Many dogs love the water, so if you’re a boat owner, it’s natural to think your dog would make the perfect first mate on your next outing. While this can be true, there are some challenges to taking your dog on a boat. Some dogs can have anxiety on boats, while others might not be healthy enough for swimming. And if you want to go fishing, they can get themselves into trouble.
We’ve gathered our favorite tips for taking dogs boating and listed them out below. For all your boating needs, come to Water Werks Marine Group in Country Club Hills, Chicago. We proudly serve the areas of Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois, as well as Gary, Michigan City, and Valparaiso, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
If you’re going to take your dog boating, the first thing you should consider is their safety. Consider the dog’s breed and size. Smaller dogs often have a hard time in deeper water. They also might get overwhelmed by small waves. Older dogs could have health problems triggered by the stress of being in the water, so it’s probably worth leaving them on the shore if they aren’t healthy enough. Regardless of breed and constitution though, most dogs will benefit from having a lifejacket on the boat.
Keeping your dog’s stress to a minimum requires bringing all the supplies they’ll need. If it’s your first time bringing your dog, you might want to limit the amount of food and water you bring along until you know how their stomach will handle it. If you’re going to be out for the whole day, you’ll want to bring plenty of both, though. A few treats will also help to keep your dog much happier and you can use them to reinforce good behavior. Some dogs experience serious anxiety when on boats, so make sure to bring along a few chew toys to keep them distracted. As previously mentioned, make sure you pack a doggy lifejacket, especially if they’re older or have any trouble swimming.
It might seem like a nice idea to have your dog around when you’re fishing, but it probably isn’t worth it unless your dog is highly trained and extremely obedient. Dogs can be loud and are often excitable, which can cause them to scare off fish. And if you finally get a fish on the line, the excitement could cause them to move around, get in the way, or even try to bite the fish. You don’t want your dog running around your ankles when you’re trying to land the big one. Plus, the delicate work of loading hooks or managing a tangled line can be difficult with a dog around, and it’s possible that they could get hooked in the process. While some dogs might be able to handle the challenges of being on a fishing boat, many dogs will be too much for a fishing trip.
A successful boating trip with your dog requires that you anticipate your dog’s needs. Make sure your dog relieves itself before getting on the boat. Some dog breeds were specifically bred to be in the water, such as Portuguese water dogs. These dogs can be difficult to get back in the boat once they get in the water. They might also get confused by people swimming and try to pull them back to the boat. Even something as simple as missing a normal meal time can cause dogs to become confused or anxious, so try to keep to the normal schedule as much as possible.
Taking your dog on your boat outing can be a lot of fun if you set them up for success. Try some of these tips on your next boating trip. If you need parts or maintenance for your boat, stop by Water Werks Marine Group. Our Country Club Hills, Illinois location proudly serves the areas of Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois, as well as Gary, Michigan City, and Valparaiso, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.