Summer is finally upon us. We, here in Northern Illinois, are very excited since we had a very harsh, cold winter and spring.
I live in Lake County. This means we have tons of lakes where I live which flow into the Fox River and of course we have the Des Plaines river.
Boating is huge up here in Lake County and a lot of people bring their pets with them. However, it is important that safety for your pets is the #1 priority.
Here are the top 6 safety tips for boating with your dog !
1. Develop a plan in case your dog goes overboard. Create a game plan before you even bring your dog on a boat. Talk about what everyone would do if your dog goes overboard.
2. Invest in a life jacket. It’s important for your dog to have a life jacket before you take him out onto the water. You may think your dog is a strong swimmer, but depending on the conditions, including weather and currents, he could face problems. Also, if you do need to pull your dog out of the water, life jackets have handles you can grab onto to help him onto the boat. Make sure you get your dog used to wearing the jacket before you get out on the water.
3. Bring a first-aid kit. Make sure you have a stocked first aid kit on your boat. For a boat-specific kit, bring antibiotic ointment for minor scrapes, and of course making sure you have a good supply of any medications your dog may be on.
4. Visit the boat with your pet prior to your trip. Let your dog get acquainted with your boat before taking him out on the water. If this is his first time on the boat bringing him to visit it while it’s on a trailer or at the dock so he can get used to his surroundings in a safe, secure environment.
5. Check local laws about dogs and boats. Double-check your local laws and regulations regarding having dogs on a boat. Also, if you plan to enter international waters, look for foreign laws regarding dogs on boats.
6. Keep your dog’s first outing short. Your dog’s first boat outing brief so he can adjust to the ship’s movement. Your dog may develop seasickness. If seasickness becomes severe, ask your veterinarian about possible medication for future outings.
I hope everyone enjoys their summer boating trips but please make sure you keep everyone on your boat safe and secure !