Essential Accessories for a Happy and Healthy Lake Dog

This good boy is living his best life at one of the many picturesque places in Land O' Lakes. His humans know that in order for him to be safe, happy, and healthy—whether he is exploring the area trails and beaches or on-board a watercraft—he needs a few essential items. Below you'll find some basic items for your lake dog, and read on to discover some great accessories offered by Upper Midwest companies.

Your Lake Dog's Basic Necessities

Life Vest

Don’t assume that your dog is a natural in the water. Even the strongest swimmer (canine or human) can freeze if frightened, stunned, or injured. Put a life vest on your dog before you allow him to board the boat.

Veterinarian-Approved Spray Sunscreen

Did you know that dogs (especially short-haired breeds like this pup) can get sunburned? Whether you’re spending the day on the boat or on the beach, remember to apply sunscreen to your dog and yourself before you begin your adventure. We find that a spray application that you can rub into your dog's coat is easiest, but the availability of several brands and varieties enables you to find the right one for you and your dog. Make sure your dog’s sunscreen is lick-proof, nontoxic, and approved by both the FDA and your veterinarian


Boat Ramp or Ladder

While you might figure you can lift your dog into the boat if you need to, even a sure-footed 20-pound dog can transform into a ton of bricks when she does not. Want. To move. Help your dog transition between dock or water and your boat with a boat ramp or ladder.

Water-Resistant, Non-Slip Bed or Mat

Traditional dog beds will hold on to water, creating an uncomfortable, unsanitary, and smelly situation. They are also prone to sliding around as your boat careens. Instead, try a water-resistant, quick-drying bed that stays firmly in place, such as a raised bed with sturdy legs and non-slip feet. A raised bed allows air to flow underneath to help cool your dog. Alternatively, bring a waterproof mat, so your dog can relax and take a nap in the sun.

A Strong Leash, a Comfortable Collar or Harness, and a Sturdy Clip

You never know when your dog might think it’s a great time for a swim or a rendezvous with the dog in the passing pontoon at a dangerous moment, so make sure you have a plan—and the means—to secure him.

fluffy dog near lake

A Few Cooling Supplies

Make sure your dog stays cool on those dog days of summer still ahead. Bring aboard a spray bottle to spray some cool water on her. Also keep a gel cooling vest or mat and a shade in tow. Of course, giving her the opportunity to splash around in the water in a safe area will help her stay comfortably cool.

The Number 1 and Number 2 Essentials

If you intend to make a day of it on the water, bring aboard a portable dog potty such as a standard pad or a more natural feeling pad of fake grass designed for the purpose—to help ensure your boat stays spotless and sanitary. But accidents happen, and we best be prepared for that, too, with a roll of plastic bags and a disinfectant spray and paper towels or disinfectant wipes.

Essential Medications

Be sure to bring essential medications that your dog needs, including sea sickness medication. Please check with your veterinarian for the appropriate products and dosages for your dog.

Lake Dog Essentials from Up North Companies

Squeezable Puppy Mug

It’s important for everyone (canines included) to stay hydrated while you’re outside on the sun, being baked by the sun’s rays and whipped by the winds as you glide along the lake. Make sure you have a spill-proof bowl or other drinking vessel and some clean, safe drinking water. With a human's one-handed squeeze, the water in the bottle of this Puppy Mug fills the bowl. When your pup's thirst has been quenched, any leftover water drains back into the bottle. Image from


Good Dog Towel

After having fun in the water, dry your good boy or good girl with these thick and absorbent sustainable cotton Good Dog Towels from Lake Effect. Pick up an extra one to dry the deck and upholstery of your boat to minimize slips. Image from

Lake Dog Copper Bowl

After an exciting boat trip, your lake dog is sure to be hungry! Your fancy four-legged friend will be dining in style with this classy Lake Dog Copper Dog Bowl from Lake Effect Co. that proudly asserts her Lake Dog status. Image from


Lake Dog Bandana

After a day out on the pontoon, let your dog show off his dapper style as he dons one of these maritime-themed bandanas on a walk around town. Great Lakes Collection offers four patterns and two sizes for a customized style and fit just for your lake dog. Image from

Loon Dog Leash and Collar

If you and your dog love to watch and listen to the loons out on the water back at the lake house, this Loon Dog Collar and Leash from Lake Effect is a perfect choice! Lake Effect offers several other lake-themed collar and leash sets, so you’re sure to find one that suits your Up North pup’s style. Image from


We hope you and your furry friends have a great time on your boating adventures Up North this summer! Look out for our upcoming articles about dog-friendly lodging, restaurants, and parks: tools for you to plan a stress-free stay in northern Wisconsin not only for your entire family (four-legged family members included).