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Bring Your Best Friend With You - Kayaking with Your Dog

Kayaking with your dog can be a blast. Here’s some advice on how to start the adventure with your best friend.

What could be more fun than an afternoon on the water with your very best friend? Kayaking with your dog is an amazing experience that delivers fun, bonding and plenty of laughs.

For most breeds, tagging along with you is the perfect outing; filled with new things to see, sniff and hear. With relatively little preparation, you can soon start enjoying adventures with your pooch while exploring nature together. If your dog is a good swimmer, and enjoys outdoor activities, you’ll have a new kayaking partner in no time.

Start by getting your best friend used to your vessel. A backyard introduction is best, with rewards given for entering and exiting your kayak on command. It’s important that your dog is a good listener and responds to your directions. Take all the time your pooch needs to become comfortable with your kayak.

For most breeds of dog, an open cockpit will be the easiest and most comfortable arrangement. Oru's Inlet, Beach LT and Haven models all feature open cockpits with plenty of room for your buddy to get cozy.

We recommend using a thick towel or pad in our kayaks when your dog is aboard. It will help him to maintain traction and prevent missteps that could disrupt your paddling.

Once you’re satisfied your dog is ready to meet the water, it’s time to take it to the shore. Find a quiet, uncrowded place to start so that there are few distractions. Bring your dog into your kayak while still on shore. Once he’s settled in, gently push off into the water and stay close to shore. This will help your dog become accustomed to the rocking sensation with greater ease.

It’s best to keep these first outings short. 15 to 20 minutes is a good time limit when introducing your dog to kayaking.

No matter what breed your dog is, we recommend he wear a flotation device when on the water. For smaller breeds with shorter limbs, this a significant consideration. A jacket with a grab handle is the best for quick retrieval should your dog unexpectedly end up in the water.

If your dog is a bit excitable, consider taking a nice walk with him before heading to the shore. That will help him use up some energy so he can focus more closely on listening to you and enjoying the ride.

Unfortunately, not every dog is a good fit for kayaking. If your dog is too large to nestle comfortably into your boat, if he is older or suffering any physical limitations, or if he is simply too fidgety, kayaking may be too challenging.

In most cases, however, kayaking with your dog is an enjoyable activity that will bring the two of you even closer together. Done with care, your adventures with your best friend will build happy memories you’ll cherish forever.

You can find the perfect sized kayak to suit you and your best friend. Check out our entire lineup of kayaks here.