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Safe boating with your pet during the 'dog days' of August

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Tue, Aug 15th 2017 12:30 pm
Allstate offers tips for New Yorkers boating with furry friends
Time on the water can be an enjoyable summer activity, but when it comes to ensuring a safe family outing, don't forget your furry companions.
Allstate and Trips with Pets offer the following tips for boaters to keep in mind before setting sail with their pets.
Familiarize Your Pet with the Boat
Pets can be apprehensive in new spaces so allow your pet to explore the boat before heading out on the water. Provide them with their own small space that is safe and out of the way. Turn on the engine to let them get used to the sound. It is recommended to take smaller cruises and gradually build up to longer trips as they get more comfortable.
Invest in a Pet Life Jacket
A personal floatation device (PFD) can ensure additional safety while on the boat. Not all pets can swim, and even if your pet is a good swimmer, falling into the water can cause an animal to panic.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals mentions that just like humans, pets can become easily exhausted in the water, so even strong swimmers can benefit from a little extra help. Help your pet get used to its flotation device by allowing it to test it out at home. After your pet is familiar with wearing it, allow it to try it in the water.
Proper Hydration and Staying Cool
To keep your pet from overheating, bring a water bowl and make sure they have easy access to it. Allowing them to drink the natural water can lead to them getting sick.
Pets do not sweat, so the American Kennel Club recommends watching out for sunken eyes, heavy panting, dry mouth, gums and nose as well as poor skin elasticity.
Allow for Bathroom Breaks
A major challenge for boating with pets is bathroom breaks. If you're boating with a feline friend, a litter box in the cabin is a good solution. If you're boating with a dog for an extended period of time, arrangements should be made so that they can relive themselves while on the boat. A portable dog potty that simulates grass is an excellent solution.
While time out on the family boat may be a new and adventurous experience for your pet, a little planning beforehand can make it an activity you can enjoy for years to come.

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