Safety Tips For Paddling With Pets

Many of us have pets who are just as adventurous as we are and enjoy spending time on the water. Why not share your love of paddling with them? Before your journey, let’s ensure all safety boxes are checked to keep our furry friends safe!

Life Jackets for Both

Just like you, your best pal should be wearing a PFD, preferably one with a handle on top.  The handle is critical to help lift your pet out of the water should they fall or go in for a swim – even excellent swimmers can run into dangerous situations. Just like humans, pets should wear a properly fitted PFD. Choose one specifically designed for your pet’s size and breed.

Practice Before Launch

First time paddlers may not be comfortable during this new experience. Take time to practice on land so they know what to expect before your first voyage. Start by training your pet to sit on a designated spot on your watercraft. Then sit behind your pet, when they are comfortable with that try standing and rocking back and forth a bit. Take it slow, this will help them get used to the motion and build their balance. A few treats to guarantee a positive experience won’t hurt either????

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration and heat exhaustion are serious concerns. Pups, kittens, and elderly pets are at the highest risk. Come prepared with plenty of fresh water and a collapsible water bowl. Some hydrating snacks like pet-friendly fruits are a bonus.

Check Local Regulations

Research and understand the local regulations and guidelines for bringing pets onto water bodies. Some areas might have restrictions or specific rules for paddling with pets. It’s important to abide by these regulations to ensure a safe and legal experience.

Weather Conditions

Keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading out on the water. Wind, waves, and adverse weather conditions can impact your ability to paddle safely with your pet. Avoid paddling in conditions that might be too challenging or risky for both of you. Knowing the potential dangers is one of the best ways to ensure a safe, enjoyable day for you and your pet.

Remember that each pet is unique, and their comfort level with water can vary. Always prioritize your pet’s safety and well-being. Be prepared to adjust your plans accordingly if they show signs of distress or discomfort. Happy paddling!


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