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What to Consider Before Taking Your Dog Kayaking
Are you taking your dog kayaking? Consider these tips to ensure a safe and fun excursion with your pet. After all, kayaks are becoming more popular for going out on the water. These boats allow you to explore the environment, whether sit-in or sit-on. Also, they aid in reconnecting with nature. Yet, unlike a motorboat or canoe, you cannot load your dog into the boat and set sail.
Does that mean you won’t be able to take your dog out on the kayak? No, it doesn’t. Some may believe these two activities to be incompatible. Yet kayaking with your dog is a doable pastime. Your canine companion can learn to enjoy being aboard a boat. Also, you can secure your buddy with some patience and by making adjustments.
This guide is about taking your dog kayaking. It includes several helpful tips to make such a trip a wonderful experience. Let’s get started!
Get The Right Kayak Before Taking Your Dog Kayaking
We recommend starting with a steady, family-friendly kayak. Consider that idea when selecting the best ship for the dog. Bring your four-legged to try the boats when shopping. Also, do that since specific features are better for canoeing and kayaking with dogs.
Aluminum canoes can become very hot and noisy. These issues are both annoying for dogs. So we recommend avoiding them when buying a boat. Still, get a boat with enough room for you and your dog to feel cozy while paddling.
Take your dog with you when you’ve narrowed down your options. Also, bring your buddy when you are ready to go for a test paddle. Of course, for its safety, make sure to carry a doggie life jacket.
Top 10 Tips for Taking Your Dog Kayaking
Use the following guidelines when taking your dog kayaking.
1. Comfort Is the Key
Covering the ship’s surface is the first step toward ensuring your dog’s comfort. Remember that your animal companion will have to adjust to the motion of the canoe or kayak. If it slips or slides, your buddy won’t relax.
A high-quality indoor-outdoor carpet works best in our canoe. This material is simple to wash, dry, and roll up for storage. Likewise, you can trim it to fit the length of the canoe. It also prevents a ship’s decor from sustaining damage due to pawing. We favor the sticky grip mats provided for holding kayaks.
2. Refine Your Skills Before Taking Your Dog Kayaking
Before paddling or kayaking with our furry friends, be confident with the activity. No rule says you have to be a superior paddler. Yet, it would be best if you took charge while boating. Cruising on calm seas can be horrible and dangerous when you’re nervous and unskilled. A lousy or risky journey may leave you and your buddy with traumatic experiences.
Begin on a calm, tranquil body of water. Also, look for accessible launch sites. Choose an hour of the day when fewer boats or dogs are on the lake. It’s best when the water is calmer, and there are fewer distractions. With these factors, your first outings will be suitable for your pet.
To enjoy a safe journey, your four-legged friend does not need to be a strong swimmer. All dogs should wear a dog life jacket when on the water. This need is irrespective of their paddling abilities. These short coats give thermal protection in cold water. They also provide a convenient handle for lifting your dog out of the vessel. Moreover, it makes your dog accessible to other boaters while it’s in the water.
Hard-shell kayaks, like inflatable ones, can withstand scratches and punctures. But these boats have strengths and weaknesses. We may need to cut our furry friends’ long and sharp nails before going on a trip with them. Also, we should train them to avoid biting on the surface of our watercraft. After all, materials like wood, plastic, and PVC can only do so much to withstand bites and scratches.
4. Refresh Their Command Skills
It’s great to polish up on your dog’s basic obedience instructions before heading off. Before canoeing or kayaking with dogs, establish specific commands. Let your dog obey you when you say sit, stay, down, and “hup” (or whatever order you use for getting in and out of the boat). Your canine companion should practice following these orders while on land. After all, a dog’s obedience also equates to its preparation. Traveling with a disciplined pet helps avoid troubles while on water. Still, a dog receptive to instructions may be easier to handle during a rescue situation.
Your dogs can learn to canoe by sitting near the stern paddler. It is safe and convenient to grasp. Also, it’s less likely to make sudden movements that way. Moreover, through experience, your buddies can feel relaxed while on board your ship. They can even position themselves well on boats when they feel cozy.
5. Paddling Etiquettes
Paddling etiquette with your dog is also essential. While in the canoe or kayak, keep your pet quiet. Bring your four-legged pals to paddle and appreciate the wildlife and atmosphere. But keep your dogs from bothering the loons, herons, or other paddlers you see. Always remember to tend to their needs too. We are accountable for them. Still, we are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of our waterways.
6. Develop Confidence
Your pet should have kayak training on land beforehand. It’s to help your buddy gain confidence to go in and stay aboard your ship. Starting with a hovering boat brings about unexpected movements and shakes. It may be scary for a dog. Due to the fear of instability, your buddy may dislike joining further outings. Hence, you should avoid having a spontaneous trip with your pet. Doing on-land training is best. After all, it allows you more control over the boat’s movement. Still, it helps your dog cope with a boat’s tendency to keep moving.
You want your dog to get in and out of the kayak. But it will be more cooperative when used to plastic, hollow, slick surfaces. Furthermore, many dogs like to walk along the kayak side. Depending on the model, a boat may move and startle them.
Some Useful Tips
- Take him swimming with your family. Seeing your family and you having a good time in the water can be enough to persuade him.
- Don’t throw or force your dog into the water: As much as you want him to, this will only worsen things. He could become terrified of the water as a result.
7. Understand Dog Personality
Dogs, like people, come in a diversity of personalities and abilities. Each canine also has its likes and dislikes. A few of our furry friends like swimming in the water. They even wag their tails while submerged to show their fondness. Others are apprehensive about getting their toes wet. Thus, before taking your dog out kayaking with you, it’s a good idea to have a test. Find out whether your pal enjoys the sight and feel of water.
Consider devoting some time to acquaint your pet with the wonders of open water. Some dogs will jump right in, while others will stand on the shore’s edge and watch. It’s ok as long as he isn’t afraid or nervous. If t, don’t push him. Pressuring it may lead to unfavorable outcomes. Canines are also emotional creatures that may sense mistreatment. So we should be kind and understanding to our furry friends.
To learn more about dog personalities, check out this site.
8. Begin By Kayaking In Clear water.
Introduce your dog to calm waters first. Exposing your pet to windy areas and choppy waters may be counterproductive. After all, your dog can panic and leap off the boat. The sounds of the strong winds and big waves may be frightening to them already. Thus, begin by swimming in a beach or pond with shallow, calm water. This approach allows gradual adaptation to the water. Through it, your canine companion can swim to the shore if he becomes scared and leaps out.
The calm seas are often ideal for beginners. Yet keep in mind that the closer you get to the shore, the more distractions your dog will face. It could feel compelled to leap out to hunt a bird. Reduce the things that may provoke your pet to lose control. Let it stay away from the coastline, other anglers, and kayaks.
9. Have Fun
Your attitude is crucial to having a great day canoeing or kayaking with dogs. So you must have fun whenever you can during your trip. Yet remember that your dog may find too much excitement uncomfortable. Thus, please slow down and begin with small outings. Simple activities help your dog earn your praise. Also, uncomplicated undertakings may hone its kayaking abilities.
Also, take pictures! You may want to recall how far you and your dog have gone later. Also, capturing memories may keep you laughing throughout your trips. For dogs, canoeing and kayaking may be repetitive activities. Once their more active days are gone, they can continue to cruise with us.
10. Carry Your Kayak Inside The Home Or Garden
It’s wise to ease them into something. Hence, your dog should have a gradual introduction to kayaking. A touring kayak or a sea kayak becomes less intimidating to a canine that way. So it helps to expose your furry friend to people and animals kayaking. You can bring your ship to your house and let your buddy smell and interact with it. Keeping your boat for a little while helps. Putting it in your garden allows your furry pal to access it too.
When your Dog Jumps Ship, What Should You Do?
Accidents can happen to anybody. Because of the risk, it’s essential to have a pet-friendly lifejacket. With it, you can pull your dog out of the water. Furthermore, the flotation device grants more time to save a dog’s life.
- If your dog gets out of the kayak without permission, get its attention. Use appropriate commands but have a gentle and firm tone.
- Urge your dog to “get in the kayak” as you draw closer to the dog.
- When you’re close enough, raise your paddle to prevent striking or scaring the dog. Afterward, reach over and grab your dog’s lifejacket strap and pull the buddy onto the kayak.
The presence of a canine friend enhances every outdoor activity. So kayaking can be more amusing when we have our buddy during our trip. After all, dogs devote themselves to their owners, like to tag along, and enjoy new experiences. Also, they provide love and concern without conditions! Yet every dog is unique. Hence, there are various ways to paddle with dogs.
You could wind up staying home without an effective method to bring your buddy kayaking. Thus, be patient and teach him how to float, swim, enjoy the waves, and kayak. With persistence and success, you’ll have a buddy for your exciting kayaking times. If you enjoy kayaking, your dog will love it too. You only need to show your four-legged friends its fun and safe sides first. Discover the perfect paddle size for your kayaking adventures with our comprehensive kayak paddles size chart.
How do I prepare my dog for a kayaking trip?
If it’s your canine companion’s first time, introduce it to your kayak. Whenever it interacts well with it, provide a reward. Do the same thing with the boat paddles. Your goal is to show that the vessel and its accessories are safe for it. Check its compliance with crucial commands. After all, it is best if you can always handle your dog. Hence, it should follow you when you tell it to sit, stay, come, and lay down.
What are some things to bring to a boat trip with a dog?
Our canine companions need several things before going on an aquatic adventure. Of course, it matters to put on a flotation device on them. After all, they must always remain safe. Also, they have to have things to sustain them. For instance, they could do well with water, pet food, diapers or pee pads, and feeding containers. Still, to ensure you always have control, bring their collar and leash. These are essentials and not optional.
Yet there are also discretionary items you could bring. To deal with canine boredom or to have a tool for distraction:
- Carry a few favorite dog toys.
- Bring only those you know are helpful and crucial.
- Avoid taking too much load to avoid slowing down, instability, and capsizing.
How do you ensure your and your dog’s safety on the water?
While kayaking, keep your pet still or under control. It should be manageable when it only moves a little on board. Still, put on safety devices. Life jackets for yourself and your pet can help you stay safe during your trip. Still, work on your boating skills and know your pathways. While paddling, focus on staying afloat, controlling your ship, and reaching your destinations. Despite these considerations, you may still enjoy a kayaking excursion with your buddy. After all, it would be a safe trip when you would travel on calm waters more.