Tips for Safe Boating with Your Pet

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Tips for Safe Boating with Your Pet

Before you hit the high seas or local lake, be sure to follow these common sense tips to ensure your pet's boating adventure is a safe one.

  • Collar with ID Tag:  Before heading out on the water, make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag. Include contact information, marina address and slip number.
  • Familiarization with Boat:  It is best to gradually introduce your pet to your boats and water. Let your pet explore the boat while it is docked before going out on the water. Turn on the engine and let them get used to its sound and smell while the boat is docked. Then, take your pet out on small cruises and gradually build up to longer cruises.
  • Safe & Easy Boat Access: Provide a ramp for your pet to get on and off the boat.  This not only includes from the dock to the boat but also from the water to the boat.  Pets weigh much more wet than dry and it can be very difficult to lift them back into your boat after a swim.

  • Pet Life Jacket:  A personal floatation device (PFD) can also ensure safety while on the water. Not all pets can swim (including some dogs).  Even if your pet is a good swimmer, getting tossed overboard can put any animal into a panic. In addition, your pet could suffer from exhaustion or hypothermia.  Many pets also fall into the water from the dock or while trying to get from the dock to the boat.  Having your pet equipped with a floatation device with a lifting handle makes retrieving your pet much easier and safer.  Help your pet get used to the PFD by first practicing at home for short periods of time.  Start by putting the PFD on your pet and let them walk around with it on.  The next step is to let your pet swim with it on for a short period.  It's a new experience for them so it's important for them to get used to it before the boat trip.
  • Proper Hydration & Staying Cool:  Pets do not sweat, so keep an ey