If one of your favorite things you like to do is go boating with friends and family and like taking your dog, you should take some time out to make sure that your dog is going to be safe. Not all dog breeds know how to swim so if it's your first time taking your dog out, make sure you know if he knows how, if not, you are going to have to consider teaching him or leaving him behind. However; if he's like a fish to water then by all means don't leave him behind, but make sure that you try and follow these tips to keep you dog safe at all times.
Even if you think that your dog is a good swimmer, you still should consider getting him his own doggie live jacket. You should take his measurements at the wide part of his chest and then measure his length so that you can get him the right size. Just because a dog can swim does not mean he can't drown because they will tire in the water and don't always know how to swim to safety.
Even though you might have a life jacket for your dog it's still important that you watch your dog closely while you are on the boat. You might not be paying attention and he might see something that attracts his attention and jump out without you knowing it and he might get lost, hurt or even drown.
If you are onshore somewhere and your dog loves playing fetch or other fun games with you, make sure that he doesn't get overheated. The way to gauge it is if you are hot and sweaty you can pretty much bet that your dog is going to be as well, so make sure to stop and let both you and your dog cool down. Your dog doesn't know when he should stop but you do, so be responsible.
The water you might have your boat on might be great for swimming and water skiing but ask yourself if you would drink it. If the answer is no, then why would you let your dog drink it? Because they will if you don't watch them. Especially look out for pools of standing water, you especially do not want your dog drinking from this kind of water. Bring plenty of fresh water a long for both you and your dog.
When you are on the beaches or areas of shoreline, make sure that you keep a watch for really sharp rocks, broken glass, extremely hot sand, unknown liquids, fishing tackle and other objects that might be harmful to your dog. You also want to make sure that wherever you stop to get off the boat to explore to make sure that there are trees so that you and your dog can get some shade.
Note: If you seriously love your dog then it should be common sense about protection. You should treat your dog no different than you would a curious and fun loving child.