Today is National Dog Day! What better way to celebrate than to bring your furry friend(s) boating with you this weekend? A dog can be a wonderful companion on a boat. To prepare for your voyage, take a look at these tips to help you keep your pet safe and comfortable while out on the water.
Keeping Your Dog Safe on a Boat
Safety is always most important on a boat. This is especially true if you take your dog along with you. If this will be the first time you are bringing your dog with you, not only do you need to make sure your dog IS safe, but you also need to make sure your companion FEELS safe. When the engine revs and the boat takes off, the dog is going to experience several new sensations including scents, sights and motion. In order to help make the experience enjoyable for both of you, take the time to help your dog get comfortable being on the boat. Depending on their temperament, you may need to sit with your dog on the sole, or let them sit in your lap. Once they feel safe, your dog is going to have a much better time learning all the fun things that a day on the water can include. Here are a few safety tips for boating with dogs.
Get Your Dog a Life Jacket
Canine life jackets are designed to keep your pet afloat in a horizontal, swimming position. The life jacket also serves as a retrieval device, should your dog fall overboard. While there are no regulations regarding life jackets for pets, a dog life jacket can help keep your companion safe while boating. You can find life jackets for dogs at most boating stores and pet shops. When buying a life jacket for your dog make sure it’s a good fit. Even though most dogs can swim, water conditions or fatigue can cause disorientation and drowning in even the most avid of swimmers.
Have a First Aid Kit and Safety Plan
Create a safety plan before you bring your dog boating. Make sure you know what steps to take in case your dog goes overboard so that you are prepared. You should also have a stocked first aid kit on your boat. The Humane Society of The United States recommends a number of pet-specific supplies and useful items to include. You may even consider talking to your vet beforehand about bringing Dramamine for your dog. Because dogs can get seasick, some experts recommend Dramamine or similar pharmaceutical remedies.
Keep Your Dog Cool and Hydrated
As the atmosphere out at sea can be hot and dry, your dog will be at risk of getting dehydrated. To help keep your dog cool and hydrated, make sure there is plenty of drinking water available to them at all times. After all, how hot would you be if you went boating in a fur coat? To be safe, bring at least three times the amount of freshwater your dog usually drinks at home. You may also consider keeping him cool by wetting him down throughout the day. Having a shady spot for him to relax on board is also important to help keep your dog cooled down in the heat.
Bring Sunscreen if Necessary
Just as we need sunscreen to protect ourselves from harmful rays, so do some dogs. Short-haired breeds of dogs especially can get easily sunburned. Sunscreen should be applied at least on the dog’s belly and inside the hind legs. Dog sunscreens like Doggles, Nutri-Vet, and Vet’s Best are free of zinc oxide, which can be harmful if your dog licks it.
Boating with Dogs
If this is the first time you are bringing your dog boating with you, we hope these tips help keep your dog safe and comfortable! Additionally, we advise you to keep your first outing short. This will help prevent your dog from getting too stressed out and keep your pet comfortable. If you need to add boat storage to keep your dog’s toys and supplies on hand, check out our fiberglass dock boxes.