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Scuba outfits for dogs

Discussion in 'Advanced Diver Magazine' started by trekleader, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. trekleader

    trekleader Captain

    Hi all

    In the crawl for this section above, it says that this space may be used to "make suggestions to ADM staff writers". With the spirit of that in mind, I respectfully suggest that it may be of some interest if you did a write up on the history of Scuba outfits for dogs. I know that some guy has successfully done one with a cat, with lots of videos on YouTube and such, but am not sure that too many others could possibly replicate that feat successfully. I've seen scant reference to the actual design and construction of the gear itself, and thats where I thought you guys could really shine.

    Anyways, I enjoy your publication.
  2. trekleader

    trekleader Captain

    Okay, so, I guess I can start this off, and hopefully there’s someone here who might have some deeper understanding? Ever since Benji, I’ve just always thought it was really interesting.

    All of the systems I’ve seen have a bubble that the animal’s head is placed into. I assume that the neck area has some sort of neoprene coffer. Anyone have ideas on this aspect? If the regulator is set to flow continuously (and adjusted accordingly) one could maintain positive pressure and have air bubbling out of the ‘bubble’ constantly. Some designs have vents, but would these be absolutely necessary? Perhaps so, if to be able to purge water more effectively. Has anyone seen one of these up close? Any thoughts on regulators for this task?

    This is a link to the patent for Dwayne Folsom’s rig.

    Canine scuba diving apparatus - Patent 6206000

    I’ve seen the air delivered 2 ways. Either by a pony type bottle attached to the animal’s back, along with the necessary pressure gauge attached to the side so its easily readable. Another way is by a rather Hogarthian-type 7 foot hose from the dog’s dive buddy/master.

    As far as depths go, Guinness recognizes 12ft/4 meters as the deepest depth a dog has ever gone.

    Guinness World Records 2008 - Google Books

    Here are some other links to pictures of dog scuba outfits…

    HowStuffWorks "How could a cat scuba dive?"

    Archie - Dog tales - Trivia Time with Archibald (thirteen): Scuba Dogs

    Anyways, if anyone has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.
  3. SelkieDVM

    SelkieDVM Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    With respect trekleader, I have to say that as a veterinarian I feel that nobody should be doing this with their animals. At the very least you are subjecting them to an unnatural and stressful situation with they cannot possibly comprehend and that serves no useful purpose. At worst it could be dangerous for them. How do you propose to teach them to clear their ears? I know that many dogs are so driven and attached to their owners that they would gladly follow them anywhere. That doesn't mean it's always healthy for them to do so. I know a husky that died of heatstroke because he insisted on following his owner's ATV on a hot summer day. And I can't imagine any cat volunteering for such a procedure. Would you do the same thing with an infant? Again, no disrespect intended here, this is just my professional opinion. Please at least consult with your own veterinarian should you decide to do something like this.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
    Thadmn and Pane like this.
  4. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    No way that I would risk my dogs safety and well being for such a stunt..they may go out with me when I go diving,but both of them stay on the boat with someone,and spend the day out swimming,playing ball and getting treats.They have a good time this way and do not get hurt.
  5. Web Monkey

    Web Monkey Omniheurist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    This is a horrible idea. You might as well suggest that "New Mothers" magazine run an article on "SCUBA for Infants". The ways this would be bad are nearly infinite and the only "good" result would be a picture of a dog underwater.

    In fact, if anybody did this, the first call I'd make would be to demand that Animal Cruelty charges be filed against those involved.

  6. Jeff Toorish

    Jeff Toorish Instructor, Scuba

    No way am I doing an air sharing drill with my dog --I love him, but you really have to draw the line someplace.

    Besides, he wants to use a long hose in open water, and you know how I feel about that.

  7. ScubaRich

    ScubaRich Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Pennsburg, PA
  8. LeoS

    LeoS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Indonesia
    To have "a man's best friend" as your diving buddy... I never thought of that :D
  9. it_mike

    it_mike Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Columbia, SC

    This is a concept that's always fascinated me. I've always wanted to try it, but didn't think I'd do it regularly and therefore couldn't justify the costs. As you discovered, you're really limited to 1/2 ATA or less due to equalization (and lack of knowledge regarding deco for dogs).

    If your dog is eager to try, and we're talking about shore dives, I'd say go for it!
  10. aquaregia

    aquaregia NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Cruz, CA
    If the helmet is kept at 1ata, doesn't that take care of the equalization issue? I think most of the research regarding deco was originally done on goats, right? I think you could make a pretty good estimate of NDLs based on the relative composition of dogs' tissues.

    FWIW I agree with Selkie in general

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