If you enjoy boating, you probably enjoy taking your best friends out on your boat, especially if some of your best friends happen to have four legs and a tail. Boating with dogs can be a lot of fun, especially when your best friend finds being on the water just as relaxing as you do; however, you should take just as much precaution to make sure you four-legged friends are as safe as your human friends while you’re underway.
The Basics of Boating with Your Pet:
- Keep plenty of fresh drinking water available.
- Provide a shaded area—excessive exposure to the sun can cause problems for animals.
- Protect their feet—dogs absorb heat through the pads on their feet and boat surfaces can get very hot in the sun.
- Give your pet a chance to get acquainted with the boat while it is on the trailer or at the dock.
- Walk your dog so he can relieve himself before boarding; if the boat surface allows, you may wish to train him to go in a specific spot
- Keep your first outing short, to let your dog get used to the boat movement.
Boat Dogs: Getting Started
Before you take your dog out on the water for the first time, it’s best to let him or her get used to the idea of being on a boat or on the water. Let your furry friend climb aboard the boat while it’s docked a few times to get used to what it feels like and to get used to the surroundings. If the dog feels that it’s in a familiar place, it will be less likely to be stressed the first time out on the water. If you want to go the extra mile, you can build an ocean themed dog house so they dream about the water too!
Always remember that there are no vets out on the water (unless, of course, you are boating with one). With this in mind, it’s very important to be prepared with all of your dog’s medication and first aid supplies. You need to be prepared for anything.