I started bringing my dog along with me on my kayaking adventures about eight years ago, and we haven’t looked back. We adopted our pup Charlie, and we wanted to create a lot of memorable moments with him. He was a beautiful golden retriever and loved to play outdoors.
We figured we could do a ton of outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. We’re also avid kayakers and it soon dawned on us that we might be able to take Charlie out on the kayak with us. After a little training and practice we were able to take our dog out on the water with us all summer long. We’ve been able to create some great memories doing this, so I want to share my experiences about why you should bring your dog along with you for kayaking this summer.
1. Dogs Love Water
Believe it or not, dogs have a lot in common with humans. Like humans, most of them love to jump in the water just like us. Why? It’s fun to jump in and it cools them down, especially on a hot summer day. Heck, there are even specific breeds categorized as Aquatic, such as the Irish Water Spaniel and the Portuguese Water Dog, who can’t get enough of it.
While not all dogs are fans of water, if your dog is one of the ones who loves splashing around in the water, taking them out kayaking is a no brainer.
2. Good Reason to Teach Your Dog to Swim
Taking your dog kayaking is a great segue to teaching them how to swim. When preparing your dog for your kayaking trip, you’ll want to test their swimming skills. Although it’s not necessary because they’ll be wearing a Portable Flotation Device, it’s still helpful for your pup to able to paddle their way back to you. One thing we did when we were just starting out, is we would stop near the shore on our way back and get our dog to swim after kayaking.
Swimming is a phenomenal way to exercise because it provides them both cardio and resistance training without any pressure on their joints. Plus, a day at the beach or lake will tire your dog out so they’ll sleep like a log!
The other benefit of swimming is the cooling effects it’ll have on your dog. In the extreme heat, dogs need to find a way to cool down. One way is through panting and the pads of their feet.
Going for a quick swim keeps them from overheating, allowing their body to stay cool. Swimming is a change of pace from their normal walk outside and is a great stress reliever and helps them stay sharp and happy. Since they aren’t on a leash and no longer restrained, they get to release all the pent-up energy.
3. Dogs Make a Good Kayaking Companion
Dogs have a great sense of adventure and love exploring new areas. They hate when you leave them alone in the house, so why not take them with you? The real reason we go kayaking in the first place is to relieve stress and get the blissful calm that nature provides.
There’s a reason they say dogs are man’s best friend. Evidence has proven that dogs improve human cardiovascular and mental health via reducing blood pressure, increasing exercise, and decreasing stress and anxiety levels. And besides, who doesn’t like seeing your dog happily riding on the kayak with you?
4. Bond with Your Pup
There’s so much involved in getting your dog prepared for a kayaking trip that it’ll forever create new memories for you and your furry friend. Before you try kayaking with your pup, you must train your dog to be comfortable with getting in and sitting still inside a kayak. From there, you’ll need to slowly acclimate your dog in shallow waters to make sure your dog can handle shorter rides. All throughout this process, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for having your dog once you’ve spent a full day kayaking and hanging with them around shore.
5. Can’t Do This in this in the Winter
Typically, the ideal time for kayaking is in the spring and summer months. Some places are obviously warm year-round, but the water turns solid for northern areas, and most kayakers will hang their gear up until next spring. Summer is an ideal time to kayak since you don’t have to deal with any icy water or cold temperatures. Although some dogs love the cold and snow, many breeds don’t.
Plus, when you do go on a kayaking adventure with your dog, it usually involves other outdoor activities you can do as well such as a beach outing, camping, or hiking.
6. Stimulates Your Dog with Something New
To dogs, going outside is like going on an adventure, where everything interesting happens. Ever see your pup just lay down and look mopey around the house? Dogs are naturally inquisitive and social creatures.
They’ll use their sense of smell to take in the fresh odors of nature and mark their territories. Kayaking gives them a sense of thrill they haven’t experienced before. They’ll love to watch the view with you and run loose along the shore. Doing more outdoor activities such as kayaking and swimming also leads to better mental health and affects their behavior in a positive manner.
7. Kayaking Helps Train Your Dog to Be Very Obedient
High energy dogs aren’t the most ideal for kayaking. Anything that ticks them off could get them to tilt the boat or even jump off. Depending on your dog’s personality, it can take a lot of upfront work to train your dog ahead of time.
They’ll need to master the basic commands such as sit, down and stay. You’ll also need to train them to follow the commands “get in the boat” or “leave it!” While this may seem like a chore in the beginning, once your dog understands the rules, it should carry over into home life as well.
Dogs can be an excellent companion to have for your kayaking trip. You can create beautiful memories that you’ll never forget. For many of you that live in urban areas, taking your pup out to the boonies for some fresh air and water is a new experience they’ve never experienced.
If you’re a person who loves the outdoor lifestyle and particularly enjoys kayaking, you should consider bringing your dog, so they can enjoy the same vibrant views and smells with you.