I have two big passions… kayaking and dogs. Some may think that my two passions 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 important 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 trained properly but also have the right safety gear.

Kayaking Dog Essentials

  • Dog PFD – It is essential that your dog be wearing a doggie lifejacket. If the kayak should overturn or if your dog should go swimming, it is important that he has a way to swim or float if he is injured, tired or scared.
  • Dog Harness – It will be very helpful 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
  • 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 salt water.
  • Water Toys – These may not be essential but they may help your furry friend to have a lot of fun.
  • 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

  • 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 him on a kayaking trip that may make him sick, nervous or uncomfortable.
  • Teach your dog certain commands to obey before your 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, may times if you have to.

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.