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Boat Dog Days in Tampa Bay

Taking the boat out for a spin can turn an ordinary afternoon into a delightful journey, and welcoming aboard your furry first mate can make it even more enjoyable! In addition to experiencing the cool sea breeze and seeing new places, taking your dog on a boat offers a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality bonding time together. If you’re ready to set sail with your pup aboard, read through this helpful guide! Find out what to pack and where to go for the best boat dog days in Tampa!

What to Pack:

While it may be tempting to take your dog on a boat right away, you will need to gather some important belongings to help ensure a safe trip. Don’t leave the dock without these dog-specific items.

Boat Dog Days - Tampa
  1. Leash – Even if you plan to let your pup roam, it’s always a good idea to have a leash nearby. You can even get a floating leash, which will be easy to grab in case your dog ends up in the water.

  2. Dog life jacket – A dog-friendly life jacket should be the first item on your list! Look for one that features handles to help you get a grip on your dog if needed. The life jacket should also fit your dog comfortably enough for them to lie down and go potty without difficulty.

  3. Bottled water, food and bowl – The Kurgo No Spill Dog Travel Bowl is a great choice for use on boats. It’s a no-spill, no-drip bowl with a tapered lip that helps to reduce splashing. The bowl is made of food-grade silicone and holds 24 ounces of water or food, making it a versatile choice for all of your trips.

  4. Dog Friendly Sunscreen – Especially if your pooch has a short, light coat or spends a lot of time outdoors, dog sunscreen is a good idea. Here’s a good one to choose. Lather your dog in sunscreen about 20 minutes before getting on the boat and make sure you cover their ears, nose, and other areas where they have little or no fur.

  5. First Aid Kit – The kit should include at least the items antibacterial ointment, cotton balls, bandages, gauze pads, and tweezers.

  6. Potty Supplies – Waste bags and potty pads are a must for dogs on the boat. The Wee-Wee Patch Indoor Potty is convenient and easy to use. The pad has a built-in attractant to draw your dog to the pad, and its natural feel encourages your dog to use the pad. You can bring the pad along with you during every boat trip, and replacement pads are available.

  7. Toys and Treats – Don’t forget to pack some of your pooch’s favorite chew toys on hand to keep them comfortable and occupied while they get acquainted with their new surroundings.

Sandbars and Beaches

Going boating with your dog offers a unique opportunity to introduce them to sights and smells they’ve never experienced before. Check out these dog friendly beaches and sandbars around Tampa Bay!

  1. Honeymoon Island – Dogs are allowed in designated areas such as the pet beach on the southern tip of the island, and on the nature trail. However, they must be on a 6-foot hand-held leash at all times in these areas.

  2. Davis Island – If you’re in South Tampa, you don’t have to travel far to give your four-legged friend some fun in the sun. This sand-covered stretch of dog park acts as a great alternative to the beach. There is also a fenced-in dog park with a grassy area for them to play in.

  3. Picnic Island – A sandy off-leash retreat for dogs, this park offers your pup ocean access and endless opportunities to play on the sand and in the water. There are also picnic tables for humans. 

  4. Bunces Pass – Bunces Pass between Shell Key and Fort De Soto, is a beautiful spot for confident boaters. This channel is a popular spot for anchoring and enjoying a sunny day in shallow waters and spacious interior lagoons.

  5. Johns Pass Sandbar – The Johns Pass sandbar is located just inland from Johns Pass Inlet, roughly between Treasure Island and Madeira Beach. Stormed by hundreds of boats every weekend, the shallow water is perfect for your pup to roam at low tide.

  6. Fort De Soto Dog Beach – There are two fenced areas so both large and small dogs can enjoy off-leash fun. It also has dog showers for hot days. The rest of the park allows dogs on leash, except for the beach areas. The only beach area that allows dogs is the Paw Playground.

Dog Friendly Restaurants

  1. Hula Bay – Tampa

  2. The Getaway – Tampa

  3. Circles Tiki Bar – Apollo Beach

  4. Island Grill and Raw Bar – Tierra Verde

  5. Doc Fords Rum Bar and Grill – St Pete

  6. Tiki Docks Skyway – St Pete

  7. Fresco’s Waterfront – St Pete

  8. The Wharf Restaurant – Pass-a-Grille

Boat Dog Days with Gulfstream Boat Club!

If you’re ready to set sail with your pup aboard, Gulfstream Boat Club is here to help! We happily welcome your pups in the club. For more information on dog friendly beaches, activities and places to eat ask our Member Services team for more ideas on how to spend your day!

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