Best Kayak For Dogs
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BEST RECOMMENDED Perception Pescador Pro 12.
BEST FOR BEGINNER Lifetime 10 Foot
Best INFLATABLE Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2 Person Inflatable Kayak Set
Being a man (or woman)’s best friend, dogs are great companions. Even when it comes to the great outdoors. So, that includes accompanying you during your kayak trips as well.
It is heartbreaking to leave them on the shore while you go out paddling on your own right?
Although some dogs can move as well as a seal on water, most dogs are afraid of the water. We have a lovely terrier with us for 7 years already. But till this date, we still have to wrestle each time when it comes to bath time.
That’s why, before you bring your beloved furries on board, the first thing to do is to ensure the kayak is safe and comfortable for your dogs.
In this guide, we will discuss what it takes for a kayak to be friendly for dogs. Then, we also have a comprehensive review of the top kayaks for dogs that you can consider getting.
Table of Contents
5 Best Kayak For Dogs
How To Choose The Best Dog-Friendly Kayaks
Choosing a dog-friendly kayak is very much similar to choosing a beginner-friendly kayak. While you are not a beginner, your dear furry buddy is.
So, the key aspect you will be looking for is the kayak should be comfortable for beginners. These are some of the points you need to consider:
There is a general rule with kayaks that you should not exceed the maximum capacity of your kayak. But how much is too much? Follow this way.
When choosing which kayak to get, there are 3 things to measure first:
- Your dog
- The items you are planning to bring on board
Ensure that the total weight of all 3 is no more than 70% of the kayak’s weight capacity. Always have at least 30% of extra capacity to be safe.
Safety is our number 1 priority and better be safe than sorry. We cannot emphasize this enough.
So, assuming you are 150 pounds, your dog is 40 pounds and the gears you are going to bring are 30 pounds. That is a total of 220 pounds.
For that total weight, you will need a kayak with at least 315 pounds capacity. Anything less than 315 pounds capacity is immediately out of your consideration.
Do not even think about it no matter how pretty the kayak looks.
The stability of the kayak is very important especially if your furry buddy has never been on a kayak before. Remember the time you step foot on a kayak for the first time?
The worries, the anxiety and the doubts. Any sudden movements tend to cause a panic attack. Those are roughly what our dear buddy will experience too.
Another reason to prioritize stability is because you do not want the kayak to get wobbly each time your dog moves from one end to another. A solid watercraft must be able to handle such movements on board.
So, find the most stable kayak you can get within your budget. There are 2 factors to look at when it comes to stability:
The kayak’s width
The wider your kayak, the more stable it is. The main drawback of a wide kayak is poor tracking and lower speed. But that is absolutely not a concern if you are going for a leisure cruise on the water.
The kayak’s hull design
Look out for a flat hull or a pontoon hull. These are the 2 hull designs that offer the highest stability on the water.
Deck Space And Design
In terms of the deck space and design, ideally you should be looking for a wide, open or flat deck. This helps our 4 legged buddies to walk around comfortably on the kayak without tripping over.
That’s why when it comes to sit-on-top vs sit-in kayaks, we normally recommend the sit-on-top type.
While one can argue that sit-in kayaks are generally more stable, the lack of space could get uncomfortable. Unless your dog prefers to cuddle up on your lap all the time.
If that is the case, you also need to ensure that your own mobility is not affected when your dog is sitting on your lap. Make sure you can comfortably paddle, hop in and hop off your kayak without tripping over.
There is no right or wrong here. It really depends on your level of experience.
Types of Kayak For Dogs
There are many types of kayaks out there in the market. Generally, the bigger ones are suitable for having your furry buddy on board. Even if there is no mention or indication that it is good for dogs.
So far, there are no kayaks specifically marketed as dog friendly yet. In fact, the 5 kayaks that we will be reviewing soon do not have any indication that they are great for dogs too.
However, there are 2 types of kayaks that you should avoid if you are looking to kayak with your furry buddy. Firstly is the sea kayaks. The other is whitewater kayaks.
Those 2 kayaks are small and speedy watercraft that are specifically designed for water sports. It generally does not have space for your dog. Plus it is not stable enough for a dog to ride on it.
Lifetime 10 Foot Specs
Max Capacity: 500 lbs
Weight: 60 lbs
This high capacity fishing kayak is designed for 2 people. But it can hold up to 3 people too thanks to its massive weight capacity. Definitely a great option for those who are looking to paddle with their dog.
The pontoon hull design gives this kayak great stability. Enjoy the freedom to stand on or even sit on the side without the risk of capsizing. Even large-sized dogs like a husky can move around without tipping this kayak off-balanced.
What we really like about the Lifetime 10 Foot is its open deck design. So, there is ample space to move around without feeling cramped. You can also adjust your seat position to give more space to your furry buddy.
However, as a fishing kayak, we find this rather lacking. It comes with 3 rod holders and that is about all it has for fishing. With only 1 rear hatch for storage, it is insufficient for all your fishing gears.
Putting the lack of fishing features aside, it’s overall a very flexible kayak. That’s why we highly recommend the Lifetime 10 Foot for beginners who wants to use this with the whole family.
You can use this as a stand-up paddleboard, you can kayak with a family member. There is even an option to mount a trolling motor at the rear too. All in all, this is a jack of all trade kayak.
- Flexible pilot seat position
- Very flexible use
- Massive weight capacity
- Lack of storage space
Sevylor Coleman Colorado Specs
Max Capacity: 470 lbs
Weight: 37 lbs
This Coleman Colorado from Sevylor is an inflatable fishing kayak that can fit 2 person, or a person and a dog.
Similarly to the Lifetime 10 Foot, this kayak allows you to adjust your seat position to give more space to your furry buddy. This is really helpful because being a sit-in type of kayak, deck space is rather limited. You may feel a little bit cramped inside. Not suitable for big dogs.
Despite being an inflatable kayak, the Coleman Colorado is rather rich with features. There are D-rings along the sides of the kayak to attach other equipment. Mesh storage pockets as well to keep small items like your snacks. Not forgetting rod holders and paddle holders too.
Last but not least, is the convenience that comes when deflated. It is easy to transport it around. Can even fit into a car and you do not need to buy a kayak rack for this.
Also, you may be surprised but your furry buddy’s nails will definitely not puncture this kayak. Made from thick tarpaulin, it is puncture resistant even against river stones.
However, multiple customers have shared that the material is not durable. While it does not get punctured easily, the material gets deformed after a few years. Even with light usage only.
- Very portable
- Can be equipped with a motor
- Adjustable pilot seat
- Not recommended for big dogs
- Not long-lasting
Explorer K2 Specs
Max Capacity: 400 lbs
Weight: 30 lbs
Another inflatable kayak that we will be reviewing. We have already discussed the typical advantages and disadvantages of an inflatable kayak earlier. So, here we will be focusing solely on Intex’s Explorer K2.
The Explorer K2 is a sporty recreational kayak with inflatable seats and a backrest to give you the comfort to paddle for hours. The seats and backrest are removable. So, you can remove the front seat to give more deck space for your furry buddy to comfortably move around.
This kayak conveniently comes in a complete set which includes a pump, paddles, detachable skeg and a carry bag too. That is almost everything you need to start paddling. The only missing piece left to get is a life jacket.
It is made from heavy-duty vinyl. So, do not worry about the kayak getting punctured by your dog’s nails. But there are some customers who shared that their Explorer K2 got punctured by really sharp objects. Hence, you still need to be really careful with this kayak.
Additionally, some also reported that air holes start to appear after a while. Fortunately, there are repair kits that you can use to quickly patch up those air holes.
- Very portable
- Comes in a complete set
- Easy to inflate & deflate
- Not durable
Ocean Kayak Malibu Specs
Max Capacity: 425 lbs
Weight: 63 lbs
This is a tandem recreational kayak from Ocean Kayak. You can paddle solo or with a buddy and also include your furry friend.
This flat hull kayak features a tri-hull design which gives it superior stability even on slightly rough ocean waters. You and your furry buddy can stand, and hop in or out of this watercraft without feeling wobbly.
The open deck design gives ample space for your furry friends to move around on the deck. It is very easy to hop in and hop off as well.
The Malibu 2 is very versatile. Thanks to its superior stability, it can double up as a stand-up paddleboard too. The only thing lacking is no covered storage space or even bungees. But this is fine if you are not paddling for several hours.
All in all, Ocean Kayak’s Malibu 2 is a great entry-level kayak thanks to its versatile use.
- Versatile use for the whole family
- Great for beginners
- Very limited storage space
Perception Pescador Pro 12 Specs
Max Capacity: 375 lbs
Weight: 64 lbs
The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a top-tiered fishing kayak, making it a perfect watercraft for fishing with your furry buddy. The pontoon hull is made from durable high density polyethylene.
It is a stable boat that provides excellent stability. Designed for anglers to confidently stand on this kayak. And whip their rod for the perfect cast without tipping overboard.
With this kayak, you will not feel lonely while fishing. It has a recessed bow with a mesh storage cover. You can remove the mesh cover and make the bow area a comfy area for your furry buddy to sit on.
Fret not about losing storage space! There is still ample space in the rear with bungee cord lashes. It will fit your cooler box, fishing box and even lunch box too (for the both of you).
As an angler, you will not find the Pescador Pro 12 lacking in terms of fishing features. There are 2 molded in rod holders, a pair of gear tracks for adding accessories and a fish finder console too with a battery zone to mount your transducer.
However, the bow area is a bit small. So, personally we feel that this kayak is not suitable for big dogs. The likes of Golden Retriever or Husky.
- Highly rigged for fishing
- Adjustable footrest
- Comfortable seat
- Only for smaller sized dogs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Can you put a dog on an inflatable kayak?
A: Yes. Inflatable kayaks from reputable companies are made of tough material that would not puncture easily. Therefore, always ensure you buy an inflatable kayak from a reputable kayak company. We have even reviewed an inflatable kayak in this guide.
Q: Can a dog fit in a sit-in kayak?
A: Yes. But sit-in kayak generally has limited space. So, bigger sized dog would not fit in. Even if your dog does manage to fit in, you need to ensure that your furry buddy is not obstructing your movements.
Q: Can 2 dogs fit into a kayak?
A: This is highly dependent on the size of your dog. As long as you do not go beyond the total weight capacity of the kayak, it is fine. In this guide, we shared how to find the ideal weight capacity for you and your furry buddy.
Q: Can a dog stay on a kayak?
A: As long as your furry buddy feels comfortable, they will stay on the kayak without moving around anxiously. But remember, it takes time to train your dog to get used to it. A good beginner kayak will help to shorten this training period. Check out our guide on how to find a dog-friendly kayak.
Q: How to train my dog to be comfortable on a kayak?
A: This will definitely take time. Start from the land, use treats to entice your furry buddy to get onto the kayak and stay comfortably on it. Then slowly bring it to the water and paddle around the shore first before moving further away.
All 5 of the kayaks we reviewed so far are amazing kayaks. The best one is actually depending on how you are using it. If you are a serious angler, we highly recommend the Perception Pescador Pro 12. That is a highly rigged kayak for fishing. But it can get a little tight for bigger dogs. So, if you have a small dog and love fishing, go for this one.
On the other hand, if you are new entirely to kayak. We highly recommend the Lifetime 10 Foot simply for its versatility. It has a massive weight to fit in 2 dogs or 2 people and a dog. If you somehow decided not to bring your furry buddy for a particular trip, you can still use the kayak for fishing, for stand up paddling and more. Hence, it is a great all-rounder kayak.
Most kayak does not come with a PFD (personal floatation device) or a life jacket. So, always ensure you immediately order a life jacket upon purchasing a kayak. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is. Check out our guide on the best kayak life jacket to learn how to choose the ideal PFD for you and PFDs for your dogs too.
We hope you enjoyed this article and if you have questions about Best Kayak For Dogs or want to leave your own personal comments, feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!