PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the world's largest diver training organization, launched the PADI Pet Diver certification –a first-of-its-kind scuba dive training program exclusively for dogs and cats.
With this certification, pet owners can now enjoy the wonders of the underwater world with their four-legged companions, along with the added convenience of no longer having to find a pet sitter when the deep blue calls.
"Scuba diving provides a memorable and awe-inspiring experience that friends and family can enjoy together, so we wanted to expand our leading diver certification programs so that even the furriest family members could participate in the fun," said Kristin Valette , vice president of marketing and communications for PADI Americas. "PADI has always believed that we can teach anyone to scuba dive, and our new Pet Diver program proves it—while offering pet owners the opportunity to bond with their beloved animals in a whole new way."
Here's how to get your favorite canine or feline friend started on PADI's latest certification, and on your way to enjoying the sights of beautiful coral reefs, fish and underwater wrecks together:
- 1.Visit www.PADI.com to enroll in PADI eLearning®―During this knowledge development stage, owners and their pets will gain a basic understanding of pet scuba theory, including aquatic obedience, tethered diving, best practices for sealife avoidance and how to calm anxious pets while underwater. This online immersion can be done from the comfort of a doggie bed or cat crate or in a classroom setting.
- 2.Participate in confined kennel dives―As part of this 'paws-on' phase, owners will accompany their pets on a series of confined kennel dives at one of 6,200 PADI Dive Centers or Resorts worldwide. The pair will learn underwater breathing techniques and explore the fundamentals of neutral buoyancy, subsurface fetching and power dog paddling in a contained environment to ensure pets and their masters acquire the proper skills. In this stage, participants will also learn to sniff out the best scuba gear to suit their stature.
- 3.Dive In!―During the final stage in the Pet Diver certification process, pets and their owners, together with a skilled PADI dive coach, embark on four open water dives to continue honing their scuba skills in a full underwater adventure. Those who demonstrate immediate proficiency and self-control may also participate in one muzzle-free, tetherless plunge featuring live mammals.