Taking your dogs out on the water is a great way to have fun with your furry friends. No matter the time of year, if you're headed out on the water, your pooch may want to join you.
Before you load up your dog and get ready to head out, make sure you understand how to safely boat with your dog. Here are five tips to help those looking to go boating with a dog.
Be Ready for "Doggie Overboard"
Many dogs will be curious about the water and may jump in. Others may find themselves going overboard due to a sharp turn or a wave or another reason. Regardless, you should have a plan if your dog goes overboard.
A dog life jacket is a good first step, but you also want to have a plan, especially if you're in motion. Have someone in charge of killing the engine, while someone else retrieves the dog. You may even want to consider a wireless tether, which will automatically turn the engine off if anybody, including your dog, goes overboard.
Choose a Pet-Friendly Boat
Not all boats are pet friendly. You want to make sure you choose a boat perfect for you and your pets. Jax Boat Club offers several pet-friendly boats within the fleet including the Scout, Tidewater, Polar and many other options. If you plan to go out on the water with your pooch, make sure you have a pet-friendly boat for your trip.
Make the First Trip Shorter
Maybe you've never taken your dog out on the water before. You should practice a bit first by taking your dog onto the boat and letting him/her stand on the deck. Then, making the first trip shorter can be a good idea to ensure they have a chance to adjust.
Shorter excursions are great for dogs until they get used to being out on the water. Just like humans, dogs can be prone to motion sickness, so you want to see how they will react before going on a longer trip.
Have a Poop Plan
Even out on the water, your dogs will need to go and they may go because of nerves. Having a plan for the poop is a smart way to go.
You can consider training your dog to use pet pads or a litter box. You can also purchase a fake grass pad designed for dogs to use when they have to go.
Keep in mind, it could happen when you least expect it and accidents are likely. Have something with you to disinfect any areas where an accident has happened and to clean the area.
Have Proper Safety Gear
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, flares, a first aid kit and plenty of water on board. You never know when you will need these supplies. You should also keep some food and treats on board for your dog as you could end up stranded at sea.
There are many things to consider before going boating with your dog. Use these tips and prepare in advance for the trip out on the water with your four-legged friend.