How To Go Kayaking with Your Dog? A Simple Guide For All Dog Owners

Kayaking is a fun outdoor activity to do with your dog, especially if your dog enjoys being in the water. However, it can be challenging as you can’t simply put your dog in the kayak and head out.

So, how to go kayaking with your dog? To go kayaking with your dog, you first need to choose the right kind of kayak design that will fit you and your dog comfortably and provide the most stability. You also need to train your dog to get used to being inside a kayak to ensure its safety.

Continue reading to learn how to choose the best kayak for a dog and how to kayak safely with your dog aboard.

What Is the Best Kayak for a Dog?

dog on kayak to show how to go kayaking with your dog

Kayaks come in different designs and sizes so, you need to choose the one that will be comfortable for you and your dog for the best kayaking experience.

You need a kayak that’s made from strong durable materials with a high weight capacity to carry your weight and the fog’s as well as the weight of any gear you bring aboard

You also need a kayak with a cockpit that’s large and broad so there will be enough room for you and the dog to sit comfortably.  

Sit-on-top kayaks are designed with open cockpits, so there will be enough space for a large dog to lie down. They have wider beams which add more stability in case your dog likes to move around. They are also easy to re-enter from the water in case of capsizing.

Sit-in kayaks, on the other hand, are usually not ideal for dogs as they’re designed with closed cockpits. However, the cockpit might be large enough to carry a small-sized between your legs or you can also go for a tandem model which will have an extra seat just for your dog.

Inflatable kayaks can also be a good choice as they’re made from durable material to withstand the dog’s claws and some of them are designed with higher walls that can act as a barrier to prevent the dogs from jumping into the water. They also come with an easy repair kit in case the kayak gets punctured.

Best Kayaks for Dogs

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best kayaks for dogs that are available on amazon:

Sun Dolphin Journey 10

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 sit-on-top kayak is ideal for smaller dogs.

It’s made from a high-density polyethylene material which increases its durability and it has a maximum weight capacity of 225 pounds.

The open cockpit has enough space for your dog to lie down and the wide frame provides more stability and safety.

It will also ensure both you and your dog are highly comfortable as it comes with a padded seat

Perception Tribe 9.5

Perception Tribe 9.5 kayak is ideal for medium-sized dogs. It’s also ideal for paddling in slow-moving rivers, flat-water lakes, or coastal waters with light waves.

It’s made from high-density polyethylene material with abrasion resistance and it has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.

It offers the most comfort as it comes with a ventilated ergonomic seat with a thick padded cushion and adjustable backrest. It also has onshore molded-in thigh pads and multiple footrests to increase your stability. You can learn how to make your kayak more stable here as well.

Sea Eagle 330

The Sea Eagle 330 tandem kayak is the most ideal for larger dogs as it has a weight capacity of 500 pounds and it comes with two adjustable inflatable seats for you and your dog.

It’s made from durable puncture-resistant to protect it from the dog’s claws and it’s designed with welded seams which increases the kayak’s rigidity and makes it more stable.

It also comes with a carrying bag for easier transportation and other accessories including two paddles, a pump, and a repair kit.

For more kayak recommendations, feel free to check out our Kayak guides here. You can also scroll to the end of the page for all our kayak essential guides, or check out this guide to cheap kayaks here to start your kayaking journey without hurting your wallet too much.

How to Kayak Safely with Your Dog?

In order to kayak safely with your dog, you need to make sure the dog has the necessary skills and training before heading out on the water.

Here are some tips you can follow to safely kayak with your dog:

  • Make sure your dog can understand basic commands like “sit” or “stay”. You can also try to teach your dog new commands that will help you manage their behavior better on the water.
  • Before doing any water-related activities with your dog, make sure it’s at ease on and around the water and not scared or anxious.
  • Help your dog get used to being in the kayak. You can do that by putting the kayak in your yard or a park so that the dog can check it out and play around it.
  • It’s crucial that you and your dog wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when you’re out on the water. Find a PFD that fits your dog’s body type and allows easy movement. It’s recommended to go for PFDs with a strong handle and solid clips instead of Velcro straps.
  • Make sure your dog is used to wearing its PFD before heading out on the water. You can do that by putting the PFD on your dog in the house and when you take it on walks so they can grow comfortable in it.
  • When you’re out on the water, do not tie your dog’s leash to the kayak. This can be a safety hazard for you and the dog if your kayak capsizes as the leash could get caught under the kayak or wrapped around you or your dog’s neck.
  • It’s best to trim down your dog’s toenails before going kayaking. This will help the dog keep traction on the kayak and prevent any scratches.
  • When paddling, keep your strokes long and steady to prevent the kayak from rocking too much as it can make your dog sick or anxious.
  • Try to stick to calm, open waters as it can very dangerous to kayak with your fog in whitewater rapids.

What to Do if Your Kayak Capsized with Your Dog Aboard?

Whether you’re kayaking with your or just by yourself, your kayak might capsize. It’s necessary for you and your dog to be wearing your PFDs and you also need to learn how to re-enter your kayaks to ensure your safety and your dog’s.

Here’s what you need to do if your kayak capsized with your dog aboard:

  • First, you need to find your dog and bring it close to you.
  • Try to swim back to your kayak while keeping your dog near. Make sure to stay calm and speak to your dog in a soothing voice.
  • Flip the kayak back over (if needed) then find your paddle and throw it back onto the kayak. Make sure to put it in a secure spot where it won’t just roll off again.
  • Place your dog’s paws up on the kayak then push them back onto the surface. 
  • Next, pull yourself back into the kayak. This might be difficult, but wearing your PFD will help increase your buoyancy.
  • You can also pull yourself up first, then pull your dog onto the kayak by their PFD handle, however, it’ll more comfortable to know that your dog is safely onboard so you can stop worrying.

What Do You Need to Bring When Kayaking with Your Dog?

It’s always a good idea to be prepared with the right gear when going on a kayaking trip with your dog.

Here’s a list of the most essential items you need to bring on your trip:

  • A Lifejacket or a PDF
  • A Basic first aid kit in case of any injuries.
  • Some dog treats in a Ziploc bag or a watertight container. It will be very useful to calm, reassure, or distracting your dog.
  • Fresh drinking water and a bowl for your dog.
  • A dog leash to be used when you’re back on shore. Never tie your dog leash to your kayak.
  • A folded beach towel or a comfy blanket for your dog to sit on. You can also bring a small cushion for your dog.
  • Some water-friendly toys for your dog to play with.

Related Questions

What to Do If Your Dog Jumps Out of the Kayak?

If your dog jumps out of the kayak, you need to paddle towards it while speaking to it in a calm voice. When you get close to where your dog is, lift your paddle out of the water to avoid hitting or scaring your dog, then lean over and grab it dog by the lifejacket handle and pull it on board.

How to Expel Water Out of Your Kayak?

To expel water out of a kayak, you can remove the plugs from the supper holes and the water will drain out. You can also manually expel the water out of your kayak using bilge pumps or highly absorbent sponges.

Helpful Resources 

Safety Tips for Kayaking with Your Dog

Kayak your way to Freedom

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