How To Safely Kayak With Your Dog
There are many aspects to think about before taking to the water with your dog, for instance the size of your dog. Is your dog too big for both the boat and the kayak? The last thing you want is the risk of capsizing. Take the dog’s personality into account. If your dog has a nervous or worried temperament, kayaking may not be a wise move. Even if your dog is of a more excitable disposition, you’ll have to work out ways of ensuring that he or she doesn’t start leaping about uncontrollably.
There are many aspects to think about before taking to the water with your dog, for instance the size of your dog. Is your dog too big for both the boat and the kayak? The last thing you want is the risk of capsizing.
Take the dog's personality into account. If your dog has a nervous or worried temperament, kayaking may not be a wise move. Even if your dog is of a more excitable disposition, you'll have to work out ways of ensuring that he or she doesn't start leaping about uncontrollably. Which leads neatly to…
Training & Preparation
Getting your dog ready for a kayaking trip is of paramount importance. Consider the key obedience tricks.
Two very important words which will prove to be useful when you're out on the water. When you set off from the shore, stress the importance of remaining in the boat. You'll be busy making the necessary preparations to disembark, so the last thing you want is your dog leaping about all over the place! Similarly, if a dog sees an animal while out on the water, teach the dog to stay still. Practice these sit and stay exercises on land, prior to the kayaking trip. You should also train your dog to safely get in and out of the kayak. Maybe use treats or toys as a means of getting your dog on board with this. Literally.
A kayaking experience can be a massive deal for a first-time dog on the water. So start off low-key. Don't immediately take your dog for an ambitious excursion. Stay local and in an accessible location.
Another important bit of preparation is to talk to your vet prior to kayaking. Your vet can advise you on what's required in terms of vaccinations, tests and any medicines that might need to be taken.
The Choice Of Kayak
Selecting the right kind of kayak is key. Make sure that it's a suitable vessel for dogs, and that it can provide both efficiency and comfort for you and your dog. It's got to be big enough for both of you to fit comfortably. It's also got to be sturdy enough to take the weight –not only of you and your dog, but the accessories that you take with you.
On which subject, what do you include in your kayak accessories and kayak clothing? The must-buy for your dog is a good life jacket in case of emergencies. Depending on the weather, you may need to take sun protection on a hot day. Don't forget that dogs' noses and tummies are at risk of burning, so take a good supply of sun cream with you. If you're making this a lengthy trip, with regular stops for walks, take treatment for paws in case your dog gets sore feet.
For overnight stays, buy a bed for your dog, and a leash for when you go walking. Other goodies to buy include food, drink, treats and maybe toys if your dog isn't distracted enough by the water! Plus, take a container with you in case your dog goes to the toilet when on the water. Find the nearest convenient place to dispose of this.
There are three vital safety checks: proper training to make sure that your dog behaves and doesn't suddenly leap off without warning. A good, fully functional life jacket. And always remember never to tie the dog to the boat in case the worst happens and the boat capsizes.