The Dos & Don’ts When First-Time Fishing with Your Pet

If you’re a pet parent to an energetic dog, staying fit amid the pandemic has probably proven a challenge for you and your four-legged friend. Fortunately, ease in lockdown restrictions has opened up opportunities for canine-centered travel and outdoor activities. 

If you’re a fan of game fishing, taking your dog along for the ride isn’t as simple as a spontaneous trip to the lake. A successful fishing trip involves ample preparation and safety considerations. 

Below are a few dos and don’ts of fishing with your dog for the first time. 

DON’T Forget Extra Gear for Your Dog

Angling with your canine companion is always more enjoyable when you come prepared. When out and about, a few pieces of equipment you’ll want to pack into your tackle box are: 

  • A leash and collar
  • Collection bags for droppings
  • Additional water, snacks, and a bowl
  • Paw protection, such as ointments or sunscreens 
  • A canine first aid kit that includes bandages and antiseptic solution

DON’T Leave Your Dog Unrestrained

No matter the circumstances, you can’t be too careful around bodies of water. While freshwater fishing is relatively safe, you’ll want to ensure your dog is secure.

If you are fishing from the shallows, secure your dog to something sturdy like a tree. Alternatively, if you prefer to fish from a canoe, provide your dog with a life jacket and lead. No matter how talented a swimmer your dog may be, powerful currents can be unpredictable.

You can just as easily keep an eye on your dog with a pet tracker or GPS for dogs

DO Make Sure Your Dog Knows Basic Commands

While your dog need not be well-versed in a complex list of commands, it pays to know the basics. Staples that may come in handy on an afternoon of angling are: 

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Drop it or leave it
  • Come

Foundational commands can give you control over how your dog interacts with its surroundings. If your dog is a talented angler itself, you never know when the “drop it” command will come in handy. 

DO Study the Area Beforehand

When it comes to outdoor adventures with your pet, there is no such thing as overpreparation. Even thoroughly-trained canines can become overwhelmed by unfamiliar territory. 

As a rule of thumb, study your destination before making the journey. Consider access points, rough river crossings, and crowded areas. Avoid areas with small rapids and hazards. 

Instead, opt for quieter creeks that accommodate shoreline angling and a generous helping of areas you and your dog can retreat to for a short break. 

DO Enjoy the Ride 

While a cautionary approach to first-time fishing with your dog ensures its safety, you’ll just as much want to prioritize its enjoyment. If your pup isn’t a fan of boats, consider taking its favorite toy along or dedicate a half-hour to trekking. 

How much fun your dog is—or isn’t—having can make or break your outdoor excursion. 

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, keeping your dog active amid the quarantine is just as important as staying in shape. Improve your pup’s health by engaging in occasional outdoor activities. 

Between consulting your fish finder and breaking off for a quick game of fetch, an afternoon of fishing can do wonders for dog health. 

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