Safety First when Boating with Your Dog
All dogs can swim, and some are quite expert. However if your dog is accidently thrown overboard, the impact with the water can momentarily stun him, and his swimming instinct may not kick in. The wake from a moving watercraft or the rapids of a fast moving river can roll your dog preventing from swimming.
There are several manufacturers of life jackets for dogs. This site outlines the pros and cons of some of them: http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/findingsdog.htm
Keep a close eye on your best friend the first few times in the boat or raft to make sure she doesn’t jump after flying birds or interesting things floating in the water. As with other new experiences, training is essential to a good time for both you and your pet.
Be Aware of Changes in Natural Waterways
That lazy river or small stream can become a hazardous torrent when weather quickly changes upstream. It may be bright and sunny where you are with no notice of rain, but if it’s raining miles upstream, your walk by the creek can change without warning.
If your favorite waterway begins in hilly country, a thunderstorm miles away can change that placid waterway into a danger to your best friend who could get washed away. Pay attention to the weather forecast at the source of the river or stream to avoid putting your dog’s life at risk.
Summer Thunderstorms Can Be Lethal
Get off the water as soon as thunderstorms threaten. Most lakes are flat and wide open, and water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Lightning can be harmful if not fatal to you and your pets, so get off the water and into a building or your vehicle as soon as possible.
Avoid the rivers or streams that feed the lake in case the storm creates a flash flood.
Floods Bring More than Water
When water rises, it can bring all sorts of dangers downstream to your dog who is happily splashing in the water on a hot summer day.
Branches and downed trees can break loose in high water creating a potential collision with your dog. In severe flash floods the water brings rocks and boulders tumbling down the stream or dry wash.
Another not so obvious danger is the pollution from storm water runoff. Pesticides and fertilizers from lawns or farm fields can be toxic for your dog to drink or through skin absorption.
If there’s a sewage plant or septic tanks upstream, the flood water can bring all sorts of nasty pollution into the creek that could potentially make your dog ill.
Safe Water in Your Backyard
If your dog likes water to cool off in, a small kiddie pool can bring relief from the dog days of summer.
Just make sure to change the water often to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing. Another reason to keep the water clean is that dogs usually drink from their pools, and you don’t want her to drink polluted water.
Get a Hale Pet Door So Your Dogs have Access to the Yard and the House
When your dog can ‘answer the call of nature’ then escape the summer heat, he’ll be less likely to develop urinary and elimination problems and be less frustrated. Keep your dog healthy and happy with a Hale Pet Door.