If you have a dog, chances are you’ve been spending a lot of time with your pooch lately. You are likely gearing up for a summer without all those vacation and travel plans you made months ago. A lot of folks who are opting out of big vacations this year are opting into nature! For those of us who love being outdoors with our furry friends, kayaking with a dog can be a really fun way to spend our summer days! Here are four essential tips to keep in mind when considering kayaking with a dog.
Kayaking with a Dog: 4 Tips
- Ensure your dog has a good relationship with the water.
Many years ago, I adopted my first rescue – a three-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever. I had no idea if she liked the water but, since being on the water is a huge part of my life, the first thing I did was take her to the lake. She spent some time running up and down the dock and finally worked up the courage to take a big jump into the water. After that, it was all water all the time for her! I think the key was encouraging but not pushing her to do anything she wasn’t comfortable with.
- Have the proper gear for your furry buddy.
Before setting out on your adventure, you will want to purchase a good life jacket that fits your dog well. These dog life jackets are available at most sports stores. After all, what in the world is more adorable than a dog wearing a life jacket? That’s right, nothing. Life jackets can also have a calming effect on dogs who are a bit more on the anxious side.
- Bring training treats and take a dry run.
It’s all about familiarity for your dog. Kayaking with a dog for the first time can be a bit nerve wracking if you’ve never done it before. I always suggest getting your dog in the boat incrementally, as you would with any training plan. Make sure your dog knows where her seat is and what is expected of her when she’s on the kayak.
- Make launching from a dock super easy by using the right dock.
Getting into the boat can be the most stressful or confusing part of being on the water for your dog. Avoid any difficulties or unnecessary anxiety by launching from a dock with a low freeboard height, like that of an AccuDock kayak dock. A low freeboard allows for an easier transition into the kayak for both you and your pooch.