When it comes to enjoying time on the water, nothing beats it! Of course, spending time on your boat with your dog is even better. If you want your furry friend to join you on your boating trips, below are some helpful tips that you should keep in mind.
- Familiarize Your Dog With The Boat
Dogs can be scared of new environments and objects so it’s important your dog is used to your boat. While the boat is docked, you can let your dog get accustomed to it. If your pup seems nervous or anxious, make sure to watch them while you start the motor. When a dog is scared or anxious, they have a tendency to run away or stand their guard. In the first instance, your dog could bolt, so making sure you’re watching them at all times can help prevent this. If your dog becomes nervous and territorial of their space, they may attempt to give a warning sign by snapping or biting at you or guests you may have. Of course, this is a worse case scenario, but according to Palm Beach Animal Care and Control, you could be found negligent if your dog does bite another person. To avoid these situations, take short trips with your dog at first so that they are used to the new environment on the boat.
- Choose The Right Life Jacket
Although we think that most dogs have the ability to swim, some can’t, some aren’t good at it, and strong currents are much different than your average swimming pool. Fitting your dog with the correct life jacket can help keep your dog safe while boating and around large bodies of water. Dog life jackets help float the dog and can be used to retrieve your pup if he does go overboard. A good life jacket should be brightly colored, have handles, keep your dog afloat, and be comfortable enough for your dog to move around in.
- Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Just as we tend to dehydrate quickly on the water, so do our dogs! Your dog should have an ample amount of drinking water and should not be allowed to drink water from the ocean or lake. Harmful bacteria and contaminates can be found in oceans and lakes so ensuring your dog does not ingest the water is vital.
- Bring Pet-Safe Sunscreen
Your dog is not immune from sunburns or skin cancer so making sure he is protected from the sun while boating is important. There are sunscreens specially formulated for dogs that your veterinarian can recommend. Making sure to pay attention to your dog’s ears, nose, armpits, and other areas where their fur is thin is essential.
- Have A Plan If Your Dog Does Go Overboard
Keeping calm if your dog does go overboard is the best step you can take, and having a plan ready can help you achieve this. Circling back where your dog is located, cutting the motor, and making sure not to jump in after your dog are steps you can take. Then, you can call your dog over and use the handles on their life jacket to lift them back onto the boat.
Boating with your dog can be a great experience if you’re safe and prepared! Following the above tips can save you and your pup from a lot of trouble and unnecessary anxiety.
About the Author
LaBovick Law Group is a trial law firm that fights for the injured throughout Florida. Our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys are passionate about serving those who have been wronged and tenacious when it comes to winning their cases. In every case we take on, we are warriors of justice for our clients and make it our mission to recover maximum compensation on their behalf.