Sailing with Pets: How to Successfully Include Your Furry Companions on a Yacht Charter

As a trusted, reputable company providing yacht charter in Phuket, Isabella Yachts Phuket have a wealth of experience and knowledge in all aspects of sailing, including when undertaken with pets. In this article, we will share our favourite tips on bringing your pet on board to facilitate the smooth, stress-free trip of a lifetime.

Factors to consider before making any decision

When determining whether a trip of this kind is suitable for you and your furry companion, deep thought and consideration need to be given to the following:

  • Your starting and finishing location

Are there any official regulations and requirements liable to extend the duration of your trip beyond a reasonable point or cause the animal to endure a lengthy quarantine period on return?

  • Your charter company’s policies regarding pets
  • The availability of a vessel suited to accommodating pets on your chosen dates
  • Insurance quotes

Anyone who has experienced a sick/injured pet at some point in their lives understands how extraordinarily expensive it can be to get them the professional help and medicine they need. That is not likely to change as you head overseas and may even cost more in some places. Protect yourself and your pets by comparing insurance quotes beforehand and purchasing the most comprehensive policy you can afford.

Will your pet enjoy the trip?

Understanding your pet’s temperament and judging how they will handle the extreme disruption and change of routine a trip like this necessitates is only something you can know. Be honest about the situation and discuss it with other involved parties. Ask yourselves:

  • Has your furry friend experienced anything similar to this before? (moving locations, long periods caged alone, lots of new faces and experiences etc.)
  • Is your pet generally evenly tempered and friendly with people and other animals?
  • Are there any medical, dietary, or other issues that may be exacerbated by such a drastic change in location and climate?
  • Does the enjoyment your pet will experience in joining you outweigh the stress and upheaval they will endure reaching the holiday location?

Of course, when we’re taking an animal out of its safe place and putting it through the upsetting experience of being caged and handled by strangers, its comfort, welfare, and safety are of paramount importance. It would be selfish and wrong to force the animal to join the trip knowing he/she will be agitated and respond badly.

Will you enjoy the trip?

The pet is not the only one to consider in this equation. Ask yourself if you and your family will enjoy the trip if your pet comes along and it’s obvious they’re uncomfortable or not having a good time. It’s important to be honest with yourself, as the potential to ruin your trip altogether is significant if your beloved animal is stressed and too far out of their comfort zone to relax.

Discuss your plans with your chosen charter company

Not all vessels will be suitable for clients wishing to bring their pets along, and some may prohibit it altogether. There are also considerations from the charter company’s side, such as cleaning, damage, and safety issues. It may be they have specific vessels you can use, better suited to sailing with pets, so choose your yacht charter company carefully and be open and honest with them about your requirements from the word go. It will be to everyone’s benefit in the long run and avoid unnecessary problems and delays on arrival

Give proper thought to potential medical issues

Pets are just as susceptible to seasickness and sunburn as the rest of us, and there are diseases and infections to be aware of depending on your intended location. Be sure to research your destination beforehand and do your best to mitigate any potential health risks. It is a good idea to speak to your vet and let them give your pet a health checkup, discuss your plans, and gain their advice on any vaccinations and other medical considerations. Some other recommended actions include:

  • Remembering to bring your pet’s regular medications
  • Providing a constant supply of fresh water
  • Restricting meals before lengthy periods of sailing
  • Administering animal seasickness tablets when required
  • Carrying appropriate first-aid items, painkillers, and antibiotics

Some other useful items and tips on bringing your pets onboard

If not already customised to accommodate pets, your chosen sailing vessel may require some additions or alterations to make it more suitable. Some useful additions include:

  • Rubber strips on steps and awkward, slippery areas
  • Netting to prevent accidental falls overboard
  • Animal lifejackets

Spend some time picturing how a day onboard the ship with your pet will be. What potential issues and obstacles might you face? There will certainly be the necessity to stop regularly for toilet breaks and for dogs to stretch their legs and run around. Bad weather should always be anticipated, so it is good to have a plan of action beforehand. The more time you can spend thinking through each and every possible scenario you and your furry friend might face together, the easier it will be to handle them, if and when they happen for real.


While it may seem this article is filled with potential problems and reasons why you should not take your pet sailing with you, that’s not the case at all. Travelling with your beloved animals in this way can be one of the most life-affirming, beautiful experiences you will ever have with your pet. It’s just that it shouldn’t be on a whim and requires responsible, sensible planning and execution to ensure everything goes as smoothly as it can. The welfare of the animal is what matters most, and every possible accommodation must be made to keep them content and healthy.

Contact us

We hope these tips on bringing your pets onboard have given you food for thought and allowed you to fully appreciate the implications of taking your pet sailing with you. If you would like to discuss our policies and options regarding chartering a yacht with an animal companion, please get in touch today. Our dedicated team will gladly give you any details you require and help you start planning a truly memorable trip atop the crystal clear waters of beautiful Thailand.

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