Tips for Pontoon Boating with Dogs | Pontoon-Depot
- Get a good fitting life jacket and have the dog wear it a few times around the home before they get on a boat. Any pet life jacket should have a handle to easily lift the animal out of the water.
- Familiarize the dog with the boat slowly - don’t just get on the boat and leave the dock right away. Ideally, bring the dog to the boat for the first time without leaving the dock, and give them a chance to sniff around and get their sea legs. It may help to start the engine so they are used the sound.
- Plan for falls overboard, either from the boat or dock. If the dog falls overboard underway – or jumps in – you may be able to circle back and retrieve Fido just like a fallen water skier, pulling up slowly, cutting the engine and luring the dog to the swim platform with a treat. If you don’t have swim platform, smaller dogs may be lifted over the side by their life jacket handle, but bigger dogs may require a different solution.
- Get a Dog Boat ladder. It is easy enough to go overboard but quite a different story to haul in your 50 pound baby. Once your dog is accustom to the boat, the water ladder will be an easier transition in and out of the water for your pooch.
- Bring plenty of water and make sure there’s some place the dog can get out of the sun and stay as cool as possible. Know the symptoms of dog stroke heat. While seasick dogs may vomit, that’s also one sign of heat stroke. Rapid, loud or difficulty breathing, extreme thirst, thick saliva, disorientation and a bright red tongue and pale gums are a few of the others.
- If you’re going to be out on the boat for more than a few hours, plan on how your dog will relieve themselves, and pick up after your dog, no matter where they go. If you see where someone else didn’t pick up after their dog, pick it up for them. You don’t want to give any opportunity to show why dogs shouldn’t be allowed in your marina, and your boating friends will love you for it
Find out more about your pets and the outdoors at the outdoorchannel.com
- Scott Reynolds