Even if your dog is an old salt and seasoned member of the crew there is always the chance of it accidentally going overboard. Like you should for the human passengers, devise a dog overboard plan to get it back onboard without creating panic for the pet and crew.
If it happens, circle back around and turn off the engine when near your dog. To perform the rescue, DO NOT jump in, which could make the dog panic and cause it to swim farther away or panic. Instead, remain calm and call your dog over to the boat. Use a telescoping boat hook to grab the handle of the life vest, or do it by hand. Let the pet shake it off, give praise and resume the fun.
Cats have better sea legs than dogs due to their low center of gravity. Cats are popular sailing companions, which disproves the myth about their fear of water. Even so, cats are adventurous explorers, always looking for places to hide and be where they should not.
If Kitty is your trusted companion you already know about their tendency to wander and roam. Boating with a cat can be just as fun as with a dog. Just make sure you always are aware of where the cat is. Cat sailors solve the problem by using a collapsible cat carrier, and a portable litter box that doubles as a kitty bed.
Follow the same rules of acclimation as you would for a dog. Cats are indeed curious, but can become fearful of too much racket going on around them. There are noises to avoid and others that over time can be acclimated to as part of the ride.
Treat, praise and acclimate your pet to the wonderful world of boating. Before you know it, the same tail wags you get when asking your pet if it wants to go outside and play will come when you ask, “wanna go on the boat?”