Houseboat Pets - animals like cats and dogs enjoy living aboard house boats?
(From CA, now in FA)
Houseboat Pets - Do animals like cats and dogs enjoy it?
We're looking at houseboat pets, and do animals like cats and dogs enjoy living aboard house boats? The reason we ask is, my fiance and I are considering buying and living on a houseboat in the Florida Keys.
We're really excited at the prospect of the new lifestyle, however we/I have a (very well behaved) 6 year old, 50 pound shepperd/mutt and 3 dog-like cats. Is it ridiculous to think the 5 of us could live happily on the water?
And what about hurricane season? We would live in a rented live-aboard slip, as the houseboat we are considering does not currently have a motor. We're pretty green at this (however we are both familiar with boats and water, and have surfed our whole lives), but we're adventurous and want to give it a go....
I'm looking for advice from anyone who has it! Has anybody here lived on a houseboat, with pets? Known someone who has? What should we expect? Is it do-able? Or fair to the animals?
Thanks for any help, Gilly.
Reply - Answer
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Well Gilly, welcome to the houseboat forums, and glad to hear that you want to bring your cats and dogs with you on your houseboat adventure.
Now, possibly my opinion is a little biased, since the picture above is of one of my dogs (don't laugh, she's a poodle) who goes everywhere in the boat with me. We actually have two dogs (both poodles, I know, my wife wanted poodles) and they love living on the boat.
They love the water, swimming, fishing, taking the afternoon snoozes in the sun, and they both sleep like babies on the boat, even in bad weather.
As a matter of fact, in my next life, I'm coming back as a poodle, as they have a great life, no payments, no worries, daddy takes them fishing all the time, and some nights they get to be rocked to sleep with us on our bed. I don't know about you, but it sounds like the "good life" to me :)
Now before I lose my "macho manly image" with my readers, I have to say that I have had many dogs and cats, big and small, and they all enjoyed the boating life. I think it has to do with the energy and karma that is transmitted from the owner/master. If you're comfortable and not nervous around boats, neither are they.
Now from a safety point of view, even though my dogs love to swim, and are great swimmers, I always throw on their life jackets,
since in the dinghy, they tend to casually walk around the exterior of the tubes as I am flying around the lake, this way, if they fall in unexpectedly, there's no panic.
The life jackets go on around the houseboat, since we are the last dock/slip at the end, and I find that if they jump in the water, they can't get back out, since the docks and boat freeboards are too high, so they seem to just go round and round swimming looking for a way out, and if there is one nearby, they would swim endlessly until there is somebody to pluck them out.
And for some reason, dogs and cats always seem to want to get out of the water, in the general vicinity where they went in, which isn't a problem if they went in via the shore, but not when they go in by jumping or falling off a dock.
Like I previously said, they have a great life, and my wife spoiled them at PetSmart
, she bought them special non-spill bowls, a boat dog house, special steps to get up on the bed, and my wife also got them some great water toys.
As you can probably tell, my opinion is a little biased, since I love our dogs, and they truly love living on the boat, I am however also curious as to how other houseboaters experiences have turned out with their pets? If you have pets other than cats or dogs of course, do tell us about it also.Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat pets or animals experiences on board. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com
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