Who doesn’t love an afternoon spent out on the open water with your family, especially your four legged family member? Boating with your dog can be a lot of fun for both you and your dog but there are of course, some safety precautions you should take. Boating can be especially dangerous for pets as they don’t necessarily understand the dangers. So instead of just leaving your dog behind, take a look at these safety pointers and prepare to go on an adventure with your fur-baby!
Boating With Your Dog: Safety First
- Remember to keep all your fishing gear contained in a place that your dog can’t get to. The last thing you want to deal with is a dog with a hook through his paw! Now if that does happen, try to keep him calm and get him to a vet ASAP.
- Never take your eyes off him. Like children, you should never take your eyes off your dog while you are on shore and on the water.
- Just because you’re out having fun doesn’t mean that your dog can do whatever he wants. Maintain your usual level of discipline.
- The deck of a boat can get incredibly hot and your dog could easily burn his paw pads. It can be worth it to invest in some protective paw shoes for him if you’re out on the boat a lot.
- Wet decks equal slips and slides so be aware that your pup could easily slip and fall.
- Be aware of ticks and other insects that can harm your pet.
- Make sure you have a lot of fresh water available for your dog. With all the excitement and the heat, it’s easy for him to get dehydrated.
- If you’re going to be out on the beach, do a sweep for sharp objects. Also keep your eyes out for crabs and jellyfish. It’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit with tweezers with you.
- Just like people, your dog can get sunburned and so it’s important to keep sunscreen available and put some on his nose. There are also lightweight sun-proof jackets available for breeds of dogs that have short hair. Putting the water dish in the shade is one way to make sure you dog leaves the sun periodically.
- Don’t ever tie your dog to the boat. If something were to happen (like the boat turning over or really rough waters) your pet would be trapped and unable to get to safety.
- Keep a fishing net on hand so that if your pet falls overboard you can rescue him.
- Always have your dog wear a life-jacket.
Another thing that you’ll need to take into consideration is seasickness. Dogs often get car sick and seasick and it’s important that you know how to identify the symptoms:
-Disorientation: this includes dizziness and stumbling when walking
-Apathy: disinterest in toys, the exciting boating adventure
When you’re boating with your dog, you need to remember that it’s just like boating with small children. It’s going to require you to be patient and well prepared. But they are also your best friend and it is totally worth it to be out on the open water together. Take the time to train your dog how to behave on a boat. It can be a lot of fun to boat with your dog and a great way for you and your family to bond with your four legged family member.