Photo credit: Intrepid Sailor and Dog-lover Becky Wright
Boating in South Florida is not just a way of life for the humans, but for their dogs too. Dogs often handle cruising the intracoastal or the ocean with great enthusiasm. Just as there is a check list for people safety at sea, there is simple list of precautions to take for the safety and comfort of your best friend.
- dogs should always wear a size-appropriate life vest
- a dog life vest must have a strong grab handle
- bring fresh water for drinking
- watch walking surfaces to protect dog paws from sharp edges, like seashells and metal, and hot fiberglass
- bring a supply of poop bags in case your destination isn't dog-ready
- don't forget sunscreen, or dog visors and other protective gear, and provide shade at all times
- do not tie or leash your dog to a watercraft; if it sinks your dog will drown
- keep your dog in your sight at all times so that he doesn't jump and not be noticed
Enjoy your water recreation - or even full-time lifestyle - with your dog. Just as for children, learning to swim in a water-surrounded community like south Florida is not only fun, it could save your dog's life. Spend some time at the beach, dog lake or private pool for basic swimming lessons.