How To Kayak With A Dog

Ever wondered how to kayak with a dog? If you’ve never done this, but dream of taking your furry best friend out into the water, then our article will help prepare you for any scenario.

How To Kayak With A Dog pin

It’s certainly not as easy as putting them on the board and then walking away, but with proper preparation and training, it is definitely doable.
That’s why we’ve put together top tips, along with a few ideas to think about, to help you enjoy a peaceful time in the water with dog lovers.

How can you prepare your dog to kayak with you?

Before even thinking about going out on the water there’s a great deal of planning involved in making sure that your dog is prepared to kayak.

There are some things you’ll need to try out and do some practice with your dog in the safety of a solid surface. This will make sure that you are aware of what to expect from your dog before you plunge towards the pool.

Here are some suggestions for preparing your dog to kayak:

  • Make sure your dog pays attention to your instructions. Being able to comprehend “sit,” “stay,” and “lay down” are all essential to ensure that your dog behaves on water (this is the case for sailing as well). If your dog hasn’t learned these basic commands, begin at the beginning. Be sure that your dog is able to be attentive while swimming to avoid a sudden capsize!
  • Get your dog used to your kayak on dry ground. Your dog should sit alongside you on the shore or in your backyard prior to placing it in the water. This will make him feel at ease before adding another aspect floating in the water.
  • Try swimming with your pet. Is your pet at ease on the surface? This is an essential aspect to ensure a safe kayaking adventure. It is important to ensure that your dog is able to return to you in case the dog sit falls off. You should also make sure that he is comfortable and excited to be at sea!

Quality Time With Your Best Friend

Sometimes, it’s nice to set the time aside to spend time with your beloved pet. Sure, you’ll be paddling and thinking about other things sometimes but your dog will be grateful for spending quality time with you. In the end, they may be your best friend, but you’re the center of their universe.

Dogs are also able to detect the smells and sounds earlier than humans can, and their instinct to defend and alert their masters can be extremely beneficial in the wilderness.

Getting the Right Dog-Friendly Kayak

Even if you’re a seasoned kayaker and can handle a dog, kayaking with a dog is a bit of a challenge.

It is important to ensure that you’ve got the appropriate dog lovers kayak that is suitable for a pet-friendly passenger. It’s not the right moment to test small whitewater boats that can float on the swifts.

Pick a boat with an open, flat bottom and a big cockpit that has plenty of room for your pet. These boats will also be more stable and you won’t need to worry about crashing.

You could also give your pet a place to sit by making use of tandem kayaks and let him go for a paddle with fashion!

Few Tips To Keep Your Pooch Safe And Happy When Paddling

An excitable dog that is hyper can be a challenge at the most challenging of instances. A leisurely stroll in the park can quickly turn into a massacre of pigeons if you don’t have the proper planning and vigilance.

Add this number to a thousand and you’ll realize how important that you are well-prepared and organized prior to you taking your dog for their first kayaking adventure.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you begin the journey into the water…

Is Your Dog Suitable For Kayaking?

Is Your Dog Suitable For Kayaking

It’s true there are dogs that do not like water. Water isn’t suitable for all (humans including). However, most dogs believe that it’s not a big deal. But with determination and perseverance, even the dogs that are most water-resistant can learn to relax and enjoy the kayaking lifestyle. However, the one thing you don’t want to see is your dog jumping into the ocean when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

A few things to take into consideration about your dog prior to taking him out into the water include:

Personality and Temperament Do you have a dog that is active and excited? Do you think it will run over the yak at the slightest movement, or is it able to lie at a comfortable seated position for prolonged durations while you relax with a paddle?

Breed and Size It doesn’t take an expert to understand that big strong dogs could capsize the kayak quite quickly. A large dog with an overly exaggerated personality may be difficult to manage and maneuver around. It is important to think about the possibility of your dog making it or even on your kayak (especially bigger dogs) and if they’re easy to control and command.

Health & Age It is a given that the health of your dog comes first. If your dog is suffering from vision impairment, arthritis hearing loss, or other cardiac problems, you’ll have to be aware of these before going on the boat.

The temperature and weather will vary on the water, so you must ensure that your dog is healthy and fit enough to withstand the elements. You might also want to consult with your veterinarian prior to you introducing your dog to kayaking in order to keep your dog safe.

The bodies of water are usually breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insects that carry diseases. Your dog might get a benefit from vaccinations.

Pre-Season Training

It’s not just the case for elite athletes. If you’re considering having your dog go on the water, it’s important to conduct some preparatory activities to help prepare your dog physically and mentally for the challenge ahead. This may be a bit difficult initially, however, there are a few guidelines that can make the process more manageable later on.

The first step is to be required to make sure your dog responds to basic commands. You can do this by training your dog to obey self-control. If you encounter an animal that is exciting (whether it’s fish, dolphins, or even a human) You must ensure that you regulate your dog’s behavior and stop being over-excited.

The best commands to use can be “Stay” and “Leave it”.

It is possible to practice this by taking your dog out on trails that are busy and teaching them to remain at your side and avoid the attractive, shiny new object in the vicinity.

If you do not grasp these easy instructions, you could be in a position similar to that…

It is also important to make sure that they are comfortable with your kayak and equipment for kayaking on the solid ground prior to heading out onto the water. Dog sit in the kayak to familiarize them with the layout and scent. It is also possible to allow your dog to swim in an aquatic pool.

Learn to get into and out of the kayak (with your dog, of course) in your living room, garage, or even in the garden. It may require a few times when they have trouble getting their front legs up on the deck. This is easier when you use sit-on-top kayaks, which have wide cockpit openings, and plenty of room to move about. Tandem kayaks are also a good option for your pet to find the most comfortable place to sit with plenty of room to lie down in comparison to the other kinds of kayaks. Yoga mats are useful to provide additional cushioning on surfaces that are hard.

You are able to modify your commands based on what your dog’s routine is but the most effective phrases include “load, sit, stay, unload”.

If you’re about to let your dog experience an inflatable kayak start by focusing the initial outings on mastering your technique of “load, sit, stay, unload” on the water. Once you’re prepared to start your journey for the first time, make sure your dog remains in the kayak along with you for the initial few minutes. Keep in mind that they may not be aware of dock entry if they’ve only practiced at a beach or in the grass.

What to Do if Your Dog Jumps Ship

What to Do if Your Dog Jumps Ship

Even the most well-trained dog could get twitter-whipped by a seal, or a piece of kelp, such as Gracie the Dachshund dog in the video below, when she is able to spot the dolphins swimming in a group. This kind of thing could happen to anyone, and wearing a dog-friendly life jacket is crucial, because it aids immensely in the dog being pulled from the water to the kayak, and also gives you time to save your pet if they need to.

  1. If your dog darts off the kayak without permission, you must keep your voice in a calm tone, but remain not tense.
  2. Inform your children to “get in the boat” while you are paddling toward them.
  3. As you approach the paddle, raise it to ensure it doesn’t strike the dog or scare them. then lean forward and grab your dog’s hand with the handle of their jacket and get them on the board.
  4. If your dog doesn’t have a life jacket, put down your oar in order to prevent it from sinking into the water. Then take a step back then pull it in a parallel manner to the kayak. Try to calm them down a little by speaking in a manner that is soft.
  5. Place your arm over their back and then hook it between their front legs, to allow you to grab hold of them and get back onto the board, or at a minimum, lift them up enough off the water to be capable of climbing back up.

After your dog has returned to the boat, you can praise them and reward them with dog treats. The dog is thinking about the fact that they barely made it off the boat, and not what they did when they jumped off the boat without your permission So, ensure to know that you’ve done the right thing in returning to you. Certain many dogs will probably be out of kayaking when this event. Some dogs will just take the lumps and go on as if nothing ever happened.

What Type of Kayak Should I Use?

Kayaks, similar to dogs, come in various dimensions and shapes. You must ensure that you have a kayak large enough to allow you two in comfortably. It is best to have a place where your dog will be secured in the event of rough water. A tandem kayak is an ideal choice, as well as a sitting-on-top kayak, which offers convenience and makes it easier for you and your dog to walk into and out of.

We recommend that you read the article Best kayaks for dogs.

If your dog gets easily over the top, you might need some space between your legs, so that you can grasp a grip of their life jacket immediately when your dog jumps in the water.  If the dog you have is calmer they may like to relax or lay on the bow and observe other paddlers as well as other boats.

There isn’t any specific guideline for what’s correct or incorrect… it’s based entirely on the dog’s size and breed, as well as temperament.

But, some canines have been found to be more content sitting on top kayaks (as opposed to sitting-in kayaks) so that they can move about more. A tandem kayak gives the two of you more space and enough space for your pet to take their own seat alongside you in the back. This makes these among the best kayaks for dogs.

Sit-on-top kayaks are also known to be more sturdy. However, you must be sure to stay clear of dangerous rapids when paddling with your pet. Calm water makes for an easier, safer (and less trauma-free) experience for the dog, and allows both of you to remain in a calm and peaceful kayak.

Kayaks (such as the Sea Eagle brand) can also be an option because they are very buoyant and sturdy. They are generally made of sturdy materials that are resistant to claws from dogs and claws, which makes them one of the best kayaks to keep your dog and yourself secured.

You can also find tandem boats that are inflatable and can offer more room for your pet and your kayaking gear.

What to Do If Things Don’t Go Well

If it’s a kayak with dogs, or paddling on your own Sometimes, kayaks tip. The fact that dogs are in the mix means there’s more than just re-entering the kayak. Here are some suggestions to deal with tipping

  • Find your excited dog and keep them close
  • Return to your kayak. Be sure to keep your dog close by and speak to them calmly. Don’t be afraid to frighten your dog by causing them to be annoyed or sound irritable. For your dog, as far as it is concerned both of you are going to go swimming together. There’s nothing to cause them to think of anything other than that.
  • Make sure your kayak is set up. This could mean flipping it over so that it’s upside down or putting the paddle back in the boat.
  • Put your dog in the kayak. Set their paws onto the kayak and then push into the kayak. Be sure to keep them calm and relaxed. They might not know what’s going on in their kayak but they’re not.
  • When your dog is safe and you are confident, you can step to the edge of the boat. (If the dog you are bringing in is nervous, or you prefer to enter the kayak by yourself before dragging your dog in using the strap at the rear of their vest. However, many prefer to be confident the dog’s secure before attempting to re-enter for themselves.)

Kayaking Gear Necessary for Your Dog

Kayaking Gear Necessary for Your Dog

A kayaking trip with dogs requires some additional gear than paddling on your own. You’ll need to pack pet products to ensure that both you and your pet are safe and comfortable on your excursion.

  • Life vests. It’s not hard to find special PFDs designed for pets. These life jackets are designed to be the right size (and designed) for your pet. They also include straps or handles on the back of the jacket to help get your dog from the water and back into the kayak life.
  • Leash and harness. You should never put your dog in your boat. However, a leash and harness remain essential for your land trip. You could end up at the park or in a campground that requires leashes. Although your animal seems well-behaved, having them leashed and within reach can assist in protecting your pet from the other dogs who might not be.
  • Water and food. Hydration is important for you and is particularly important for dogs who cannot get up to take water themselves. Even if you’re likely to be in a water-filled environment but it’s not good for your pet to drink. Be sure to pack plenty of water for the two of you. Don’t leave out an empty bowl!
  • Floor mats. Put something down on the floor to ensure your dog is comfy. They’ll spend a lot of time lying down, and don’t prefer sitting on hard plastic like you. There are carpets that can be used indoors and outdoors to do this.
  • Medical products. Did you know that dogs can be sunburned? In addition to other necessities, both dogs and owners require sunscreen. Hydroperoxide, bandages, and other treatments for small injuries are useful for dogs with sensitive feet or who have hurt themselves when walking along the rocky river bottoms.
  • Booties of the Musher. Any open water swimmer could scratch the riverbed or break their shoes. Dogs aren’t any different. The booties of a musher can hold bandages securely in place in the event that your dog is cut, in addition to providing additional protection for your feet.
  • Pet toys. Dogs need stimulation And your pet shouldn’t be paddling as you do. A chew or squeak on can keep them entertained and aid in overcoming any bouts with anxiety or energy they may encounter.
  • Doggy treats. Having dog treats in your possession is crucial. Repetition of the behavior you would like to see is an essential part of the process of teaching your dog. Positive reinforcement builds trust and can reinforce behavior better than punishment. Your dog will always know what you expect of them, even the simplest thing like “sitting quietly”–by rewarding the dog for their behavior that is good. It’s possible to reward them less and less as your dog has learned the ropes. However, it’s always enjoyable to be treated every now and again.
  • An oversized towels. You probably don’t wish to have a wet dog jumping into your vehicle at the end of your journey. A dog-friendly, breathable towel (possibly inside dry bags) is a great accessory to any kayak excursion with your pet.
  • Bags. Then, nature will come calling. It’s time to wash up after your pet this could be buried the dog in a safe place or securing it up for transport out.

The top kayaks for dogs

The top kayaks for dogs

If you already have the kayak you’re using, you might not have many options. If are renting or contemplating buying a new kayak to go canine paddling, you’d be wise to take into consideration your pet’s requirements.

The most effective kayaks for dogs are boats that have larger decks or cockpits for obvious reasons.

Sit-on-top kayaks

Sit-on-top kayak and their open deck design allow plenty of room for Spot to roam around and feel comfortable and feel at ease. This is important for both of you. Be sure that your pet has plenty of space to lay down, while still giving you ample space to paddle.

The Sit-on-top kayak also offers a benefit to dog owners as well in addition to being more comfortable to climb in or out, a sit-on-top kayak will not sink or overflow with water should an agitated dog leap overboard or accidentally cause the boat to shake.

Closed-cockpit kayaks

Kayaks with a closed cockpit similar to traditional recreational kayaks could also be a great option with your canine. If you’re thinking of this type of kayak it’s worth considering a combination model that has an extra seat, or a kayak with an open cockpit that has Rover lying in between you and your feet.

Tandem kayaks

Tandem kayaks dog

If you decide to go with the tandem kayak ensure that the dog is sitting in front while you steer back (dogs are notoriously poor with controlling). It is also important to be able to observe the actions of your dog throughout the day.

It is generally true that kayaks that have beams that are wider can provide more stability, particularly if you have a dog who likes to move around. If the space isn’t enough to allow your dog to be able to sit alongside you, ensure your dog can stand against the surface. A carpet or rubber that is held by the deck’s elastic storage ropes may provide extra grip for your dog.

Inflatable kayaks

Inflatable kayaks dog

Although it may sound counterintuitive, inflatable kayaks are the best option for those who intend to paddle with their pet. Some models like the Sea Eagle are built with more of a canoe-like appearance and higher walls which could act as a barrier to dogs who are inclined to leap out.

The majority of inflatable kayaks are constructed from a tough material that is strong enough to keep a dog’s claws out and, with the addition of many air chambers, even should a stray tooth or nail damage the vessel there’s no risk of sinking. The majority of top models come with simple repair kits.

In general, stay clear of sea kayaks or whitewater as they are small and unstable.


Kayaking with your dog can be a pleasant and relaxing experience.

If you don’t prepare and give attentiveness, you might discover yourself in a chaotic environment and may not be the best choice, even if proficient in kayaking.

The most important things and the quickest suggestions to remember are:

1) Think about your pet’s breed, size, and temperament as you select your kayak in line with their needs. A few of the best kayaks might not be appropriate for your dog.

2) Don’t throw your pet in at the bottom boats. Begin slowly and make sure they’re comfortable with the kayak as well as the essential commands for dry ground prior to going out onto the water.

3) Remember to pack a harness, a PFD leash sun cream, food, and water, as well as some sweets.

4) Stick to calm waters with there are no rapids. If you can take note of these four points and you’ll have a great and unforgettable time in the waters with your favorite furry friend.

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