Pooch Pontoon Paradise!
The slap of the waves on the pontoon sends a metallic ping shimmering underneath the floorboards of the deck. Both pooches instantly raise their ears and with great excitement peer overboard wondering if they should die then to find the culprit. This attraction the water is directly correlated with my desire to keep them out of it. For those of you who don't know, dogs have a great sense of what you want and a deep desire to do the exact opposite. A great example is water. When I want my dogs on the boat, dry and lovable, they want to swim. When I want my pups to get in the back and get clean, they instantly develop aquaphobia and will do anything within their power to get as far away from the wet as possible.
My four-pawed pals love the lake, and I love to take them, but there are a few safety guidelines it's important to remember. Most dogs love the water and are natural swimmers. However, if your pooch is new to this environment be sure to have a little test run, especially if there's any chance your pal could go overboard. Some dogs may require a life jacket while others such as mine may require you to watch them closely as they have a deep desire to “paw surf” with the boat at full speed. They need hydration, but not at 30MPH, so take water with you or filter for pooches thirst. Be sure to check regulations at your location as to pets on the water.
Sunscreen should be a consideration for your family including your pup. Shorthaired dogs can easily burn especially at high elevations and on long trips on the water. Be sure to provide a shady spot for your friend and this will help with sunburn and overheating. Be sure to select a non-scented sunscreen so as not to irritate your pooches super sniffer. Remember a dog's sense of smell is far more sensitive than ours. For each time you think or say to your dog, “dude you smell ripe”, your dog has thought it about you several hundred times. Unfortunately, you can't fake why you smell. Dogs can compartmentalize different odors, so you don't just stink to them, they know exactly why you stink. Perhaps you should ask your friend for some hygiene pointers.
Our friends will also likely need a bathroom break. If you have the room on your boat, you can create a sort of litter box using puppy pads. I find once the pup is house-trained, they are easily boat-trained, and can wait until you make a trip to the shore. Be sure to bring your poop baggies and be a responsible and polite puppy owner. Again, check for regulations at your location, take your pooch, and share your adventures!
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