Boating with your dog

2014-06-26 20.43.51The summer is the perfect time to spend an afternoon out on the water. Bringing your best friend along can make it even more exciting. Many dogs really do enjoy a day of cruising around the lake or riding up the river for a lunch on the waterfront.

If your dog is nervous with new experiences, make your first boating trip a short one. You may even just visit a boat while still in the marina for the first visit. Loud engines, bouncing on waves, and the tilt of a sailboat can be scary and confusing. Use lots of praise, and consider assigning one person to hold onto your dog during transitions like raising the sails, tacking, accelerating, or opening the sunshade.

Remember to bring the proper gear for your dog. A life jacket, travel bowl and plenty of fresh water are must-bring items. Also consider a blanket or other soft item to be your dog’s safe spot on the boat. If your dog has very short, light hair, you may want to use sunscreen. Consult with your veterinarian before applying, especially if your dog has sensitive skin or allergies.

Finally, remember to have fun! Consider yourself lucky if you have a dog who enjoys joining you out on the water.