Some dogs are born for the outdoors. If you are parenting an energetic pet that loves venturing into nature, fishing might already be on your list of activities to pursue.
Traveling with your dog is one thing—preparing them to introduce them to the wilderness is another. Experienced anglers know the value of being prepared. If you are fishing with your pet for the first time, below are a few dos and don’ts you’ll want to keep in mind.
DO Bring the Right Gear
We aren’t just talking about your perfectly curated tackle box—we mean your dog’s outdoor survival kit! Packing along the essentials can make or break your experience in the water. Some items you’ll want to prioritize include:
- Your dog’s leash and collar, for security purposes
- Waste bags for picking up droppings along the shore or in your rental boat
- Water, snacks, and a collapsible bowl
- Pet-safe sunscreen and dog boots for paw protection
- A first aid kit that contains bandages and antiseptic solution
DON’T Leave Your Dog Unattended
Your dog might already be comfortable in the water, but you should never underestimate accidents in nature. If you are fishing from shore, secure your dog by clipping their leash onto something sturdy like a tree or large boulder.
Even the most talented four-legged swimmers can become swept away by powerful currents—don’t take your chances!
DO Practice Basic Commands
Can your dog sit and stay? If so, you’re already off to a good start. While your pet need not be a command virtuoso, knowing how to “drop it” and “come” can make all the difference under challenging circumstances.
Look at it this way—if you don’t want your dog’s snout inside your bucket of bait, learning a command like “drop it” will come in handy!
DON’T Forget to Research Your Destination
There is no such thing as being too prepared. If you are traveling with your pet to a new location for the first time, doing research beforehand can save more time and money than you think.
Take note of important details such as lakes and nature parks that allow dogs and where you can find emergency veterinary services.
What is the weather like at your destination? Will your dog require protective gear? Is the climate something they are acclimated to? Is the weather too warm for your dog? Ask yourself the important questions!
DO Take Extra Precaution on a Boat
Fishing along the shoreline is a relatively simpler way to keep an eye on your dog. Fishing from a boat may not be as intuitive.
Firstly, you’re going to want to equip your dog with a life vest. Even tranquil bodies of water can be home to unexpected currents. Secondly, you’ll have to secure your pet. If they are particularly frantic, consider clipping your dog onto the boat with a safety harness and leash. Alternatively, you might want to rethink the boat situation altogether.
DON’T Keep Your Fishing Gear Loose
To a dog, shiny hooks and artificial lures spell playtime. On the other hand, delicious, pungent bait might spell dinnertime. Prevent injuries and illness by keeping a close eye on your tackle gear and securing them in a waterproof, lockable box at all times.
If your dog gets into an accident with your gear, immediately call up emergency services. Never try to alleviate the situation yourself!
The Bottom Line
Whether a fishing beginner or seasoned veteran, embarking on an outdoor journey with your pet is nothing short of enriching. However, taking the appropriate precautions can make your adventure even more worthwhile.