Kayaking with Dogs

Taking your canine companion with you on the water.

Some may think these two can’t be combined, but yes, it is absolutely possible to kayak with your dog. Not all dogs are going to want to go kayaking. Some dogs do not enjoy the water or may be extremely fearful. If your dog falls into this category, it is essential not to force them if they are uncomfortable. Most dogs can be trained to sit nicely in a kayak and even enjoy the time out on the water. It is important though that all dogs are not only appropriately trained but also have the right safety gear.

Kayaking Dog Essentials

  • Dog PFD – Your dog must be wearing a doggie lifejacket. If the kayak should overturn or if your dog should go swimming, he must have a way to swim or float if he is injured, tired, or scared.
  • Dog Harness – It will be beneficial if your dog is wearing a harness. If your dog decides to take a swimming break, you will be able to help him back into the kayak much easier if he is wearing a harness.
  • Sunscreen – Just like people, dogs are prone to sunburn and to other complications associated with sun exposure.
  • Water Bowl – Have a water bowl along for the paddle with you with fresh, clean water. This will stop your dog from drinking possibly dirty water or saltwater.
  • Water Toys – These may not be essential, but they may help your furry friend to have a lot of fun and be more relaxed.
  • Blanket or Bed – Placing a blanket in the kayak that your dog can lay on will help him to be more comfortable and at ease.
  • Chew Toy and Treats – These I believe are for obvious reasons.

Kayaking Dog Do’s and Don’ts

Kayaking is a phenomenal sport, and it is even more enjoyable when you can bring along your favorite furry friend. It is no problem to bring your dog out paddling for the day, but you do want to be sure to be aware of a few precautions to make sure that your dog is safe and comfortable on his water adventure.

  • Try a small local pond first before getting out too far and finding out that kayaking may not be for them.
  • Do not leash your dog to your kayak. This is a total safety risk. If your kayak should overturn your dog may drown. If your dog should get excited and try and jump, your kayak may overturn, and again, your dog may drown. Leashing your dog to the kayak is a big mistake that many people make, and it should never, ever happen.
  • Only paddle in flat and calm water with your dog. It is pointless to take your dog on a kayaking trip that may make them sick, nervous, or uncomfortable.
  • Teach your dog control commands to obey before you paddle off on your first trip. Be confident that your dog knows when to stay in the kayak and when to get out. Practice beforehand on the shore many times if you have to.
  • Don’t take your dog along with small children. Managing a Dog or a Child individually is a handfull, together in a kayak is just asking for trouble.
  • Be aware of wildlife. If you live in a =n area prone to alligators, keep your dog close to you and not out on the bow. Don’t kayak with your dog during mating season and avoid feeding time (Dawn & Dusk).

If you follow these guidelines and your dog is keen on enjoying a kayak ride with you, then you can expect hours of happy paddling experiences. Your dog will be a seasoned kayaker in no time.

A few select videos

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How To Kayak With Your Dog top tips
How To Kayak With Your Dog top tips - youtube Video
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Teaching my dog to kayak!
Teaching my dog to kayak! - youtube Video
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Taking your dog kayaking
Taking your dog kayaking - youtube Video
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How To kayak with dog
How To kayak with dog - youtube Video
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How to Introduce Older Dogs to Swimming and Kayaking
How to Introduce Older Dogs to Swimming and Kayaking - youtube Video

Chris Sgaraglino

Over the past 35 years of my adult life, I have gained a very diverse portfolio of adventures from which I have been blessed to be a participant. This wealth of experience and knowledge has defined my character, my morals and values and my healthy respect for people and the great outdoors. It is a true definition of an Outdoorsman!