If you take your four-legged canine pal out on the boat, use these 10 tips to keep it safe and secure:
1. Lead your dog to the boat with the engine off, and then start the engine once it is settled. Allow the dog to sniff around the boat.
2. Let your dog in the water only when permitted to do so. When the boat is underway, keep the dog safely restrained.
3. Attach an ID tag to your dog’s collar; make sure it has your contact information.
4. Handles on the back of pet life jackets help when hauling smaller dogs from the water and can come in handy for transferring them between the boat and the dock.
5. A bright life jacket color makes the dog easier to spot in the water, and always do a fl oat test to make sure it works.
6. A fishing net attached with line to the boat can be a useful tool in getting a small dog back aboard quickly.
7. A pet ramp or stairs off the back of the boat will help a dog swim aboard.
8. Make sure your dog has a shady place to sit and access to drinking water.
9. A piece of artificial turf may work for bathroom issues, but you have to train your pet to know where to go.
10. Keep your boat shipshape, stowing fishing gear so your dog doesn’t get hooked