3 Must Haves for Kayaking with Your Dog
Last year my dad gave us his two sit on top fishing kayaks. I’m not much for fishing, but being out on the water in the quiet and soaking in that coolest part of a summer morning on a little lake with my dog – yes, please. I quickly set about learning everything I could about teaching my dogs how to behave on the kayaks and figuring out what gear was absolutely necessary. Luckily, my friend Paula who owns Canine Country Academy is also a kayaking with dogs fan, so I was able to pick up some great tips. Now that we are preparing for our second summer exploring the nearby lakes & ponds here in Georgia – I have a list of some must haves that I make sure are ALWAYS with me whenever we go paddling with our dogs.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.”
– A. A. Milne
Life Jackets for Dogs
The number one must have for kayaking with your dog is a well fitted PFD (personal flotation device) for your canine passenger. When kayaking with dogs, just like pet photography, dog safety is the most important thing.
While many dogs are great swimmers, not all dogs swim well. Additionally, most dogs paddle with just their front legs, the famous doggie paddle, which can let them quickly tire out. Swimming to shore from any distance can be exhausting for a scared pup that just fell from a kayak or paddle board. And a capsize from your boat can have your pup scared or disoriented, so having the built in buoyancy of a life vest can safe their life.
Lastly, if your dog loves going for a little dip – having the handle on a life vest makes it so much easier to help them back into your watercraft without you going for an unplanned swim yourself.
A few of my favorite dog life vests are from Kurgo, Outward Hound, & Ruffwear. I’ve also seen good ones at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, & Home Goods!
A Non Slip Mat for Kayaking with Dogs
Many kayaks and paddle boards are made from plastic and can be slippery, especially when wet. I’ve ordered various dog begs, waterproof mats, contact paper, etc – but I’ve found something that works great and is readily available!
I bought foam bath mats with rubber bottoms from Dollar General! They don’t slip and slide, have a little cushion for my princess pup, can act as a cooling mat if I dip them in the lake, and fit right in the washing machine at home.
As a bonus, they also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns so I can have something pretty & functional!
Biothane Collars for Dogs
The only thing that smells worse than a wet dog is a moldly wet dog collar that’s been around your wet dog’s neck.
I love my dog’s pretty collars, and they have quite the collection, but for kayaking – we’re fancs of biothane. BioThane is completely waterproof , durable and non-porous so it does not retain odors.
BioThane® is the brand name of all coated webbing products made by BioThane Coated Webbing Corp. It’s basically a polyester webbing with a TPU or PVC coating.
My dogs wear their brightly collared biothane collars on the boats and then they are super easy to wipe off after playing in the water.
What’s your favortie summer activity with your dog?
Is your dog a water baby? I’m currently looking for some water loving dogs to model for an upcoming project!
This blog is part of an international circle of pet photographers. Each week we blog on a certain topic and invite you on a trip around the world. This week’s theme is “Go Jump in a Lake!”
Just click the link at the end of each blog post until you find yourself back here!
What to read next?
Let’s face it, getting up & camera ready before the sun comes up - especially on a day off work - might not be your idea of a good time. But what if I told you that a sunrise session might be perfect for your dog - and 100% worth snagging that extra cup of coffee?...
What are the 5 Must Have Photos from your Pet Photography Session? Your camera roll is full of every possible pose from your dog you can imagine - sleeping, a running blur, sitting, tongue out, tongue in, etc and every single one is absolutely adorable! But, when it...
How do you know if your dog can have professional pet photos? Maybe you worry that your dog is too: Hyperactive Reactive Untrained Blind or deaf Timid, Afraid, or Nervous In this blog, I’m going to share some tips & tricks I’ve learned as a professional pet...
Have More Questions?
Get in touch. I’d love to talk with you.