The Ultimate Guide to Kayak with your Dog

Kayak with your dog

What could be better than going out for an outdoor adventure in your kayak with your dog by your side? If this idea triggers and interests you, then pack all the necessary stuff and get ready for the most exciting kayaking experience and read our Guide to Kayak with your Dog !

Is it safe to Kayak with a Dog?

Of course, it is possible to kayak with your pet dog safely. By keeping the following points in your mind, you can enjoy kayaking with your dog very quickly, and yes, obviously very safely.

Let’s have a look at these important points:

Check out the kayak – Before you and your dog hit the waters, it is essential to make sure that both of you can fit on the kayak. Let your dog stay on the kayak, and at the same time, you have to fit in comfortably, ensure if possible, there is enough room for your legs in a straight position. In this way, you can ensure that everything is fine, and the kayak is also perfect for your dog.


Prefer Still waters –  You don’t want to go to a fast-moving river on your first day of kayaking with your dog. It can even scare him off, and he can even jump out of the kayak. Start with lake waters or ponds to make your companion comfortable. 

Dogs also enjoy the company of more than one individual, so if you are going out for kayaking for the very first time, make sure you have a friend with you. When the dog becomes calm and is adjusted in the whole water scenario, you can even go alone with him without any other friend.


Train your dog – Those dogs that can take commands are more likely to stay calm in the kayak. Just take some time out and train your dog to get used to the water so that he may not get afraid of its sight. If your dog is quite good at taking commands and feels very comfortable, then even a task like pooping in the kayak does not sound that challenging, but you will, of course, ensure you had a good walk with him before the kayak ride!

Just make sure that you have a bag in which your pet dog will poop by listening to your commands. But you have to dispose of the poop very sensibly. It should be buried 500 feet away from the water bodies at some deep-six to eight inches.


Don’t forget the distractions –  Your dog can get distracted very easily by other people with their dogs as well as with the birds, fishes, or ducks. If you are going out for the first time, then go for a short distance and check the responses of your dog, how he reacts after seeing people, and other possible triggers like birds, et

Kayak with your dogs

How do I get my dog to Kayak?

Although your dog wants to be with you if you are inside the kayak just in case if he is hesitating to come, then take the kayak at a place where the dog is familiar with. A good tip is to put the kayak in the garden already back home and start with him to get familiar, and when he is seeing that you are very comfortable sitting in the kayak, that will reassure the dog too! Don’t make a big thing out of this, act with all steps as it’s a standard routine activity for you. The dog will always look at you and your behaviour in a detailed manner during new events.

You can, of course, give him treats and more and more he will feel comfortable. A next step is to do this with the Dog life jacket; you can already put it on and all in a relaxed atmosphere.

Can an inflatable kayak handle the claws of a dog?

Yes, without a doubt! Inflatable kayaks can handle the claws of a dog because they are constructed quite well and,  the majority of the kayaks have used strong quality fabrics and materials,  so even if an inflatable kayak gets the nails of your pet dog, it can deal with them.

These inflatable kayak can also stand the contact with most sharp objects such as rocks or other obstacles you could find in the water. Moreover, inflatable kayaks all confirming the fact that inflatable kayaks are made with high-quality sturdy material with multiple layers that are able to protect the whole kayak from any type of scratches and dog claws

Kayak with your dog small

Safety Precautions when kayaking with a dog

Don’t leash your dog – Leashing, your furry friend, is not recommended because it may look like it can make your dog stay in the kayak, but if the kayak overturns, your dog can fell into the water and drown. 

Still, if you want to go for leash, it’s better to prefer a waist leash and tie it with yourself, but this can only be done if your dog is swimming and you want him to stay close to the kayak. But overall, a leashed-up dog just increases the safety risk, so it is better to provide your pet dog proper training rather than risking his life.


Frequent stops are necessary – You can enjoy a perfect workout in the kayak, but your dog will not be able to do much exercise when you are busy paddling. Just make sure that you provide him some shore time each hour so that he can also enjoy the paddling excursions just like you.


Keep the kayak balanced – To prevent your dog from rocking the kayak, place some gear at one side of the kayak and allow your dog to sit at the other side of the kayak. In this way, he will not move back and forth, creating a disturbance and in-balance.

Which items to take with you when you are kayaking with your dog? 

It is essential to take necessary gear with you when you are kayaking with your pet dog. So your gear should include:



It works well when accidentally your dog fells down into the water. Due to the harness, you can easily pull him back onboard. It is a very handy and convenient and perhaps needed in some situations.



Just like humans, dogs are also susceptible to sunburns ( and the heat of the sun). Although they are covered with fur still some of their body parts, such as nose and belly, are exposed and can easily get burnt. So make sure that you have sunburn with you to protect your little pal from the harmful rays of sunlight.

dog sunburn protection

PFD (Personal Flotation Device) :

No matter how good your dog can swim, still he can drown. So to keep him always safe and sound, it is essential to keep a PFD with you or a life jacket because accidents on the water can take place at any moment in time and always come un-announced. Be well prepared!

dog life vests


Food, Water, and Bags:

If you are kayaking in a warm-weather, then it is vital to keep yourself hydrated so have some water with you along with food to enjoy a little picnic at your kayak. A bag is required in the hour of need when your dog wants to poop because taking care of the water bodies is also essential! There are some unique items available to accommodate your dog’s needs, have a look here what items can be used.

Kayak with your dog sunburn

Additional important Points to Consider 

Making the best out of your kayak experience with your dog, there are also some important points to consider, such as:


The temperament of the dog with kayaking – When you are taking your pet dog to an outdoor environment, he can also become uncontrollable. In this regard, it is necessary to train him well. He should be well aware of the basic commands such as ‘leave’ and ‘stay’. In this way, even if you have to leave the kayak for a while, you can stay tension free.


Dog Size – If you have a large-sized dog, then your ordinary kayak can’t handle his weight. Make sure that you purchase a kayak that best suits your dog because if he hops in a small kayak, then alligators will definitely consider him a snack and to be very honest we don’t want them to fight together in the middle of nowhere!


Dog’s Health and Age – Is your dog healthy enough to enjoy kayaking with you or does he have hearing/sight issues? Well, if he is not well, then you should keep him at home because a dog that is unable to see correctly won’t be able to see in the sunlight as his eyes will get affected.

Similarly, in case of hearing issues, he won’t be able to listen to your commands, especially when danger will arise. The health issues are mostly found in elderly dogs so you can keep them at home, but it does not mean that you can go out for kayaking with a young puppy because he is quite energetic and can’t sit long at the same place paddling.

Kayaking with your dog

Frequently Asked Questions Kayaking with your Dog


I am about to kayak for the first time. What should I do?

Those people who are not familiar with kayaking and are about to experience it for the first time should take the first kayaking session alone to enhance their kayak handling skills.

Because if your skills are not polished, you are not able to manage the kayak properly. Besides, your dog’s safety also depends on you, so it is better to get a grip on kayaking.

And don’t forget that your dog is sensitive for how you act and behave, they are sensitive for their owner’s behavior and always will first check you out in all situations to see if you are comfortable and in control.


Is my kayak built for dogs?

There are many types of kayaks, and not all of them are made for dogs, more to do with the dimensions of the kayak and how stable you would like the kayak to be when with more people of dogs on board.

So if you are planning to rent or purchase a kayak, make sure that it is appropriate for the dog that you have. Although sit on top kayaks work wonders for kayaking with your furry friend.


What to do if I tip over?

There comes a time when circumstances can go against you. It can also happen if you are trying to pull up your dog inside the kayak. If such an incident occurs, try not to panic!

Find your dog and bring him close to you. Flip the kayak if it is required. Try to find out the paddle and throw it on the kayak. Put it at a place where it does not roll out again. Then pull yourself back into the kayak.

Life jackets can increase safety in such events. If you are in shallow water, you can also stand up and put all back in order again, or try to move to the side of the water to get the situation in control.


What if my dog jumps out of the kayak?

If your dog becomes naughty and jumps out of the kayak, stay relaxed and do not panic. Paddle towards him by commanding him to get inside the kayak. When you get close enough, lift up your paddle so that he does not get scared. Then slowly lean over him and grab him by the life jacket’s handle.

Now put your arms across him and get a grip. Make sure you will always try the kayak as stable as possible, not prevent tipping over. It’s always better to take the time, and that’s why the correct equipment is required to be able to deal with any situation without stress.


What to do if my dog can’t swim?

Always use life jackets, and the rest is depending on how your dog is behaving with water if the dog is oke and relaxed and does not go into a panic mode when he is in the water you should be just fine.

Next you will find the following recommended products:

  1. Top 5 Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs
  2. Top 5 Non-Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs
  3. Top 5 Best Life Jackets for Dogs

1. Top 5 Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs:

Intex Challenger Kayak Series

Intex Challenger Kayak Series

inflatable dog kayaks

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • he Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is sporty and fun with a streamlined design for easy paddling
  • The bright green color and sporty graphics make the kayak highly visible in the water
  • Two 86 inch aluminum paddles and an Intex high output pump for easy inflation and deflation
  • Made of company’s rugged, super tough vinyl that’s puncture and UV damage resistant for long term durability
  • Measures 30 by 15 by 138 inches (W x H x D) inflated, with 400 pound maximum weight limit; includes two 86 inch aluminum oars, high capacity pump, and repair patch kit

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • 3 person/650 lb capacity, weighs 26 lbs, suitable for up to Class III whitewater
  • 370 Deluxe Kayak Package features two movable, super comfortable Deluxe Kayak Seats for improved back support and 2 paddles, foot pump, and carry bag
  • 2 AB30 7’10″” 4 Part Paddles with asymmetrical blade and aluminum shaft.Seam:High Frequency Welded
  • 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking & speed.Inflation Pressure:1.1 psi
  • Open and close drain valve, 5 deluxe 1-way inflation/deflation valves

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • HOLDS 2 PEOPLE UP TO 400 POUNDS: Inflatable 2-person kayak with included 86-inch long oars and air pump can hold up to 400 pounds; Dimensions (L x W x H): 10.25 x 3 x 1.6 feet
  • DESIGNED FOR SPEED AND AGILITY IN THE WATER: Long skeg is great for straight-line tracking, while the short skeg is great for quick and easy turns
  • TOUGH VINYL CONSTRUCTION FOR ADVENTURING: Heavy-duty, puncture-resistant vinyl with 3 separate air chambers and an inflatable I-beam floor for rigidity
  • EASY TO HANDLE IN AND OUT OF THE WATER: Grab line and carry handles on the front and back for easy transport even when inflated
  • INCLUDES: Inflatable seats with backrests that are removable and adjustable; 2 dry bags and a carry bag for carrying the kayak and accessories when not in use

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • Heavy-duty PVC construction is rugged for lake use
  • Polyester cover provides durable protection from punctures
  • Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
  • Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak
  • Boston Valve is double threaded for easy inflation/deflation
  • Secure storage areas let you safely store items with bungees
  • Adjustable, elevated seats move to fit you and let you sit higher for easier paddling

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • Heavy-duty PVC construction is rugged for lake use
  • Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures
  • Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured
  • Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak
  • Boston Valve is double threaded for easy inflation/deflation
  • Adjustable seats move to fit you; Carry handles make it easy to carry in and out of the water
  • Spray covers block splashes to help keep you dry

2. Top 5 Non-Inflatable Kayaks:

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • A multi chine flat bottom hull ensures the stability needed when casting lines and reeling in fish.
  • Measuring 9’6″” and weighing only 44 lb, the SENTINEL 100X ANGLER is incredibly easy to transport and store
  • Made using our patented Ram-X materials, the SENTINEL 100X ANGLER will be around for years of exciting experiences.
  • Comes equipped with the ExoPak, a removable storage compartment that fits perfectly into the tank well.
  • Our unique manufacturing process allows us to include additional flotation inside the hull of all of our sit-on-tops in order to meet or surpass ABYC Standards. Maximum capacity of 275 lb.

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • Stable hull design and integrated skeg for tracking performance
  • Multiple Footrest positions for different size paddlers – 275 lb. Weight capacity
  • Self-bailing scupper holes to drain water from the cockpit and tankwell
  • Tankwell storage with bungee cord lacing to secure loose items
  • Adjustable quick release seat back and seat pad for comfort

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • Blow molded from High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability; Backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Designed to seat up to 3 people; 500 lb. weight capacity
  • Hull design provides ultra stability and great trackingDurable High-Density UV-Protected Polyethylene HDPE Construction Resists Fading, Cracking, and Peeling
  • Multiple footrest positions for different size riders
  • Includes: 2 double-sided paddles, paddle clips, 2 padded backrests, 3 fishing pole holders, and a 6’ storage hatch

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • Adjustable framed seating System with three settings: high for fishing, low for paddling, and reclining for relaxation
  • Innovative Combination Tunnel Hull designed to aggressively cut through the water while gradually transitioning into a tunnel hull for tracking performance
  • Adjustable Foot Braces for Any Adult Angler
  • High initial stability hull allows for Stand-Up casting
  • Ready to Fish – Comes with 2 Flambeau Tackle Boxes and 2 Flush Mount Rod Holders
  • Deck Channel Draining System with Seven Self-Bailing Scupper Holes
  • Front Oval Hatch is Water Resistant with a Rubber Sealing Lip
  • Six 12-Inch Sections of Universal YakAttack GearTrac for Accessory Mounting

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • Sit-on-Top Kayaking’s Most Well-Rounded Performer for Larger Paddlers – Made in USA
  • Easy open front hatch with latching lid and massive rear tank well offer loads of storage
  • Comfort seating system with thick ventilated padding for superior support
  • Leak-proof one-piece construction with built-in buoyancy for added safety
  • Optimized design and construction make it easier to carry
  • Convenient drink holder keeps your favorite beverage from spilling
  • Proudly designed, molded, and hand assembled in the USA

3. Top 5 Best Life Jackets for Dogs:

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • SPLASH WITH SAFETY: Because dogs love to swim and we love to keep them safe, the Outward Hound Grandby Splash Life Jacket provides a comfortable, secure fit for tons of fun in the water.
  • PADDLE AND PLAY FRIENDLY: The Granby Splash dog life jacket is constructed with ripstop material that provides comfortable buoyancy in the water, and doesn’t restrict movement on land. A front neck float helps keep their head above water and a neoprene belly band securely supports their chest and stomach.
  • FIT AND FUNCTION: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your dog is short and stout or long and lanky, there’s a Granby life jacket perfect for them. Available in sizes extra-small to extra-large, we’ve made it easy for you to choose a size that supports them and fits their swimming needs.
  • IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: When it comes to water, there is no such thing as being “too safe.” That’s why the Outward Hound Granby life jacket is constructed with dual grab handles making it easy for you to pull your dog out of any emergency. Belly buckles and chest straps keep the jacket secure on your dog while they are in the water, and Velcro tabs keep straps from getting caught on unknown obstacles helping your dog to paddle and play the day away.
  • FUN FOR EVERYONE: Whether your dog is a seasoned water dog or is preparing for their first swim, Outward Hound life jackets help them go further and play longer.

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • CANINE LIFE VEST: A life jacket designed just for dogs; Ideal for rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing, paddle boarding and swimming
  • EASY SWIMMING: Strategically placed closed-cell foam panels let your dog swim naturally and support an upright position; Strong, low-profile handle on the back to help dogs out of the water
  • ADJUSTABLE FIT: Telescoping neck closure adjusts to fit different shapes and attaches securely in place; Easy-to-clip buckles firmly hold straps
  • DURABLE WEBBING: Water-compatible webbing maintains stability in wet environments
  • REFLECTIVE TRIM: Low-light visibility for additional safety; Integrated light loop for attaching The Beacon light (sold separately)

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE – Measuring Body Girth is critical for getting the best fit. Do not approximate or guess! Before placing your order, please measure your dog’s Body Girth at the widest point, behind their front legs. Use our Blue Sizing Chart and pick the right size. If your pet falls between two sizes, we advise ordering the larger of the two
  • KEEP YOUR FURRIEST MATE SAFE – Vibrant colors and reflective strips increase visibility of your playful pooch day and night. Our dog life vest is equipped with a top rescue handle for a quick and easy grab on the go
  • QUALITY MATERIALS – This Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket is made of quick-dry, breathable nylon fabrics for ultimate buoyancy. Lightweight, durable materials allow a wide range of motion for all-day comfort. Perfect for dogs and owners who love water sports!
  • FASHION FORWARD – Perfect for your fashionable first mate, this life jacket combines a stylish silhouette with bold awesome colors and patterns
  • ADVANCED, BREATHABLE MESH UNDERBELLY – Unlike traditional life jackets, which can cause chafing and heat exhaustion, the Paws Aboard advanced design features a breathable mesh underbelly that allows for proper water drainage and drying to provide your dog greater comfort and healthier conditions. Adjustable collar and the velcro secured mesh underbelly create a custom fit for all breeds and body shape

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • MAXIMUM BUOYANCY – Side foam panels provide maximum buoyancy
  • WARMING INSULATION – Keeps dogs warm on cold swims
  • RESCUE HANDLES – Offer easy rescue and restraint
  • HIGH VISIBILITY – Never lose sight of your dog with bright safety red color
  • PERFECT FIT – Choose from XS to XL and consult the sizing guide to order the best fitting dog life jacket for your furry friend

KEY BENEFITS RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

  • MATERIALS: High grade Polyester Oxford & Nylon Fabric, Mesh Fabric, Pearl Cotton Foam. The oxford nylon fabric is ripstop, and the mesh fiber allow for quick drying and proper drainage.
  • DIMENSION: Available for 7 sizes, from XXS to XXL, meet all sized dogs. Please refer to the dimension chart to choose the right size for your dog.
  • CONVENIENCE: Adjustable belt and quick-release buckles to make your dog fit comfortably, easy to put on and take off. Handle on top for quick and easy grabbing. The Heavy-duty D-ring Hook is perfect for dog leash.
  • SAFETY: The front float assists in keeping dog’s head above water. Reflective stripes and bright colors to enhance maximum visibility.
  • NOTE: If your measurement is between two sizes, we recommend the larger size for more comfortable fit about your dog. Please allow sight deviation of measurement data due to different measure methods.
Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever

About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.


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