The 7 Best Kayaks For Dogs | Don’t Feel Alone While Kayaking

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: December 19, 2022
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There are various types of kayaks available but based on my kayaking experience, I found sit-on-top kayaks best for kayaking with dogs. This is because this type of kayak is more stable compared to other types of kayaks and it is a very important factor if you want to kayak with your dog. On the other hand, if you need more space for yourself and your dog then you can opt for tandem Kayaks.

Things To Consider Before Taking Your Dog For Kayaking

Things To Consider Before Taking Your Dog For Kayaking

1. Swimming:

Before the outing, you have to make sure the dog is comfortable in or around the water. It can come in handy in the event of tipping over or if your little friend fell into the water. Nonetheless, the skill is not very crucial if your pooch is wearing a life jacket.

2. Tolerance To PFD [Personal Floatation Device]

A floatation device is an essential tool for every participant in canoeing or kayaking. It’s a safety precautionary measure that your dog also has to have while out there on the water.

Even so, you will need to make sure your pooch is comfortable wearing his PFD before embarking on the trip. If you’ll be using a lifejacket, you’ll, therefore, need to first train him on how to stay with one.

3. Follow Basic Commands

For this one, it will help ensure that your dog can safely board and disembark from the kayak. You will just need to teach simple commands that he will understand quickly and obey. Some include, “get into the boat”, Lay down”, “Get in your spot”, “Leave it”, etc.

4. Ignore Exciting Distractions

Just like kids, dogs can be easily distracted by simple things like floating sticks, ducks, seals, jumping dolphins, or other kayaks. Therefore, you will need to teach him how to cope with such occurrences without going after them in the water. Teaching basic commands can certainly help [although not in all cases].

5. Familiarize With The Kayak

Lastly, you will need to acquaint your dog with the kayak while on dry land. You can do this by hiding little treats inside it, and then letting her sniff and find them. Also, you can sit in the kayak while you play with the pet fetch. Then, give her treats and praise when she comes back to you.

After doing this severally, your dog will connect you and “kayak” with the concept of fun. So, she will always be inclined to come whenever she sees you there.

If you are in the market for a kayak but want something that is more suitable for your dog than just a regular boat, then this guide is perfect for you. We will go over some of the best kayaks on the market as well as provide reviews and comparisons to help make your decision easier. There should be no need to worry about finding the right one anymore!

Top 7 Kayak For Dogs & Required Accessories In 2021 (Best Picks)

In a hurry? Check the bestseller top Kayak For Dogs from Amazon. Just check the product link, the details, and the price.

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best Kayak For Dogs

 Top-rated Kayaks That Are Good For Dogs

Despite the excitement, quite a number of tour companies and public kayaking groups don’t allow pets on their boats. You will hear them say that they’re not against your beagle paddling, but they “fear for his safety”.

For this, it’s usually best you own your equipment that you can do what you want when you pleases.

Just like any other industry, however, the water sports business has a wide selection of kayaks, each featuring different styles and models. As such, no matter which differences you are looking for, there’s a kayak to serve your needs.

Here is a list of products to help you choose the best kayak for dogs like yours faster and effectively.

1. Our Top Pick: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

No products found.

Item Weight35 Pounds
Seating Capacity‎ 2-person

Overall, this is our favorite product from the list. Not because of its high rating on Amazon, but from its high efficiency. It consists of an inflatable heavy-duty boat set, two aluminum paddles, and an air pump.

The boat is made of a tough 3-layer vinyl construction that is puncture-resistant to enable durability and less maintenance. It has a capacity of up to 180kg, which means it can hold two adults comfortably without bursting or sinking into the waters.

Unlike many on the coast, this kayak has two inflatable seats that have backrests to ensure maximum solace as you paddle. Both are adjustable and removable. Hence, you can detach either of them to create more room for your large dog.

Speaking of that, the equipment has an inflammable floor. Hence, you might need to lay a towel or an improvised dog mat to prevent him from puncturing with his nails.

Key Features:

1. The kayak can be easily deflated to allow portability

2. It has two inflatable seats that you can easily remove if you want to lie in it

3. Comes with two aluminum rowing oars

4. Has a removable SKEG to help keep your boat running straight in the event of a crosswind

5. Can carry a total weight of up to 400 pounds

6. Includes two grab handles to enable easy pulling from the water

7. The kayak features a bright yellow color, which can be an added advantage in case of an emergency.

What we don’t like about it:

Although it has many spectacular features, this boat has an inflatable floor and the maker doesn’t include an extra solid cover. As such, you will need to get a mat so that your dog can ride with you without piercing his nails.

2. Best Value: Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe Inflatable Kayak

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BrandSea Eagle
Item Weight26 Pounds
Seating Capacity‎ 2-person

When speaking of the best value, we are not meaning the most affordable product, but which is worth its cost. And by just looking at this sport kayak, you will genuinely agree with us its price tag is surely worth it.

It’s available in beautiful white style, with a spacious, cozy cockpit for you and your dog. The kayak consists of an inflatable floor, starboard, and port. So, it’s very easy to move around during your trips.

With a total capacity of up to 500 pounds, this kayak can carry two persons and still accommodate your dog safely. It even has a makeshift deck that your pooch can stand his front limbs or slip under and sleep.

In case you get tired of paddling, the deluxe seats of this kayak are removable. So, you can detach them and lie on the floor to enjoy the amusement of the sun.

Key Features:

1. It features a polykrylar hull material, which is tough [like hard shell] and highly resistant to wear and tear

2. Comes in a beautiful white design, with two inflatable seats with backrests

3. Can carry a total capacity of up to 500 pounds

4. Has two SKEGs to guarantee optimal stability and speed, even in a windy or smooth/ slight sea

5. There are bow and stern lines to haul or secure the vessel to the buoy

6. It comes with two aluminum paddles for immediate use

7. The boat has a self-bailing drain valve to remove the water entering into the interior

What We Don’t Like About It:

Despite their coziness, the seats of the boat have no attachment. This causes them to slide sometimes, thereby making it uncomfortable to sit.

3. Best Budget: Intex Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak Set

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Item Weight25 Pounds
Seating Capacity‎ 1-person

Just like the challenger car models, this boat is surely easing and relaxing. It’s a one-person model but you can use it with your Airdale Terrier dog without any drawbacks. All you have to do is ensure you don’t exceed the total capacity weight of 220 pounds.

Its body is a heavy-duty inflatable vinyl material, which is actually hard for your dog to pierce with her nails. However, we’d recommend getting a dog mat to avoid the risk of puncturing and avoid unnecessary regrets.

Also, the seat of the kayak is inflatable and it has a backrest plus attachments to allow a better sitting. You can even remove it and share the blown-up floor with your little furry friend.

Thanks to its low price tag, this kayak is very easy to get when on a tight budget. It’s also highly economical if you need more than one piece for your kids or your canoeing group.

Product Features:

1. The vessel supports a single person and a total maximum capacity of 220 pounds

2. It has a pleasant cockpit, with an inflated floor and a closed deck

3. Comes with one aluminum oar, pressure pump, and repair kit

4. Has a cargo net to hold your extra gear or your fish after the hunt

5. It’s easy to tow due to the included grab line

6. Has a removable SKEG to maintain stability and straight movement

7. As an inflatable vessel, the kayak is very simple to carry around the beaches and river banks.

What We Don’t Like About It

The two issues with this boat are the size and the paddle. Its interior is only 5 foot and that means taller people [above 6’] cannot ride comfortably. The included paddle, on the other hand, is not worth praise. So, you might need to get a better one soon.

4. Best Design: Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Recreational Kayak

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BrandWilderness Systems
Item Weight51 Pounds
Seating Capacity‎ 1-person

If you had thought kayaks are meant to be just uninteresting rowing boats, think again. This piece from the Wilderness Systems creators has a unique design and innovative features to make paddling super exciting.

The kayak has a high-density polyethylene body that is tough enough to withstand bumps and scratches. You can even ride with your pooch without ever worrying about his nails. It has a generous cockpit, with incredible thigh and knee padding for comfortable support and optimal boat control.

On top of that, this vessel has the proprietary Phase 3 AirPro seat which features ergonomic 3D foam and a backrest to support your lower back. Still, its closed deck has a molded-in console to hold small items like your water bottle. But there’s also a dry stern hatch where you can keep larger gear safe and dry.

Key Features:

1. The kayak is very easy to handle and control. Hence, fit for both amateur and experienced kayakers

2. It has a lovely cockpit that assures optimal comfort while paddling

3. Has a removable SKEG with cockpit control to ensure you remain on course in current

4. It’s a single-person model but can carry up to a 400-pound weight

5. Features a smart and spacious storage unit

6. Comes in colorful styling with a hardshell body that is pet-friendly

7. The boat has two handles for easier and more comfortable carrying

What We Don’t Like About It:

The only single drawback of this boat is that it doesn’t have a self-bailing drain valve. Thus, you might need to remove any water that enters manually.

5. Best For Professionals: Intex Excursion Inflatable Pro Kayak

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Item Weight46.73 Pounds
Seating Capacity‎ 2-person

That’s right. The kayak is designed for intermediate paddlers, but that doesn’t mean you cannot ride if you’re a beginner. It has a lightweight but heavy-duty PVC body that is highly resistant to wear and tear.

The boat has a spacious cockpit, with inflatable seats that you can even remove to create enough space for your pooch. Its floor is also inflatable and there is an integrated drain plug to remove the water that might come in.

The kayak comes with two paddles and a hi-output pump with a pressure gauge to make sure you don’t put in too much air. The set also includes a bag where you can put the whole equipment and enjoy easy moving.

Key Features:

1. It has a large interior that can fit two adult persons comfortably

2. The inflatable seats have a backrest, plus excursion attachments to prevent unnecessary movements

3. Comes with two adjustable flour-mounted footrests

4. The boat has a removable directional skeg to remain in the course even against crosswinds

5. Can float with you plus the dog as long you don’t exceed the 400-pound weight limit

6. Has a mounting bracket to hold accessories like GPS systems, fish finders, and rod

7. As an inflatable kayak, you can carry it with you easily and comfortable for miles

What We Don’t Like About It:

The single problem with this item is that there is no place to attach the oars when you are not using them. Considering it’s a professional vessel, we would expect the feature to be present instead of keeping them in your lap.

6. Best Alternative 1: Old Town Loon 120 Recreational single Kayak

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BrandOld Town Canoes & Kayaks
Item Weight50 Pounds
Material‎Three Layer Polyethylene
Seating Capacity‎1-person

This is an incredible alternative that you will truly enjoy paddling along the Hudson River and other small water bodies. It features a lovely design, with a 3-pry polyethylene hull construction. Hence, tough enough to withstand rocky streams, as well as the nails of your pooch.

The cockpit is also ultra-enjoyable to sit in, following its adjustable active comfort system [ACS2] seat and the padded thigh and knee support.

As a recreational system, this kayak has plenty of storage to hold the essential gear you would love to carry with you. It has a molded-in deck console that you can use to put in small items like water bottles and a camera. And also there is a larger dry stern storage where you can keep stuff like food and change clothes.

Thanks to the improvised USB port, this hand-powered vessel can keep your gadgets charged, even after hours of paddling.

Key Features:

1. The Kayak comes in a sleek rugged hull to serve your looks preference

2. It can float with you and your dog as long you don’t exceed a 375-pound weight

3. Features a fine cozy seat that has a backrest to support the lower back

4. Has a smart storage unit that comprises a removable work deck and a click seal hatch

5. Its body is a tough triple-layer polyethylene hull. Thus, you can ride without worrying about your dog’s nails

6. There is a drain plug to remove any water getting inside the basin

What We Don’t Like About It:

Despite the unbeatable comfort and utility, this kayak is only for recreational water sports. It won’t be effective for fishing if that’s the idea you had.

7. Best Alternative Kayak For Dog 2: Sevylor Big Basin Inflatable Kayak

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Item Weight44.31 Pounds
Material‎Polyvinyl Chloride
Seating Capacity‎3-person

Just as its name suggests, this kayak has quite a large basin that can hold up to three adults. You can also share it with your adult son, alongside your two dogs, as long your total weight doesn’t exceed 490 pounds.

The watercraft has an industrial-strength PVC construction, with a Tarpaulin bottom to protect again punctures. It has three Boston valves that allow easy filling of air in the three inflatable chambers.

Each of the included seats is adjustable and has a makeshift holder that you can use to fit your water bottle. Behind the back seat, there is also some space that you can use to keep your gear.

As for the performance, the kayak is stable and moves over water petty well. It does have a slot to insert the skeg [optional] and ensure the boat remains on a straight course.

Key Features:

1. The boat is NMMA certified to carry up to 490 pounds

2. It comprises three inflatable chambers, including the floor, port, and starboard

3. Has a rugged, heavy-duty body to allow longer use

4. Include three seats with excursion attachments to prevent unnecessary movements

5. The basin is spacious enough for you and your two German Shepherds

6. It’s stable and tracks well on both flat and moving water

7. Unlike many, this kayak has a Tarpaulin bottom to protect against punctures

What We Don’t Like About It:

Although it’s cool and quite affordable, this kayak does not come with paddles or a pump. Also, the inflatable floor has mini-Boston valves, which might be hard to get when you need to replace them.

List Of Features That A Dog-Friendly Kayak Should Have

1. A dog-friendly kayak is built with a cockpit that can be easily accessed by your pup

2. The kayak should have ample storage for all of your gear and dog supplies

3. It needs to be sturdy enough to handle the weight of both you and your pet

4. If you’re looking for a more traditional sit-inside kayak, make sure it has plenty of space in front so your dog can stand up without being cramped 

5. Dog-friendly kayaks are typically made from lightweight materials like fiberglass or rotomolded plastic which makes them easy to transport 

6. Look for one with an adjustable seat so you can adjust the height as needed depending on whether you’re paddling solo or tandem (with your canine friend)

7. Remember- safety first! Always use life jackets when paddling with your pet as well as making sure they are comfortable enough to stay afloat if they fall into the water (dog life jacket)

Types Of Kayaks That Accommodate Dogs

There are a variety of kayaks that accommodate dogs. Some are more suitable for young or small breeds, while others will be better suited to larger breeds. The type you choose will depend on the size and temperament of your dog as well as what kind of water activity they enjoy most – this is something only you know! But some popular dog-friendly types of kayaks are :

Tandem kayaks: Designed for two people to paddle and enjoy time together – perfect if you want your dog to be part of that experience! These are also great for larger dogs as they offer extra space.

Touring kayaks: Great if you want to do some serious exploring, these are long enough for one person or two people to paddle. If your dog is used to going out on a boat with you this may be the best option!

Fishing kayaks: These have been designed specifically by fishers who need their dogs along with them while they fish so that there’s plenty of room in the cockpit. The design also allows space at each end where fished can stand up (or swim). They’re more expensive than other types but well worth it if you’ll be using yours regularly as part of your job – plus many come equipped with special features such as rod holders.

Inflatable Kayaks: These are the cheapest option and ideal for those who live in a flat area where they can launch from shore, but beware that these tend to be slower than other types of kayak.

Recreational Kayaks: Great if your dog is used to being on boats with you this may be the best option! They’re not so good for long trips though as there’s no protection against waves hitting you at all angles while paddling.

Buying Guide: Essential Tips To Consider While Choosing The Best Kayak For Dogs

Best Kayak For Dogs

While browsing through a selection of dog-friendly kayaks, you have to consider several things if you’re to enjoy them optimally. They include:

The Dog Breed

Is your dog the small size type like Chihuahua and Toy Maltese, or is he a large breed like German Shepherd? With an answer to this question, you will know if you need a single, double, or three-person kayak. You will also know the maximum capacity you will need to consider.

Where Will You Be Kayaking

That’s right. On which waters are you planning to use your kayak?

There are vessels for flowing rivers, still lakes, tidy coasts, and some compatible with all. Therefore, before you even visit the particular water sports store, discern where exactly you will be kayaking. If unsure, pick a boat with a removable skeg to ensure you can move smoothly on any water type.

How Far Is the Kayaking Location

For his one, it will help you answer the question about the movement of your equipment. Most kayaks are usually lightweight, but some are far much easier to move than others. For instance, an inflatable boat is quick and effortless to move around with. When deflated, it can fit on a bag that you can carry on your back or hands easily. Hence, highly efficient if you’re traveling far.


Well, money is everything and the core driver of all desires. It’s what will determine the type of material,  utilities, as well as the size of the boat to get.

If you have a significant budget, for instance, you can get a top-quality kayak that is high-performing and has lovely boat-related features. But if you want multiple systems for your upcoming competition, then you can look for a less expensive model. The same goes for when you have a tight budget but you don’t want to rent the equipment.

Safety Tips For Kayaking With Your Dog

Safety Tips For Kayaking With Your Dog

Though kayaking with your dog can be a great way to bond and have fun, it’s also important to take safety precautions in order for the trip to go smoothly.

– Before going on your kayak adventure with your dog you’ll need an appropriately sized life jacket that fits them perfectly as well as one that works properly (regardless of whether or not they’re used to wearing jackets). You should measure their chest size from behind the front legs, then compare this measurement against what is recommended by the manufacturer. If anything seems off give us a call!

– Cover up any exposed skin when paddling at dusk so mosquitoes don’t suck out all your energy while trying to enjoy yourself – especially if there are lots of bugs around. Mosquito and tick repellants are recommended.

– Bring water, food, and poop bags with you! We recommend carrying some wet wipes too – dogs aren’t always great at following the rules of nature. 😉

FAQ Section

What Kayaking Gear Is Necessary For Your Dog (Dog-Friendly Material)?

Here is a list of kayaking gear that is a must if you paddle with your dog.

– A dog life jacket

– a leash, ideally one that won’t tangle around your legs while paddling and can be tied to the kayak in case of emergency.

– PawsitiveRescue leashes are great for this purpose because they have a built-in safety collar. They also come with reflective trim so you don’t lose sight of your pup at night!

– Dog dry bags (or other waterproof storage) – these will keep anything from getting wet if it rains or if there is an accident on board! We recommend using the KwikPup Dry Bag System which comes complete with everything you need: two dry bags that fit most major brands, adjustable straps to secure them.

How Do I Make My Kayak Dog-Friendly?

To make your kayak dog-friendly, you’ll need to buy a dog life jacket and some waterproof storage.

A leash is also important if you want your pup to accompany you on the water. This can be used as an emergency tether in case something goes wrong while paddling or swimming with them. A good option for this type of leash that won’t tangle around your legs would be PawsitiveRescue leashes which come with reflective trim so you don’t lose sight of your pup at night!

Dry bags are great for anything from food dishes to toys and other belongings. So make sure you handle them all before thinking about kayaking with your pup.

How Can I Make My Kayak Slip Proof For A Dog?

To make a kayak slip-proof, make sure to attach a nonslip pad under the seat. Just make sure it’s big enough for your pup!

A very popular option is to buy an inflatable dog raft that attaches underneath the kayak and gives them some extra room while paddling

You can also use doggie life jackets, but be careful about how much they weigh since many of these are not made for dogs over 50 pounds or so. If you need help with size selection we’ve got you covered in our Dog Life Jacket Buyer Guide. It will take into account what type of water activity you plan on doing as well as whether or not your pup has short hair versus long hair.

Can I Get A Platform For My Dog, Or Even Make One?

Yes, you can. You can either buy a platform to attach to your kayak that will give them some space, or you could even build one.

Can I Go Canoeing Or Kayaking With Dogs?

Yes., you can. You just need to be careful about what type of water activity you go canoeing or kayaking on and if your dog is under 50 pounds in weight.

Refine Your Skills Before Including Your Pet – Does this necessary?

No – but it’s a good idea. If you plan on taking your pet out in the kayak with you, I recommend going canoeing or kayaking before and making sure that they’re able to paddle for long periods of time without getting too tired.

How Big Is Your Dog For The Kayak?

The size of the kayak will depend on how big your dog is. I recommend measuring them from their neck to the base of the tail before you buy a new one and then comparing it with various kayaks at outdoor stores that sell different-sized models.

If they’re under 50 pounds in weight, then there are plenty of great options for small-sized boats like sit inside canoes or inflatable ones without having to worry too much about strength because dogs have enough power as long as they just paddle forward (it’s not necessary for them to turn). If your canine friend weighs more than 20 kilograms, however, you would need something bigger – but this doesn’t mean an open boat must be purchased either; they might fit better.

Knowing The Dog’s Temperament – Is That Important?

The temperament of your dog is crucial to the situation because some dogs may be more comfortable in a boat while others might prefer to just swim around.

The temperament of your dog is crucial for where you decide to paddle with them too, so it’s important that they’re happy and safe on whichever activity or type of water vessel – which is why knowing their overall personality traits is key.

Dogs love being near the water, but if they do end up sinking then don’t panic: as long as they are not submerged underwater for any period of time then there shouldn’t be much danger since canines have natural buoyancy akin to humans; therefore, floating should come naturally. Keeping an eye out however will help both ways – this includes making sure you know how deep the water is at the location, as well as not letting them wander too close to any sand bars or other underwater hazards.

How To Get My Pup Into The Kayak?

In terms of actually getting your pup into a kayak – there are many options that can be used such as:

– Lifting their front paws onto the seat and then having you pull from behind.

– Hanging them over one side with their legs dangling inside and then lifting up on each flank while they’re looking towards the sky (in order for water to drain out).

– Putting them in a large carrier first since some dogs may feel more comfortable within those confines than being completely exposed outside; it also saves space so if you have multiple dogs this would probably be ideal.

Kayaks To Avoid When Kayaking with Dogs

Here is a list of kayaks to avoid if you take your kayak out with your pup:

– Single kayaks – too cramped for a dog, not enough space to move around in

– Sit on top Kayaks – the seating area is small and could be uncomfortable or unsafe if they were sitting up high. The downside of having them sit low is that it would make it harder for you to keep an eye on them and also gives other water users more opportunity to come close by. It’s always best when possible though to have pups higher than lower so as long as there are no safety concerns such as waves then this should work out just fine.

One thing I love about my inflatable kayak is not only how easy it is to transport but how much room our pup has inside!

Final Verdict

In the past few years, a lot of people have started to indulge in kayaking. Not just for the fun of it, but because it’s also a great workout for your muscles and cardiovascular health. Furthermore, water sport is one of the outdoor activities that can help in bonding with your children, or family in general.

If your kaya is dog-friendly, you can even have some exciting moments with your furry friend on the waters. Thereby, building a stronger relationship between you two.

Even so, every paddler [including your dog] should always have a life jacket or any other flotation device while onboard. Even if they tend to be stable, kayaks are so easy to tip over if they are not properly balanced.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API