Photo by Ian Matyssik

Tips to Take Your Dog Paddling

Have you ever considered taking Fido along for a paddle? In many cases, man’s furry best friend is a great companion on the water as well as dry land.

Fun? Quite likely. Simple to get started? Not so much.

Some preparation and training are required. It’s not going to be as easy as choosing the best casino from Pennsylvania online casinos list to indulge in some game night fun  but with certain training and preparation, it is surely possible to bring your canine companion along in the kayak or canoe.

Here are some tips to help you get started.


Photo by Elizabeth Krupka


For starters, some basic training is an absolute prerequisite. When your dog is not properly trained, it can lead to safety issues for both of you, potentially dangerous even on the flattest water. Unless your dog responds to essential commands, it is not safe to take them on water.

And some pooches take to water naturally—others don’t. This second group tends to avoid water like the plague. Not a good situation.

Take time to help your dog acclimatize to the whole concept of being in a boat on the water. As with any kind of training, what’s called for is consistency, patience and respect.

Doggie Waste

When ashore, keep an eye on your dog and be sure to practice ‘leave no trace’ ethics for both you and Fido. Always have a ‘poop bag’ and pack out all canine deposits.


Photo by Muhannad Alatawi

Consider the size of your dog. A large and excited dog can easily capsize the kayak or canoe. You also need to consider the temperament of the dog. If it is an excitable one then it can get you into trouble in a heartbeat. A small incident can turn into a serious problem when a pup gets excited by the roaring rapids, weather, or animal encounters. There are many breeds like Huskies or Labrador retrievers which, when taken onto the canoe at an early age, quickly learn to relax and enjoy the ride.

Essential Gear

Make sure that you carry essential gear for your pup. You should carry a leash for possible use on land. If paddling on saltwater, don’t forget to bring drinking water and Fido’s bowl. For an overnight trip in cold weather, you might want to bring an insulated dog bed or pad. For longer trips, bring something to treat Fido’s paws such as peroxide or Neosporin.

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