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Safety Tips for Boating with Dogs

Do you have plans to bring your dog on your next boating excursion? While you may think you are fully prepared with food and water for your furry friend, there are still many safety considerations you should know to ensure that both of you will have a fun-filled boating adventure. Here are some tips for boating with dogs to keep you and your companion safe when out on the water.

Purchase a Dog Life Vest

Even if your dog is a good swimmer, he or she should be outfitted with a life jacket to prevent drowning. If a dog falls overboard or off the dock, the pooch could be startled by the fall, causing it to go into a panic. The life jacket should be equipped with a lifting handle to make recovering your dog easier. You should also make sure your dog is adapted to wearing the personal floatation device (PFD) before heading out for the first time.

Stock Up on Water

If the weather is extremely hot, make sure there is more than enough water for your dog to ensure he or she is well hydrated. You should also provide some shade for your dog on the deck to prevent heat exhaustion. Monitor your dog’s heart rate, panting patterns and saliva production as much as you can. As a general rule of thumb, you should bring out a cold bowl of water for your dog every hour.

Bring Your Dog’s Health and Vaccination Records

If you go ashore to an unfamiliar marina or location, officials may require you to hand them a copy of your dog’s immunization records before allowing your pet to explore the land. Make sure you have copies of their records and not originals in case they get lost.

Utilize a Portable Dog Potty for Long Trips

If you're boating with a dog and your trip requires infrequent land stops, you must make provisions for your dog, so they can do their business. We recommend a faux grass mat and tray system. The system looks and feels like grass, preventing the dog from having an accident on the boat deck. Plus, it can easily be washed with soap and warm water, so it can be reused again and again.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable

It's important to make sure that your dog is acclimated to their surroundings and is at ease throughout your journey. To guarantee your dog is comfortable, we suggest following these steps:

  • Make sure your dog knows the commands “sit,” “down” and “stay."
  • Purchase or create dock steps for dogs to assist your pooch into your boat. There are a variety of retailers that sell dock steps and dock ramps for dogs. If you are using one of our Jet Dock floating boat lifts or docks, we suggest expanding one side or the front of the boat lift or dock by attaching additional cubes. This will give adequate room to fit an ascending boat boarding ramp for dogs to climb into the boat safely and easily.
  • Put nonslip padding in the cabin, cockpit and deck of your boat, so your dog will grip rather than slip when the boat is moving.
  • Put a ramp over the cabin stairs, so your dog can easily slide down into the cabin. You might need to assist your dog up and down the ramp if it is steep.
  • Look into dog ladders for docks. This nifty invention provides a convenient way for your dog to get out of the water without having to swim back to shore or attempt to scale a seawall.
  • Encourage your dog to walk around your boat as well as get on and off by themselves. You should also test your basic dog commands to ensure he or she still listens to you.

Don't Take Your Dog Out in Bad Weather

Boating with a dog is an enjoyable experience. But it's important to keep in mind that most dogs are afraid of storms, especially thunder. This can cause them to try to escape to a safe place. They may attempt to run around the boat and possibly cause injury to themselves and others, as well as falling overboard. Plan your trip accordingly and be aware of bad weather that may arise during your journey.

Ensure You're Safely Boating with Dogs with the Help of Jet Dock

It's important to put safety measures in place for you and your dog before ever boarding a boat. Taking proper precautions will help your dog(s) feel safer and will ensure a safe boating excursion. If you want to increase safety for people and pups alike, check out our selection of convenient and user-friendly floating boat dock systems. Have a question or need additional information regarding any of our popular product lines? Reach out today and we'll help you find the right product for your needs.

Our boat lifts and floating docks give and move with the stormy water instead of resisting it, meaning your watercraft comes out virtually unharmed. Protect your boat in a storm with the help of Jet Dock.

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