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Boating with Pets

There's nothing quite like relaxing on a boat—the warm sun on your skin and the breeze in your face with that occasional spray from the water below. And what's more fun than being able to take your furry friend along with you? If you own a boat, or have been boating before, then you know all the rules you need to follow to have a safe and enjoyable excursion, but you may not know everything needed to make sure your four legged companion has a fun and safe adventure as well.

One of the most important items to have with you is a life jacket. Not only for all the people, but also for your dog. Spot can be the best swimmer you've ever seen (if he can swim- because not all dogs can), but even dogs get tired. Unlike people, dogs don't know that they need to get out of the water when they're getting tired, especially when they're out there with their best friend having the time of their life. Keeping a life jacket on your dog while he/she is in and out of the water will ensure his safety whether it's from exhaustion or an unfortunate accident.

Another important thing to have available is water. This may seem unnecessary since you're surrounded it, but in the same way you want fresh, clean water to drink, so does your pup. Lake and sea water is brimming with bacteria and other contaminants that could make your dog sick. Plus, having clean water available will allow your pet to stay hydrated, keeping him/her from suffering from heat exhaustion. It's also a good idea to keep some kibble on board to help him/her restore the energy used while swimming. And don't forget to take some paper towels and pet waste bags, just in case he/she has any accidents on board.

Now, whether you own a boat or are renting one for a day of fun, you want to make sure you have a ramp or ladder that can be placed off the back of the boat while you're in the water. It should have some form of gripping material on it to help your furry friend get out of the water without assistance. Pet ramps (or ladders) like the Paws Aboard Pawz Pet Doggy Boat Ladder are perfect since they are stable and allow dogs to exit the water without difficulty.

Of course, we know how damaging the sun can be to our skin. Well, it can just as damaging to your dog. Spray him/her down with a light sunscreen (SPF-15 or 20). Their hair does help, but it won't protect him/her 100% (especially short hair breeds). Choose something with a neutral scent so that it won't distract or aggravate your four legged friend.

Boating with your dog can be incredible fun. Just don't forget to be safe. And if this is Fido's first time out, remember to be patient. The experience is most likely going to be exciting and a little scary for him/her.

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