Summer may be coming to a close but we’re still squeezing in as many lake days as we can. Like most summer outings, bringing your dog along can be a wonderful addition to the fun but not without proper preparation. For all you end of summer sailors out there, climb aboard and follow these tips on boat safety for dogs if you plan on having your dog as a co-captain.
1. First Things First: Have a Plan.
Discuss what to do if your pet goes overboard with everyone in attendance and make sure everyone is aware there’s a dog on board.
2. Get a Life Jacket.
Even if your pet is an avid swimmer, a life vest is crucial when you’re in motion. Not to mention most life vests have handles for quick extraction if needed.
3. Check Accessibility.
Make sure your pet has a safe way to get in and out of the boat, especially if they’ll be swimming. Consider doing a practice run and getting your pet acquainted with the vessel while it’s still on the dock or trailer.
4. Bring the Necessities.
5. Check the Laws.
There aren’t any national restrictions regarding dogs on boats but you want to be sure your pet’s allowed wherever you’re going – it would be such a bummer to get to the beach to find out your dog’s not allowed.
6. Consider Sunglasses.
It may sound silly (and we admit, look a little silly too) but they exist for a reason, as the reflection of the sun off the water can be just as damaging to pets’ eyes if they’re going to frequent as co-captain. Probably not necessary for a trip here or there but may be worth it for the pictures.
7. First Timers Beware.
If it’s your dog’s first time on the boat, you may want to keep the trip short so your dog can get their sea legs. Medications for seasickness can be given, but if it’s not fun for Buddy then it’s probably best to leave them home.
Does your dog hit the lake or sail the open seas with you? What are some things you’ve learned on the water with your pet? We’d love to hear more on Facebook or Twitter, just mention us @HamiltonPet with hashtag #SeasonOfPets.