Can Dogs Go In An Inflatable Kayak?

Can Dogs Go In An Inflatable Kayak

Getting on the water in an inflatable kayak is a great way to explore the outdoors, and even better with friends. But that got me thinking about our furry, four-legged friends? Can I take my dog in an inflatable kayak? How would that work out? Won’t the dog’s claws damage the kayak? Taking your dog on an outdoor trip is perfectly natural, especially for hunting or fishing trips.

All these questions and more suddenly came into my head, so I did some investigation, and I found that yes, taking your dog in an inflatable kayak is fine. Just follow some basic precautions and try to get your dog used to the kayak first, and everything should be fine.

Things To Consider Before Taking Your Dog In A Kayak

Before embarking on your kayak trip with your dog, there are a few things to check and some preparation needed.

Is My Inflatable Kayak Suitable For My Dog?

They make the most modern inflatable kayaks from high-quality PVC materials that will easily stand up to your dog’s nails. The only exceptions are the lower end kayaks, which are really only built for family fun on the lake.

Inflatable kayaks are strong and stable, making them perfect for you and your dog. Just bear in mind the safety points below, and you’ll have a fantastic time on the water with your dog.


Kayaking is a great sport and a fun way of seeing the outdoors from a different perspective, but safety is paramount. Just as you would wear a personal flotation device (PFD), so should your dog. Not all dogs will enjoy the water straight away, and some may panic. Putting them in a PFD firstly means they will float. Secondly, all good dog PFD’s will have a grab handle on the top, making it easy to get your pup back in the kayak.

Stay safe and invest in a PFD. It will probably last a lifetime, and you certainly won’t regret it should your dog end up in the water.

Dry Rehearsal

Your dog may be nervous about getting in the kayak, especially while it’s moving about on the water. So start getting him acclimatized on dry land. Setup everything at home, as if you were going out on the water. Let your dog check out the kayak and get used to it. He will probably hop in and out quite happily on dry land. 

Now put his PFD on and continue. The aim is to make sure your dog is comfortable, so put a favorite toy or some of his bedding in the kayak.

Practice getting in and out of the kayak with your dog. Get your dog to sit in the kayak and try walking away. You want him to be comfortable and happy, even when you get out. If you have a swimming pool, you could try that before heading out to open water.

This could take a bit of practice, but trying at home will really pay dividends when you hit the water for real.

Should I Use A Leash When In The Kayak?

Of course, you want your pet to be safe when it’s in the kayak, and for a dog owner, putting the leash on seems to make sense. But, if you tie the dog’s leash to the kayak, you could be asking he could drown. You need a leash while on the quayside, but it’s not advised while on the water.

Don’t Forget The Essentials

Just as if you were going camping with your dog, there are some essential items to bring when kayaking:

  • Leash
  • PFD
  • Water and a bowl
  • Poop bags
  • Food if you are staying for extended periods
  • Treats
  • Bedding for inside the kayak
  • Sunscreen, particularly for the ears and other areas with thin fur
  • First aid kit

Carrying your essentials items and keeping them dry can be a challenge. Take a look at our 10 best dry bags for kayaking article to choose the right one for your needs.


Taking your four-legged friend out in your inflatable kayak can be great fun, but it needs a little preparation first. Take your time, and let your dog get used to the idea, and we’re sure you’ll be on the water in no time. In a capsize situation, the dog’s leash may get caught on something underwater, and 

This article was last updated on April 22, 2021 .

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Categorized as Kayaking
Martin Parker

By Martin Parker

Martin Parker is a freelance content writer with a passion for offshore sailing, snowboarding, camping, and motorcycles. He regularly writes articles and reviews about camping and the outdoors to fund his passions.