In keeping with our series on safety, (You can check out our previous posts on Safe Boating and Safe Wake Surfing) here are five tips for boating with your furry friends. There’s nothing like spending a day on the boat with your friends, and that includes the furry kind. 

But before you head out on the water, here are a few things to think about so your day runs smoothly and your outing truly is relaxing with your furry friends

  1. Don’t assume your dog can swim. It’s easy to assume your dog can swim, it’s like they all instinctively know the doggy paddle, but this isn’t actually true. Some dogs don’t struggle in the water. So, consider taking Fido to a lake before heading out for a day of boating to test his water aptitude. Then you know when he hits the water if he’s going to sink or paddle.
  2. Doggy life vest. These things are nifty as all get out. Not only will they help your best friend stay afloat when he gets tired, but they come with a handle on the top to help you haul him back into the boat. When a dog’s sopping wet, that handle’s a genius invention. 
  3. Time. Particularly if Fido’s never been on a boat before, plan some extra time to familiarize him with the feel of the boat. That way, when the boat rocks, you don’t have a terrified, oversized (and usually destructive) puppy on your hands. 
  4. Water: Not the kind you’re swimming in but the kind you drink. Bring lots of it. This helps keep your furry friend from heat stroke. Along with this, find a shady spot for Fido to hang out. Seasickness can make a dog vomit, but it’s also a sign of heat stroke, so plan ahead to avoid it. 
  5. Supervision: Remember, dogs don’t know how to tread water, so if Fido’s swimming, he’s swimming full time and will tire, probably faster than you. Keep an eye on him. Like having a small child, you wouldn’t leave the child alone, don’t leave Fido alone. 

Here’s a site that offers a few more tips on taking Fido boating with you: Pet Health Network. If you have any suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear them. 

Happy boating with Fido. =)

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