BE­WARE OF DOG DAYS FOR YOUR BEST FRIEND

Keep ca­nines hy­drated and out of sun if boat­ing, at beaches or parks

RSWLiving - - Contents - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN Ann Marie O’Phe­lan is a South­west Florida res­i­dent and a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

Keep ca­nines hy­drated and out of sun if boat­ing, at beaches or parks

Many dogs love noth­ing more than a boat ride— how­ever, it’s im­por­tant to keep them safe, out of the sun, and hy­drated when they are on the wa­ter. “When boat­ing with dogs, avoid head­ing out dur­ing the hottest part of the day, from 1 p.m. un­til 3 p.m.,” ad­vises Daniel Chris­ten­bury, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion co­or­di­na­tor, Col­lier County Pub­lic Ser­vices Op­er­a­tions.

Dogs can also burn in the sun, es­pe­cially dogs with short or light-col­ored hair. “Ca­nine sun­screen can help pro­tect from burns,” he says. And re­mem­ber to keep your dog hy­drated so it does not be­come over­heated. “En­sure your pet has am­ple wa­ter and a shady place to es­cape from the sun,” Chris­ten­bury adds.

Not all dogs are in­stantly com­fort­able around the wa­ter, and a boat is not the first place to be­gin swim­ming lessons. “Toss­ing a stick or a ball in the wa­ter, pro­gres­sively far­ther from shore, is the best way to teach them to feel com­fort­able in the wa­ter,” ex­plains Chris­ten­bury. Also, in­vest­ing in a ca­nine life vest with a han­dle is a smart choice.

Boaters can take leashed dogs to Kee­way­din Is­land, a bar­rier is­land that is ac­ces­si­ble only by boat. It’s lo­cated be­tween Naples and Marco Is­land and of­fers nearly 8 miles of de­serted white-sand beach. Check out rook­ery­bay.org/visit/kee­way­din.

Dogs can also burn in the sun, es­pe­cially dogs with short or light-col­ored hair.

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