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Safely Boating with a Dog - Beginners Guide

As dog lovers and boating enthusiasts, we understand the joy of having your furry friend accompany you on your boating adventures. However, just like humans, dogs need special considerations to ensure their safety on the water. Here are some essential boat safety tips to keep your dog safe and happy during your excursions on the water. 

Invest in a Canine Life Jacket 

Just as life jackets are vital for humans, they are equally important for dogs. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, a life jacket provides extra protection. Look for a jacket that fits snugly but comfortably, has a handle for easy retrieval, and is brightly colored for visibility. 

Acclimate Your Dog to the Boat 

Before taking a long trip, allow your dog to get used to the boat. Let them explore the vessel while it’s docked so they can become familiar with the environment. Gradually introduce them to the boat’s movements by taking short trips first. 

Designate a Safe Spot 

Create a designated area on the boat where your dog can feel secure and safe. For example, this could be a shaded spot with a non-slip mat to prevent sliding. Ensure it’s away from hazardous areas like the engine or anchor. 

Hydration and Shade 

Dogs can easily become dehydrated and overheated while on the water. Bring plenty of fresh water and a bowl for your dog. Ensure they have access to shade to avoid heatstroke. Regularly offer water and encourage them to drink. Keeping BARF World raw Freeze-Dried Nuggets on hand is a great meal or treat that does not require refrigeration. 

Practice Safety Commands 

Teaching your dog basic safety commands can be incredibly helpful. Commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” are crucial for controlling your dog’s movements and keeping them safe. Practice these commands in different scenarios to ensure they obey even in unfamiliar environments. 

Prevent Seasickness 

Just like humans, dogs can get seasick. Symptoms include drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. If your dog shows signs of seasickness, consult your veterinarian about possible remedies. It’s also a good idea to keep some basic first aid supplies on board. 

Keep Them Leashed 

While it’s tempting to let your dog roam freely, it’s safer to keep them on a leash, especially when the boat is moving. This prevents them from jumping overboard or getting into dangerous areas. 

Know the Dog-Overboard Procedure 

In case your dog falls overboard, remain calm and follow these steps: 

  • Stop the boat immediately. 
  • Use the handle on their life jacket to pull them back onboard. 
  • If you can’t reach them, circle back slowly and approach them from downwind. 

Check Local Regulations 

Some boating areas have specific regulations regarding pets. Ensure you’re aware of these rules to avoid fines and ensure your dog’s safety. 

Pack a Dog First Aid Kit 

Include items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and any medications your dog may need. Being prepared for minor injuries or emergencies is crucial when you’re away from shore. 

Boating with your dog can be a fun experience, creating wonderful memories for both of you. By following these safety tips, you can ensure your furry best friend enjoys the adventure as much as you do. Be sure to be stocked up on your dog’s favorite freeze-dried nuggets or treats. At Barf World, we care about the well-being of your pets, whether on land or at the lake. Stay safe and enjoy your time on the water! 

Have you taken your dog on a boating trip? Share your experiences and tips with us in the comments below or on our social media channels. We’d love to hear from you! 

Monica Samson

Monica Samson

Monica is a mother of 3 kids and a dog named Rufio. Though her parents never allowed pets growing up, she has always been an animal lover and is thrilled to be able to provide a loving home for a pet need. Besides working full-time at BARF World®, she enjoys cooking and trying new recipes along with spending time with her family and her dog!

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