Summer is a perfect time to enjoy the sun and to take advantage of the good weather and to get out on the water.
One of the many activities that people love to enjoy during the summer season is boating. And if you are a dog owner, you will probably want to take your dog along on this fun summer adventures; after all he or she is a part of the family.
But before you take your dog on a boating trip it is essential to educate yourself on safety and prepare to make sure that the boating trip will not only be fun but also safe.
Here is a list of few tips that you should be aware of before setting sail.
1. Have a Game Plan
If you are taking your dog on a boating trip for the first time it is important to have a plan, just in case something goes wrong. Especially, if this is the first time your dog has been on the water, they may get too excited.
This may result your dog accidentally falling into the water.
Therefore, it is important to talk and discuss with everyone on the boat with regards to what actions will take place if an accident like that does occurs.
As this will allow you to stay calm and allow you to get your dog to safety back on the boat in fast manner.
2. Get a Life Jacket
Many dogs are able to swim; however, they may not be strong swimmers and the water conditions and weather may make it difficult and dangerous for your dog to swim in.
In addition, your dog may become tired and/or have health problems which may pose some risks on their safety. There is no law that your dog needs to wear a life jacket but it will ensure his/her safety when on the water.
How do you choose the right life jacket for your dog?
- Make sure that the life jacket is not too loose but not too tight, it should be secure. It is best to check your dogs’ life jacket size in the store; where you can also get assistance.
- Make sure that the life jacket that you purchase has handles. This will allow you to easily get your dog to safety.
- Allow your dog to try on the life jacket to make sure that he/she is comfortable in it.
- Choose a bright color so you can easily identify your dog in the water.
3. Have a First Aid Kit Handy
Accidents can occur on land or on the water and they are sometimes hard to avoid. Therefore, it is important to be prepared with having a first aid kit on the boat that is specifically for your dog.
Some of the things that you should have in the first aid kit include:
- Gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Cotton balls
- Gauze rolls
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Ice pack
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Pet first-aid book
4. An Introduction to The Boat
If you are taking your dog for the very first time on a boat it is a really good idea to introduce him/her to the boat prior to the day you set sail.
This will allow your dog to get used to the new surroundings and/or environment.
5. Remember to Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Many people live to boat when the weather is warm and temperatures are high; as a result many of us including dogs can get dehydrated if we do not drink plenty of fluids.
Dogs cannot communicate when they are thirsty and this is why it is important to always provide cool and fresh water that is easily available for your dog.
6. Protect Your Dog From The Sun
Just like humans if dogs are over exposed to the sun it can be extremely dangerous and can be linked to many illnesses.
Therefore, it is important to talk to your vet about safe sunscreen that you can use on your dog.
Additionally, dogs are prone to quickly overheating which can cause heat strokes.
For that reason, it is important to provide shade for them so they are able to keep their body temperatures at a normal level.
7. Bathroom Breaks
When going on a boating trip it is important to know how to take your dog to the bathroom in a way that is comfortable for him.
For instance, if your dog is comfortable with a litter box, than that is an easy option. Another way is to have a schedule where you take breaks on land to help with this situation.
However, it is a good idea to feed your dog a small meal before you head off for your boating adventures.
8. Check Local Laws & Regulations Regarding Dogs & Boats
Most states and places do not have any regulations with regards to have dogs on a boat, but it is always a good idea to double check.
Especially, if you plan on travelling on international waters and/or in a different country; there maybe laws regarding dogs and boats.