Warm weather calls for enjoyable boating adventures with your whole family, furry members included. Prioritizing everyone’s safety is paramount for a fun-filled and worry-free experience. Here are 10 essential water safety tips to keep in mind when boating with your dogs:
1. Swim Training
Not all dogs are natural swimmers, so acclimate them gradually to water in a controlled environment like a baby pool. Encourage them with floating toys, but never force them to swim if they seem uncomfortable.
2. Familiarize Your Dog with the Boat
Before setting sail, take your dog on a tour of the boat to help them get accustomed to their surroundings.
3. Provide a Shady Sanctuary
Secure a crate in a shady spot on the boat where your dog can take breaks from the sun or seek shelter during rough waters. Remember that sunstroke can happen quickly, so keep your pet cool and safe.
4. Plan for Frequent Pit Stops
Allow your dog to relieve themselves during the trip, and designate an area on the boat with puppy pads or familiar material for bathroom breaks.
5. Pack Cleaning Supplies
Just like humans, dogs can get seasick. Be prepared with cleaning materials to ensure a comfortable journey for your pet.
6. Carry Pet Identification and Records
Bring pictures of you with your dog and a copy of their vaccination records for any destination requirements.
7. Bring Essential Supplies
Pack food, treats, fresh water, and extra collars and leashes. Avoid letting them drink from natural bodies of water, as it may contain harmful elements.
8. Use Pet Sunscreen
Protect dogs with light-colored coats or noses from the sun’s rays using FDA-compliant pet sunscreen.
9. Bathe Your Pet After Water Activities
Check for any hidden pests in your dog’s fur after a day in the water.
10. Invest in a Canine Flotation Device (CFD)
Even if your dog is a good swimmer, a CFD can provide extra support and safety. Look for bright colors, a snug fit, handles, D-rings, and quality materials when choosing a CFD.
Additional Tips to Remember
Ensure a safe boating experience with your furry friends: carry a pet first aid kit, use dog-friendly boat ramps, watch for water intoxication, and travel with a friend for added safety. Consider insuring your boat for pet injury coverage in select states. Create cherished memories on the water with your pets!