What to Consider When Boating with Pets
Boating is a great way to get outside and spend time with the whole family – and that includes your furry friend! Dogs are a member of the family for many, so when you head out to go boating it’s hard to leave any loyal family member behind.
“A lot of people like to hit the lake with their dogs,” says Lowry Hobbs of Westport Marina. “Certain breeds, such as a Labrador Retriever, are strong swimmers who are naturally drawn to the water. Other breeds of dogs may need a little more prompting before leaving the shore.”
Boating Tips for Furry Friends
Regardless of the type of dog you have, here are a few things to keep in mind before setting off with your furry friend.
- Acclimate – It’s important to let your fuzzy friend get used to the boat before leaving for the open water. Dogs can become confused by the sensation of the floor moving underneath them, and can easily become frightened. By bringing your do got the boat before you plan on going out can give your pup a chance to acclimate to the new, wet environment. Make sure the first outing with your dog is short so that you can easily come back to shore if there are any problems.
- Life jacket – Life jackets are key for safely boating with dogs. No matter how strong a swimmer your dog is, a life jacket can be the difference
between tragedy and rescue (and it never hurts to be prepared!) Most dog-styled life jackets have handles on the top of them to help aid rescue in case your dog falls overboard. Just like a life jacket for a human, make sure the jacket fits securely before heading out on the water
- Plan Ahead – Make sure that you have a backup plan for if your dog goes overboard. Most dogs are strong swimmers, but falling overboard is a safety concern. Part of your plan should be to cut the engines of the boat off, and have a designated routine for rescuing your pup. Also, some dogs can become seasick, so check in with your veterinarian if Dramamine or other motion sickness medicines is a safe option for your pet.
- Water and Shelter – Dog’s don’t sweat, so a hot summer day can dehydrate them at a faster rate than humans. Have plenty of extra drinking water onboard for your furry friend. Also consider having some sort of shady shelter for your pet so they can escape the harsh rays of the hot summer sun.
- Toys – Boating can be stressful and or confusing for dogs that are not comfortable with the water. Having a new toy ready for your pet will help your dog associate boating with fun! Make sure that they toys float, are waterproof and very durable.
Boating with dogs is a great way to share summer memories with your whole family! Rent a boat from Westport Marina, and follow these basic tips and you and your canine companion will be having summer fun for years to come!