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Princeton Grooming Jersey Shore Boating Tips

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Before you get on the boat with your dog, review the following safety reminders and prepare for the voyage.

1. Develop a plan in case your dog goes overboard. Discuss what all human passengers would do if your dog goes into the water.

2. Invest in a life jacket. It’s important for your dog to have a life jacket before you take him out onto the water. You may think your dog is a strong swimmer, but depending on the conditions, including weather and currents, he could face problems. If you need to pull your dog out of the water, you need something to grab. Give your pet a chance to get used to wearing its life jacket before actually getting on a boat.

3. Bring a first-aid kit. Make sure you have a stocked first aid kit on your boat. The Humane Society of The United States recommends a number of pet-specific supplies and useful items to include. For a boat-specific kit, antibiotic ointment for minor scrapes, and of course making sure you have a good supply of any medications your dog may be on.

4. Visit the boat with your pet prior to your trip. Let your dog get acquainted with your boat before taking him out on the water. If this is his first time on the vessel, bring him to visit it while it’s on a trailer or at the dock so he can get used to his surroundings in a safe, secure environment.

5. Check local laws about dogs and boats. While there are no national legal restrictions or requirements pertaining to having animals on your boat, double-check local laws, since regulations can vary by state. Also, if you plan to enter international waters, look for foreign laws regarding dogs on boats.

6. Keep your dog’s first outing short. If seasickness becomes severe, ask your veterinarian about possible medication for future outings.

7. Keep your dog hydrated. If you’re going to be out boating in the sun all day, be aware that your dog may be in danger of overheating. Pets can get hot if they don’t have enough water, so remember to have plenty of fresh water on hand and put out a dish for them. Don’t forget to provide shade.

8. Don’t skip sun protection. It’s also important to remember that if your dog is spending time in the sun, he may need sunscreen protection. Be aware that boat surfaces tend to become very hot in the sun and protect your dog’s feet.

9. The best thing you can do when you have an animal on your boat is use common sense. Always knowing your dog’s on board location will help you be aware if he is in any danger.