So we wrote about boating fun for the youngsters and boating safety for all, but we left out the family’s other important member… your dog. And I’ve been hearing about it.

Just think how your K-9 feels when he sees everybody packing up the truck and boat for a day on the water. Chances are, Fido spends a lot of time at the heels or in the laps of his owners. So what’s wrong with taking him/her boating?


In the photo is one of Oliver Tolliver’s two cousins showing her love for the water while mom and dad are in the pool. After climbing the ladder to let Rhonda and Robert Easton know she’s ready to get wet, Mango loves to float on a raft or just sit in dad’s arms up to her neck in cool aqua.

Now she’s showing off her new snorkeling gear.

I digress, with the attempted point being that lots of dogs love the water and want to tag along. Some dogs come by it naturally, others learn to enjoy it, and others, like Mango’s sister Cersi, couldn’t give a bark about it.

For K-9s who aren’t sure, it’s best to get them used to boating when they’re pups. It’s gonna be a strange new world for them, so take it slow and don’t force them to ride along if they seem scared.

Have a family member hold them at first and let them take in the sights. When they show signs of wanting more freedom, let them roam around the boat. After a while, give them the wind in their face so many dogs love.

Before long, you are likely to have yourself a bonafide bow rider. That’s where safety comes in.

Just like children, your dog should be wearing a life jacket when the boat is underway. And like everything else, you know they make them for dogs. Unarguably, the most popular is the vest jacket with the handle on the back so you can snatch Spot out of the drink.

Remember: a vast majority of our waterways have current that’s often hard and swift. Don’t waste time getting to the pooch.

Well, I think that’s the entire family – except for the cat. And trying to get it out for a boat ride? Let me know how that one works out.

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