Floating down a river... good idea?

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Sebastian the
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 7:00am PST 
So I am planning a trip to Bear Paw in Marianna, Fl. It's an all day (4 hrs) event where we float down a river that is about 2ft deep. The water stays around 70 degrees and the water is very clear, as it is a river. There are plenty of places to stop for the dog to potty, eat, etc. I have a life vest for my dog and he weighs about 75 pounds. Do you guys think its ok for him to attend this trip? And if so should I get him an inflatable boat?? any suggestions what would be a good floating device for him?
Savannah Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 7:42am PST 
Have you had him in a boat before? The conditions at the river as you describe them seem okay. Being in Florida, are there gators? I wouldn't chance that, but if pup doesn't freak in a boat or raft, it sounds okay.

I don't know about flotation devices. I haven't taken my pups out on a boat.

Sebastian the
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 7:50am PST 
He hasn't had much time in an actual boat, but the way we've got this trip planned a lot of time will be spent in the water. Since it's only 2ft deep and he's way taller than that i figured that wasn't an issues as much as him getting tired and wanting to lay down on something. Florida does have alligators, but the river we are going to be on isn't very populated with them since the water is so shallow and clear, they can't hide. I'm not so worried about the alligators just because I've been on this river multiple times and have never encountered one, but I have given it some thought.
thank you for your input! smile

Delta and- Doc

The Spots Are In- The House!
Barked: Fri Apr 1, '11 9:47am PST 
Sounds good. I have taken my inlaws beagle canoeing. And I want to take the dals canoeing before my husband deploys this summer. LOVE it. They have so much fun in the water. smile
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 9:03am PST 
ruffwear makes some nice doggy lifejackets, though in such a shallow river I wouldn't worry too much.

There's a story my grandpa likes to tell about a dog his dad had when grandpa was a boy, they were out fishing in the Columbia River (BIG, deep, coldwater river) and had the dog (his name was Beemo, and he was a Border Collie) with them. They're tootling along, when someone notices that Beemo is gone. "Where's the dog?" They look back, and see a flash of white muzzle waaaaay back behind them. He'd fallen off the boat and been swimming for almost a mile! Poor guy. They didn't have dog lifejackets back then. (Heck, humans didn't wear them either.) They were able to turn around and go back for him, thank goodness.
The Boys

The Three- Stooges.
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 12:41pm PST 
Sounds like fun!!! I would definitely take him. You can get out and let him wander cool off and have water sounds perfect. We take the dogs boating and Angus has been on the boat literally over 10 hrs with hubby. Hoping to take them all canoeing this summer.
Have fun!!!

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Sat Apr 2, '11 4:38pm PST 
We take Lupi rafting with us. She loves it. The ducks really get her going! Only thing I'd be concerned about is the sturdiness of your boat. Those doggie nails can do damage to inflatables, especially if the dog's scrambling back in from a swim.

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Sun Apr 3, '11 5:06pm PST 
Dogs on rafts is common out here.

I went on a whitewater rafting trip. This was not one of those group tours. It was a friend of a friend's five person raft. Five people where on the raft including a black lab. There were class three and four rapids. The lab belonged to a "river rat". Our guide intentionally dropped an oar into the river and the lab jumped out of the boat and retrieved it.

Does your dog handle car trips and other tight spaces of travel? If he can be calm and sit still he should be fine. Can he swim well?

Where's that- rabbit?
Barked: Mon Apr 4, '11 8:40am PST 
If the river is not too wide I don't foresee a problem. We used to do a lazy river rafting for up to 3 hours at a time & Wiley would either swim beside us, run along the bank, or climb into the raft with us. We did finally invest in booties for him after his claws punctured a couple of raftslaugh out loud
Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Mon Apr 4, '11 12:25pm PST 
Wiley- BOL! I bet that really put a damper on the day's outing after your raft deflates midstream...

I live next to a very popular rafting river too (The Clackamas), and I've seen lots of dogs on rafts with people. The water here is very cold most of the year, but at least it's shallow and the rapids are pretty mild if they fall out or just want to swim instead.