Top 4 Boat Safety Tips for Dogs
Boats are great way to spend the hot summer days. The open water, the wind in your hair and jumping off the side of the boat for a swim when it gets too hot have a great deal of appeal for both two-legged and four-legged lovers of all things summer. However, you must take certain safety cautions when on a boat no matter if you are human or canine. To ensure your dog will have as much fun as you do on a boat and be safe, follow these four tips.
1. Introduce your dog to the boat.
According to ohbehavedogtraining.com, if your dog has never seen a boat, let alone been on one, then a proper introduction is necessary. First, bring your dog on board when the boat is docked and the motor is off and let him sniff around. Then, take him off of the boat and walk him a good distance away from it – but not so far he can’t see or hear it. Have someone turn on the engine. This allows your dog to get familiar with its loud sound. With the engine running, encourage your dog to check out the boat again at his own pace. Do not force your dog to get near or on the boat if he does not want to. This will only lead to him being more scared of the boat and possibly you, too.
2. Put a life jacket on your dog.
This is crucial, especially if you have a dog that loves the water and will jump in for a swim as soon as the boat comes to a stop. Or worse, if you hit rough water and your dog gets bounced out of the boat. A life jacket could save his life and give you peace of mind.
3. Provide lots of fresh cold water and some shade.
Dogs do not sweat but they do lose fluids through panting. In the hot sun, panting is how a dog cools himself off. Since it can be hard to keep a water bowl full on a boat, teach your dog to drink from a water bottle. Also, make sure there is a shady area for your dog to rest under whenever possible. Dogs can suffer from heat exhaustion and heatstroke, too.
4. Slather sunscreen on your dog.
Yes, dogs can wear sunscreen and it is just as important for them to be wearing it as it is for their humans. According to vetinfo.com, “Dogs, especially dogs with lighter coat skin, are sensitive when it comes to sun exposure. The sun rays are not healthy and have been related to the occurrence of skin cancer. In addition, dogs that are exposed to sun may suffer from sunburn, which can be extremely painful and can lead to ulcerations, autoimmune skin diseases and other complications.” Talk to your vet about which sunscreen would be best for your dog.