Michigan borders four of the five Great Lakes, making the state a part of the world’s most extensive freshwater system. It also has one of the highest boats per capita in the country, boasting over 1,000,000 registered boats. This is why pontoon boats and other variations are commonly for sale.
If you are one of the many boat owners who live here, you should understand that nothing is better than spending time with your loved ones on the water. While you’re at it, bring your dog and have fun. Before heading out on your boat, ensure that you have everything prepared for your fur baby.
Be sure to follow these steps to ensure your dog enjoys the boating trip as much as you do:
Bring Personal Flotation Devices
It is no secret that dogs love to swim, but that does not mean they are the best swimmers. When planning a boating adventure with your pooch, ensure you bring a personal flotation device. You can check with your local pet stores for flotation devices made for dogs. Make sure you test the item before riding your boat to ensure their safety. Allow your dog to practice swimming while wearing the flotation device so that they can become familiar with it.
Fully Equip Your Boat
If you think the boat trip will last for a couple of hours, it’s best to designate a spot on the boat where your dog can pee. You can find pee pads or ‘doggie potties’ in your local pet stores. Having these pads onboard for your pooch helps them know where they can go, offering an easier cleanup for you.
Aside from designating pee spots for your pooch, create a little place on the boat for them. Ensure the area is shaded and has a bowl of food so that when your dog gets tired, it can rest in a comfortable place. It is best to have rubber-backed rugs to ensure your furry friend’s items do not slide all over the boat.
Bring Plenty of Clean Drinking Water
Keep your dog from drinking water from rivers and lakes since these often have harmful organisms. They can cause health complications with your dog over time. Make sure to bring fresh drinking water with you on the trip to ensure your dog has safe water to drink. It is best to use a water bottle that can directly squirt water into your dog’s mouth.
Just like people, dogs can get sunburned, especially if they have a lighter shade of fur. Sunburns can cause peeling or redness of their skin or even cancer. Check with your vet to determine which sunscreen suits your pooch the best. The nostrils, ears, and lips are places that you might forget to protect.
Acclimatize Your Dog to the Boat
Like with most animals, dogs prefer stationary areas. Placing your pooch on a moving vehicle can prove stressful if you do not prepare them. Before the boating trip, slowly introduce your dog to the boat while immobile. Next, turn on the boat’s engine and let your dog become familiar with hearing it. Doing this can lessen your furry friend’s stress levels when the day of the boating trip comes.
Overall, take the time to prepare your pooch for the trip and bring the right tools to ensure a safe and worry-free day for you and your dog.