How to Keep Your Dog Safe on the Lake
Dog owners who want to take their pets on the lake in their Bennington pontoons should follow some basic dog safety tips. Having a properly fitted collar or harness with an updated identification tag attached is important. So is avoiding rough water conditions. It's also important to choose a disembark location with even terrain or a marina that allows pets. Below is a list of more precautions and tips to keep your Benny dog safe.
Introduce Your Dog to the Boat
Before you take your dog on the lake, introduce her to your Bennington on dry land so that she can get used to the environment. Doing this will reduce your dog's distress, and prevent her from feeling as though her feet aren't planted on solid ground. Then, introduce her to the pontoon again while it's docked at your disembark spot. This will allow her to get used to the movement of the water.
It's beneficial if your dog is trained to know simple commands such as down, sit and stay. Having a nonslip surface in your Bennington is also a plus so that she doesn't slip while walking around the inside, which is likely to get wet on your trip.
Plan for an Overboard Accident
It's important that you have a rescue plan if your dog goes overboard or jumps off of your boat unexpectedly. Give everyone on the boat an assignment for what to do after you turn off the engine or turn the boat around for the rescue. Practicing ahead of time helps everyone prepare.
Bring Supplies for Basic Needs
You are likely to bring beverages and snacks for yourself and others when you take out your Bennington, so don't forget to include water and snacks for your dog as well. Hot temperatures require more water intake, so bring extra water and a bowl or dish so that she can drink fresh water. Additionally, have a place for her to use the bathroom, such as potty pads, or plan on making potty stops on your voyage.
Add Pet-Specific Supplies to the First Aid Kit
Every boat needs a first aid kit, and if you plan to take your Benny dog on the lake with you, you should stock the kit with pet-specific supplies. These include:
- a muzzle or cloth to prevent biting,
- a pet first aid book,
- antibiotic ointment for scrapes,
- gauze pads, and
- self-cling bandages that don't stick to fur.
It's also important to pack any medications your dog takes so that you don't miss a dose. Having her health records with you is ideal in case there is an emergency, especially on long trips.
Purchase a Life Jacket
One very important dog safety tip is to buy a life jacket for your companion. A lot of dogs love to swim, but they aren't all great at it. Even dogs that are great swimmers could have trouble if they get caught in strong currents or bad weather. The device will keep your pet afloat until you can provide assistance. Having a life jacket also gives you something to grab to pull your dog back onto the pontoon if you can't do it alone.
The life jacket needs to be a bright color so that you and others can easily see your pet in the water. Before going on your boating trip, allow your dog to practice swimming in the life jacket so that she can get used to it and to can ensure the floating device is comfortable and fits correctly.
Boating with Dogs: 9 Safety Tips