With summertime in full swing I thought it would be a good idea to share some safe boating tips for your dog while on the water.
Our pets are part of the family and we like to include them in all our activities. Statistics show that 44% of all families have a dog.
So today, I wanted to share with you some safe boating tips for your dog.
#1 – Boat Tour
Let your dog take a tour of your boat so they can become familiar with the surroundings. This gives them a chance to see new and different things that may not be familiar to them in their normal setting.
#2 – Swimming
Most dogs love to swim and it comes naturally to them; however, some are not. If your dog is not a swimmer, you need to get your dog used to the water. If you have a smaller dog, you can use a kiddie pool to introduce them to the water. Fill it with water a little bit at a time until they are comfortable. You can also play with them in the pool or bring some of their favorite toys.
#3 – Shade
Make sure your pet has shade. It may mean that you bring their crate or carrier with you on the boat. That way if they get too hot or uncomforable they can seek shelter in a familiar place.
#4 – Food & Water
Always bring food and water with you on the boat. It is never a good idea to allow your dog to drink for a lake water, ocean water or puddles.
#5 – Pit Stops
During an outing on the lake, always pull to shore several times a day to allow your dog to use the bathroom. With smaller dogs, you can always bring pads for them to use.
#6 – Cleaners
Always pack cleaning materials just in cause your dog gets sick or for other accidents.
#7 – Sunscreen
If you have a dog with light colored skin, it is a good idea to have a good sunscreen on hand. Their skin may be sensitive to the sun and can burn quickly.
#8 – Extras
Always remember to bring collars and leashes with you on the boat. If you want to stop at a marina to eat or rest, you can make sure your dog is secured while walking around. Never leave your pet unattended at a marina or boat dock.
#9 – Don’t forget the bath
If your dog did enjoy the day swimming always, always make sure you give him a bath when you get home. Especially if you have a smaller inside dog.
#10 – Life Jacket
If your dog is not a good swimmer or not a swimmer at all, it is best to purchase a canine floatation device (CFD). You will definitely need to do your research on finding a good flotation device for your dog. The U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t govern the pet life jacket performance, like they do for people. Some pet life jackets can actually increase the risk of your dog drowming due to uneven buoyancy which can cause the dogs head to tip into the water or their body to rock side to side making them unsteady.
You can check out more on pet safety at the Center for Pet Safety.
Happy boating with your dog!