We call them our best friend. We feed them homemade treats. We take them to the park. But every now and then our four-legged friend occasionally makes a guest appearance on the flats geared up for fishing season.
My idea of getting ready for a fishing trip is basically grab my tackle box and go. Yes, I am a very ambitious woman. But when it comes to my dog, I tend to be overprotective. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Hence, I’ve asked my lovely friend and veterinarian from Love That Pet, Dr. Eloise Bright, to assemble a list of tips and tricks that address dog lover’s like me who need to know the safest tools so you can stop worrying and just enjoy the water – kayaking, fishing, SUP, and all.
Let’s dive in.
1. Backing The Boat Up
Chauffeuring your furry friend around for fishing trips and jamming to good tunes can be a great bonding experience. Make sure you invest in a seat belt to ensure a safe ride for both of you. I bought my dog this harness for the Jeep and he keeps him safe and secure.
When backing up the boat onto the ramp or back onto the trailer, I prefer to leave my dog in the truck cab with me. Although, my dog is a well-trained fishing dog, I don’t want to take the risk of an accident.
2. Fishing Hooks
Your tackle box can seem like a box toys to any dog. Fishing poles, lures, and all the little pieces can be dangerous. Make sure you have everything put away securely or in an airtight bag.
3. Lots of Water
Bring a water dish and bowl for your pooch. Heat exhaustion is just as common in animals as it is in humans so keeping your pet cool is key.
If your pup has thin hair or is a sun worshiper, you may want to consider a doggie sunscreen. I’ve been using Epi-Pet Sunscreen Protector for years now. Also, provide your dog with shaded area to retreat to when needed.
4. Life Jacket
Don’t giggle! Many dogs don’t take well to water or even after a long day, some of the best swimmers can get tired – get a life jacket. Be sure to look for a life vest with a solid lifting strap/handle. Lifting a 50-pound dog back into boat isn’t easy with 5’8 130 pound frame, the handle makes this much easier. Also, pick a color that is reflective and vibrant to stick out in the water.
5. Potty Time
If you’re heading out for a full day trip, make sure your dog goes before you head out. Also, be sure to schedule in breaks where you can dock so dog doesn’t have to hold it.
Every fishing trip is a great training tool. Bringing a bag of delicious treats to reward good behavior is good way to keep your dog sharp for the next trip.
7. Bring The Leash
Always have a leash on hand for potty breaks or for safety. You never know when it could come in handy.