Whether you are looking to take your dog kayaking on an inflatable kayak or using another type of kayak it is a fun experience for your dog to ride out in the river. If you have a dog who is brave enough for the task, kayaking with a dog can be a great way to get out and spend some quality time together. After all, a dog is one of the best friends (if not the best) you will have in your lifetime. This is why is important to enjoy the moments that you have with your dog during their much shorter lifespan.
If you want to have a great experience kayaking with your dog, the first thing to keep in mind is safety. Kayaking can be dangerous for humans, and especially so with a dog who won’t understand quite how you are doing what you are doing while on a kayak. This is why it is important to follow certain measures of protocol to worry less about safety and more about enjoying the time together. Here are some tips for ensuring that your time kayaking with a dog will be fun and safe.
There are life vests that fit the body shape of a dog and should be used at all times. A leash will only go so far if your dog somehow ends up in the water. There should be no risk of death if you go kayaking with your dog. Sure, dogs can be good swimmers, but gambling with the life of your best friend should never be an option. You would never take a child out on a kayak without a life vest, nor should you take your dog out on a kayak without a life vest.
Teach Your Dog Basic Commands (if you haven’t already)
Most dogs quickly learn to understand basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” or “leave it.” When your dog goes into the kayak, “sit” and “stay” should be the first commands that you continually say to him. If your dog likes to chase after other animals (such as a fish), then “leave it” should be another command that you teach your dog, if you haven’t already.
Dogs love to be rewarded with love and treats. No matter the breed, one of a dog’s biggest learning motivations has always been treats. If this is your dog’s first kayaking adventure, make sure to bring plenty of treats to reward him or her when they are being a good dog and listening to your commands.
This rule will vary depending on the personality of your dog. If your dog is already scared of water, and hesitant to jump in the water, then you won’t have to worry too much about this. However, some dogs can be very adventurous in the water. Rivers can be dangerous for humans and dogs alike who try to fight against the current, which has been the cause of many fatalities in the past. Try not to use a leash when you are taking your dog out kayaking.
If you go kayaking with a dog who is a little more prone to jumping in the water, you need to teach your dog that he or she needs to stay in the boat with you. However, in the event that the boat tips over, the last thing you want is to have your dog float off with the boat while you are left trying to catch up. Rivers are dangerous. Any experienced kayaker knows this, whether it is a canine or human. If your dog is afraid of water, you probably won’t have to worry too much about a leash as long as you keep he or she close to you at all time.
Go Slow the First Few Times
The last thing you want to do when you are taking your dog out kayaking for the first few times is to take him down some river rapids where there are lots of bumps, twists, and turns. This is why it is important not to pick up the speed until you are sure that both you and your canine friend are comfortable with kayaking together. It may take a few or more times before a dog gets fully acclimated into the procedures necessary for kayaking safely
Prepare for Bathroom Breaks
Your dog will likely not want to wait to go number 1 or 2 while on the water. This is why you should prepare for the event that this happens. Bring an extra towel that you don’t mind using for urine, and bring an extra baggie or two so that you can pick up after your dog without waiting until you arrive back on the land.
Kayaking with a dog can be dangerous. This is why whenever you go out kayaking with a dog it is important that safety is the top priority. Bring lots of treats, make sure your dog is trained to “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it,” and always make sure your dog is wearing a life vest. Try not to use a leash so that your dog will remain safe if the boat tips over, and bring plenty of treats for rewarding good behavior. If you follow all of these steps, you will find your experience kayaking with a dog to be a complete success every time.