Dog Safety in the Boat
The family is arriving at the dock on the safe and sturdy pontoon boat. The supplies are carefully arranged in boxes, the people are wearing their life jackets and the family dog is securely attached to its harness which is tied to the railing.
As the boat approaches the dock the pet makes its usual leap for shore. Not realizing it is still attached, the animal misjudges the distance and ends up in the water attached to the leash. Everyone goes into a panic and Fido has to be hauled out of harm’s way just before being drowned.
This is actually a true story.
Had the animal been wearing a flotation device like the rest of the family members there would not have been a need to tie the pet to the railing.
It’s difficult enough to get people to wear their PFDs, let alone convince them to buy one for the family dog or cat.
Sometimes the dog is the best swimmer on board, but it really depends on the breed. Puppies, old dogs, dogs with short legs and breeds with double coats are less likely to do well in the water. A lot of stress can be avoided by making sure ever member of the family is safe on the boat.
Pets and motion sickness
If the family dog has never been on a boat, it is a good idea to ease the pet into the experience. Take the dog onto the boat while it is still docked and give the animal a chance to get comfortable with the new environment.
Another consideration is to make sure the family dog has a comfortable space to sit in the open air during the trip. Dogs and cats, just like people, can get seasick in rough water, especially if they are forced to stay in the lower part of the boat.
It is a good idea to have a non-slip mat for the dog to stand on.
Hot temperatures are also a concern. Be sure to have enough water in a bowl for the dog to drink, especially on very warm days.
If the trip is going to be a long one, the dog is going to need a place to answer nature’s call. Puppy pads or some kind of box is preferable.
Go to the Tips For Pets At The Cottage page to learn how too keep the dog or cat safe at a cabin property.