Boat Safety and Dogs: Keeping Your Pets Happy and Secure

August 18, 2017 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

With summer beginning to enter its final phase, many people like to go boating. They may also want to bring along their four-legged friends. It’s perfectly fine to bring a dog along on a boat, but there are steps and precautions pet owners should take first.

Check the local laws about animals on boats. There is no national regulation about having pets on boats, but the state and local laws vary. Be sure it’s legal to bring them along before setting out.

Investing in a lifejacket for your pet is a must. Not all dogs are great swimmers and even dogs from breeds known for swimming may struggle in the water under certain conditions. If possible, get a jacket that has a handle on the top for easy lifting or pulling of the animal in case of danger. Be sure to follow the fitting recommendations to the detail and try to get them used to wearing it first before going out.

Once you take care of the first two items, getting the dog used to the boat is the next order of business. Take them on the boat while docked to get them used to the feeling of being on the water. Once your dog is comfortable with being on the boat, it’s time to get ready to go out. When you do go on your outing, be sure to bring plenty of water for them, a supply of food and treats, puppy pads for bathroom breaks, and something comfy to nap on.

While on the water be sure to keep watch over your dog for any signs of distress because they could be at risk for overheating. It’s recommended to bring along non-toxic, dog-safe sunscreen. Not all furs protect from the sun equally. For dogs with white coats or no coats, sunscreen is a must for long journeys. Short coated dogs and dogs with light colored noses are also at risk for sunburn. Follow these steps, and your boat outing with your dog should be safe and fun for everyone.

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