First Mate: Our Guide to Fishing with Your Dog
Spending some quality hours on the lake with man’s best friend and a fishing pole sounds wonderful to many of us! But not every dog is cut out for this lazy lifestyle. Knowing how to be sure that your dog is safe while casting your pole is important. Schertz Animal Hospital has some tips to help fishing with your dog be an enjoyable experience.
Hazards of Fishing with Your Dog
As with many activities, knowing what hazards to look out for is half the battle. Understanding what challenges and dangers dog owners face when angling can help to make fishing with your dog a good experience for all.
Consider the dangers involved with:
- Navigating a boat around a pet
- Fish hooks
- Being on the water
- Temptations (think wiggly bait)
Bone Up on Safety
Anticipating potential problems is important, but you must also have a plan for how to deal with them.
Before fishing with your dog, be sure that they are acclimated to seeing you cast a pole and being around bait, so that there is no temptation to chase it into the water. Teaching your pet to “leave it” is also a great tool to have in your repertoire.
Fellow fishermen appreciate a dog who is not barking in excitement the whole trip. Bring along some treats to help distract and consider leaving your pooch at home if they are too excitable.
It is advisable for fisher-dogs to wear a life vest, as one never knows when an accident might occur. Dogs should also have a secure leash or safety line if on a boat for protection during crucial times (like backing your boat) or if they end up overboard. A doggy boat ladder can also be helpful.
Spending time in the sun can sneak up on us all. Be sure to have plenty of fresh water available, and offer it to your pooch frequently in order to prevent heat exhaustion. Try to provide shade, as well, and protect those bald noses and ear tips with doggy sunscreen.
Perhaps one of the most common issues that occur when out fishing with your dog is accidental hook ingestion or injury. Secure your tackle, so that your pet doesn’t accidentally step on it, and remove the hook from your catch right away. Take the time before casting to ensure your dog is in a safe location to avoid catching the wrong species.
Don’t let your pet eat raw fish. Besides a tummy ache, food poisoning and serious parasites are of concern.
If you are fishing offshore, keep your dog leashed and out of the brush. Snakes can be a serious danger when fishing in Texas.
Whether you are casting your reel at Crescent Bend Nature Park, trying your angling luck at Elmendorf Lake Park in San Antonio, or are headed to the Gulf Coast for some intense fishing, we want to be sure that you and your dog are safe. Please call us with questions or concerns; we are always here to help!