How to Kayak With a Dog – Top 6 Tips You Must Explore


Eyes are flitting between sides and soaking in the fantastic sights and sounds, all with the tongue dangling out. If paddling sounds like a blast for you, could you even imagine how to kayak with a dog? It’s a lot of enjoyable for everyone who already did it. However, it won’t be easy. However, it’s especially true in the case of your first time. What do you do? How do you prepare yourself to kayak with a dog? Follow this guide; it will help you prepare for your first kayaking adventure!

Things you’ll need to kayak with a dog

We’re sure you’ve got all of the critical kayak equipment that you’ll require to kayak on your own. This section will concentrate on equipment that serves particular functions when you prepare to kayak with a dog.

Learn more: How to start white water kayaking

How to kayak with a dog


If you are carrying a personal flotation device on your very own, it’s glad when you purchase one for your pet too. A high-quality dog PFD provides your beloved pet additional protection if you fall off the board (or decides to take an unintentional swim). Another benefit of having a pet PFD can be that they generally include an end that can be positioned to land on the back of your dog’s spine. This is highly beneficial if you need to lift your pet back onto your kayak after a long swim.

Dry bag

The majority of kayakers have a dry bag or two in their kayaks to use for personal use. However, the possibility of getting your gear wet kayaking with dogs is significantly higher than in any other kayaking situation. In reality, it’s nearly impossible not to get all of your belongings while paddling with dogs. Ensure you have an additional dry bag or two bags to ensure that all of your electronics and essential equipment are secure whenever your dog is inclined to shake.

Hands-Free bungee leash

They are often utilized by people who like to run around with their dogs. We’ve also discovered them to be helpful to kayak with dogs, especially if you’re not confident about keeping your dog off-leash. It’s recommended that your dog off-leash when you’ve built the level of trust you have and confidence. One of these bungee-leashes can be a good backup plan if you don’t. They allow you to be in touch with your pet while keeping your hands busy by playing with paddles.


This might seem an odd choice; however, it’s an excellent idea to bring snacks on hand while you kayak with your pet, particularly when you’re both novices to this sport. Naturally, you’ll want to store treats in a small Drybag. Or double Ziploc. The way you reinforce what you expect the dog behaves an essential element in determining whether you and your dog can share. Always having treats available can help you reward good behavior for helping you build positive habits in the future.

How to kayak with a dog

It doesn’t matter if it’s pure randomness or deliberates. Our dog’s first introduction to kayaking should be accompanied by a period of adapting both dogs to the new place. That’s why it’s essential to research the art of how to kayak with your dog. The market has grown considerably in the past few times and has led to life jackets and other accessories that we’ve not even imagined, including sunglasses for dogs. In the beginning, it is essential to comprehend what the proper training is.

Read more to know kayaking costs.

Use a sit on top kayak

There are plenty of folks who kayak with a dog and use a sit-on-top kayak. We’re not big fans of this method for several reasons. First of all, sit on top kayaks are more stable, particularly when you’re a novice kayaker at all. Your pet’s presence can only create an unpredictability element, and having a sturdy kayak will make your life simpler. In addition, sit-inside kayaks can be more challenging to return to if you crash because your dog is amusing while you’re in the water. There are stories of dogs leaping off kayaks to chase dolphins; therefore, nothing is too absurd.

We suggest using a sit-on-top kayak to paddle with your pet because it’s more secure and could lead to a better experience. We’d love to see stunning photos with you and your pet enjoying new waters instead of hearing horror stories of paddle trips that go wrong!

Make your dog comfortable

The best way to kayak with your dog is when they lie down and can relax while you paddle. This keeps the dog’s central point of gravity fixed in one place and lets you learn the feeling of having extra weight in your kayak. But, if your dog doesn’t have an area to relax, there’s a lower chance that they will lay down and rest. Therefore, it’s your job as the dog’s owner to provide a comfy area for your pet to rest while you’re paddling. If your home is humid and you have an old towel, don’t worry about getting wet. Placing the towel in the place you would like your dog to sleep is an excellent method of defining a space for your pet while offering an excellent spot to rest.

The method you use to can make your dog feel at ease is entirely your choice. You’re the only one who knows your dog’s best (as and your personal kayaking preferences) But considers this if you prefer to keep your dog occupied while you’re kayaking.

Reward good behavior

Do you remember the treats we talked about earlier? They can also serve as a way to reward good behavior when your dog follows a rule or does something you would like to see them continue doing. It is crucial when you’re beginning the kayaking with your pet since it demonstrates what you expect them to behave when participating in the kayaking experience. Based on your personal preferences, kayaking could be different from your usual activities.

It’s also helpful to give your dog an incentive to reward them for the behavior they show when they are on the water. It could be as simple as lying down or for more complicated behaviors such as being aware of not jumping out of your kayak at specific instances. Whatever the reason you choose to take a bite out of your bag of treats, be aware the dog is going to know. It could (and most likely) decrease in time; however, good rewarding behavior is a fantastic method to introduce your dog to kayaking.

Brush up on basic obedience training

Training in basic obedience is mandatory for any new puppy owner. Of course, it is possible to be left out, but most pet owners who choose this route end up regretting it later. Before you take your dog out in your watercraft, it’s a beneficial idea to brush up on the fundamental aspects of obedience. Based upon the young age of your dog, it could be fresher than other training. The basic rules of sitting, staying, and lying down are essential commands to be dialed when kayaking with your dog.

A simple command such as “no-touch” or “leave it” could also come in handy when a group of geese swims over your kayak. It is always a good idea to learn these commands before going out with your dog on the water. This can help you remain in control and increase your dog’s confidence that it is on your side if something beyond your control should occur (i.e., in a boating or kayaking incident).

Always bring treats

One of the most common mistakes you could make while training your dog to kayak is not remembering the treats you give them at home. Treat your kayaking adventure just as you did when training your dog to walk or run at home. Of course, it’s essential to store your dog’s treats in a high-quality dry bag or, at a minimum, sealed in with a Double Ziploc bag. There’s nothing more unpleasant than wet dog food lying on the floor of your kayak. Treats help keep your dog’s attention back to the water. This is essential when you first start since there will be many distractions that your dog might not be used to. Treats can help you keep your pup’s attention towards you. It could result in the dog staying inside your kayak instead of running across the lake in many instances.

Stick to calm waters

It’s impossible to quantify how dogs can make your kayak unstable. Mainly when you’re just teaching your dog to kayak along together, it’s crucial to stay away from tranquil bodies of water. Paddling through rapids or in the ocean with your pet is just adding the risk of a situation that isn’t something we’re familiar with, at the very least, until you’ve got some more experience. You and your dog must establish your kayaking routines and routines before moving to more challenging waters. Staying in calm waters for the first time gives you time to build those routines and establish a bond with your dog. Also, calm waters are more lenient. If you or your new partner in the water makes an error, it will have less severe consequences, and you’ll be able more effectively learn from your mistakes to avoid the same mistake again.


Indeed, paddling with your dog is undoubtedly one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. However, when it comes to this, there are many things to think about. It is crucial to be patient and communicate effectively and with the pet. If you’re planning to modify the kayak to accommodate a dog, it is essential to consider your actions and your animal’s needs. However, it’s always a good idea to have a dog’s kayak towing your journeys.

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