Safe Boating For Dogs And Owners

August 14, 2017 | We Care | Tips from Timothy Fox

One day you may decide to bring your favorite four legged friend on a boat ride.  Maybe you will kayak or canoe around a local watering hole, or take a ferry out to a nearby island. Here are some things you should think about before hitting the water with your dog.

Your dog’s feelings about the water should be your number one priority. A dog can be just as uneasy about being on the water as a person can. Be sure to pay attention to your pup, and relieve their stress like you would with any other stressor. If their stress goes unchecked they may become frantic, which may cause them to accidentally fall overboard. This brings up another topic you should consider before heading to the shoreline.

Even if you have one of the breeds known to be natural swimmers, every dog should wear a life jacket whenever they are aboard a boat that they may easily fall or jump off of. A dog must swim to remain afloat and after long periods of swimming they can become exhausted and will no longer be able to stay afloat. They are unable to tell you if they have reached this point, so it is important for them to have a life jacket on that will keep their heads above the water. Second, most dog-friendly life jackets have an attached lifting handle, which is perfect in assisting you with pulling your puppy back on board your boat. Think about how difficult it is to pick your dog up out of the bath. Now imagine trying to do that while sitting in a canoe, trying not to fall in the water yourself!

“Think about how difficult it is to pick your dog up out of the bath. Now imagine trying to do that while sitting in a canoe, trying not to fall in the water yourself!”

Perhaps the most overlooked issue when it comes to dogs on a boat is sea sickness. Believe it or not, dogs can get seasick too!  Keep an eye on your dog while on a boat. If they begin to show common signs of being sick they may be feeling the effects of seasickness. Move your dog to an outside deck with lots of fresh air and if you can, give them some water. Dogs and humans alike become dehydrated when they get seasick. Proper hydration is important to assist in their full recovery. Once a dog becomes seasick, they won’t fully recover until they can rest or are taken off the boat. Just like with a person, the symptoms will soon subside and your dog will be back to their normal self in no time.

Pixabay via ilkkakettunen

If you enjoyed this post, you should read When Nerves Get The Best Of You here.

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