Summer is the perfect time to take to the water with your dog. If you’re planning on boating on Lake Travis with your dog this summer or one of the many watering holes here in Austin, put these safety tips to use to ensure that the outing is enjoyable for everyone.
Use a Dog Life Jacket
Consider putting a dog life jacket on your pet when you’re heading out on the water. A life jacket can help to keep your dog afloat in the event that he falls off of the boat. It can also be a good safety measure if your dog is a weak swimmer.
Make sure that you take the time to get your dog used to the life jacket before he has to wear it while on the boat. Spend time introducing the jacket while you’re at home, and then progress to having your dog wear the jacket while swimming.
Don’t Tie Your Dog When On the Deck
It’s so important to not tie your dog while he’s on the upper deck of the boat. If your dog is tied and slips or falls over the edge, he can be hung up on his collar or leash. If you don’t trust your dog to stay on the boat, then use a short leash and hold the leash while you are on the deck. And, of course, it’s important to supervise your dog closely while he’s on the boat.
Keep Your Dog Away from Fishing Equipment
If you will be fishing while you’re out on the boat, then make sure to keep your dog well away from the fishing equipment. Anyone who is casting needs to check on your dog’s whereabouts, and if you catch any fish, then secure them out of your dog’s reach.
Have a Plan if Your Dog Falls Overboard
While we hope that it never happens, it’s always a good idea to have a plan of what you will do if your dog falls overboard. Your plan should consist of stopping the boat, sending someone down to fetch the dog, and having a ladder and platform that you can easily get your dog onto while in the water. It may be necessary to have another person or two on board who can reach down to lift the dog up into the boat. Be sure to share this plan with everyone who is on the boat.
Bring Along Plenty of Fresh Water
It can get warm while you’re out on the water, so make sure to bring along plenty of fresh, clean drinking water for your dog. Offer your dog water on a regular basis, and give him a shaded place where he can stay cool on the boat.
Boating is just one of many fun summertime activities that you can do with your dog. Be sure to put these tips to use to keep your dog comfortable and safe.