, then try it in the water so she gets used to the unfamiliar motion.

It is also a good idea to make sure your dog understands basic voice commands and responds to them consistently. The following commands are especially important:

  • Come
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Leave it

Another good skill to teach your dog, in case she needs it, is to swim toward you when called.

Finally, when booking a trip, be sure that sailing with a dog is allowed on the particular charter. Even where it is allowed, there are conditions that your pet has to meet before he can go on board.

On Board Must Haves for Dogs

Now that your dog is ready for the trip, and you have confirmed that she will be welcome on board, there are some things you need to bring to make sure that she remains comfortable and safe during the trip. Whenever your dog is out on the water, it is always a good idea for her to wear a canine life vest or jacket, preferably one with a handle so you can pull her up out of the water.

Some dogs experience motion sickness or anxiety when out on the water. If your dog experiences symptoms such as these, ask your veterinarian to recommend some medication that might help or other calming devices, such as special shirts. Bring a canine first aid kit along in case of an unexpected illness or injury. It can also help to bring something that smells of home, such as a favorite blanket, to keep him calm.

A whale watching San Diego December trip can last several hours. Before your scheduled departure, take your dog for a walk to allow her to go potty. To prevent dehydration during the trip, bring along a bottle of fresh drinking water and a portable bowl so that she can have a drink if she needs it.

Consult your vet before the trip to make sure that a sailing trip is appropriate for your dog. Refer to the sailing company’s requirements to make sure your dog can meet them. You know your dog best, so ultimately, you are the ultimate authority about whether he is ready for sailing. You can book the trip once you are sure that it is something you can enjoy together.

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