Keep Fido safe on board
Treat your dog like any passenger
Before heading out with your canine companion, consider these simple tips for bringing dogs onto your boat and keeping them safe and happy.
Most importantly, make sure your dog has access to plenty of freshwater, wet towels and shade to prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
- Purchase a pet life jacket: Even if your dog isn’t a natural swimmer, a life jacket will provide peace of mind for everyone. Pet life jackets are made of high-floatation neoprene or nylon, and they feature reflective trim, rescue handles and leash rings.
- Get your dog acquainted with the boat before going out: Before you take your dog out for the first time, let it check out the boat while it’s not underway. If the dog seems comfortable, you may want to start up the motor to get it accustomed to the sound of it.
- Put together a pet first-aid kit: Keep a first-aid kit on board in case your dog steps on a sharp shell or decides to take on a marine animal. In addition to basic supplies like gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, scissors and tweezers, consider items such as hydrogen peroxide, extra towels, ear cleaning solution, styptic powder, a flashlight and needle-nose pliers.
- Bring along fresh water: Bring along a water dish and extra drinking water so your dog always has fresh water to drink. Even if you’re boating on freshwater, it’s never a good idea to let your pet drink from the lake.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen: Even pets need sun protection. Dogs with short hair or light skin are especially susceptible to sunburn. Ask your family veterinarian to recommend a pet-friendly sunscreen product. Be sure to reapply often.
- Potty time: Whether you’re on land or in the middle of the lake, when a dog’s got to go, a dog’s going to go. An ideal situation would be to train your dog to go on puppy training pads in a certain spot on the boat, but be sure to take lots of pet waste bags along with you on your boating adventures. Paper towels and odor neutralizer are also good items to have on board. Take along some odor neutralizing trash bags, the kind you would use in your kitchen trash can, to dispose of everything until you’re near a proper trash receptacle.