10 Safety Tips For Boating With Your Dog

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Make sure you are prepared before you head out onto the water!  Boating can come with a number of dangers for dogs- even if your pet loves to swim. Here are some safety tips to consider for your dog.

Before you Get on the Boat

  • Develop a plan in case your dog goes overboard before you even bring your dog on a boat.
  • Invest in a life-jacket: You may think your dog is a strong swimmer, but depending on the conditions, including weather and currents, it could face problems. Check the size on your dog’s life-jacket before purchasing it checking to see where straps and buckles fall to make sure it is comfortable. Give your dog a chance to practice swimming in the life-jacket before taking it out on the water.
  • Bring a first-aid kit: Make sure you have a stocked first-aid kit on your boat at all times. Pet-specific supplies and useful items include antibiotic ointment for minor scrapes and a good supply of any medication your dog may be on.
  • Visit the boat with your pet prior to your trip: Let your dog get acquainted with your boat before taking it out on the water, preferably on a trailer or at the dock so they can get used to the surroundings in a safe, secure environment.
  • Check local laws about dogs and boats.

When You're on the Boat

  • Keep your dog’s first outing short: Dogs can get seasick, and if seasickness becomes severe, ask your veterinarian about possible medication for future outings.
  • Keep your dog hydrated: If you’re going to be out boating in the sun all day, be aware that your dog may be in danger of overheating.
  • Don’t skip sun protection: It’s also important to remember that if your dog is spending time in the sun, it may need sunscreen protection (unscented SPF 15 sprayed on bandana, not fur). Boat surfaces also tend to become hot in the sun so know what areas will heat up and protect your dog’s feet.
  • Use common sense: If areas become slippery and could cause your dog to fall, block them off. Always know your dog’s location to help you be aware if it is in any danger.
  • Plan ahead for dog waste: If your dog has to go, where will he or she do it? It would be a hazard having the pooch go inside the boat.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.