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“I bought a doggy life jacket for Mort last summer,” says Maria, a Vet Tech at Firehouse Round Rock. “I taught him to swim and then did lots of trial runs in the life jacket to ensure he was comfortable before outings to Lake Austin. I also made sure the water was clean before our daytrip!”
Our team has pulled together 5 boating and lake safety tips for fun summer days with your pet.
5 tips to enjoy summer with pet safety in mind:
#1: Fit your pet for a life jacket
New-to-the-water dogs should have one! And pups who are excellent swimmers should wear one since accidents happen causing them to forget their swimming abilities.
-Ensure your pet’s head stays above water.
-Use a well-fitting life jacket.
-Let them wear the jacket around the house or in a baby pool before their first boating adventure.
Check out this video that a younger Dr Bowen made back in 2017.😜 His advice for water safety is still valid and the Baywatch reference never gets old.
#2: Keep your pet leashed when the boat is in motion
Dogs may jump into the water if they see another dog, smell a hot dog, or notice a large splash. Leash your pet while moving away from the dock and when the motor is running.
#3: Provide shade on and off the boat for your pet
Pets can get heatstroke and dehydrated, just like humans. Provide shade on and off the boat, so they have a cool place to relax.
More summer tips:
-sunscreen for light-furred pets
#4: Bring plenty of fresh water
Pets may be tempted to quench their thirst with large amounts of lake water. However, lake water can contain pathogens and toxins that can be hazardous to your pet.
Encourage them to drink fresh water from a portable bowl instead.
Also, always check algae levels before heading out to a lake to minimize your pet’s risk.
#5: Watch for signs that your pet is tired
Although your dog may be a water-loving breed, they cannot spend all day in the water without becoming exhausted.
Watch their energy level to prevent mishaps caused by fatigue. Pull them out of the water when you notice them struggling to swim or trying to latch onto nearby swimmers.
You and your pet can enjoy a fun day cruising around local lakes. If you have questions about a new puppy or your longtime 4-legged companion, please call us.