Pets are part of the family, and what better way to show your love for them than bringing them on a boating adventure? You might be excited to share the open water with them, or to take them for a spin around the harbor, but before doing so, you’ll need to factor in their safety. Even if your dog loves water and can’t wait to get in it, falling off a boat unprepared can be dangerous for your pet. We’ve already discussed how to safely boat in inclement weather, now we’ll discuss how to boat safely this winter with your four-legged friends on board. Most importantly, never leave the dock without protecting your vessel with a comprehensive Boat Insurance policy.
Get him acclimated.
If your dog has never been on board before, give him some time to get acquainted with it. Allow him or her to walk around, sniff everything, and get comfortable with the rocking motion before setting out. Praise him or her with treats and affection for remaining calm on the boat. It’s also ideal to let your dog relieve himself before getting on the boat. This will prevent unwanted messes when you head out on your adventure.
Even when you’re on a boat and there is plenty of water around, you still should think about providing some shade for your dog. Long hours on the boat and with ample sun exposure can cause your dog to overheat. Even in winter, your dog’s coat will keep him warm automatically, so he can still get uncomfortable quickly.
Next, provide plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink; salt water will only dehydrate him more. If they have sensitive paws, be sure to invest in some booties for them to keep their feet protected on the boat.
Wear life jackets.
Even if your dog is a great swimmer, it’s still wise to have him wear a life jacket on the water. A combination of age, disorientation, tiredness and health can be a recipe for disaster for a dog without a life jacket. According to Discover Boating, here are some tips for picking out a great one:
- Fit —Make sure the life jacket fits securely. It’s best to check the fit in the store before you buy.
- Lifting handles —These will make retrieving your pet safer and easier.
- Comfort —Check to see where straps and buckles fall to make sure they won’t cause your pet any discomfort.
- Color —Choose a bright color to make it easier to spot your dog in the water.
Give your pet a chance to get used to wearing its life jacket before actually getting on a boat. Allow your pet to practice swimming while wearing its life jacket, too.
About Mariners Insurance
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.