How To Kayak With Your Dog: A Guide

how to kayak with your dog a guide


Taking your furry friend along on a kayaking adventure can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Both you and your pup will love it. However, you should be careful to take appropriate safety precautions to have fun without any issues. That's where this article can help you. We will share all the steps that you can follow to kayak with your dog and create lasting memories on the water.

Getting your dog accustomed to the kayak

Before embarking on a kayaking trip, you should introduce them to the kayak. You need to do this in a controlled environment. For example, you may set up the kayak on dry land and allow your dog to explore it freely. You may also offer treats and praise to create positive associations with the vessel. Once your dog seems comfortable around the kayak, you can move to the next step.

Invest in a life jacket

Next, you need to shop around for a good quality life jacket designed for dogs. Make sure that it comes along with sturdy handles on the back. Then you can easily lift your dog in and out of the kayak. To ensure proper lifting, you need to ensure that the lift jacket is not too restrictive. Never make the mistake of taking the dog for kayaking without a life jacket. It can be a lifesaver when your dog accidentally falls into the water.

Choosing the right kayak

To kayak with your dog, you must also pick the right kayak. It is better to go for a kayak with a wider beam and more stability. It will provide the support that your dog requires to move around and maintain balance. That’s where you need to look for a sit-on-top kayak. They provide an open deck area for the dog to move freely. Or else, you can also consider going for a tandem kayak. It will allow your dog to sit or lie down between your legs.

Training your dog with commands

Before launching, you should also teach some important commands to your dog. The two most important commands you should teach are “stay” and “come” commands. They can be helpful to maintain control and safety on the water. Make sure to practice these commands in a controlled environment until your dog is familiar with them.

Getting on the water

Once you are on the water with your dog, you should be extra careful. For example, you must kayak with your dog at a controlled pace. Your dog must be comfortable with it. This is why you can think about starting off with short trips. Then you can gradually increase the duration. Along with that, you can get your dog to be more accustomed to kayaking. Make sure to bring plenty of snacks and freshwater as well. They can help your furry friend to remain hydrated and motivated.

It is also important to take potty breaks as you kayak. You need to locate a suitable place and pull over for it so that your dog can get on the land. You need to refrain from letting them go in the kayak or in the water since it can create an unsanitary situation.

Prioritizing safety and wellbeing

Now you know the basics of kayaking with a dog. You should always prioritize the comfort and well-being of the dog throughout the journey. If you notice your dog in a distressed or uncomfortable mood, you should cut it short. Heading back to the shore is the best thing that you can do in such a situation.

You need to approach kayaking with patience and positive reinforcement at all times. Then you can create a love for kayaking with your canine companion.