The dog days of summer are here, and recreational boaters are having a great time with their pets on the water. However, not all outings have gone as planned, and the staff at Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some stories to share about their experiences this summer that can help all animal owners: “As someone who has had to haul a Golden Retriever onto the swim step of a large motorboat, I’d suggest making sure the dog can swim before coming aboard the boat.” –Kerry in BoatUS Marine Insurance Tip: BoatUS also suggests learning about life jackets for dogs here.
“Engine fumes and seasickness can affect pets, too. Thank goodness for snap-out washable boat carpets! I try to ensure the dog is not in an enclosed space and can see the horizon and I avoid having him sit aft where engine fumes can backdraft onto the cockpit floor. Boaters should also have a CO alarm in the cabin regardless.” –Jerry in BoatUS Towing Services Tip: For more on carbon monoxide poisoning, go here.
“Cat lovers suggest hanging indoor/outdoor carpet or rope over the transom so cats can climb back aboard if they fall overboard. I once tried to dry out a wet cat with a hairdryer and it didn’t go so well. While a few cats don’t mind loud noises and may even let you vacuum them, a soft towel or chamois is better for drying off your little Lion King.” –Ted in BoatUS Foundation Tip: To find out how to canoe or cruise with cats, see two stories here.
“I always keep a boat hook handy for retrieving just in case. It’s also easier to grab a dog when he’s wearing his life jacket, and you can lift from the handle on his back.” –Claire in BoatUS Publications Tip: On docks at home, the club or marina, BoatUS recommends always having a boat hook nearby. “In the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program’s Claims Department we recently had a claim on an iguana bite that necessitated nose reconstruction. The message? Don’t tick off the iguana.” –Kerry in BoatUS Marine Insurance Tip: BoatUS has no recommendations for boating with lizards, tarantulas, or orangutans, other than to keep them very happy while aboard. If that fails, it’s important to have a good boat insurance policy as a backup plan. In addition to the medical payments limit selected by the boat owner, all BoatUS Marine Insurance policies include an additional $25,000 for payments for family members not covered by any major medical policy. For a free quote go here.
For more on boating and pets, go to www.BoatUS.com/pets/articles.asp.