On summer days, Kayaking is really enjoyable for both you and your dog. It’s an excellent training exercise for your pet as it is simple on their joint parts and it will refresh their mind as well. If Kayaking is one of your hobbies, why not share it with your pet? If your pet loves water, it will be charming for him/her too. Kayaking with a dog is not very simple as it appears. You have to make the right preparations and safety measures for it.
Use a PFD
Using a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for Your Dog will save it’s life in case of an accident. There are several companies that produce this exclusively. You should pick the right one that fits your dog perfectly. It helps your dog to float on water without any effort in swimming ( in case it gets exhausted )
Choosing the Right Kayak
Choosing the right kayak for your dog is another vital part of this. You should check for stability and accommodation. It largely depends on your pet ( size, weight, etc. ). Make sure your kayak is durable. Some cheap inflatable kayaks on the market today are usually made with thinner, cheaper materials. Your pet’s claws can easily penetrate that layer causing big trouble.
Your pet’s age, breed, size, weight, behavior everything counts for choosing the proper kayak. Make this decision carefully and it will serve you better.
Pack Enough Food for the Trip
Pack enough food for you and your pet. Don’t make your dog sitting hungry beside you. Most of the time, plan changes and short trips turn into real adventures. Keep that in mind and always be prepared for a longer trip.
Freshwater is another important item to consider. If you are planning for a sea trip, you must carry enough water both for you and your pet. Have a backup plan in case you are short on food. Do not try to make a long trip with a limited food supply.
Train Your Dog Properly and Consult With Professionals
Make sure he/she understands all your commands and feels comfortable in the kayak. Take a trial if you are not sure about these. Introduce him/her to the kayak before the trip. Rewarding your dog is the best way to train it properly. If your dog panics, take time to familiarize it with the situation.
Sometimes, you may need to consult with a doctor or your dog’s trainer regarding behavioral issues (if any). Based on specific zones, your pet may need additional vaccines to prevent worm-infections.
Start With Flat Water
Flatwater is a good place to start. Never plan for a fast river or ocean directly. In case you need help, you can take someone else with you. Prepare your dog psychologically for the trip. Then after he/she starts enjoying it, you can move on harder challenges.
Make sure your pet enjoys the trip. Most of the dogs are much more active than humans. They unusually feel uncomfortable sitting quietly in a kayak for a long time.
Sometimes, your dog may feel intimidated or provoked by the kayak paddle. Rewarding helps to motivate them. If your dog is very excited all the time, train it to sit still. Getting familiar with water is an essential part of kayaking with him/her.
Accompany Your Dog by Paddling Together
Paddling together in the boat gives your pet emotional support which is essential. two seats close to each other are recommended because that way you can pat and calm down the dog ( in case it panics ). If you have multiple dogs, start with one first. Most of the time, The whole trip on the kayak is a completely new experience for dogs. If they feel uneasy, plan shorter trips on still water.
Observe Dog’s Reaction to Plan Your Next Trip
Arrange your trip based on your dog’s preferences. It largely depends on the mood of the dog and the breed. Do not force your pooch to come with you for the trip. Some species are calm by nature, some are enthusiastic.
You should arrange your kayak based on the size and weight of your four-legged friend. A dog weighing less should be able to sit down quickly and perfectly on the kayak, otherwise, your kayak will start to wobble later on the water. Train and guide it to lose the initial fear from the kayak so that he/she is familiar with the environment of a floating kayak.
Things You Must Avoid
Do not tie the leash of your dog with the boat. In case of the boat sinks, it will drown your pet too. It acts as a deadly trap. Some dogs fear water by nature. Do not force it to start kayaking with you. If it gets threatened by the speed or the watery environment, change your plan.
In summary, Kayaking with your dog requires a certain amount of preparation and training. Once your dog gets the hang of it, it becomes more enjoyable. Focus on the safety of you and your pet. Familiarize the dog with the kayak and water. Consult with a professional about your trip and train your dog properly. Get sufficient food and a durable kayak. Enjoy kayaking with your pet.