A Guide To Kayaking With Your Dog

One of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy outdoor adventures with your furry friend is by taking them on a fun kayak trip. However, kayaking with a dog friend requires commitment, patience, and time. Here are a few safety tips that you should know to get your dog ready.

Man is sitting over a kayak boat with his pet - Riverbend By The Bridge

How Do I Introduce My Pet To Kayaking?

Many dogs act on impulse without fear of consequences, so you must familiarize your pet with water. Not all dogs will stay calm on your kayak trip, especially smaller dogs who may be used to dry land. You can make your dog comfortable around the water by going to the neighborhood beach or engaging them to practice swimming.

If you consider bringing your pet along on your kayak outing, you will need to invest time and effort in teaching pets on the land portion about basic obedience commands, even if the dog loves swimming already. Your pet is unprepared for a kayak trip if they don’t practice helpful commands for safety reasons. Risks arise for all parties in the absence of proper training.

The process for a kayak with a dog should be as easy as possible. It is advisable to keep your pet’s first kayaking trip in calm waters. Lakes and ponds with fresh water are ideal for the first few outings. You could use sit-inside kayaks, tandem kayaks, inflatable kayaks, and sit-on-top kayaks. Also, ensure that you wear a life jacket for safety measures just in case your dog shows signs of stress and jumps.

Additionally, Kayaking with dogs is an activity that requires a lot of gear. You must bring essential gear to keep your dog safe and avoid incidents where your dog jumps ship. Consider bringing the following dog kayaking gear and your dog’s items when you have a canine companion:

  • Fresh drinking water
  • Drinking bowl and food bowl
  • Dog treats
  • A life jacket or life vest
  • Water-friendly dog toys
  • Poop dry bag
  • First-aid kit
  • Dry or wet dog food
  • Leash and harness
  • Dog-friendly sunscreen


woman kayaking and having fun with her dog - Riverbend By The Bridge


Where Should Your Dog Sit On A Kayak?

Although it’s not a big deal where you and your pet will sit in the kayak, most dogs prefer to sit directly in front of the experienced kayaker. Dog lovers use this method, which works well with small, medium, and large dogs.

In the kayak, your pet should be situated in a comfortable position. Your pet must sit on the deck with you if you have a sit-inside kayak. On the other hand, the dog can be situated in the front or back if you have a sit-on-top kayak or tandem kayak.

What Are The Three Golden Rules Of Kayaking?

The first golden rule is to retain the position of authority. This rule entails maintaining your hands positioned in front of your body and preventing a hand from getting behind your shoulder, which could cause shoulder damage.

Next, body division pertains to understanding that your lower body carries out a different but interconnected activity to your upper body when paddle boarding. Thus, there is a clear division between your body and your actions at the hips.

The last golden rule is the torso rotation. This rule protects your shoulder and gives you maximum strength for your paddle board swings.