Many families in the world love to share their favorite hobbies and family excursions, such as spending time on the water, with their beloved pets. This can be a fun experience, but safety always comes first! If you own a dog and want to introduce them to boating, it’s recommended to follow these three important safety tips to avoid issues.
Get Boating Safety Equipment and Have an Overboard Plan
Whether your dog is a good swimmer or not, get them a doggy life jacket in preparation for your boating trip. The water could be rough, the dog could get pulled under by the current, or choke by swallowing too much water. Dogs with short snouts are at an even higher risk. A safety vest will help them stay afloat. If your dog jumps or falls overboard, turn the boat to meet them and cut the engines. Call the dog to swim to you and use the doggy life jacket handles to pull them back on board.
Ensure Fresh Water and Shade
Although dogs like a bit of time in the sun and fresh air, they can overheat easily. What’s more, dehydration can creep up unexpectedly. That’s why it’s necessary to bring plenty of fresh water and a doggy bowl that won’t spill much. Also, make sure the dog has a shaded and cool area to rest in, be it under an awning or in the boat below deck areas.
Let the Dog Get Used to the Boat
Give the dog some time to look around and get acquainted with the boat before you set sail. If they seem nervous, keep an eye on them, especially when the motor starts, and make sure they don’t suddenly bolt. Start with a slow ride to see how the dog handles it. If they seem too anxious and scared, consider leaving them at home, so they don’t accidentally get hurt. Try not to go boating with your dog alone because you would have to split your attention between looking out for the pet and controlling the boat.