My wife and I spent the entire summer preparing ourselves and boat for the offshore
trip from Virginia to the BVI and the thing that gave me the most anxiety was how our dog Stanley (a pug/terrier mix) would handle the passage
I was concerned with his hydration if he got seasick, his ability to 'do his business' in heavy seas and make sure he didn't fall off the boat.
For seasickness we gave him half a Dramamine less drowsy formula every morning and he was fine the entire trip. Note that he has gotten seasick just day sailing
in San Francisco
Bay and on this trip seasoned sailors onboard got seasick even while medicated. . .it was pretty nasty.
As for doing his business we had initially trained him do go on an astroturf mat on the foredeck but he soon lost
interest as he correlated walks onshore with potty time. If he could see land he would hold it and not use his pad, our fault for poor training. Anyhow we had his mat well seasoned and he did use it once in a while during emergencies so we had hope. We also consulted two vets who both said not to stress as they'll go before they hurt themselves though there is potential for a higher risk of urinary tract infection. Day 1 came and went with no success. On day 2 I got out some of his favorite toys and chased him around the cockpit
for about 10 minutes. This I believe was the key as he wanted to play but couldn't having a full bladder, less than a minute he was going number 1 on his pad which I had brought into the cockpit
from the foredeck as the seas were much to high and steep to expect him to traverse the side decks. Number 2 came the following morning and we had pretty consistent potty time for the remainder of the trip.
As for keeping him on board we have netting around the entire boat which would be very difficult for him to get through. We are also on a catamaran
which is a much more stable platform for a dog who really aren't interested in wearing non-skid deck
All in all it was a great trip for Stanley; he was well fed and watered, never was sick and had no problem doing his business. We also made sure to give him attention and play as he had to skip his regular walk time.
PM if you have further questions how things went or if you'd like to know how customs
went while entering BVI (the paper work was a pain, but entry was not a problem)