It is expected that when you want to take your dog out, you might only be thinking of a walk or a jog. That does not have to be always the case when you have the best kayak for dogs available.
Yes, dogs can also enjoy kayaking. It can be an excellent way of cooling off your dog during the hot months to leave it feeling good.
It might seem like something hard at first, but it does not have to be when you have all the right information.
This guide talks about the tips for taking your dog kayaking, how to choose the right kayak for dogs, and the top models in the market to consider.
Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Kayaks for Dogs
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
How to Kayak with a Dog
Not all dogs love the water, so some preparation might be necessary before getting the pet into kayaking. Below, we look at some of the tips to consider on how to kayak with a dog.
Get personal floatation devices for the dog
Yes, you can find PFDs for dogs too. The reason they make them is to help your dog better in handling the water.
Let us say that your dog falls or jumps out of the kayak; the PFD comes in handy to help keep it safe until you get the dog.
The PFDs for pets will also have a handle on the top for ease of picking up the pet and putting it into the kayak.
Help the dog get familiar with the kayak
Another thing to keep in mind is the kayak familiarity. It is crucial that the dog gets used to a kayak before setting out to have fun. You can walk the dog around the kayak and help settle it in the kayak for a few days before the main event.
Start in calm water
Taking your dog to the ocean or fast rivers might not be an excellent idea for the first time. It is best if you consider a lake, pond, or rivers with calm water. In case the pet can jump out of the kayak, it should easily swim to the shore.
Have a friend tag along
A friend to handle the dog while in the water might be necessary. This is mainly for those who might not have kayaked with a dog before.
When you decide to bring a friend along, consider a kayak with more seats and weight capacity. The last thing you want is a kayak that cannot handle your needs.
As you can see from the tips above, it does not have to be hard to enjoy kayaking with your dog. Always keep safety in mind when you plan on kayaking with the dog more often.
Types of Kayak for Dogs
You are likely to come across different types of kayaks in the market, but not all of them are best for dogs. So, what is the best kayak for dogs? I recommend you consider recreational kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks.
Recreational kayaks will have a closed cockpit essential for protecting you and the dog. You are likely to find them great for calm waters such as slow rivers and lakes. Since I pointed out that dogs need calm waters, then this type of kayak would be great for the whole situation.
Having a large hull also makes the recreational kayaks more stable. The last thing you need is easily tipping over when kayaking with the dog.
When it comes to space, the recreational kayaks would be ideal for small to medium-sized dogs. Occasionally, you can try to fit the larger canines.
Another option is the sit-on-top kayak. This is described as an open watercraft having plenty of room and more stability. As much as the recreational kayaks might be dog friendly, they are mostly good for smaller dogs. If you have a larger dog, this is what you consider getting.
Most sit-on-top kayaks will be stable and easy to control. You will also notice that they can get up to speed faster. Once your dog gets used to the water, it might be time to consider the sit-on-top kayaks to enjoy more speed.
Now that you know what type to choose for your dog, what should you avoid? Most experts claim that you should avoid sea kayaks and whitewater kayaks. This is because they are often too fast that might not make it comfortable for your pet.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Kayak for Dogs
There is no doubt that the best kayak for dogs needs to be made of strong materials. This is because you might find yourself using the kayak more often since it is more fun.
The dog will tend to scratch the kayak with its claws. Most of the time, it will be unintentional. Also, it might try to chew on some things while in the water. It is easy now to see why you need a durable kayak.
Now that you will be taking the dog kayaking, there is a need for enough space. The space is crucial as you would have to hold the dog between your legs.
Depending on the size of your dog, some might like to have their own seats. This is mostly for large dog breeds. As such, get something with two seats whenever possible.
Kayaking is all fun until you end up flipping the kayak with the dog in it. So, it would be best if you can find a kayak that remains stable even if the dog keeps moving around.
There are times that even the calm waters can get choppy. There is the need to be ready to handle such water with the pet.
It can be great if you read more about the kayak from the experiences of other people. This will help you to learn more about its overall stability. No one wants a kayak that cannot deliver the best stability.
The weight capacity is crucial if you plan on taking more people on your kayaking adventure. So, look at the number of seats available and the weight capacity of the kayak. These two will help you learn more about which type of kayak to get.
Ease of use
Kayaks are often easy to use. Once you get the paddling techniques right, it should not be hard to use. However, what if it is the inflatable kayak? Such a kayak might need more work, especially setting it up.
Consider the amount of work that goes into setting it up and how you would store it after using the kayak. These are all essential considerations to always have in mind when picking the best kayak for dogs.
Top 6 Best Kayaks for Dogs
Fishing is something fun many people like doing as part of spending their time outdoors. I have done it, and I must say it was fun. The right gear is necessary to make fishing fun and successful. In this case, we are talking about this kayak.
If you have a dog as a pet and want to take it fishing, this kayak should give you all the space you need to keep the dog around.
The kayak is constructed using UV-protected high-density polyethylene material. Even if you take the kayak into some rough waters, it can stand up to the abuse.
There are several footrest positions in the kayak as part of the design. This will allow for riders of different sizes to use the kayak without much of a problem.
The flat bottom is vital for improving the stability of the kayak. You can now have more fun in the water without tipping over easily.
- It is a stable kayak suitable for fishing
- It has multiple footrest positions to be versatile
- The seat is adjustable for comfort
- The strap for holding the cargo is not strong
If you like having water sports with your partner, then this is a nice option to consider. This is because it is useful in terms of weight capacity and space. It is also the best kayak for dogs since it will comfortably house an additional passenger without a problem.
The model’s weight capacity is 650 lbs., and it weighs 32 lbs. Most people would find it a right choice for carrying it around by two or three people since it is lightweight.
The seats are comfortable and easily movable. This means that you can always find a comfortable position to suit the number of passengers in the kayak.
It does also have two skegs, important for speed and better tracking. Well, you can quickly get to speed from the moment you stand paddling in this kayak.
- The paddles are lightweight for ease of use
- The model has an impressive weight capacity
- It has two skegs for improving speed and tracking
- It takes longer to inflate it fully
If you are willing to spend a little more, consider this type of best kayak for dogs. It is designed to be a recreational kayak, so expect to have a lot of fun with your dog.
The design allows for the kayak to be good for slow-moving and handling the calm coastal waters. Since you will be kayaking with a dog, you want it to be safe. That is why you need to consider the calm waters and a suitable kayak such as this one.
This kayak has front and rear swim decks with low sides. The idea is to make it stable in the water. You never have to worry about easily tipping over and getting the dog wet.
Still, there are grab handles important for getting the kayak in and out of the water quickly. As such, you should find it is an easy kayak to use more often.
The kayak has a convenient drink holder for holding your favorite beverage and keeps it from easily spilling.
- The elevated seat makes it supportive
- It features a drink holder
- The hand grabs make it easy to get it and out of the water
- It is not the best for rough waters
This is another best kayak for dogs with more stability. The stability is improved since the model has a multi-chine flat bottom hull. Even if you love fishing, the kayak can stay in one position. You can now fish better if the kayak can hold its position.
I love it for being durable. The model is made of patented RAM-X materials, which are all about durability. Sometimes you might hit rocks while kayaking. The material used to make this kayak can stand up to such knocking on rocks all the time.
There is also an additional storage compartment. I found it great to store extra gear you might need while in the water with the dog.
The model weighs around 44 lbs. It might not be the most lightweight model, but it is still within a range that makes it easy to transport and store.
- The kayak is spacious
- It features a storage compartment to hold more cargo
- It is made of strong materials
- Some can find it being heavy for regular use
It is on the list of best kayak for dogs because of the features it can offer to the user. It is comfortable, considering that it comes with an adjustable inflatable seat and backrest. It is easy to find the right position for you and the dog.
The weight capacity of this kayak is 400 pounds. For many people, this should be enough to invite someone additional for fun in the water. Well, a dog does not weigh much; it should be a weight concern for most kayakers.
The model has a removable SKEG for improving directional stability. Knowing that it is removable, you would have the option of using the kayak correctly, depending on the water conditions.
Intex recommends this kayak for small water bodies. Such includes lakes and mild rivers. Many should find it ideal as these are the places you would take the dog for kayaking.
- The kayak is easy to inflate
- It is comfortable for anyone
- It has an impressive weight capacity
- It is not great for large water bodies
This model features built-in aluminum ribs important for defining the bow and stern. This feature is also crucial for improving tracking and overall performance of the kayak.
It is also made of puncture-resistant material to be the best kayak for dogs. The last thing you would want is for the kayak to get punctured when kayaking with your pet.
Inflating is not hard. It might take some time, but it will be up and ready for use with minimal effort. It is pre assembled at the factory. As such, all you have to do is unfold, inflate, then attach the seats.
The high support and adjustable padded seats are crucial for your comfort. Even if you are out in the water paddling for hours, it will still feel comfortable.
Having three seat locations allows for paddling solo or as a team. Other than taking your dog kayaking, you can have your partner too to enjoy the activity.
- The model is easy to assemble
- The seats are comfortable
- It offers 550 pounds as the weight capacity
- The center seat tends to slip, making it hard to paddle
What are some of the gears necessary for kayaking with a dog?
I would recommend you consider a life vest or any other crucial PFD product. This is essential at keeping the pet safe in case it gets into the water.
Other important supplies include food, water, leash, harness, toys, medical essentials, and more.
Should you get a hardshell or an inflatable kayak?
When looking for the best kayak for dogs, you are likely to come across two options. It would be the hardshell or the inflatable kayak. What is essential is for you to pick the right one.
The hard shells are good in terms of stability, easily maneuverable, and always ready to go. However, they can be big, heavy, and require more maintenance.
The inflatable kayaks are lightweight, take up less storage space, affordable, and need less maintenance.
The common downside is that you have to inflate them, and they can be harder to control.
So, pick one depending on your personal preferences.
What should I do if my dog jumps out of the kayak?
The chances are this might happen to you when having fun with your dog. Sometimes the dog wants a swim. However, you should consider getting it back into the kayak.
There are times when kayaking can be intimidating to your dog. It is why you need to familiarize it with the kayak before heading out. This helps to minimize the jumping out of the kayak behavior.
The best kayak for dogs does not have to be fancy but rather functional. You are likely to come across different kayaks in the market, but not all of them are great for dogs. Consider using the tips mentioned in this guide to identify the right model.
We have also looked at the top models in the market. As such, you can now have a clear path on what you can get for some fun times with your pet outdoors.
As much as the dog might be intimidated at first, it will get used to kayaking. So, make sure to practice more often, and your dog will start enjoying kayaking even more.