Megan Cross, Global Animal

Tank, a yellow Pomeranian, was boating with his guardians Sunday night when he fell into the Chicago River. The owners, Linn and Mark Lewis, along with the police and coast guard searched for the dog for several hours according to NBC Chicago. “Obviously my job as captain is to make sure everyone’s safe, and I failed him,” Lewis said earlier Monday. “I am heartbroken.” Luckily Tank was wearing a life vest and was able to swim to shore. He was spotted Monday night in a park and was returned to the Lewis’. The couple offered Tank’s savior a $500 reward, but she wouldn’t accept. Although boating with your pet can be a fun activity for the whole family, it is important that steps are taken to keep everyone safe. Read on for a few helpful dog boating tips. 

Photo Credit: Mark Lewis

Dog Boating Tips 

  • Not all dogs like boats or water. Be sure to gently introduce your pet to both. 
  • Most dogs are not good swimmers. Always make sure your pet is wearing a life jacket even if they have mastered the doggie paddle.
  • Some dogs skin will burn, especially short haired dogs, so make sure to apply sunscreen. Ask your vet for recommendations. 
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of water!
  • Protect their foot pads! They are very sensitive to heat. Avoid allowing them to walk on a hot surface.
  • For longer boat trips, make sure there is a shady place where your dog can rest.
  • Don’t forget potty breaks! 
  • Know who to call and where to go nearby in case of an emergency.




  1. First thing we did when we were going to go on a boat ride was getting life jackets for our dogs. Now, they didn’t like much either the jackets nor the boat ride, so we didn’t repeat the experience. I think they will like a pontoon boat on a river where it can take us places to go swimming. First we have to get one, though [pontoon boat]