Spending the day on the water is a family affair, so why not bring your pup along for the fun? Dogs enjoy the outdoors and boating life as much as we do.
In July, the TV program Inside South Florida featured "Ruff Seas Week" a partnership between Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale and the Humane Society of Broward County, to help promote boating safety and awareness for pet owners and their dogs in South Florida.
Ruff Seas Week featured many tips and safety advice for when your four legged friends join you on the water. Some of the tips recommended included:
Use a Pup Flotation Device (PFD) or life jacket.
Just as humans need life jackets when boating, your dog should have one too, says Vinny Focaracci, owner of Sea Tow Ft. Lauderdale. Even if your dog isn’t likely to jump into the water, it may fall overboard. Find a PFD made specifically for your breed of dog and try it on ahead of time to make sure it fits correctly. Find one in a bright color, like orange, yellow or green, so the dog can quickly be spotted if it goes over the edge. Dr. Fisher, a veterinarian at the Human society of Broward County also suggested writing your phone number and name in large print on the PFD so if someone else finds your dog, they can quickly reunite you and your pet.
Protect your dog from the sun.
Most dogs have built-in sunscreen – their fur. However, dogs with thinner fur or light-colored hair may need extra protection from the sun. If your dog has a white or pink nose,put a small amount of sunscreen on, there are sunscreens made just for your pup!
Keep your dog cool and hydrated.
Offer water throughout the day to keep your pup properly hydrated. Just as you should be consuming water all day long, your pup will need regular access to stay hydrated. However, Dr. Fisher says not to force your dog to drink water. If he is panting heavily to cool down, forcing water in his mouth may cause him to inhale the water or choke. Leave a bowl of cool water out and he’ll drink when he’s ready. Ice cubes are a great way to get a dog to cool down and consume water slowly.
Keep your dog on the boat.
Feel free to splash water on the dog too, but never drop him in the ocean or lake to cool down. The dog may have trouble swimming, especially if he’s panting heavily. Plus, the water can be unpredictable and you may lose site of your dog.
For more tips and dog-friendly fun, watch the interview here.