Anchors Away! Boating and Lake Safety Tips for Pets
Nothing is better than spending a hot summer day at the lake, and, with a little planning, you can include your pet. Here are five boating and lake safety tips to follow.
#1: Fit your pet for a life jacket
Although your pet may be an excellent swimmer, accidents can happen that cause them to forget their swimming abilities. Ensure your pet’s head stays above water with a well-fitting life jacket that they’ve become accustomed to before their first boating adventure.
Life jackets that have a handle on top are also highly recommended, as it will be easier to grab your dog out of the water should they fall in. We also recommend life jackets that have extra padding or bumpers under the neck for head-heavy breeds like French bulldogs or English bulldogs.
#2: Keep your pet leashed when the boat is in motion
If your dog sees another dog, smells a hot dog, or notices a large splash, they may be enticed to jump in the water as you’re pulling away from the dock. Keep your pet safely confined inside the boat with a 6-foot leash when the motor is running. We also do not recommend and highly discourage retractable leashes as they are not safe for use.
#3: Provide shade on and off the boat for your pet
Out on the water, the scorching sun can cause your pet serious discomfort and possible heatstroke, especially if they do not have the ability to jump in and out of the water to cool off. Provide your furry pal with shade on and off the boat, so they have a cool place to relax.
#4: Bring plenty of fresh water
Since your pet is next to, or in, a handy body of water, they may be tempted to quench their thirst with large amounts of lake water. However, lake water can contain pathogens and toxins that can be hazardous to your pet. Encourage them to drink fresh water from a portable bowl instead. Also, always check algae levels before heading out to a lake to minimize your pet’s risk.
#5: Watch for signs that your pet is tired
Although your dog may be a water-loving breed, they cannot spend all day in the water without becoming exhausted. Closely monitor their energy level to prevent any mishaps caused by fatigue, and pull them out of the water when you notice them struggling to swim or trying to latch onto nearby swimmers.
With proper precautions, you and your pet can enjoy a fun day cruising around the lake. But, if an accident occurs, take your pet to an emergency veterinarian immediately.