I have two great passions… kayaking and dogs. Some may think that my two passions cannot 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 water or may be very afraid. If your dog falls into this category it is important not to force him if he feels uncomfortable. Most dogs can be trained to sit well in a kayak and even enjoy time on the water. However, it is important that all dogs are not only properly trained, but also have the proper safety equipment.

Kayak Dog Essentials

  • Dog PFD – It is essential that your dog wear a dog life jacket. If the kayak capsizes or if your dog has to 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 wears a harness. If your dog decides to take a swim break, you’ll be able to help him get back into the kayak much easier if he’s wearing a harness.
  • Water Bowl – Have a water bowl to paddle with clean, fresh water. This will prevent your dog from drinking possibly dirty or salty water.
  • Water Toys: These may not be essential, but they can help your furry friend have a lot of fun.
  • Blanket or Bed – Placing a blanket in the kayak that your dog can lie on will help him be more comfortable and calm.
  • Chew Toys and Treats – I think these are for obvious reasons.

The do’s and don’ts of kayaking with dogs

  • Do not tie your dog to your kayak. This is a total security risk. If your kayak capsizes, your dog could fall out. If your dog gets excited and tries to jump in, your kayak may tip over and again your dog may be drained. Tying your dog to the kayak is a big mistake many people make and it should never happen.
  • Only paddle in flat, calm water with your dog. There is no point in taking him on a kayak trip that may make him sick, nervous or uncomfortable.
  • Teach your dog certain commands to obey before paddling out on his first trip. Rest assured that your dog knows when to stay in the kayak and when to get out. Practice beforehand on the shore, many times if necessary.

If you follow these guidelines and your dog is interested in enjoying a kayak ride with you, you can expect hours of blissful paddling experiences. Your dog will be an experienced kayaker in no time.

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