Best Kayak For Dogs

Kayak For Dogs - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Kayak For Dogs

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Kayaks for dogs buying guide

Are you feeling guilty about leaving your furry friend behind when you go out kayaking? Don't worry. Kayaks for dogs are here to rescue you from the guilt.

While pinning down a specific option, you have to consider several elements to pick one. Also, you have to carry extra gear on your kayak for your dog. This elevates the weight of the overall rig. So, selecting any kayak from the store or ordering it online without proper study of its features will not work.

We have prepared a comprehensive buying guide that contains all the useful information. You will get details on different types of kayaks and all the gear you need to carry for your furry friend.

So, without wasting any more time, let dive into this immense guide.

What actually are kayaks for dogs? Should I buy them?

Going for a solo ride on a kayak can sound tremendous, but bringing your dog along with you for a ride can make the kayaking experience a hundred times better for all the pet lovers. With the perfect kayak bringing your dog along with you for a ride can be both safe and memorable.

While you are purchasing the perfect and brilliant kayaks for dogs, make sure that the kayak can maintain balance in the water and is spacious enough for your furry friend to lie down and relax, having a great time in the water.

There are kayaks for dogs, which have additional storage areas for the dog gear and dog food to make things easy for you on water. There are plenty of top-rated models of kayaks for dogs available in the market. Make sure you chose the one which is rich with all the fantastic features to benefit your dog.

Vital terminology to understand

  1. Bilge pump

This is a tool that is being used for bailing out the water from the kayak.

  1. Bow

It is in the front of the kayak.

  1. Stern

It is the rear of the kayak.

  1. Bulkhead

It is the partition in the boat which is watertight and divides the kayak into two sections that are in the front and also in the rear. There is just one partition in some boats. This bulkhead generally has many functions:

The first function that it performs is to trap the air in the bulkhead, so just in case the water gets filled in the boat and it capsizes, the air in the bulkhead will make it easier to flip the kayak. The bulkhead also assists in providing the user with extra space to store the gear in the compartment, which is watertight.

  1. Capsize

When the kayak flips in the water, the kayaker can exit the kayak or can get separated from the kayak.

  1. Hull

The bottom side is known as the hull of the kayak.

  1. Cockpit

The area where the paddler sits is known as the cockpit.

  1. Deck

It is the kayak's top side.

  1. Hatch

The enclosed cargo storage has an opening, which is known as a hatch.

  1. Keel

The structure which is longitudinal to the centerline of the hull of the kayak is known as the keel. The keel will be prominent with the extra stability and straighter kayak.

  1. Rigging

This is a system made of ropes that are designed to keep the gear and keep things stored in the kayak.

Types of Kayaks for dogs

  1. Sit-on-top (SOTs)

These kayaks are considered to be user-friendly as they are relatively stable in the water. You can easily step in and out of the kayak without much trouble. This kayak is beneficial for the dogs that can climb into position with so much ease.

These kayaks for dogs are safe bailing, so the water which will get into the kayak will drain out through the holes in the kayak. But along with that, it means that you might get wet in the kayak even though the water will drain out through the holes quickly.

These kayaks are said to be the best for using in the cold waters as they will make sure that you and your dog will stay dry as long as possible. The only drawback of this kayak can be that those dogs who don't have any experience of getting in and out of the kayak may find it challenging to get in and out.

  1. Recreational kayaks

These recreational kayaks are the best for dog paddlers as they are very stable and are typically enclosed. Such kayaks for dogs are the best for the lap dogs or the dogs that stay excited to be in a place. You can avoid this if you want by switching to the tandem kayak, which delivers a personal seat to your dog in the kayak.

  1. Tandem kayaks

These kayaks for dogs are the best choice if you and your dog need their own space in the kayak.

  1. Inflatable kayaks

These kayaks for the dogs are the best choice for the kayakers who need to kayak in fair weather as they deliver the best solutions in the matter of storage and transport.

The dog owners usually like the inflatable kayak because they can easily be stored within the home so the dogs can be familiar with the kayaks, and the dog will not go through any anxiety. Also, by following this method, the dog will not get triggered by weird objects' smell.

The inflatable kayaks are very durable, but despite their durability, such kayaks are not suited for the water's choppy conditions and are also not suitable for navigation in windy weather.

  1. Hardshell kayaks

The hardshell kayaks are quite heavy and very rigid as they are made from wood, plastic, fiberglass, etc. The hardshell kayaks are made of durable materials that have been constructed with heavy-duty materials.

So such materials are expensive, so these kayaks cost more than the inflatable kayaks. In terms of safety, the hardshell kayaks are considered safer in the river's rough waters and rapids.

Factors to consider while selecting appropriate Kayaks for dogs

Ample space

Some kayakers take their dogs along with them on a ride to enjoy the beautiful and fantastic experience accompanied by their dog. Some kayakers take their dog in the kayak by keeping the dog between their legs. But that cannot be the perfect location for your furry friend and you.

The dogs which are larger prefer riding in the kayak in their seat. So that gives you another reason to look for kayaks with two seats. But at the same time, some pets love to be close to their owners, so in that case, you can keep the dog with you if the dog is small.

You should also consider the weight of the dog as if the dog you have is enormous and heavy, so you will need to be sure that your kayak is large and stable enough to handle both of you. Along with the weight of the dog, consider the weight of your gear and the dog's gear that you will be carrying.


Going on a kayak ride with your dog can be fun and bring a lot of joy to you and your furry friend. If your dog loves water so this little adventure can be a bonus for both of you. It is okay for you to get flipped out of the kayak and time and again, but with your dog, it might be the same situation.

As the experience may be traumatizing for him, and if he does not like being in the water, then it might be a challenging situation for you.

If your dog gets flipped into the water, he will swim to the shore first. In between that, if he faces any rapids, he may lose control and get drifted away with the water.

So it is advised that before considering taking your dog along with you, make sure that your kayak is stable enough to avoid being flipped in the water. You should purchase a kayak that is sturdy and wide that can withstand all the intense rapids.


The kayaks for dogs are required to be sturdy, and the material of the kayak should be durable to ensure the kayak's longevity. But the durability and sturdiness become a lot more vital if you are planning to take your dog frequently on adventurous trips on the kayak.

Even if you have trained your pet well not to scratch the kayak, he will still scratch the watercraft with his paws along with trying to chew onto some stuff on the kayak, so durability is highly essential in this case too. The kayaks for dogs need to be made with a durable material to withstand all the strong gushes of wind and water to ensure the safety of the owner and the dog.

Dimensions and capacity

The size of your dog plays a significant role in determining the dimensions of your kayaks for dogs. There are dogs of smaller breeds like the Maltese, for example, that will need less space compared to the rest of the other dogs, which are huge like the German shepherd.

Anyway, it is still suggested that you for a kayak that is longer in length and conclusive of the large platform open for the dog. (10+ feet long) The platform should be large enough at the points like the bow and with a beamwidth of nearly 30 inches.

The width that is extra long in the kayaks gives an extra benefit of stability to the user along with preventing the kayak from flipping over when your dog is moving around in the kayak.

Kayaks types to avoid

  1. Sea kayaks

These kayaks are not suggested by the experts for the users who love to take their dogs along with them due to the shape of the kayak. Such kayaks are long, which have pointed sharp ends that make the kayak narrow, which does not provide enough space for two on the kayak.

  1. White water kayaks

These kayaks have not been designed for taking a dog along with you on the ride. The kayak relies on the kayaker to steer the kayak with their body. In short, these kayaks are very tight, and they don't have enough space for the dog to be taken along.

Such kayaks are light in weight and can easily get flipped with a little lean, so they are not suitable for dogs.

Size and weight

The size of your kayak will entirely depend on the size of your dog and the amount of extra space that you will want. You can enjoy amazing rides with your dog if you can find a kayak that provides fantastic features and can adjust your dog comfortably within it. You should plan your trip on the kayak before going out to be sure whether the size of the kayak will be sufficient enough for you or not.

There are kayaks available that can accommodate two people. If you alone are going to ride on the kayak, then you better switch to the kayak with the single-seat as it is easier to paddle and navigate the kayak.

The kayaks need to be bigger to accommodate large dogs as compared to the smaller dogs, as you cannot risk the dog getting flipped in the water as they might get traumatized and will start swimming towards the shore and can get drowned by the strong waves.

You should also be well aware of the weight of the kayak as the kayaks for dogs should not be that decadent not to get managed by one person. If you are going to paddle the kayak alone, then try going for a kayak that is lighter in weight to avoid getting yourself physically exhausted. If you are taking your dog along with you, then go with a kayak that provides you with a maximum weight limit.

Getting in and out of the dog

Training dogs can be a challenging task, and training the dogs to do a job like getting in and out of the kayak will also be a challenge for the trainers. Even if you have the perfect kayaks for dogs, even then, dogs will require a lot of time and training. You need to use a variety of different methods and techniques to train the dogs in the process of getting in and out of the kayak.

You should train them on land; you can teach them in a house or land or wherever you feel comfortable. After you are done preparing your dog to get inside the kayak, you should train the dog to sit down after the sit command is given immediately.

By using this method, the dogs will be able to get seated inside the kayak without any hassle quickly, and that would be safer for the dogs too. You can train the dog better by awarding them with treats after they reciprocate your command.

Staying put

It is like dogs to get distracted from seeing any beautiful and fantastic thing while they are traveling. It can be a leaf blowing in the sky or any butterfly etc. When your dog is in the kayak, he might see or get distracted by a thing and may jump over to get out and explore that. You cannot afford that happening when you are kayaking as it might not be safe.

You should use the sit command to train your dog and keep him seated throughout the kayaking. You can instruct your dog not to get distracted by all these things when you are in a park or some area with wildlife. You can try to train them to stay always with you as this is an effective way for them not to get drifted away from the kayak. Always use the same commands.

Safety Tips for kayaking with a dog

Kayaking with your dog can be an enjoyable process for you. It can be a fantastic adventure which is both fun and relaxing at the same time. But while enjoying kayaking, you should never forget about your safety and also about your dog's safety.

It would help if you were extra careful when you are taking your dog out for the first time in the water.

To assist you with the kayaking safety procedure, we have listed some tips to be kept in mind while you are enjoying your time in the water with your furry friend.

Training + Acclimation

It is very crucial to make sure that the dog you are going to take with you on a kayak is well trained and is familiar with the kayak. He should be able to follow the commands like 'get in', 'get out', 'sit', 'jump', etc.

As you never know how your dog might act when he is in a kayak surrounded by nothing but water. You can also award your dog with treats when he obeys your commands. You can also offer him treats when he is scared or too excited to make him calm.

Other than being trained, the dog that you are taking along with you on a kayak should also be familiar with the kayak. You should begin training him on the land with that particular kayak to ensure that he is getting used to the process.

Do not force yourself on the pet as he might get scared of the watercraft, give him some time to blend into the atmosphere, and after that, and he should be okay.

You can sit in the kayak and then call your dog in. Try repeating this many times before taking your dog out for kayaking. It is essential to take things slow with your dog so that he is completely comfortable with a kayak.

You can also let your furry friend sleep in the kayak when you are practicing on land. In this way, you can make sure that your dog is friendly towards the kayak and also loves to be in it.

Use life vest

Some dogs love being in the water and can also swim, but not all dogs are excellent swimmers. It is probably a great idea to make your dog wear a life vest even if he is an excellent swimmer to prevent drowning when your kayak gets flipped over.

You should make sure that your dog is wearing a life vest, especially when the dog is old or heavy or a bad swimmer. It is known that until now, there are no approved life vests for dogs, so it won't assure you 100% that your dog will remain safe if it is unconscious as they will not be able to keep the dog's head above water.

Do not tie the dog with a kayak.

If you have a dog that stays overly excited, then you may get him tied with the kayak. But this is the worst step taken for the safety of the dog. If your kayak gets flipped over, the dog might get trapped in there. Until you find out what's wrong, it might be too late.

Vital gear to kayak with a dog

You must already have all the gear that is required by him to be taken along on the kayak. But in the case of dogs, it is essential to know what you should along with you when you are riding on kayaks for dogs.

  1. PFD

It is essential to have PFD of the dog as it comes with high-quality material and assists the dog with floatation. Another benefit of the PFD is that there is a handle on it that will be near the dog's spine so that you can easily lift your dog.

  1. Dry bag

Kayakers mostly carry a dry bag for their use. But it would help if you had a dry bag as when you are kayaking with your dog, it is likely to get wet as compared to the situation when you won't be kayaking with your dog.

  1. Treats

It is a good idea to take treats along with you for the dog as you need to make sure that the dog is obeying your commands, which are essential while you are in the water in a kayak. So whenever the dog follows you, you can award him with a treat.


  1. How can I make my dog more comfortable with kayaking?

Before going to kayak, introduce the kayak to your dog. Sitting in a kayak, together with your dog, will significantly improve things. Once your dog is familiar with the kayak, then you can go out kayaking without any unnecessary hassle.

  1. How can I help my furry friend to move in the kayak easily?

Even if your dog is fully trained, you have to help your dog to get in and out of the kayak. Grab your dog from the neck and support the body weight so that it can reach the kayak with its front legs.

Final Verdict

Here is everything you need to know about kayaks for dogs. We have covered all the necessary pointers. With so many types and options available in the market, it is obvious to get overwhelmed while picking the best one.

Arm yourself with an excellent kayak and never leave your best friend behind in the home alone while you have fun kayaking. / - © Copyright 2020