In part 1 of this blog series, we discussed products and training that will help keep your dog safe while boating. Now that your dog is safe while they’re on the boat and you’re equipped with dog sunscreen and first aid supplies, it’s important to know what to do if your dog goes overboard.
If your dog does go overboard, there are some important steps to take. Make sure everyone on board knows the protocols if the dog—or anyone—goes overboard so that everyone can respond accordingly and get them back on the boat quickly and safely.
- Cut the motor. Only run the motor if you need to get closer, but once you’ve closed the gap make sure to keep the motor off to avoid the chance of the prop harming your dog.
- “Man Overboard!” This is the standard call when anyone goes into the water. It alerts nearby boaters that someone has fallen in so they know to cut their motor if necessary and they might also be able to assist. Make sure someone is repeating this phrase until the dog is safely back in the boat.
- Grab them. If you’re close enough, you can grab the handle on the back of your dog’s life vest and pull them back onto the boat. If you aren’t close enough to grab them but running the motor isn’t safe, use an extension pole to snag the handles and carefully pull your pup in.
- Going in. If there’s no other way but to jump in, make sure you’re wearing a life jacket and be aware of the dangers. Your dog might be scared and panicked, but they also might be worried about you once they see you jump in. In both cases, the dog might try to drown you by standing on your shoulders or head. For very small dogs, this isn’t much of a concern. For large dogs, be very careful about how you approach and handle them to keep the situation as safe as possible for both yourself and your companion.
Always make sure your dog has identification tags on when you go out boating. Having tags on a collar, harness life jacket—or even having multiple tags on different pieces in case one falls off—will greatly increase the chance that a lost dog is returned. If you lose them but someone else finds them, those tags will let other people know how to get ahold of you. While having dogs chipped is a common practice now, not everyone knows that and they might not think to take your dog to a vet or shelter to have them scanned. The tag is an easy way for them to know that your dog has an owner who is missing them.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.