Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe on the water: Dockshare’s guide to dogs on board

What’s more fun than boating on a beautiful summer day? What about bringing your furry friends along for the ride! 

We love to see a happy puppy with the wind in their ears and a smile on their face. Though it can be loads of fun to have your pal with you on the boat, it’s important to take necessary precautions to make sure your pup is happy and safe. Check out our canine safety precaution tips below:

1. Life Vest
There’s nothing cuter than a dog in a life vest. There’s also nothing safer! No matter how strong a swimmer your dog may be, it is just as important to keep him/her in life vests as all of your other passengers. When shopping for a doggy life vest, be sure to choose one that accommodates the size and weight of your dog.
2. Water
Dogs can get dehydrated quickly in the hot sun because of their fur coats. Make sure you bring plenty of water specifically for the dog. It’s also a good idea to bring a bowl so they can drink comfortably. There are also many other traveling options for drinking water on the go.
3. Dog Tags

In case of an emergency, you should make sure your dog’s collar has identification of your pet. This should include an address, phone number, or other form of contact information. If you are separated from your dog on the water, this will be the easiest way for someone to return your furry friend.

4. Body Language

Some dogs are seasoned boaters while others are not. Monitor your pet’s body language for signs of distress. Some symptoms include: constant pacing, heavy panting, excessive yawning, whining and shaking, unexpected barking, lip licking, or even turning away from you or hiding on the boat.  Dogs can even become seasick so keep an eye on your dog’s behavior. If your dog has never been on a boat before, try to keep their first ride short and sweet.

5. Sunscreen

This one may slip your mind, but certain dogs need sunscreen too. Dogs with short or light coats are just as susceptible to sunburn as the rest of us. You can use a light SPF or dog-specific sunscreen on your pet to avoid this.

6. Potty Breaks

Be sure your dog has a comfortable place to take care of business. Timing is important — schedule a short docking time to get to shore, walk around, and let your pup find relief. You can also bring pee pads or artificial grass so they can go on board if you feel comfortable with that option. Always be prepared for accidents with necessary cleaning supplies.

7. Safe Fun

Many dogs like to take a dip in the water when the anchor is down. Stock up on fun fetch toys and dog floaties to make their experience even better. Pay close attention to your dog any time they are overboard to avoid accidents and make sure to always cut the engine while dogs or passengers are swimming.

Remember, boating isn’t just for humans. Your furry friends can enjoy the experiences on the water as much as you. Your pup will be begging to join you each time you mention the word boat. Take these tips into consideration and prep the entire crew, including your best friend, for a fun and safe boating trip. Let the pup enjoy the fresh air and time spent with you on the lake or at sea.