It’s an easy thing to forget, but your dog can’t drink from your canteen. Even if the lake is fresh water, it’s also not a good idea to let your furry companion drink from it. In fact, some types of algae are downright toxic! Make sure to pack a collapsible water bowl so your dog can enjoy plenty of cool fresh water and ward off potential dehydration. This is a real pet must-have!
Keep treats and other snacks dry while canoeing or kayaking with your pooch in a waterproof bag. This really is another thing to add to the list of dog must-haves. A day full of swimming and boating burns a lot of calories—probably more than your dog is accustomed to. Just like you, they are probably going to be ready for a small mid-afternoon snack to keep going on high octane. Remember to keep feedings small when your dog is active to avoid the potentially life-threatening condition known as bloat.
Easy to forget, but another absolute dog lake essential: extra towels. Your pooch won’t mind if they get the towel with a big tear in the corner from that time it got partially eaten by the dryer….just so long as they don’t have to share! (And really, who wants to lay out on a beach towel that smells like a wet dog?)
2. Canine life jacket: Safety gear for Fido’s day at the lake
Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are natural swimmers. Admittedly, some dogs can’t swim at all! Have you wondered, “are pitbulls good swimmers?” Well, while there are always exceptions to the rule, breeds that are notoriously bad swimmers include bully breeds (bulldogs, pitbulls, terriers, and more), basset hounds, dachshunds, pugs, and other Brachycephalic breeds.
Even if you have a strong swimmer on your hands, it is advisable to fit them with a dog life vest if they will be joining you on the boat. The reason for this is that it can sometimes be difficult to get a dog back in the boat if they jump out. They may make a beeline to the shore, not realizing it is too far for them to be able to swim. Better safe than sorry!
3. Saddlebag harness: Let your pooch carry the load for walking day the the lake
Many lakes offer hiking trails to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from dry land. If you plan to take advantage of them, consider investing in a saddlebag-style hiking harness
for your dog.
They come in many styles designed to provide your dog with balanced comfort for both short and long hikes. Roomy pockets on either side of these adventure harnesses allow you to pack items, such as ponchos, treats, kibble, portable water bowls, leash, sunscreen, and anything else that may come in handy on the trail.
Be sure that you keep an eye on matching your dog’s fitness level with the amount that you pack him up with. In addition, try to balance the load left to right for comfort and safety. Finally, take the harness off on breaks to make sure your dog has a chance to cool off, especially in warm, humid weather.
4. The right stuff for a day at the lake: The best waterproof toys
Sure, a tennis ball might be your dog’s go-to in the backyard, but it won’t do for shoreside games of fetch. First, they get waterlogged and nasty. More importantly, they will eventually sink if they get punctured.
Floating skipping stones
These floating stones by Kurgo have the built-in advantage of flat sides, just like river rocks, so that you can skip them along the surface of the water with each toss. It makes a fun game even more fun by getting your dog’s two-legged companion involved in the challenge. Floating disc
If you have a Frisbee fanatic by your side (Border Collie parents especially), you may be disappointed to find out that most flying disks will turn over and sink in the water. The
Zogoflex by West Paw solves that problem. Dog float lounger
Finally, if you plan on whiling away a summer day floating on the lake, make sure you don’t have to leave your dog waiting back on the shore. This innovative dog flotation device is made with durable fabric that is built to withstand dog claws. Plus, it folds up easily to take up very little room in the trunk.
5. Campfire bliss: visibility after the sun sets on your day at the lake
One last thing to consider is that many pet lovers leave off their glamping list. Nighttime visibility. You’ll have a flashlight to make it from the campfire to the cabin, but your four-legged friend will be using all four of his or her hands for walking.
Luckily, LED technology has made illuminated dog harnesses a relatively inexpensive piece of must-have outdoor gear for your pooch. Lasting 12 hours or more on a single charge (via USB cable), you’ll get peace of mind when you’re able to keep track of your dog when it’s time for s’mores and ghost stories.
Note that this harness is water-resistant, not waterproof. While it isn’t safe to go swimming with your dog after dark anyway, just be aware that this harness is not the right choice for an afternoon swim on the lake.
Mat Coulton was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and grew up with dogs from a young on. He decided to combine his business education, entrepreneurial experience, and love for dogs to create Wiley Pup. For more on Mat and Wiley Pup, visit their website and Facebook pages!