Rhody Resources for Helping Keep Pets in Ship Shape on the Water

Local shopkeepers share advice on how to prep your pooch for their maiden voyage


The summer sun is luring us Ocean Staters out onto our 40 miles of coastline, and naturally we want our dogs to share in the fun. But before you embark on your excursion, check out these essential items and advice for safely making waves.



First port of call, life jacket shopping at The Kayak Centre in Wickford. Manager Rachel McCarty explains that even strong swimmers tire. “Plus, it’s far easier to haul a dog out of the water using the sturdy handle than it is to grapple with wet, slippery fur, especially if the dog is panicking.” McCarty stocks performance dog gear from RuffWear, and recommends bringing your dog into the shop for a fitting. “Avoid under-belly floats if your dog has short legs as they tend to tip them upside-down – the opposite of the safety goal.” KayakCentre.com



Does your pup pant in the heat? To combat July heat waves, get your sea dog outfitted in cooling bandanas, vests, or harnesses from Rumford Pets, with locations across the state. Pick up a portable water dish to ensure fresh sips are at the ready. Add a little nautical fashion flair with Instagrammable captain hats and sailor suits from Port of Paws in Newport. You’ll also find tough rope toys woven into ship wheels and flip-flops – far preferable to your pup chewing your deck shoes. RumfordPet.com, PortOfPaws.com



A good day on the water starts with basic obedience to ensure safety aboard the vessel. Pups who are new to voyages – whether land or sea – could benefit from training sessions before adventuring around new faces. Patience Inspired Dog Training in Coventry is all about fostering healthy human-dog relationships through positive learning experiences. Meet with a trainer or enroll in a class to set you and your pup up for success. PatienceDogTraining.com



For sea-faring snacks, opt for protein-packed, healthy choices. Eco-friendly dog store Bone Appetit is a great choice for wholesome, organic brands to keep at the ready when your swimming buddy surfaces for a bite. Located in East Greenwich, it’s not far from Greenwich Cove and Goddard Memorial State Park Beach – a great spot for a brisk walk along the water. BoneAppetitDogBakery.com



Nothing says Rhode Island more than a plush lobster from the nautically themed Wag Nation in Newport, which has plenty of aquatic toys to choose from. Over at Critter Hut in Wakefield, you can find Tall Tails lifesaver rings and Kong’s resilient fish-shaped Wubba Finz. Wag-Nation.com, CritterHutRI.com


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