Kayaking is an excellent way of relaxing and exercising in the water. For most, kayaking can also be an excuse to spend a good time with your dog.
However, kayaking with your dog isn’t as easy as putting the pet in the canoe and going to the nearest river or lake. It takes the right equipment, training, patience, and the following pro tips to make kayaking with a dog a success:
Develop Your Dog’s Confidence
In order to build the confidence of your dog, consider kayak training early on land. When you start the training with a floater, it will rock and move unexpectedly, scaring your pet and even putting them off for future kayaking adventures. Basically, on-land training will allow you to gain control over the movement of your canoe and, at the same, allow your pet to adjust well to its instability.
Start the training also with confidence movement. You would want your dog to hop in the canoe independently eventually. As you do the training, reward your dog. This will help your pet associate the move with rewards or good things.
Remember to Carry Supplies
Don’t just carry your gear when planning a kayaking trip with a dog. You should also ensure you carry the right gear for your canine friend. Of course, you would want to ensure your canine friend is happy throughout the trip.
The list of supplies you should carry may differ based on various factors. But some of the standard supplies you should include in your list are the following:
- A pad
- A towel
- Doggie life jackets
- Toys and treats
One of the first tips to consider when kayaking with your dog is to ensure he is comfortable by covering the floor. Your canine friend would want to adjust to the kayaking movement. If your dog is sliding or slipping, it will not settle down and be comfortable. Some have tried backpacking pads, foam mats, and yoga mats. However, all these options often slide when the water gets inside a canoe.
The best option, in this case, is to go for a quality outdoor-indoor carpet. You can cut it off so it may fit the canoe’s length and protect the interior from your dog’s claws. The material is also easy to roll up, clean, and dry.
Launch the Boat
Get your dog to sit in the canoe as you push them away from the shore. Repeat this until you get seated in your boat so that your dog can keep calm and ensure they remain on board.
Once you and your dog are onboard, start to move the oars in order to propel forward. But remember to be gentle, as dogs can quickly get scared, especially in new surroundings. After a steady and slow paddling motion, your pet should be relaxed.
Most people overlook the need to talk to a veterinarian before going for a kayaking adventure. But this is something you shouldn’t forget because of mosquitos. Mostly, mosquitos like a large amount of water, and your canine friend is as vulnerable as you to getting bitten. So your vet will advise you to give your dog the proper vaccinations or heartworm medication before going for the adventure.