Tips on Boating with Dogs

two dogs on boat

As soon as we mention the word “boat” my dog, JJ, runs around the house while we get our stuff ready, to make us hurry up so we can go. Dogs like nature and being outside probably more than we humans do! Many dogs love boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking or just being out on the water with their owners.

There are several important things to remember when going out on the water with your dog:

Accidents can happen, so it is best to be prepared if they do, and better yet stay prepared so they don’t happen in the first place.

1. A dog overboard plan is always good to ensure you are prepared and can react quickly if your dog is as clumsy as mine is! Your first instinct should be to turn off the motor, but this depends on the situation. If your dog can swim, it is best for him to either swim to shore, or back to your boat. It may be difficult pulling your dog back in the boat, so be careful you don’t end up in there with them. My dog has fallen off our motorboat just once, when we hit a bump in shallow water and he flew off the bow. Don’t get my started on how many times he fell off the kayak. He is just a clumsy dog, and some dogs are clumsier than other, just like some dogs can swim, and some can’t. For dogs that can’t swim it is even more important to have.

2. Life jackets. It is important for all dogs to wear lifejackets, even if they are good swimmers. Dogs love the wind in their hair and will often sit at the very edge of your boat, it is important to keep an eye on them when in rough seas.  Even good swimmers, can fall out and be in trouble if they are in a high traffic area, or hurt themselves and cannot swim. Dog lifejackets could save your best buddy’s life in an emergency.

3. Leashes and collars are always important. Your dog may need their leash depending on how calm they are in the boat. It is good to keep a leash on-board your boat in case you go to a busy marina, or if your dog needs to be restrained.

4. Do not forget to keep your pooch hydrated by keeping some extra water or a bowl on board.

5. Last but not least, and something that is just as important for humans, is a first aid kit. This can come in handy in so many situations, it’s something easy to have prepared for those stray fishhooks and skinned knees.   If you stay prepared, you won’t have to worry about accidents, you will be ready and able to react cool, calm and quickly if they do. Keep you and your furry friends happy and safe by following these five simple tips.

Pictured Left to Right: JJ & Hopper

By Daniel & Tao Miskin

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