OK In Health - Paws 4 Thot

Boating with Pets - August 2018

By Dr. Moira Drosdovech, Kelowna, BC

A black dog

Because it’s summer time and that means a lot of us are out on lakes or on the sea, we should address the issues surrounding taking a pet with you on board your boat. Some of you might even be thinking about taking a longer term ocean cruise with your sailboat and your pet.

As a matter of fact, my sister and her husband left May 18 to sail from near Nanaimo, B.C. to Alaska and back again on their 40 foot cruiser over the next 3 months and, you guessed it, Charles, the fearless cat, is on board! Below is an excerpt from their blog May 21, 2007 about poor Charles!

“We left Comox Harbour this morning, the sky beautiful and clear! Our winds were a blustery 11 knots, but we had 4' swells, some crashing over our bow. This did not go over very well with HRH Prince Charles. It was his first day of being seasick. These swells formed yesterday and over night as the winds changed direction from the SE to NW. But the good news is that the swells have calmed down now, Charles is sleeping in the bright sunshine and feeling much better.”

Cats and dogs adapt to onboard living quite well, in other words, when the boat is stationary, but travelling is another matter. Pets rarely do well offshore, but that is not meant to discourage you from boating with your pet. Just take the time to do the research so you can do the right thing for you and your pet. Cruising for long duration trips is much different to what we might do right here in the Okanagan and we certainly don’t get 4 foot swells! If you can acclimate your pet to boating, start with small trips, even just getting on and off the boat at the dock several times (treats make this a fun game) and go for very short cruises, stop and float, cruise a little more.

Even if you think your pet is a good boating candidate, there are some things you should take into consideration before embarking in any boat or on any trip with your pet. Questions to ask yourself before boating with pets:

  • Does your pet tolerate a harness and leash?
  • Does your pet get over-excited in new situations?
  • Does your pet get seasick easily?
  • Is your pet old?
  • What would you do if you had to depart and your pet went missing? The safety of the vessel and crew would have to come first!
  • Have they been given a clean bill of health by your veterinarian and have up to date Rabies vaccine certificates if you are travelling cross border?
  • DOGS:
    • Does your dog respond to commands (come, stay, heel)?
    • Is your dog prone to barking, or nipping at strangers?
    • Will your dog use newspapers if there is no "land"?
  • CATS:
    • Does your cat respond to commands (come, down, up)?
    • Is your cat a fussy eater?
    • Is your cat an "indoor" cat?

Of primary concern is that your dog or cat does not create a situation that could endanger the lives of anyone on board. Restraint may be necessary in some situtions, but more cumbersome in others. Life jackets… May or may not prove useful. Apparently, for some they can be more of a nuisance, but for others, they have been life-saving.

Cold water, fast currents, and fatigue can get to dogs just as they can get to people. Your use of life jackets will depend on your dog’s swimming ability, age, health, and the type of boating you are doing. I just bought one for my little dog for this summer’s boating, but my Irish Water Spaniel definitely will not be wearing one, as she can swim for 2 hours straight! Garbage... Plan what to do with pet poop if you are in a location where garbage disposal is either not available or expensive.

On a long-distance cruise, you may have to carry your garbage for weeks at a time. A litter box will be necessary for Kitty on long term trips and should be located near the centre of motion of the boat, out of traffic, and in a corner if possible. Secure it well (shock cord) so it doesn't move. Be forewarned – clumping litter will create a disaster if mixed with your bilge pump!

 Docking…Arriving at new docks is a perfect example of when a pet needs to be shut in the cabin or tied up in a manner that does not restrict the crew. This is a perfect opportunity for a pet to sneak off without being noticed, so secure them to something out of the way before you get close so you don’t forget in all the commotion. While it may seem to be an easy task to put Rover in the dinghy and row him ashore, that isn't always possible. Aside from private property issues, you could find yourself anchored in mangrove swamps where there simply isn't any terra firma upon which to set Rover. Anything you can do train him to use facilities on the boat will obviously be worthwhile. If you can't re-train your dog, marinas are an option.

Don't declaw your cat! His life may depend on being able to climb out of the water! The thought of bringing some sort of scratching post should be entertained for their general scratching pleasure. Whatever you use, fasten it securely, or your cat won't use it.

Should you take your Pet? For short day outings here in the Okanagan, why not? They are fun to have along and most really seem to get a kick out of it. If you have a really (and I mean really well-adjusted) cat, you could take them too.

Try to be sure that you have plenty of water for them, shade if they are not going to be going in the water and that the day looks like it will be calm from start to finish. Don’t load them up with food and water just before you go! And if they do get onshore with you, be responsible, pick up after them and dispose of the waste properly. Your pet will alter your boating experience, mostly for the better, but it will also impose some restrictions on destinations, heavy weather sailing, choices about going to marinas or anchoring out. Housekeeping chores will double.

Some pets just don't adapt to travelling on any kind of boat or react badly to the stress of wild motion. On the other hand, a pet is better than valium for the crew! Jjust remember, once you make the decision, it's pretty much cast in stone if you are going on a long distance cruise.




Dr. Moira DrosdovechDr. Moira's Bio: A practicing veterinarian for 20 years, has been in Kelowna since 1990, first owning Rutland Pet Hospital and now, after selling the former, Pawsitive Veterinary Care, opened in 2000 and focused on primarily holistic health care. She welcomes new clients and loves to educate! Kelowna (250) 862-2727. - Dr. Moira Drosdovech Website - Email


Kelowna Holistic Market

Copyright © 2004- 2011 OKinHealth.com. This article is of the copyright of OK in Health and the author; any reproduction, duplication and transmission of the article are to have prior written approval by OK in Health or the author.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
This information and research is intended to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All material in this article is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this newsletter / e-magazine / website. Readers should consult their doctor and other qualified health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided in this newsletter / e-magazine/website are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions. OK in Health is not responsible for the information in these articles or for any content included in this article which is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute to seeking professional advice from either your doctor or a registered specialist for yourself or anyone else.
Connect with Us
facebook    twitter

Penny Hodgson - Certified Holistic Practitioner - Chiron's Way Consulting


Wellness Tip
Potassium
Potassium is essential for many reasons. These include blood pressure regulation and normal heart function. However, too much as well as too little can cause problems. Thus the National Institutes of Health recommend getting potassium from food, avoiding supplements except at your doctor's direction. Good food-based sources include bananas, yogurt, spinach, lentils, raisins, and acorn squash.


Body and Soul Kelowna Expo 2018


Wellness Directory
Okanagan Natural Care Centre - Kelowna
Specialty: Hypnotherapy
Offering Hypnotherapy, BodyTalk, Animal BodyTalk, Crystal healing, Reiki in Kelowna
View Details


Kelowna Wellness Fair - November 2018


Event
Body and Soul and Spirit Kelowna Expo 2018
Date: Sep 7, 2018
Location: Kelowna & Central Okanagan
Body and Soul and Spirit Kelowna Expo 2018
View Details


Maria's Ireland Sacred Tours


Article
The Acid/Alkaline Balancing Act
The body needs acid and alkiline in a careful balance. Most people don’t know that the pH of the blood and tissue is the single most important measurement of the body.
Full Article


Celtic Healings Intuitive Readings with Maria O'Farrell Carr


Recipe
Chai Tea with Ginger
Category: Drinks
Description: Tired of paying for those expensive, coffee shop chai tea lattes?
Don't want to drive just to find a chai tea?
Look no further.
Now you can make your very own chai tea mix at home!

Chai tea is a centuries old tea that has been important in many cultures around the world. This rich black tea that is traditionally sweetened with milk and honey also includes various spices which add not only to its zesty taste but to its health benefits as well. Made from a base of black tea, Chai is full of antioxidants from the tea leaves which help boost your immune system and prevent illness.
Full Recipe


Celtic Healings Intuitive Readings with Maria O'Farrell Carr