Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pets need floatation devices when they're aboard too

By Gary Blockus of the Morning Call
May 26, 2009

With boating season in full bloom now that we've made our way past Memorial Day, it's time to take a quick look at a safety feature may of us often forget about: securing our pets onboard.

Don't you absolutely love those pictures that show a golden retriever at the stern of a boat, tongue hanging out while master and family boat her across the lake, river or ocean?

The only thing wrong with pictures like those is that while they may be cute, they show little regard for the animal's safety.Even pets deserve personal floatation devices. The best water dogs may literally fall into deep trouble should they happen to tumble off the deck and into the water. If expert swimmers can experience panic and cramps while trying to negotiate a boat's wake, so can a dog.

Canine life jackets are available from a variety of manufactures and, like human PFDs, one size does not fit all.

Many dogs may be good swimmers, but not all dogs are good swimmers. Currents, waves, wakes and water temperature can affect a dog's ability to survive in any body of water should the animal accidentally or intentionally go overboard. Canine life jackets usually feature a ''handle strap'' along the backside that makes it easy for owner or rescuer to securely gain control of the animal in case rescue is warranted.

Do yourself, your family and your dog a favor by checking out some of the various water safety devices for animals at your local boat shop or pet store.

Call Peters Marine Service at 610-433-1606 for more information on Pet Vests.

ALSO - Be sure to frequent Gary's blog, Lehigh Valley Wild, at for information on Lehigh Valley Boating and Outdoor Sports Adventures!

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