Kayak Fishing with Your Dog – 15 Helpful Tips

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Kayaking Fishing with Your Dog – 15 Helpful Tips.

Is there an animal like a dog? Witty, playful, intelligent and fiercely loyal. They possess all these virtues that are lacking in some humans in today’s world. It is no wonder that these canine babies have been man’s companion since the dawn of time.

As a proud parent to these exceptional pets, you share your home and a good part of your life with them without inhibition. If you love to go fishing on a kayak, why not share this part of the adventure with your dog?

However, taking your pet dog for kayak fishing is not as straightforward as getting him into a car for a ride on the highway. You need to familiarize him or her to the kayak. It certainly helps if your dog knows some commands or loves to swim.

If you’re not confident about kayak fishing with your dog, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we answer all your questions and also provide you with fifteen practical tips.

Can dogs ride in kayaks?

Absolutely. Dogs can ride in kayaks as long as you accompany them. But before your dog can ride in the kayak, there are certain things to consider.

  1. Size – This pertains to both the dog as well as the kayak. For obvious reasons, you cannot allow a Great Dane to ride in a solo kayak. Your dog should be able to sit the kayak comfortably. A dog of substantial size can easily cause your kayak to capsize.
  2. The personality of your dog – Every dog has its own personality. Although the breed primarily determines this, your interaction and his environment also play a crucial role here. Generally, Labradors and golden retrievers and any other water-loving dog breeds can be taken for kayaking.
  3. The health of the dog – The health of your dog is paramount when considering any outdoor activity. Kayaking fishing is no different. If your dog has health issues like vision or hearing impairment, arthritis, or if the dog is advanced in years, you might want to think twice about taking him out into the water for extended periods. It is always wise to speak to a veterinarian if you decide to take your aged and not so healthy dog out into the water.
  4. Prepping the kayak – Keeping your dog comfortable during the fishing episode is essential. A restless dog won’t do you much help. An outrigger set up with a kayak dog platform will give him enough space to chill.

Can you take your dog kayak fishing?

  • Yes.

In fact, a lot of folks take their dogs for kayak fishing. Being out there in the open with fresh air and water is good for the dog. If your dog loves to swim, it’s a double enjoyment for him as he gets to play in the water, under supervision, of course.

But most experts will agree that taking the dog out for kayak fishing demands some preparation. It is because when you are out in a water body, things can go out of control. It is always best to be loaded and ready instead of getting into trouble, which may compromise the safety of the dog as well as yours.

So how do you prepare to take your dog kayak fishing? We show you how.

    • Familiarize the dog with his new environment.

Whether or not the dog loves water and swimming, you will need to get him acclimatized with the kayak. Take the dog and the kayak to a place of shallow water and move it around. If you cannot access a water body, your backyard should suffice.

Your dog needs to know that there is nothing to fear. Getting him to sit and get in and out comfortably from the kayak will prevent him from getting spooked.

You also need to teach him a few commands to make the experience more enjoyable and safe. Simple commands such as stay, jump, leave it and sit can prove very beneficial.

    • Pack the dog’s gear.

This is absolutely essential as there is no adventure worth risking your dog’s life. Irrespective of your level of expertise in kayaking, accidents can happen.

Apart from your safety and fishing gear, the necessary dog gears you must prepare are:

  • Collar and harness – In case your dog gets excited and jumps or falls overboard, a collar with the harness can be used to pull the dog back into the kayak.
  • Dog leash – A retractable dog leash attached to the dog’s life jacket can be a lifesaver. Under any circumstances, do not tie the dog to the kayak with or without the leash.
  • Personal floatation device or PFD – It can keep your dog afloat in case there is an accident. Even if you happen to forget everything on this list, do not forget a personal floatation device for your dog.
  • Food and water – You wouldn’t go out for fishing without packing a mini-fridge full of beverages and food, would you? Why should it any different for the dog? Pack his food and water along with a few snacks to add more fun to the trip. If he enjoys the first fishing expedition, he will look forward to it the next time.
  • Sunblock – A dog’s belly, nose, and paws are susceptible to sunburns. So while you pack one for yourself, add one for your canine baby. A good choice is to look for a sunscreen that can be sprayed so that you can use it even with one hand.
  • A toy of choice – Although this is not compulsory, your dog will be more comfortable when he sees a familiar object. It can also keep him engaged when you concentrate on fishing.

Can a dog ride in an inflatable kayak?

  • Yep – the kayaks are more durable than you think

A straightforward answer? Yes. Inflatable kayaks are deceivingly tough so that a dog can ride in it very comfortably. Of course, it is assumed that you have taken the dog’s size into consideration.

Inflatable kayaks are made of more than one layer of materials to ensure its performance and safety. Most of them are also made of elastic fabrics as well as polyurethane compounds so they can stand up to the claws of a dog.

Another reason behind their toughness and strength is the regulations. All inflatable kayaks must be durable and sturdy enough to endure up to Class III of white water rapids. For the uninitiated, this means that the kayaks must be so strong that a sharp rock should not be able to puncture it easily.

However, this does not make all inflatable kayaks invincible. The quality can vary from one manufacturer to the next. The smartest thing you can do is check if the inflatable kayak meets the regulations or not before purchasing one.

What is the best kayak for dogs?

  • one that is comfortable for pup to sit in

The best kayak for dogs is one which is large enough for him to sit comfortably, one that is stable and sturdy. Keep in mind that a large kayak that sits two persons may not be an ideal one to take the dog out.

There are kayaks that are exclusively targeted for the dogs and their owners. If you can get your hands on one of these, don’t hesitate. If you want to know more about the best kayaks for dogs, keep on reading.

Sit-on-top kayaks and recreational kayaks are the best types of kayaks for dogs. The former types of kayaks are wide open and very stable. They can accommodate dogs of varying sizes and are also easy to get in and out. However, they are not as stable as a recreational kayak.

Recreational kayaks, on the other hand, offer a greater amount of stability due to their wider hulls. They can hold very well while you’re out fishing. On the flip side, these kayaks do not offer much space as that of a sit-on-top kayak.

Inflatable kayaks are also great options for dogs. They are sturdy and can take quite a beating before they give out. Most importantly, they are also wide to sit your pet dog comfortably.

Can you portage with a dog?

  • yes, they might even go faster than you do

Portaging with a dog is fairly common among the kayakers. A lot of dog owners who take them on kayaking trips enjoy this part of the adventure with their dogs. Ask a dog owner who has gone portaging with a dog, and they will tell you the best part is strapping the dog’s supplies to his back and walking alongside side by side as comrades.

To be fair, if you have to portage on a kayak expedition, it works best if your dog is trained to a certain degree. It is not necessary for him to have that military level of training, but basic training is essential for safety purposes. When the dog is in the wild, there is too much stimulation which can trigger even an otherwise well-behaved dog.

Teaching him to heel when he sees a bird or an animal, and not running off into the wild are necessary basic skills. This will ensure that he is safe at all times. The last thing you want is to have to run after your dog while transporting a kayak on your back.

15 helpful tips for kayaking fishing with your dog.

In addition to the questions answered, we have also provided you with our top tips to make your kayaking trip complete.

  1. A proper introduction, as well as training, is essential before you take your fur baby for a kayak trip.
  2. Pack a personal floatation device for your dog, and it can save his life.
  3. Include a first aid kit for the dog if you plan to go on extended periods.
  4. Food and fresh drinking water are essential. Collapsible drinking cups can save space.
  5. A Fabric Dog Poop Bag Dispenser can keep your kayak free of dog poop. Train him to use it while on steady ground.
  6. Choose a kayak with a wider hull for better stability.
  7. Outrigger the kayak with a dog kayak sidecar if you have a big dog and a smaller kayak. However, bear in mind that this can reduce your speed as well as maneuverability.
  8. A kayak dog mat placed inside the kayak can make him more comfortable.
  9. Never tie your dog to the kayak as this can be a safety hazard.
  10. Use a bug spray. Insects in the water can be a nuisance both for you and the dog.
  11. Trim the dog’s nails before you embark on the fishing expedition. This will prevent scratches and also give more traction to the dog for comfort.
  12. If you plan to be out in the sun for extended periods, use a dog kayak attachment called the woofshade for your dog. This will keep him out of the sun.
  13. Enlist the company of a friend who kayaks when you take the dog out for the first time. If your dog gets too excited or nervous, your friend can help you.
  14. Keep the live baits as well as the fish that you catch out of the dog’s way. It can cause unnecessary excitement.
  15. If you are kayaking as a couple, stick to being in one kayak together. If the dog is attached to one parent, he might experience separation anxiety and try to get across the water to him or her.


Kayaking fishing is a relaxing and fun activity. The experience is made more memorable and fulfilling when you have a faithful furry friend for company. As long as your dog can listen to certain commands and not get over-excited, it can be a wonderful experience.

The good thing is that even if the first experiences were not up to your expectations, these intelligent animals quickly learn and they can become smarter as they get more experience. So do not be disappointed if your dog did not shine during his first kayak experience. In all honesty, you were not stellar in your first kayak adventure either.

Get some basic training done, load up his safety gear and be patient. You and your beloved dog might just be on the verge of becoming the best kayaking fishing duo on the planet.