Tips for Punting in Cambridge With Pets

We understand that it can be tedious to plan a trip with dogs because you have to consider dog-friendly hotels in Cambridge, dog-friendly days out and dog-friendly shops in Cambridge. There is so much to consider! You can take one thing off your list by booking a punting tour for you and your pup. 

Punting in Cambridge is a fantastically quirky tourist activity that is both informative and delightful. We want as many people as possible – and their lucky pets – to get involved. Punting with dogs shouldn’t be a concern.

A punt is a narrow flat-bottomed boat that will remind you of a Venetian gondola with the removed curve. Punting along the River Cam is a traditional joy that everyone must experience at least once – and why should dogs be excluded? To ensure that you get the time slot you had in mind, we would suggest booking in advance. In calmer months, however, you would probably be absolutely fine to spontaneously pop up and hope to come on a tour with us. 

We have put a list together of tips for punting with your beloved four-legged family members to put your mind at ease.




Is it safe to do punting with dogs?

Many people have asked ‘is punting safe for dogs’. We fully recommend that you bring them so long as you think they will be calm on the tour. If they were to lean their heads over the side of the boat, there is a chance that we might glide past another boat and you dog may get caught in the middle. So ladies and gentlemen, keep your hands and paws inside the vehicle.

Punting in Cambridge is a truly timeless and idyllic pleasure to sit back and enjoy, but if your dog isn’t the type to be relaxed by the water, you may want to have a think about what activity they would enjoy best. Ultimately, you know your dog best. If you think that they have too nervous a disposition to relax on the river, then it’s not worth risking it. From our experience, dogs have always loved punting as much as their owners. Just in case, you can read up on how to calm down your dog.

Keep in mind that the punt boat has a flat bottom with a square-cut bow. It is designed for use in shallow water and small rivers. It can be risky for pets if they want to run around on the boat. If you have a jumpy dog who tends to bounce around, then punting may not be for them. Overall, we are leaving it to your judgment and your expert knowledge of your own pups. The boats are perfectly stable and safe – bear in mind – but we wouldn’t want you to be stressed about your over-active dog on your punting Cambridge experience.

how to do punting with dogs

Some people feel uncomfortable sitting too close to a pet, especially if they have any allergies. Hence, a guided tour with other tourists might not be best for your dog to join. Your chauffeur will let you know if your pet will be allowed. If you are eager about your pet joining in with punting, you can hire a private punting tour just for your group. You will still have a skilled chauffeur to do all the hard work while you kick back and enjoy yourself. This way, there will be more space on the punt for your dog to make themself at home.

Well-behaved small canines are more comfortable to bring on a punting tour, whereas big breed dogs can be more of a challenge. Make sure they are not frightened or too excited during the ride. There might be ducks and swans swimming in the river. While you enjoy the architectural excellence of the College buildings, these little creatures might be too distracting for some pups.

Keep them close to you in the centre of the punt. It is exceptionally safe to punt in Cambridge, especially with the talented chauffeurs who have been doing this for a very long time. However, it is always recommended to keep an eye on inquisitive pets wondering if they might be able to catch any fish in the Cam.

Our list of tips for punting with dogs

All in all, we recommend the following tips for punting with dogs:

  • Have them sit in the middle of the boat
  • Book a private boat tour if your dog is larger just in case other passengers are uneasy around big dogs
  • Have treats on hand to reward them for being good
  • Don’t let them drink water from the River Cam
  • Don’t let them bounce around the boat – maybe take them on a walk before punting so that some extra energy is burned off
  • Keep leads on 
  • See how they feel approaching the boat before you get on to check if they are nervous around water

We hope you feel confident about punting with dogs now! Go ahead and book.

Read up on our FAQ’s here to learn more.