Kayaking is tons of fun but like with anything a dog typically makes it better. Dogs make for the ultimate paddling partner, they don’t complain in bad weather, they provide endless entertainment once ashore, and it’s just good to have your buddy around. The trick to kayaking with your dog is finding the right boat, that is, something that fits both of your needs. We’ll show you what to consider in a kayak and the preparations you’ll need when you go paddling with your pooch, then show you some kayaks that fit the bill and that are sure to get Fido’s paw of approval. DigandFlow.com presents our pick for the Best Kayak for Dogs.
Considerations for your Dog
Some dogs are in love with the water from birth, some, well, not so much. If your dog is great in and around the water then you’ve got a great headstart to paddling with them, but even then you’ll need to think about how your dog will do once aboard. Without the proper training you might be in for a rude awakening. A strong understanding of the basic commands will be essential for you and your pup once you decide to hit the water. Take your time and work with your dog to feel comfortable being in a boat, these are the foundations of a kayak friendly dog, patience is key. Work with your dog in a relaxed environment on the shore and around your boat and you’ll soon find that even the biggest softy might be your best paddling companion.
When nature calls we all have to answer and that’s no different for you dog. Finding a place for your dog to do their business poses a challenge when you’re out on the water but a basic understanding of simple commands can greatly reduce the stress on you and your pup. Training them to go to the bathroom on command is no different than other commands that your dog knows. Like when you’re in the wild you should follow leave-no-trace ethics for the pooch too. When burying, take your dog’s waste at least 200 feet from water, trails or camp, and bury it at least 6 to 8 inches deep. You can also pack it out, having a small container to hold the waste will really help for the paddle back out so you don’t end up with bags of Fido’s leavings all over the boat.
Size does account for something when decided to kayak with your dog. Bigger dogs will have a more difficult time all around when on a boat and a big dog could capsize the boat if it gets excited but they do offer some protection value when you’re out camping. Dogs in the 30-50 pound range are ideal. Temperament can also play a factor, an excited dog can quickly get themselves and you into a less than ideal situation whether it be with other boats, rapids, wildlife, etc. Just keep in mind how your dog acts in general and apply that your boating. If your consider a new furry friend then do your homework and find dog breeds that love the water and you’ll take a lot of the headache out getting them used to kayaking.
Having some basics boating commands will greatly improve you paddling experience with your pooch. Some instances when commands will serve you well are for loading and unloading, keeping them close when on shore and some basics for on board like down and stay to help them stay relaxed. These will keep you and them safe, dry and happy.
Just like hiking, backpacking, or road tripping your dog needs their supplies too. Think about your daily routine and then figure out how to apply it to your next paddling excursion. Here’s some things to consider.
- Waste bags
- Fresh water (if you’re in salt water)
- Bed (for overnights)
- Booties (for cold nights or sore paws)
Just the basics here. Think about your dog and what they need to be comfortable. Got a big dog? Make sure they’ve got enough room to sit or stand during your paddling. Do they always like to stand up? Get some foam and stick it to your boat for added grip. Sit-on-top kayaks work really well as they provide a lot of room for a dog and make getting in and out really easy.
DigandFlow.com’s Choice – Best Kayak for Dogs
Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11
DigandFlow.com selected the Scrambler from Ocean Kayak as the best kayak for dogs. This great sit-on-top kayak had a couple features that made it stand out from the competition, lots of room up front, stability, and versatility for different kinds of paddling. The Scrambler has great dry storage too for all of your pooch’s extras and easy tracking make it an ideal choice for bringing the dog with.
Plenty of Room
The Scrambler has got tons of room on deck and inside for storage, this is one of the bigger needed specs for a dog-friendly kayak. With enough room for your dog and a cooler on top and dry storage down below you and Fido will be comfortable for your next all-day or overnight paddle.
A 6-inch dry hatch cover seals out water and allows you to bring along anything you might need to keep dry for your day out on the water. Ample deck room gives your pooch a little leg room to stand up and look around and take in the scenery.
The Ocean Kayak Scrambler provides all the creature comforts you could want for a day spent on the water. A molded cup holder provides easy access for hydration and paddle keepers let you stow your paddle and help your dog in and out.
Bungees fore and aft allow you to strap down anything you need to keep on deck and they’re removable too so if your dog has a preference they can get comfy. Scuppers allow water to drain efficiently which is awesome because we all know that dogs getting in and out carry a lot of water with them.
Features and Specifications
- Comfort Plus seat back keeps you comfortable all day
- Large molded-in seat well helps you find the ideal paddling position
- 6″ Cam Lock Hatch with storage allows you to keep you and your dogs gear dry and within arms reach
- Oversized tank well provides a great area for your dog to stand and with removable bungees gives you the ability to strap down the essentials
- Molded-in cup holder gives you and your pooch quick access to water
- Ergonomic bow and stern handles make transport to and from the car a breeze
- Side mounted carrying handles give you a quick grab point
- Paddle keepers get your paddle out of the way while you help your pooch in and out or while you take a few pictuers
- Renowned Tri-Form hull provides remarkable stability, tracking and maneuverability and makes the Scrambler the best kayak for dogs
- Threaded hull drain plug makes draining water easy after you spend all day on the water
- A skid plate is included protects the bottom when you’re dry transporting the Scrambler with dog in tow.
- Length: 11′ 6.5″
- Width: 29.5″
- Weight: 47 lbs
- Seat Width: 18″
- Max Leg Length: 50″
- Max Capacity: 300-350 lbs
The Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 has gotten great reviews, people love the stability and versatility of this boat. Comfort is another factor that people seem to love. The Scrambler is built around comfort and allowing folks to find the right position for paddling all while giving your dog the ability to find a comfy spot to lay down and take in the sights. Customers, overall, gave this kayak a 4.4 out of 5 stars.
One customer even remarked that you can be comfortable bringing your dog along on the Scrambler. Others commended the roominess of the kayak which is super important for bringing the beast along while you’re out paddling.
With these great review, great specs and awesome pricing the Scrambler 11 from Ocean Kayak wins our contest for the Best Kayak for Dogs.
Well there you go! Now you’re not only armed with some dog paddling considerations but also have specs on a great kayak for dogs. Having dogs along with us during our adventures is one of the best parts of having a pet. Have fun, look good and be safe!