Be Safe: Water Safety Pet Tips

Before hitting the water with your pet, it’s important to plan ahead. Boating with your pet can be a wonderful and bonding experience.

Be sure to take these necessary precautions to ensure that your pet’s boating experience is fun and safe:

• Identification tag: Make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag.

• Familiarization with the boat: It is best to gradually introduce your pet to your boat and the water. Let your pet explore the boat while it is docked before going out on the water. Turn on the engine and let them get used to its sound, smell, and feel while the boat is docked. Finally, take your pet out on small cruises and gradually build up to longer cruise.

• Safe and easy boat access: Provide a pet ramp for your pet to get on and off the boat. This not only includes from the dock to the boat but also from the water to the boat. Pets weigh more wet than dry and it can be very difficult to lift them back into your boat after a swim.

• Flotation device: A pet life jacket can also ensure safety while on the water. Even if your pet is a good swimmer, getting tossed overboard can put any animal into a panic. Having your pet equipped with a flotation device with a lifting handle makes retrieving your pet much easier and safer.

• Proper hydration and staying cool: Protect pets from heat by providing some shade on the boat, providing plenty of water and keeping the deck cool to protect paw pads. Bring along a pet travel bowl and fresh water. It is critical to hydrate pets before they get into the water. Otherwise, they will drink the sea water and may get sick.

• Going potty: A big challenge of boating with your pet is making provisions so that they can go to the bathroom. If your boat trip does not allow for regular land stops for your dog to do their business, then provisions must be made so that they can relieve themselves on the boat. A portable dog potty that simulates grass is an excellent solution.

• Health records: If your boating destination is a marina or place that you’re not familiar with, be sure to bring along a copy of vaccination and health records. Some places may require proof of immunization before letting pets explore on land.

• Call ahead: While most marinas and parks welcome pets, there are some that aren’t pet friendly. Be sure to call ahead before arriving on shore. Wishing you and your pet safe and happy travels on the water this season!

Image from Waggle.com

7 Important Tips for Camping With Your Dog

Bringing your furry buddy along on a camping trip can be a lot of fun but this means packing some extra things for her, and thinking about her impact on environment, too. Before you head out to the Adirondacks, Death Valley, or Lake Tahoe, make sure you’re prepared for the trip.

  1. Plan – Make sure the place you are going allows dogs. Call the state park or campgrounds before you go to confirm that pets are allowed. Also, look up the locations of the nearest 24-hour emergency vet near where you are going.
  2. Be Prepared – Make sure their flea and tick meds have been applied before you leave. Pack food bowls, food, medications, and a first aid kit for your dog. If you can fit it, bring their bedding too. It’ll make for a relaxed pup. Don’t forget to bring bags to clean up after your dog too. Leave the environment as you found it.
  3. Keep your dog leashed – Even if your dog is great off-leash, a new place and unknown territory can bring about unexpected responses from your pup. She may want to explore and not be able to find her way back or a loud noise could startle her and she may run. Don’t use a flexi-lead or retractable leash. You can bring two leashes if you want, a 6ft walking one and a longer one so she can explore while on hikes. It’s also important for her own protection too to be leashed in case she tries to chase small animals or a large animal.
  4. Be mindful of your neighbors – While your dog might be very friendly, not everyone you’ll meet may like dogs. Other dogs may not be as friendly as yours too. If you run into someone else with a dog, talk to the owner and assess the body language both pups are displaying. Having your dog leashed gives you the control to pull your dog away if a play session seems unlikely.
  5. Reinforce commands – It’s easy for dogs to become excited and they may start misbehaving. If your dog starts to disturb wildlife, digs holes, or does other types of damage, quickly correct it like you would at home. Reinforce positive behavior and discourage negative behavior.
  6. No unwanted roommates – Nature has a lot of creepy crawlies, insects, and parasites. Apply flea and tick medication before heading out on the trip, bring your own insect repellent, and check your dog after walks in the woods for any bugs that may have hitched a ride. Don’t forget to check yourself too.
  7. Clean up – Just as you try your best to clean up your campground and take care of all your garbage, clean up after your dog. Even though your dog’s waste is biodegradable, it’s not indigenous to the woods. Make it a point to leave the the place in the same condition you found it in. Dispose of all garbage in the trash cans and use biodegradable poop bags which can be found in many pet stores.

Image from Pet of the day

Tips for Hiking and Camping with Dogs

Going camping? Chances are, your dogs wants to come along! Read these tips to have a fun, safe journey into nature.

Make sure that your dog is up to date on its vaccinations, and bring along its vet records in case of emergency. Bring an ID tag that says the name of the park, campsite or “Contact Park Ranger” on it. If you are going way out into the wilderness, write a number of a friend that people can contact.

If you are going camping on a camp ground, it is advised that you do not bring a loud dog that will annoy your neighbors. Pack some dog toys, frisbees, food from home and a sleeping pad or dog bed if it gets cold at night. Do not leave your dog in the tent for extended periods, as it will get really hot and dehydrated. When sleeping, keep your food out of your tent so your dog doesn’t take snacks (and also so bears don’t bother you!)

In terms of hiking, make sure your dog is able to go long distances before you embark on a huge adventure. Take it on small hikes and walks in wooded or desert areas, not just at paved park paths. Bring a first aid kit for yourself and for your dog. Some good items to bring are tweezers, socks if its paw gets hurt, adhesive tape, cotton balls, and a bitter apple to discourage licking. Read up on emergency dog situations and make sure you will be able to handle them. Pack lots of water for you and your dog. There is a product called a Body Cooler Bandana that you can use in addition, in which you soak it in cold water and then wrap it around your dog’s neck so it stays cool.dog-backpack

Bring an extra leash for emergencies. You might need to feed your dog more than usual, as it will be exercising, so bring a lot of food. If your dog is at least 20 lbs, it can carry things in a backpack (just don’t put anything valuable or breakable in there). Have your dog practice having the backpack, and eventually start putting objects in it, so the dog gets used to the extra weight. If you are going through rough or rocky terrain, look into buying dog boots. If you are bringing a small dog that cannot usually keep up with you, invest in a dog backpack you can carry it in yourself.