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Buyers Guide & Information

Safest & Best Kayaks For Dogs

Spend time on the water with your furry companion with these top-rated products.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Safest & Best Kayaks For Dogs

Spend time on the water with your furry companion with these top-rated products.

by PITeam

by PITeam

We love our furry companions, and they love our attention, so why not have a day out with a water adventure? There are lots of variety in kayaks for dogs so that you can do precisely that. Whether you want to go fishing, or perhaps your dog wants to have a swim, this review goes through what you need to know and helps you in selecting which kayak to purchase.

Types of Kayaks Suitable for Dogs

With many different types of kayaks available for dogs, we need to be aware of those to avoid. Sea kayaks and Whitewater kayaks are not designed for kayaking with dogs. Sea kayaks are too narrow, not leaving much space for the dog, and they are quite tricky to control. Whitewater kayaks, however, are designed for one and requires your full body to steer, which is not possible with your dog on board.

Recreational

Recreational kayaks are mainly enclosed and have large cockpits, as well as wide hulls, which makes them stable. However, this means that they cannot cater to large canines; these are best for small to medium dogs. There is not too much room for storage, so necessities will be a priority. These kayaks are quite slow, so they would be best for calm lakes.

Sit on top kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks are usually the go-to when bringing your furry friends on board. They have a large amount of space, which means that you and your dog (of any size), will be comfortable, and not have to worry about feeling cramped. These stable kayaks are easy to use and are open, allowing your dog to jump in and out of the water with ease. Sit-on-top kayaks are great for a range of activities as they can be used in the calmest bodies of water to hectic rapids.

Sit-in

Sit-In Kayaks are more enclosed and therefore ideal for smaller dogs. The amount of room in these kayaks are not generous, which means that your pup will be either be on your lap, or in the cavity by your feet. The shell of sit-in kayaks keeps your dog and your belongings protected from the water. These types of kayaks are suitable for calm waters, potentially even fishing.

Tandem

Tandem Kayaks have more space than most of the other types as they are customizable, which allows your pooch to move around more. They are comfortable and usually come equipped with a kayak dog seat, and for those that do not, you can get an add on.

Fishing

Fishing kayaks are designed for fishing, which means that these would be best to use on relaxed rivers. These kayaks are built to allow you to sit or stand on them, making them stable.


Benefits of Kayaking with Dogs

  1. 1
    It’s great regardless of the weather.
    On a hot, sunny day, your dog can jump into the water and swim to cool down. Whereas, when it is cooler, you and your furry companion and cuddle up and get cozy.
  2. 2
    Quality bonding time. 
    We love quality time with our dogs, and they sure love attention from us. Kayaking means you can have it both ways. Sure, you will be busy paddling at times, but with all the distractions aside, it is just you and your little companion
  3. 3
    It's good for both of you.
    What is a better way to stay healthy than kayaking with your dog? Swimming, for both you and your dog, is an excellent form of exercise, and fresh air is good for everyone.

Choosing a Dog-Friendly Kayak

Usage/Primary paddling location

It is recommended that you keep to calm bodies of water when kayaking with your dog as this is generally safer and will not scare your dog. Kayaks can be used in any weather condition; however, if you are facing the rain, then it would be best to opt for a more enclosed kayak, such as a sit-in or fishing kayak

Durability, Design & Comfort

The larger the cockpit, the more space that you and your dog have. This ensures that you will be comfortable and have space for your items. Most kayaks have an option to adjust the seating positions, affectively turning your single kayak into a tandem. To ensure that it will maintain its durability choose a kayak made of PVC and polyethylene plastic or even tarpaulin – for the hull mainly, that is.

Size/Dimension (Space) & Weight Capacity

The size of your dog reflects on which kayak will be purchased. The larger your dog, the higher weight capacity, and size your kayak will have to be. Bearing this in mind, a tandem kayak will probably be your best bet if you have a big dog. Sit-in kayaks tend to have lower weight limits, so they are ideal for smaller dogs.

Stability & Safety Features

What makes a kayak stable is a hull. Check that it's wide and made from a durable material such as PVC (if inflatable) or polyethylene plastic. It is best to go for a kayak which tracks well so that any sudden movements do not tip you over. Another great safety feature which some inflatable kayaks have are scuppered holes. The idea is that on the rare occasion that your pooches nails puncture the kayak, the scupper holes help drain away water if too much gets in, and floats you safely ashore.

Storage & Portability

Kayaks are usually quite heavy, for this reason, you should choose a kayak with carrying handles, for transport (some even have them built in!). A days trip out on the water, requires a lot of items to be bought along. Most kayaks have some space for your belongings, however, if you opt for one with extra storage, be sure to make sure that it also has a cord to keep things in place.

Extra Accessories & Features

Some kayaks allow the option to adjust the seats so that they can accommodate dogs of all sizes. Repair kits are another accessory which are handy for any potential damage to the kayak.

Ease of Set Up

The majority of kayaks, come pre-assembled, which means that there is next t nothing to do on your behalf. Inflatable kayaks do require you to pump them up.

Budget and warranty

It’s always best to opt for a kayak with a warranty, it just so happens that most have one. The ones reviewed here, range from one to three years.


6 Best Kayaks for Dogs Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best kayaks for dogs. Spend time in the water with your furry companion with these top-rated products

1. Ocean Kayak Malibu

Our #1 Choice

Max Load Capacity

425 lbs

Body Type

Polyethylene plastic

Best For

All dogs

Kayak Type

Tandem/sit-on-top

Dimensions

12 ft 

34 x 20 inches

Warranty

Lifetime warranty on the hull

With three seats adjustable four ways, and a maximum weight capacity of 425 lbs, this kayak has more than enough space for two people and a medium dog, or just you and your large companion. This 12 foot long sit-on-top kayak, has an open hull which means it's perfect for dogs likely to jump into the water and have a swim.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is very spacious, which not only ensures that you and your pooch can cuddle but also means that there is room for all of your belongings - and the gear straps help you bring them along!

The Malibu is smaller than most tandem kayaks, which means that it is quite compact. On the other hand, it is not the most lightweight, although this is to be expected from a sturdy kayak.

The tracking on this kayak is accurate, meaning that it would be perfect for calm lakes and rough rapids if necessary.

Pros

  • Has a large weight capacity
  • Multiple seating options
  • Very stable
  • Plenty of storage space

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than most kayaks

2. Lifetime

runner up

Max Load Capacity

500 lbs

Body Type

Polyethylene plastic

Best For

All dogs

Kayak Type

Sit-on-top/ Tandem

Dimensions

10 ft

36 x 19 inches

Warranty

5 years limited

This kayak has a variety of ways in which it can be used. The hull is wide and low, designed primarily for stability, and to give the user the option to stand up and sit down without tipping. With lots of extra features for anglers, such as four rod holders, this kayak is perfect for fishing.

All sizes of dogs, small, medium and large, can hop aboard this kayak with a whopping 500-pound capacity. To be on the safe side, this kayak is equipped with scupper holes to help drain away water if too much gets in.

The Lifetime kayak has a hard shell which is equipped with specially designed handles built into it for transportation, and storage space with shock cord straps to keep your items in place. It even comes with two double-sided paddles.

Pros

  • Fantastic weight capacity
  • Extra features for anglers
  • Extra space
  • Can endure all bodies of water

Cons

  • Not very fast
  • Quite expensive

3. Perception Tribe Sit

Best sit-on-top kayak for dogs

Max Load Capacity

350 lbs

Body Type

Polyethylene plastic

Best For

-

Kayak Type

Sit-on-top

Dimensions

11.5 ft

30.2 x 16 inches

Warranty

1 year

The Perception Tribe kayak is available in three sizes, with this one being the middle option. At 11.5 feet long, this sit-on-top kayak is perfect for accommodating larger users, with a medium-sized dog. It comes equipped with a replaceable skid plate, which prolongs the hull life, and even a drink holder! Affordable and available to purchase in four colors, the Perception Tribe has a slightly longer hull, which helps give it a little boost.

Storing your belongings will not be of any fuss with this kayak, as it has bungee cord lashes which will secure your items and ample open storage at the front and rear. It tracks well and can adapt to different kinds of water - not to mention the thick padding on the seats for ultimate comfort.

Pros

  • Multiple storage options
  • Comfortable seats
  • Easy tracking
  • Stable

Cons

  • Not suitable for fishing

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado

Best fishing kayak for dogs

Max Load Capacity

470 lbs

Body Type

PVC, tarpaulin, and nylon

Best For

Medium sized dogs

Kayak Type

Fishing

Dimensions

11.9 ft

11.6 x 19.2 inches

Warranty

1 year

This 2 seat kayak has been designed with anglers in mind. It has convenient paddle holders, and room to add a Sevylor trolling motor if you happen to get tired. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is made from PVC, tarpaulin and tough nylon, for durability. In the rare case of a puncture, however, it features multiple air chambers as a backup.

There are tons of storage options, from mesh pockets to D rigs. Alongside the accessories included in the purchase are a pressure gauge and a carrying case. This is the best fishing kayak for dogs.

Pros

  • Lots of space for accessories
  • Made from 3 layers of puncture-resistant material
  • Fantastic for fishing
  • High weight capacity

Cons

  • Tracking is quite difficult

5. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible

Best inflatable kayak for dogs

Max Load Capacity

550 lbs

Body Type

PVC, tarpaulin, polyester.

Best For

All dogs

Kayak Type

Tandem/ inflatable

Dimensions

15 ft

32 x 12 inches

Warranty

1 year

This Advanced Elements inflatable kayak is an astonishing 15 feet long and made with three layers of puncture-resistant material for ultimate durability. Unlike most other kayaks, this is a convertible, which can turn it from a solo kayak, into a tandem with fully adjustable seats and all the more space for your dog.

This also means that there is plenty of storage room behind the rear seat, as well as mesh pockets and d rigs. The kayak even has an aluminum frame inside, which makes it glide through the water with ease.

Pros

  • Very spacious
  • 550 lbs weight capacity
  • Versatile with several seating positions
  • High support adjustable seats

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with any accessories

6. Sea Eagle 370 Pro

Best kayak for large dogs

Max Load Capacity

650 lbs

Body Type

Polykrylar

Best For

All dogs

(especially large)

Kayak Type

Tandem/inflatable

Dimensions

12 ft

19 x 11 inches

Warranty

3 years

The Sea Eagle can accommodate two people and a dog, or for maximum comfort (and space), one person and a large dog. The kayak is inflatable and made from polykrylar, which makes it highly durable and tear-resistant, not leaving you to worry about your dog's nails.

The great thing about this kayak being inflatable is that it is easy to roll up and transport as it weighs next to nothing. Interestingly, the floor of the kayak is made from 5 l-beam tubes for ultra stability - it also makes paddling easier, alongside improving the speed and tracking.

This affordable kayak offers a generous three year warranty, and even comes equipped with the following accessories: a paddle, a carry bag, a pump, an inflatable seat, and a repair kit.

Pros

  • 650 lbs weight capacity
  • Made with durable polykrylar
  • Lots of accessories
  • Generous 3 year warranty

Cons

  • No ropes to tie down your belongings

Inflatable vs. Hard Shell Kayaks for Dogs

The main difference between these two types of kayaks is the material. However, this is an important factor as this affects other aspects to be taken into consideration. Inflatable kayaks are usually made of PVC and plastic, which is more durable than it sounds; however, it is advised that your dog's nails are trimmed before use to avoid any potential punctures.

Hard shell kayaks, on the other hand, are designed with plastic wood or other materials. This means that because they are heavier than inflatable kayaks, they're very stable and gives more control. These reasons, alongside the fact that hard shell kayaks have more space which maximizes comfort, makes these kayaks better for dogs.


Safety Tips for Kayaking with your Dog

The idea of being on calm rivers, accompanied by our furry friend is great. But better be safe than sorry! Make sure that you get your dog used to the kayak; this should be done on land. The last thing you want is your dog freaking out in the kayak when you’ve already set off.

They will probably be interested at first, and before you know it, they will want it to be their new home. Another must is training your dog to know basic commands. For example: "Sit", "Stay".  Once your certain everything will go smoothly and you have started your adventure, be sure to go slow!


Train Your Dog to Kayak

Before you decide to go kayaking with your dog for the first time, there are some essential things to do first.

Begin on land and get your dog used to the kayak your first task. Let them know that there is nothing to worry about, and sooner or later they will be at ease. Once they have gotten in on their own free will, teach them the command for out. Do this a few times to ensure that your dog fully understands. After this, ask them to come in and sit, and again, do this a few times.

When you feel like your dog is ready, begin to come away from the dock, into shallow waters. As you begin to move away, ask your dog to come in again. Make sure that you praise him/ her whenever they listen.

Make trips for frequently, also gradually, so there is nothing unexpected along the way to frighten your dog.


Care & Maintenance

You would think that because your kayak is in the water all day that’s it is clean, and when your done with it you store it as you would anything else. Wrong. Whenever you are done, be sure to give it a clean – any debris built up can cause damage to the kayak. It's also important to keep your kayak out of the sun.


Kayaking Accessories for Dogs

  • Life Vest
    This is an essential piece of equipment for your dog. No matter how much of a good swimmer, or well shaved they are, does not mean that they can't be extra safe.
  • Dog Treats, Food & Water
    A day out on the water means a long day. Be sure to pack some food for when your dog gets hungry and some water, as all the excitement is bound to make them thirsty. Dog treats, however, should be used to reward good behaviour.
  • Leash & Harness
    Kayaking with your dog doesn’t mean that they can completely roam freely. Leashes and harnesses are necessary for when you hit land – especially as your dog may be overly excited.
  • Medical Essentials
    Hopefully you will not be needing any of these, however, you may want to add: an (animal friendly) antiseptic, an extra bandage kit and a thick towel to your first aid kit
  • Dog Toys
    Just like your doggy play with toys at home, what makes kayaking any different. Bring along some water toys, so that they can play in the water.
  • SPF Sunscreen
    Dogs are just as susceptible from all of the exposure from the sun while on your adventures. For this reason, it is suggested to bring along some Fido-friendly SPF sunscreen and apply it regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need to have a platform for my dog to stand on the kayak?

You should not need to have a platform as there is plenty of space for your dog to stand or lay.

Which breed of dogs is best to take with me when kayaking?

There isn’t any specific breed of dog which you can or cannot take kayaking. The factor to be taken into account is the weight or size of your dog; therefore, you should check the maximum weight capacity of the kayak before purchase.

Why is it not safe to tie my dog on a leash when paddling?

When you are paddling, your concentration is taken away from your dog – so if anything happened, you would be aware. This also is not safe because, if the kayak was to happen to tip over, untiring the leash is time consuming – your dog should be trained and able to roam free when kayaking.

How can I modify my kayak to be suitable for my dog?

There are extra seats that you can buy to attach to the kayak for your dog. Most of the seats are adjustable, accommodating different sizes of dogs.

Can I put my dog on a raft instead when paddling? Is it safe?

It is possible, but not advised. There are tow-along rafts which accommodate dogs; however, these are trailed behind the kayak, which means you won't be able to keep an eye on your dog.

Can a dog ride in an inflatable kayak?

They sure can! Some kayaks are designed with material such as PVC, tarpaulin, and nylon, which makes the kayak very durable and prevents your dog's nails puncturing it.


Conclusion

There are numerous types of kayaks for dogs available on the market, suitable for a variety of needs. From hard shell kayaks to inflatable, they all have unique features which make them perfect for an adventure.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu however, is the best kayak for dogs. Being able to cater all dogs, and made from durable polyethylene plastic, this kayak is a sit-on-top and a tandem.

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