Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

6 Best Kayaks for Dogs

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on July 3, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

For those who love the great outdoors, combining the thrill of a kayak adventure with the companionship of their four-legged friends makes for an unbeatable experience. However, not all kayaks are built to accommodate our furry friends comfortably and safely. That’s why it’s essential to choose a kayak designed with the needs of both you and your dog in mind. This article will take you through the top kayak options for dogs, focusing on crucial factors like stability, space, durability, and safety features to help you find the perfect fit.


#1 – Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series offers a lightweight and durable option for kayaking enthusiasts. Made with super tough laminate PVC and a polyester core, it is resistant to damage from abrasion, impact, and sunlight. The kayak features high-pressure inflation for increased stability, as well as various accessories such as fishing rod holders and adjustable seats. It also includes a carry bag and repair patch, making it convenient for storage and maintenance.


#2 – Sea Eagle 300X Explorer Touring, Camping, Fishing & Whitewater Inflatable Kayak, 1 Person, Lightweight, Self-Bailing, High-Pressure Drop Stitch Floor-W/Paddle, Seat, SUP Pump, Removable Skeg & Bag

The Sea Eagle 300X Explorer Inflatable Kayak is a versatile and durable kayak suitable for various water activities such as touring, fishing, camping, and whitewater paddling. It is designed to withstand class-four whitewater while still providing stability and comfort on flat-water surfaces. The kayak is equipped with self-bailing features, floor drains, and a removable slide skeg for improved tracking.


#3 – Perception Tribe 9.5 | Sit on Top Kayak for All-Around Fun | Large Rear Storage with Tie Downs | 9′ 5″

The Perception Tribe 9.5 sit-on kayak offers a versatile and fun experience for paddlers of all sizes. With a weight capacity of 300 lbs, it provides stability and comfort, making it suitable for various water activities. Equipped with a high-back frame seatback and ample rear storage, this lightweight kayak is easy to transport and allows for a relaxing and enjoyable paddling experience.



#4 – Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak -1-3 Person-Portable Stowable & Lightweight-with Seat(s), Paddle(s), Pump and Bag

The Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak is a lightweight and portable kayak that can accommodate 1-3 people and has a maximum weight capacity of 650 lbs. It is suitable for up to Class III whitewater and comes with two movable and comfortable Deluxe Kayak Seats for improved back support. Additionally, it includes two paddles, a foot pump, and a carry bag, making it convenient to transport and store. The kayak also features 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking and speed, an open and close drain valve, and 5 deluxe 1-way inflation/deflation valves.


#5 – Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak, 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Kayak Package with 2 EVA Padded Seats, Includes 2 Aluminum Paddles and Fishing Rod Holder Mounts

The Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak is a versatile and durable kayak made for fishing, travel, or family recreation. With a weight capacity of 500 pounds, it can accommodate two paddlers or a paddler with a child in the center seat. It features a tough hull construction, rod holders, and storage options, and is fully outfitted with padded seats, aluminum paddles, and scupper plugs.


#6 – Pelican Sentinel 100X Sit on Top Kayak – Recreational Kayak – Lightweight for One Person – 9ft. 6in.

The Pelican Sentinel 100X Sit-on-Top Kayak is a lightweight and stable recreational kayak designed for one person. It features upgraded storage options, including a front storage platform and a removable storage compartment. The kayak is also equipped with safety features, such as additional flotation and scupper holes for draining water, and it offers a comfortable paddling experience with its adjustable seating system. Its lightweight design makes it easy to store and transport.


What Are Some Features to Look for When Choosing a Kayak to Use with Your Dog?

When choosing a kayak to use with your dog, there are several key features you should look for:

  1. Stability: A stable kayak is essential when you’re bringing a dog along. Look for kayaks with a wide base, as they are less likely to tip over if your dog moves around.
  2. Size and Space: Ensure the kayak has enough space for both you and your dog to sit comfortably. If your dog is large, you might need a tandem kayak, even if there are only two of you.
  3. Durability: Dogs can scratch or bite surfaces, so you’ll want a kayak made of sturdy, puncture-resistant material. Inflatable kayaks may not be the best choice if your dog’s claws aren’t regularly trimmed.
  4. Ease of Entry/Exit: Look for a kayak with a large, open cockpit or a sit-on-top design. This makes it easier for your dog to get in and out of the kayak.
  5. Non-Slip Surface: A kayak with a non-slip deck or mat can provide your dog with a better grip, making it safer for them, especially if they like to stand or move around.
  6. Storage Space: It’s helpful to have storage space for doggy essentials such as water, a leash, treats, and a pet flotation device.
  7. Weight Capacity: Make sure the kayak can support the combined weight of you, your dog, and any gear you bring along.
  8. Safety Features: Reflective detailing, handles, and tie-downs are all useful safety features. You can use the handles to help your dog get back in the kayak if they jump or fall out, and tie-downs to secure your dog’s leash.

Remember, the most important thing is that both you and your dog are safe and comfortable. Before going kayaking, it can be helpful to do some dry runs with your dog and the kayak on land to get them used to it.


Safety Precautions for Kayaking with Your Dog

Safety should always be a top priority when kayaking with your dog. Here are some crucial precautions you should take:

  1. Life Jacket: Even if your dog is an excellent swimmer, a doggie life jacket is a must-have. It ensures buoyancy if your dog ends up in the water and often has a handle on the back for easy extraction.
  2. Training: Before hitting the water, familiarize your dog with the kayak on dry land. Also, ensure your dog is comfortable with water and can swim.
  3. Leash: Use a leash, but never tie it to the kayak. If the kayak capsizes, your dog could get trapped underwater. The leash should be used to keep the dog close when you’re on land or in the water (not on the kayak).
  4. Sun Protection: Dogs can get sunburnt too, especially those with short hair or lighter skin. Use a pet-safe sunscreen and provide a shaded area on the kayak, if possible.
  5. Hydration and Nutrition: Pack plenty of fresh water and a portable bowl, along with some snacks. Saltwater is not safe for dogs to drink and can lead to dehydration.
  6. First Aid Kit: Always bring a pet-friendly first aid kit. This should include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, a tick remover, etc.
  7. Monitor Your Dog: Keep an eye on your dog at all times. If they appear anxious or start to shiver, it might be time to head back to shore.
  8. Know Your Dog’s Limitations: Some breeds are more comfortable with water and physical activity than others. Understand your dog’s abilities and keep outings brief until you’re sure of their endurance.
  9. Respect Wildlife: If you’re kayaking in an area with a lot of wildlife, make sure your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t disturb any animals.
  10. Tell Someone Your Plan: Let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return, especially if you’re kayaking in a remote area.

Kayaking can be a fantastic experience for you and your dog, but safety should always come first. Always follow these precautions and consider taking a pet first aid course to be fully prepared.


Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing a Kayak to Use with Your Dog

  1. What type of kayak is best for dogs? Sit-on-top kayaks are often the best choice for dogs. They typically have a stable and spacious deck which allows dogs to sit comfortably and move around with less risk of capsizing the kayak.
  2. What size of kayak should I get for my dog? The size of the kayak you should get depends on the size of your dog. A large dog will need more space, so consider a tandem kayak even if you’re only planning for two occupants. Make sure the weight capacity of the kayak can support you, your dog, and your gear.
  3. Can I take my puppy on a kayak? It’s best to wait until your dog is fully grown before taking them on a kayak. Puppies may have difficulty staying still and may not have developed strong swimming skills yet.
  4. Do I need a special kayak if my dog likes to swim? If your dog likes to swim, a sit-on-top kayak with a lower deck and a rear platform can be a good choice. This makes it easier for your dog to get back onto the kayak after swimming.
  5. How do I train my dog for kayaking? Start by letting your dog explore the kayak on dry land. Use positive reinforcement to make the kayak a positive place. Once they’re comfortable, gradually introduce them to water, starting in calm, shallow waters.
  6. Should my dog wear a life jacket while kayaking? Yes, a life jacket is essential, even if your dog is a strong swimmer. It adds buoyancy, making it easier for your dog to stay afloat, and the handle allows you to lift your dog out of the water if necessary.
  7. What kind of material should my kayak be made of? Look for a durable, puncture-resistant material like polyethylene or ABS plastic, particularly if your dog has long or sharp nails. Inflatable kayaks may not be ideal for dogs due to the risk of punctures.
  8. Can I secure my dog to the kayak? While it might seem like a good idea to secure your dog to the kayak, it can actually be dangerous. If the kayak capsizes, your dog could get trapped. It’s better to train your dog to stay on the kayak.
  9. How can I keep my dog comfortable on the kayak? Bring along a non-slip mat for your dog to sit or stand on. This can provide grip and make the kayak’s hard surface more comfortable. Also, consider bringing a sunshade to protect your dog from the sun.
  10. What should I pack for my dog when we go kayaking? Essentials include a dog life jacket, fresh water, a collapsible water bowl, a leash, snacks, and a pet-friendly first aid kit. If you’ll be out for a long time, you might also want to bring a meal for your dog.


Conclusion: Best Kayaks for Dogs

In conclusion, embarking on a kayaking journey with your dog can offer unforgettable bonding experiences while also encouraging an active lifestyle. The best kayak for you and your dog will depend on various factors, including your dog’s size, the kayak’s design, and the nature of your adventures. We hope this guide has helped you navigate through the vast sea of options available, bringing you one paddle closer to your next exciting outing. Always remember, safety is paramount, so ensure your dog is equipped with a life jacket and is comfortable around water before setting sail. Happy paddling!

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog