If you love adventure and feel guilty when you leave your dog home while you hit the water, why don’t you pair both and kayak with your dog?
It can be fascinating to take your dog to trip on the kayak and has become a popular and growing trend among pet parents.
To make the best of the experience, you only need to consider these five must-have things to if you want to become a salty dog with your four-paw pal.
Kayak with your dog: Find a suitable kayak
There are infinite options in the market. But to choose the best kayak for your dog, you need to narrow the list to the bare bones by considering:
- Your dog loves water or hates it? If your dog is afraid of water, kayaking with him is a big no-no.
- Is your dog even-tempered or very excitable? A very anxious and energetic dog can capsize your kayak and put both in a hard time.
- How large is your dog? Medium and large dogs require more space in the kayak to be comfortable.
- Are you going alone or with a companion? The larger the crew, the larger the kayak must be.
- You plan to navigate on a river stream, a lake or the sea? Sea kayaks are more extended, slimmer, more stable but harder to turn, while lake and river kayaks such as inflatable kayaks are more similar to a canoe in shape and have better handling. White waters are out of the question, period.
- How sturdy will the kayak be? A stronger kayak will be heavier but more stable and durable while their lightweight version can be more expensive due to the materials employed and are less durable, but can be easier to transport by a single person.
- Sit-in or sit-on-top? For a novice paddler, you better choose a sit-on-top kayak as is more stable and has more room for your dog. However, a sit-in kayak is useful if the waters and wind are cold, but can be quite complicated to exit, it if you ever happen to flip over.
Once you figure the big picture, it will be easier to choose the right kayak to meet the needs of both you and your dog.
Kayak with your dog: Bring dog treats
Dog treats are beneficial, not only to ease their hunger but also to reward them during a training session with the kayak on land, and while navigating to reinforce all the positive accomplishments made it will distract him if he becomes anxious or bored aboard.
Have a bag of assorted treats with you and use a special one once the dog follows your command correctly.
Kayak with your dog: Bring drinking water
Although you are going to be over water is very important to have potable water for your dog too. Dogs may have a stronger immune system but streams and lakes aren’t as healthy as in the old days, and the bacteria that lurk on the surface can cause severe diseases.
The same applies to the sea, as salted water causes terrible complications in the kidneys if ingested.
Kayak with your dog: Use sunscreen
Like their human counterparts, dogs can suffer from sunburns and skin cancer due to excessive sun exposure.
If you can’t find a sunscreen for your dog, use baby sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or more. That will not only protect your dog from the sun, but it will also be gentle with its skin.
Always remember to apply a small dot to check if causes any adverse reaction. You don’t need to cover the whole pooch, just the exposed areas like the nose, bald spots and areas with thin hair.
Kayak with your dog: Wear life jackets
Protecting your dog is a must. The dog is a far better natural swimmer than you, but accidents may occur and a life jacket is crucial to prevent tragedy.
Before embarking on any adventure make sure that your dog gets used to the life jacket. Start by putting the life jacket on your dog for short periods. For you, be sure your life jacket fits before your trip.
Chile Hadley is a passionate dog lover who creates in-depth guides, infographics and product reviews at Barkymate for experienced canine owners and beginners.