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Best Kayak For Dogs

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What’s the point in experiencing life’s greatest pleasures if you can’t share them with your friends? And what better friend to share kayaking adventures with than your dog! Woof Woof!

Spending time with your furry friend needn’t be limited to walks around the park.

At A Glance: Top Kayaks For Dogs

(to see the yaks on Amazon, click these links. Scroll below to learn more...)

You can take your dog with you in your kayak where you can both enjoy a relaxing time on the water. And that’s why we’ve made it our mission to help you find the best kayak for dogs.

Best Kayak For A Dog Safely On The Water

How To Choose A Dog-Friendly Kayak

There are plenty of options on the market that are suitable for dogs. So much so that it can be difficult to know which models are best. So here are a few key factors you should consider before purchasing a kayak for you and your dog.

Dimensions

It goes without saying that the size of your dog should impact your decision when picking your kayak. Before considering your kayak’s dimensions, you will need to know your dog’s dimensions.

Even the most docile and well behaved dogs will move around so you need to make sure that your kayak is adequately sized to make it a comfortable and safe experience.

The width of the kayak is important to consider. You need to be assured that whichever way your dog is standing, both front and back feet fit comfortably on the kayak. You don’t want your dog slipping and falling out.

The weight capacity of your kayak must also be considered. If you have a large, heavy dog you need to make sure that your kayak can hold the weight of the dog, yourself and your equipment.

Otherwise, you will struggle to paddle and control the kayak and could even sink. Check out the "fail" video below to see what we mean...

Sit-On-Top or Sit-In Kayaks

Many find that sit on top kayaks are more suitable for dogs as they are open, allowing your dog to roam about freely. Your dog can jump into the water with ease and can easily get back on to the kayak with some assistance from you. Sit-On-Top Kayaks are also generally considered more stable so this is an added advantage.

However, small or timid dogs might prefer the sit-in, where they can get cosy in the cavity by your feet or even sit on your lap whilst you paddle. This of course depends entirely on your dog’s personality, breed and size.

Single Or Tandem

Single kayaks (whether sit-in or sit-on-top) have one seat and generally only enough room for you, your equipment and some food supplies.

If you have a large dog, you may find that this is not sufficient and a tandem would therefore be a better option.

Fishing Kayaks

Fishing kayaks are generally considered more stable as they are built to allow you to sit or stand on them. They are therefore very good kayaks for dogs.

They probably won't perform well in rapids as they are not designed to do so but if you’re kayaking with your dog you should be sticking to primarily calm and flat waters anyway.

Inflatables vs Hardshells

Don’t be afraid to explore the option of an inflatable kayak for you and your dog. Advancements in technology have made inflatable kayaks just as durable (if not more so) than hardshell kayaks.

The outer layer is made of rubber and PVC (similar to white water rafts or life boats) so as long as your dog’s nails are trimmed, you shouldn’t have any problems or punctures.

Inflatable kayaks also have a higher weight capacity than hardshell kayaks and are generally considered more stable. So if you have a Bernese Mountain Dog or a Great Dane, an inflatable kayak may well be the best option for you.

Safety Is Important

It goes without saying that safety is key, for your sake as well as your precious canine cargo. There are several things to remember when taking your dog out on the water but the most important factors are:

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    Have your dog wear a PFD (personal flotation device) at ​all times.
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    Remember sun cream as some areas (noses in particular) are prone to burning.
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    Never tie your dog to the boat.
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    Take plenty of water and enough food.
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    Stick to calm waters.

Most importantly, you need to prepare your dog for kayaking beforehand. Practice getting in and out of a kayak and staying still on dry land (use your leash only on dry land) so that you are in control on the water. If your dog is disobedient - they’re not ready for kayaking.

Dogs are intelligent animals so it should be possible to train them how to kayak. However, this may be easier said than done with some dogs. 

A PFD is important for kayaking safety, whether you’re a human or a dog, but you may not be able to explain this to a dog, so you might find it easier to have them try it on at home.

This can help them get used to wearing it before they’re introduced to the kayak.

One thing that might help encourage your dog to jump into the kayak, especially if he or she is feeling nervous, is to reward him or her with a treat once they’ve successfully got in and sat down. 

Remember to try this tactic before you actually head out on the water. Try it in your backyard or somewhere familiar to your dog, so he or she can get used to the yak in comfortable surroundings. 

You could always sit down in the yak with your dog to show them you’re comfortable yourself, as dogs can usually sense your energy, so if you’re nervous, it can be likely that they will be too.

You might find it helpful to come up with a keyword command to let your dog know that it’s time to get in to the boat. 

Once you feel like your dog has got the hang of voluntarily going in and out of the kayak, you might be ready for some on-the-water learning. But remember to choose water that is calm, just like if you or your kids were hitting the water for the first time in a yak.

Take it slow when your dog is on board, especially during the launch, as your dog might feel uneasy with wobbly nature of the kayak, even if it is super stable. It might also be a good idea to stay close to the land and in shallow water. 

Let your dog move around on the kayak if they want to, as this might make them feel more at ease. 

Once you’ve got them trained, you can enjoy a wonderful and stress-free time with them on the water.

Best Kayaks For Dogs

1: Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher

Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak - Best Fishing Kayak
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    Length: 10ft
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    Width: 36 inches
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    Depth: 19 inches
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    Weight: 65 pounds
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    Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

This is a large and robust sit-on-top kayak made to hold up to 3 people. It’s made of lightweight polyethylene plastic so it’s easy to transport as well as highly durable. <<< 65 pounds isn’t particularly light for a kayak

The hull is designed for the ultimate stability and tracking so that you can stand up to fish or sit side-saddle without tipping <<< tracking is useful only when paddling. This high level of stability along with the large weight capacity is great news if you’re kayaking with a large dog.

Designed for both comfort and high function, this kayak comes with several footrest positions which cater for kayakers of all shapes and sizes. This can also come in handy if your dog decides to reset between your legs or near your feet.

If you’re keen on fishing, this kayak comes complete with several built-in features that may be of interest. Made with comfort and stability in mind, this is a great option for kayaking or fishing with you dog.

Our Sport Fisher full review

2: Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package - Best Fishing Kayak
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    Length: 12ft
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    Width: 30 inches
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    Depth: 10 inches
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    Weight: 24.6 pounds
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    Max Capacity: 650 pounds

This is an inflatable, two-person kayak that can hold up to three people (two adults and a child or dog). However, for maximum comfort and space, it is best used for two people (or one person and a large dog).

Made from K-80 Polykrylar, it is highly durable, tear resistant and can hold up to a whopping 650 pounds. Ideal for anyone with a very large dog.

Designed for ultra stability, the floor of the kayak is made from 5 I-beam tubes. This makes for easier paddling as the rider sits high and the weight is born by the floor instead of the side chambers. This stability once again is great for kayaking with dogs.

The 5-tube design also creates a more rigid floor which improves the speed and tracking of the kayak. Furthermore, the two molded skegs (like you see on surf boards) at the bottom of the kayak allow for even better tracking and speed, enabling you to go faster and further with less paddling effort.

SE370K_P full review here

3: Perception Pescador Pro 12

Perception Pescador 12.0 Pro Kayak
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    Length: 12ft
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    Width: 32.5 inches
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    Depth: 14.5 inches
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    Weight: 64 pounds
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    Max Capacity: 375 pounds

This kayak is specifically designed for fishing. As mentioned above, fishing kayaks are particularly good for dogs as they are made for ultimate stability.

Made for one paddler, the Perception Pescador Pro 12 comes with a removable seat for your ultimate comfort on the water. This seat comes with two positions (upright and recline) and can be adjusted on the go with a molded-in accessory track recess.

Storage is also available in abundance including a tank-well with bungee, molded-in rod holders, a mold-in cup holder, recessed tackle box storage and a center console where you can rig fish finder electronics.

Depending on the size of your dog, you may need to forego some extra equipment in order to have them accompany you in this kayak but overall it will provide you with a smooth and comfortable day out on the water.

Read our full Pro 12 review here

4: Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Inflatable

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak - Best Tandem kayak
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    Length: 10ft 9 inches
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    Width: 39 inches
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    Weight: 37 pounds
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    Max Capacity: 470 pounds

This is an inflatable fishing kayak designed for two people (or one person and one large dog). Made of 1000 denier tarpaulin at the bottom and 840 denier nylon on the cover, this kayak is robust, durable and puncture resistant.

Made for comfort as well as stability, this kayak comes with two adjustable seats. This is great not only for your comfort but also for the comfort of your dog as you can move the seat closer to you if required.

It comes with plenty of storage options along with rod holders and paddle holders for when you fancy a rest or just want to sit and float for a while.

As for getting it to and from the water, there is an in-built, double threaded Boston valve and a pressure gauge for easy and accurate inflation and deflation and comfortable carry handles for a smooth transition into the water.

Full Colorado review

5: Perception Kayak High Life 11 (Board/Kayak)

Perception Kayak High Life 11 2019
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    Length: 11 ft
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    Width: 34 inches
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    Depth: 12 inches
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    Weight: 55 pounds
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    Weight Capacity: 280 pounds

This kayak is designed to be used as both a kayak and paddle board. The deck is made with no-slip padding and the kayak is designed particularly for stability and smooth tracking. This is therefore a great option for dogs of various sizes.

Complete with a fold-down seat and a cooler storage area, a rear tank-well for additional storage and a built-in cup holder, this kayak is ideal for relaxing days on the water with your dog and a couple of cool beers.

There’s even a swim deck at the back of the kayak which is ideal for dogs (or kids). This is not only a perfect place for your dog to sit and relax, but also makes entering and re-entering the water a lot easier.

6: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Kayak

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
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    Length: 12 ft
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    Width: 34 inches
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    Weight: 58 pounds
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    Weight Capacity: 425 pounds

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a sit-on-top tandem yak that can hold two paddlers plus a small child or a dog. It has a tri-hull construction, which adds to its overall stability, especially in small ocean waves or moderate river current.

The sit-on-top design can make it easy for both you and your dog to jump on and off of. Plus it can be paddled solo, giving you more room to possibly take two well behaved dogs. It also features straps at the bow and stern where you can tie down some of your gear if you’re off on an adventure.

For added comfort, the Malibu Two comes with two padded adjustable seats and has the option of adding dry storage if you wanted to modify it. There are two side carrying handles and bow and stern toggle handles to make it easier to lift and take to the water.

7: Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Kayak

Ocean Prowler 13 Angler
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    Length: 13 ft 4 inches
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    Width: 28 inches
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    Weight: 56 pounds
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    Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

The Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler is a single sit-on-top yak that may offer more speed on the water, thanks to its relatively long and narrow hull design, which could also help to improve tracking.

The Prowler is designed as an angler yak, meaning it has built-in fishing features, such as rod holders and internal hull storage that is accessed through the hatch at the bow.

Being over 13 feet long, there should be plenty of room for your dog to join you, and the hull is built for stability, which may make it feel a little more reassuring if your dog decides to move around while you’re out on the lake.

8: Old Town Vapor 12 Angler Kayak

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 12 Angler Fishing Kayak
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    Length: 12 ft
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    Width: 28.5 inches
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    Weight: 56 pounds
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    Weight Capacity: 375 pounds

The Old Town Vapor 12 Angler is a 12 foot sit-inside yak with a large 47 inch by 19.5 inch cockpit, which should give you plenty of room to bring your dog with you. There’s also a spacious rear tank well for you to store your gear, freeing up space in the cockpit.

The vessel is built for stability and comfort, featuring an adjustable Comfort Flex padded seat and cockpit tray with a built-in cup holder. Additionally, there are thigh pads and a Support Track foot brace system for added paddling comfort.

The enclosed cockpit could make it an ideal choice for paddling in colder conditions, helping to keep you and your dog safe and dry. The Vapor 12 can also be a good choice for fishing trips, with built-in rod holders and bungee rigging for securing additional gear.

9: Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 2019 kayak edition
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    Length: 12 ft
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    Width: 29 inches
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    Weight: 49 pounds
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    Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

FAQs

How Do I Make My Kayak Dog-Friendly?

It can be useful to clear a space for your dog on board so that they can have room to move around and get comfortable. Bring along food and water, and dog friendly bowls.  Try these collapsible from Amazon

You might even want to bring along a small dog bed, depending on the size of your dog and the space you have, as this could help your dog to feel safe and comfortable on longer trips. 

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

You could add grip pads to the parts of your yak where you dog likes to stand or sit, as this can help give paws extra traction on the plastic deck, which could help your dog move around more easily and safely.

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

You could make a platform for your dog to sit on out of wood to be positioned either at the bow or stern of your yak, depending on where you have room or where your dog prefers to sit.

Video: You Can Make Your Own Dog Kayak Platform

Conclusion

Kayaking with dogs is becoming more and more popular and there are plenty of models on the market that will allow you to do so safely and comfortably. Some key things to remember and consider are:

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    Size - make sure your kayak is big enough for your dog to move and sit comfortably.
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    Weight capacity - your kayak needs to be able to hold you, your dog and your equipment.
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    Sit-In, Sit-on-Top, Tandem or Single - your dog’s size, temperament and breed will determine what kind of kayak is best for you and your dog
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    Safety - have your dog in a PFD at all times, remember sun cream & water, never tie your dog to the boat, stick to calm waters and prepare your dog for kayaking - don’t just throw them in at the deep end (literally).

Once you’ve considered these basics, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time on the water with man’s best friend.


We hope out guide to suitable dog kayaks was useful. If you've any questions on the subject, we'll do our best to answer them. Just don't ask  us why your dog is hungry ALL the time, hehe.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Corinne - July 21, 2018

I cannot recommend highly enough the Bic Bilbao sit-on for kayaking with your dog. Firstly, sit-on kayaks are perfect for its stability if you have even a medium sized dog who has a habit of jumping around barking at every duck you pass, of which I have a lot of experience. After a lot of research I found that the Bic Bilbao is one of only two single seater sit-on kayaks available in Europe that does not have the raised section between the leg. The other being the BIC Ouassou Kayak which is probable great for smaller dogs. This means that instead of two separated leg troughs you have a nice sized flat area the width of the kayak with raise sides to give the dog a secure feeling of being ‘inside’ of the kayak and allowing enough room for even a medium dog to lay down for a snooze. The dog is laying between your legs which will provide comfort to those dogs who have yet to discover their sea legs. For those dogs who want to stand up and take the lead there is a platform as the front with a foam insert for great grip for their front paws which leaves their back paws comfortably ‘in’ the bottom of the kayak so there is no danger of them slipping out. Just be warned that you will then become the subject of many photos of people passing by.

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    Kayak Guru - July 24, 2018

    Haha, yes! Hope you’re not camera-shy!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
Glenda - July 31, 2018

Excellent information, thank you

Reply
    Kayak Guru - August 24, 2018

    Thanks Glenda. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply
Gear Priest - March 14, 2019

Great article! This is not a topic you’ll find so easily, thanks for sharing. Nice selection of yaks!

Reply
yorkieguide.com - June 12, 2019

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Reply
Wade - July 25, 2019

The Riot Mako 12, pedal drive fishing kayak is an outstanding kayak for dogs. It has a very large front well, a 450 lb carrying capacity, and weighs only 75 lbs, perfect for carrying a dog of just about any size. It is one of the main reasons I purchased this kayak. My partner is a 65 lb boxer cross who comes with me fishing, both salt and fresh water.

Reply
    Kayak Guru - August 16, 2019

    Thanks for letting us know, Wade 🙂

    Reply

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