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The Ultimate Guide to Kayaking With Dogs

We all love pets and consider them our own family. Animals, especially dogs, do not ask for much. They just need our unconditional love and a warm, safe, and sheltered place to live with adequate food.

Remember when you came home from a long and tiring vacation, and your dog used to run towards you, wagging his tail, jumping with joy just to see you come home?

The bond between a human being and a dog is impeccable and full of love! You cannot stay for a prolonged period without your beloved pet!

We often might have come across people taking their pets to restaurants, grocery stores, road trips, and many other places. Ever wondered what it might be like taking your dog kayaking?

Guide: Kayaking with your dog

Getting your pet ready for paddling can be a great adventure for both of you, as it is an experience in itself! However, there is a way to train your dog to kayak, and you should follow all the steps. Is your dog capable of Kayaking?

This is the first question that should strike your mind when taking your pet on this challenging adventure. It is your job to ensure that your furry friend is well-suited for Kayaking. First, you should try practicing with them in a safe environment.


A dog who is aggressive or frantic can land you in trouble while kayaking. This can be overcome by training him and making him aware of the environment he will be subjected to. However, it takes patience. While training your dog, it is crucial to consider some personality issues.


The single most important thing your dog should learn while Kayaking is discipline. First, test how he responds to your commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ or ‘go.’ One more important thing to remember is to never give your dog down in a Kayak. If the boat overturns, it can create a huge problem for your furry friend.

Comfort on the water

First, you should check if your dog is used to water. Will he be able to tolerate a life jacket? These are some questions you should be asking yourself.

How to get your dog kayak ready?

Your dog will eventually get used to it after training your dog and putting him in similar situations as Kayaking. You should first introduce them to water and your kayak as well. It is your job to ensure that they get used to the kayak you will use.

Practice swimming

If your furry friend is uncomfortable with water, the first measure you should take is to let them paddle somewhere else. Make them practice swimming with a PFD or Personal Floatation Device. It keeps your dog safe while swimming. You will have a much smoother trip if he is already used to swimming.

Introduce your dog to the kayak

Just like swimming, your dog must also practice dealing with the boat. You can try by keeping the boat on land and having your pet dog with you on it. Thus, they will get used to it and develop a good association with the boat.

Develop a boating routine

If your dog knows what is coming, they will have an easier time. Make it a routine and have them come in and out of the kayak. You can take a trial by exiting the boat and asking your dog to follow.

Teach your dog kayaking commands

Kayaking is an enriching experience; you can teach your dog specific commands for a flawless kayaking experience.

Practice putting in and taking out

After your dog becomes obedient and comfortable with water and with the kayak, he becomes familiar with the environment. You should also practice getting in and out of the water in your kayak. He should always follow your lead.

The dog might hop out a few times, and that is okay. He will get used to it eventually. It is your job to reassure your dog. It may take a practice trip for your dog to love Kayaking, but once he does, there is no turning back!

What to look for in a Kayak for your dog?

You should ensure that your dog has enough room in the kayak. Hence, you should look for kayaks with a large cockpit. Even a Kayak that has plenty of width will do!

Tandem Kayak

A tandem kayak is roomy enough for two people and a dog. If you opt for this kayak, your dog can have his seat!

Malibu pedal

A Malibu pedal is a Kayak used for fishing. It is built for stability. This kayak also has plenty of room for accessories, gear, or a dog! The paddling in this kayak is smooth, and you will experience a steady ride!

The best water to kayak with dogs

Calm waters are the best for kayaking with dogs! It is recommended to start in a pond. If the weather conditions are not conducive for Kayaking, it is best to avoid it and wait for the conditions to improve! You do not want to see your dog into large waves.

Kayaking gear for dogs

It is important to take dog gear along with you to make sure your furry friend has a safe and sound trip!

  • A life vest: There are special life jackets for dogs, and they have a handle or a strap along the back to help you lift your pet out of the water!
  • Food and water: It is very important to keep your dog hydrated. Bring water from your home, and it should be enough for you and your dog!
  • Medical supplies: Just like humans, dogs also get sunburned. If your dog has sensitive feet, you should also carry hydrogen peroxide and bandages.

Final words

After you know how to get your dog ready for Kayaking, you should think about what kind of kayaks to look for and where to go.

When you bring your dog along, you should keep the kayak from rocking too much. Long, steady strokes and a smooth ride will help your dog enjoy a great kayaking experience.

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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