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Best Kayaks for Dogs for 2024: 6 Top Dog-Friendly Options

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best kayaks for dogs

When choosing the best kayak for you and your canine companion, consider inflatable and tandem options that offer plenty of stable, accessible space. The Intex Explorer K2 and Ocean Kayak Malibu Two are excellent inflatable and tandem picks, respectively, built to support dogs comfortably.

Sit-on-top kayaks like the Sun Dolphin Bali SS and Lifetime Sport Fisher also make great dog-friendly choices.

No matter which kayak you select, be sure to properly train your pup and equip them with a high-quality life jacket designed for dogs. With the right preparation, you and your furry first mate can enjoy countless adventures on the water.

Key Takeaways

  • Inflatable and tandem kayaks, such as the Intex Explorer K2 and Ocean Kayak Malibu Two, are excellent choices for dog owners due to their stability, space, and comfort for both humans and canines.
  • Sit-on-top kayaks like the Sun Dolphin Bali SS and Lifetime Sport Fisher are also suitable for dogs, offering easy handling, stability, and ample seating area.
  • Safety and comfort for the dog should be prioritized, including the use of a high-quality dog life jacket and training the dog with commands like Get in your spot and Okay! to ensure a safe kayaking experience.
  • Additional considerations for kayaking with dogs include bringing essentials like fresh drinking water, dog treats, a leash (for use on shore only), and ensuring the kayak has enough storage for these items.

Best Kayaks for Dogs

Ready to initiate the quest for the ideal kayak for your canine companion? From inflatable choices to sit-on-tops, this article presents six exceptional kayaks that accommodate both you and your beloved furry first mate. Prepare to commence thrilling expeditions on the water with these top dog-friendly kayaks.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Set

Intex 68307EP Explorer K2 InflatableView On Amazon

Yo, listen up! If you’re looking to hit the water with your furry pal, the Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Set is a total game-changer. This bad boy is inflatable, so it’s a breeze to stash in your trunk and bust out whenever the mood strikes.

It’s built like a tank, with sturdy 30-gauge vinyl that can handle all the wear and tear your pup can dish out. The best part? It’s affordable as heck, so you can focus on making memories instead of breaking the bank.

Trust me, your dog is gonna love chilling on the open water with you in this kayak. It’s a total win-win!

Best For: Anyone looking for an affordable and durable inflatable kayak for leisurely paddling.

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Paddles are not the greatest quality
  • May not be suitable for heavy paddling or rough waters
  • Inflatable seats may not provide enough support for extended paddling

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two TandemView On Amazon

Seeking the ideal kayak to share your adventures with your canine companion? Behold the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Kayak. This adaptable kayak is crafted to accommodate two adults and one dog, rendering it an optimal selection for families or dog enthusiasts seeking to explore the water in unison.

With a 500-pound weight capacity, the Malibu Two effortlessly handles the combined weight of two adults and a dog. It’s equipped with four fishing rod holders and two attachment points for accessories, empowering you to tailor your kayak to meet your requirements. The kayak also includes cushioned seats and paddles, guaranteeing a comfortable voyage for both you and your pet.

Regarding safety, the Malibu Two is well-prepared. It’s rated for rough waters and boasts independent inflatable chambers, providing an enhanced level of security for you and your dog. Furthermore, it includes a detachable center fin and comes with a carrying bag, facilitating transportation and storage.

If you’re training your dog for kayaking, the Malibu Two offers ample space for your canine companion. Its expansive front deck provides ample room for most dogs, and its 350-pound capacity guarantees that your dog can comfortably join you on your aquatic adventures.

Best For: Families and dog enthusiasts seeking a versatile kayak for shared adventures.

  • Accommodates two adults and a dog
  • Four fishing rod holders and accessory attachment points
  • Cushioned seats and paddles for comfort
  • Limited dry storage space
  • May require additional storage solutions
  • Can be heavy to carry solo

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit on Top Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SSView On Amazon

Seeking a kayak specifically suited for your furry companion? Consider the Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit on Top Kayak. This kayak is an excellent choice for dog owners, boasting a spacious and comfortable seating area along with protective thigh pads, providing ample room for your dog to recline or sit.

The Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit on Top Kayak is also effortless to handle and stable, making it an ideal option for both novice and proficient kayakers. It includes a paddle and is readily transportable, offering convenience for those who desire to embark on adventures with their canine companion.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the seat is somewhat firm and may necessitate the use of a cushion to ensure your dog’s comfort. Furthermore, the attached hardware isn’t composed of stainless steel, which may be a consideration for certain users.

Despite these minor imperfections, the Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit on Top Kayak remains a dependable option for individuals seeking a dog-friendly kayak. It’s reasonably priced, user-friendly, and designed to accommodate your furry companion in a stylish manner. So, why not embark on a kayaking adventure with your dog and discover the joy of exploring the waterways together?

Best For: Dog owners seeking a comfortable and stable kayak for leisurely excursions.

  • Spacious and comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads
  • Easy to handle and stable
  • Paddle and portable accessory carrier included

Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak 10 Feet Olive

Lifetime 10 Foot, Two PersonView On Amazon

Consider the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak 10 Feet Olive if you’re searching for a kayak that can accommodate your canine companion. This kayak prioritizes durability and stability, making it an ideal choice for those seeking to include their dog in their aquatic adventures.

The Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak 10 Feet Olive employs high-density polyethylene in its construction, rendering it resistant to the elements and any rambunctious canine behavior. It boasts a 500-pound weight capacity, comfortably accommodating two adults and a child or one adult and a sizable dog.

Exceptional stability is a distinguishing feature of this kayak. Its broad, stable design facilitates maneuverability, even with a dog aboard. It also features multiple footrest configurations, enabling you to optimize comfort for both yourself and your pet.

The Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak 10 Feet Olive provides ample storage via its 6-inch diameter storage hatch, accommodating essential items for your excursion. Additionally, it includes a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty, ensuring peace of mind regarding your investment.

Regarding safety, the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak 10 Feet Olive is equipped with a 6-foot storage hatch, which is large enough to store any essentials you might need on your trip. It also comes with a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty, giving you peace of mind that your investment is protected.

The Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak 10 Feet Olive excels in rough waters, earning its recommendation for such conditions. Its design incorporates separate inflatable chambers, ensuring the safety and dryness of both you and your dog. It includes a carrying bag and a detachable center fin, simplifying transportation and setup.

Best For: Families and pet owners seeking a stable and durable kayak for fishing and recreational use.

  • Durable high-density polyethylene construction
  • Ample storage space with a 6-inch diameter storage hatch
  • Multiple footrest positions for optimal comfort
  • Not as lightweight as some other kayaks
  • Cushioned seats not included
  • Requires two people to carry easily

Sevylor Colorado 2 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Sevylor Colorado 2-Person Inflatable FishingView On Amazon

Embark on adventures with the Sevylor Colorado 2 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak, your loyal companion for those thrilling water excursions. Constructed from durable 18-gauge PVC with a sturdy 1000D tarpaulin base and a protective 840D nylon cover, this kayak boasts exceptional resilience.

Its inflation and deflation are effortless, making it perfect for spontaneous adventurers. With ample space and multiple air chambers for enhanced safety, you and your canine companion can explore with unwavering confidence.

Lightweight yet roomy, it’s the ideal partner for those who yearn for liberation, expertise, and a deep connection with the water.

Best For: Adventurers and anglers seeking a stable, spacious, and easy-to-use inflatable kayak for fishing expeditions.

  • Durable construction with multiple air chambers for safety
  • Ample space for two people and gear
  • Lightweight and portable, fitting easily into a trunk
  • Tracking could be improved
  • Documentation and instructions are generic
  • Requires a good pump with a PSI gauge and long oars for optimal performance

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 One-PersonView On Amazon

Ready to hit the water with your furry friend? The Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Kayak is a fantastic choice for dog owners who want to share their love for kayaking with their four-legged companions. This kayak is designed with a tri-form hull that provides primary and secondary stability, making it perfect for confident paddlers and their canine counterparts.

The Scrambler 11 is equipped with a four-way-adjustable Comfort Plus seat, ensuring that both you and your dog can enjoy a comfortable ride for up to 4-5 hours without discomfort. The seat has a sensitive backside, which is a thoughtful feature for your dog’s well-being. Additionally, scupper stoppers are recommended for the seat and footwell to keep your dog’s paws dry and comfortable.

This kayak boasts a large tank well and a 6-inch Cam Lock Hatch with a storage bucket, providing ample space for your dog’s essentials. The molded-in side handles and bow/stern carrying handles make it easy to transport your kayak and gear. With dimensions of 11 feet 6 inches long, 29.5 inches wide, and 18 inches high, the Scrambler 11 offers a spacious deck** for your dog to sit and enjoy the ride.

The Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Kayak is a great choice for dog owners who want to explore the waterways with their furry friends. Its tri-form hull, comfortable seating, and ample storage make it a top pick for dog-friendly kayaks in 2024. So, grab your paddle, your dog’s life jacket, and set sail on an adventure together.

Best For: Confident paddlers, especially dog owners who want to share their kayaking experiences with their furry companions.

  • Tri-form hull provides excellent stability for both paddlers and dogs.
  • Comfortable seat with adjustable backrest and sensitive backside for dog comfort.
  • Ample storage for dog supplies and gear.
  • Not as fast as other kayaks.
  • Seat may not be comfortable for some paddlers.
  • Plastic seam may be a concern for future splitting.

Training Your Dog for Kayaking

Training Your Dog for Kayaking
Before you take your furry friend on the water, you’ll need to assess their readiness and acclimate them to the kayak. Practice key commands like Get in your spot and Okay! to make sure a safe and enjoyable paddling experience for both of you.

Assessing Your Dog’s Readiness

Before starting a kayaking adventure with your canine friend, it’s essential to establish if your dog is prepared for the experience. Here are three significant elements to take into account:

  1. Fearful dogs: Dogs who are easily spooked or anxious may not relish kayaking. If your dog gets agitated during car journeys or when encountering new environments, it might be advisable to postpone kayaking until they become more at ease.
  2. Unwilling dogs: Some dogs may be hesitant to board a kayak. This could be due to a fear of water or simply not desiring to depart from the familiarity of land. Encourage your dog to explore the kayak at their own pace, using rewards and positive reinforcement.
  3. Overly excited dogs: Dogs that are excessively excited or hyperactive may find it challenging to remain calm on a kayak. These dogs may benefit from some training and physical activity before attempting to kayak together.

Additionally, take into consideration the age, health, and physical condition of your dog. Older dogs or dogs with disabilities may necessitate extra precautions or adjustments to guarantee their safety on the water.

Acclimating Your Dog to the Kayak

To acclimate your dog to the kayak, start by familiarizing them with the kayak on land. Use treats to motivate them and encourage them to sit on the kayak. Practice loading and unloading your dog from the kayak in a calm and controlled manner.

Gradually increase the time your dog spends on the kayak, starting with short sessions and gradually increasing the duration.

Always make sure the kayak is stable and secure before allowing your dog to board. Remember, safety is paramount, so always use a dog life jacket and make sure your dog is comfortable and confident before setting off on a kayaking adventure.

Practicing Helpful Commands

As you continue to train your dog for kayaking, it’s important to practice helpful commands that will guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  1. Get in your spot: Teach your dog to sit in a specific spot on the kayak, either in the front or back, depending on their size and comfort. This will help them understand where they should stay during the journey.
  2. Okay!: Use this command to signal your dog to stop doing something that could be dangerous or distracting. It’s critical to reinforce this command consistently to make sure your dog understands the importance of listening.
  3. Leave it!: This command will help your dog avoid potential hazards, such as other boats, wildlife, or debris in the water. Practice this command in various environments to help your dog learn to avoid potential dangers.
  4. Lay Down: This command will help your dog stay calm and relaxed during the kayaking experience. It can also be useful when you need your dog to stay put while you’re unloading or loading the kayak.
  5. Get in the water/Get in the boat: This command will help your dog understand when it’s time to enter the water or get back in the kayak. It’s essential to practice this command in a controlled environment, such as a shallow pool or a calm body of water, to ensure your dog’s safety.

Remember to stay calm and patient throughout the training process. It’s also critical to provide your dog with plenty of shore time to rest and relax during the journey. Always use a dog life jacket with a handle for easy retrieval, and avoid using a leash on the kayak. Instead, use a leash on shore for potty breaks and to keep your dog safe when you’re not in the kayak.

Safety Tips for Kayaking With Your Dog

When kayaking with your furry first mate, safety’s your top priority. Here’s how to keep tails wagging and paddles splashing:

  1. Dog Training: Master commands like stay to prevent overboard doggy dives.
  2. Leash Use: On shore only, to avoid tangling at sea.
  3. Beach and Dock Entry: Practice makes perfect for smooth launches and landings.
  4. Sun Protection: Doggy sunscreen shields those sensitive snouts from harsh rays.

What to Bring When Kayaking With Your Dog

What to Bring When Kayaking With Your Dog
When you head out on the water with your canine companion, be sure to bring along the essentials:

  • A lifejacket to keep them safe
  • A supply of their favorite treats to reward good behavior
  • Fresh drinking water with a bowl for hydration

Don’t forget to pack their food for longer trips, and keep a leash handy for use on shore only.


When kayaking with your furry companion, safety is of utmost importance. A lifejacket is an indispensable piece of gear to guarantee your dog’s buoyancy and ease in the water.

Seek a lifejacket that’s buoyant, secure, and reflective, like the Ruffwear Float Coat. It boasts a sturdy handle for effortless lifting, a leash attachment point, and reflective edging for enhanced visibility. The lifejacket is crafted with PVC-free foam for both agility and comfort both in and out of the water.

The robust, discreet handle aids dogs in exiting the water and returning to the vessel or boat. Meticulously positioned foam panels foster a natural swimming posture, and the adjustable neck closure accommodates a variety of dog sizes. Effortless-to-fasten, shielded buckles maintain straps firmly in place over time, and the water-resistant webbing remains stable in humid environments.

Dog Treats

Bringing dog treats is a vital part of your kayaking essentials when you’re kayaking with your furry friend. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Reward Good Behavior: Dog treats are an excellent way to reward your dog for good behavior, such as following commands or staying calm in the kayak.
  • Prepare for Training: Treats can be used during training sessions to help your dog understand and respond to commands like Get in your spot, Okay!, Leave it!, Lay Down, and Get in the water / Get in the boat.
  • Choose the Right Treats: Opt for small, soft treats that are easy for your dog to chew and swallow while on the kayak. Avoid treats with hard or sharp edges that could cause injury or discomfort.
  • Pack Enough: Bring a sufficient supply of treats to guarantee you have enough for the entire kayaking trip. This will help keep your dog motivated and focused on the training commands.

Fresh Drinking Water and a Bowl

When kayaking with your furry companion, it’s imperative to carry fresh drinking water and a bowl to maintain your dog’s hydration throughout the excursion. Consider portable water sources like insulated water bottles or collapsible bowls that are easy to handle and prevent spills.

Budget kayaks often include puncture-resistant plastic bowls, while tandem kayaks may provide additional storage capacity for a first aid kit or extra supplies.

Bear in mind that your dog’s safety and well-being are paramount, so select accessories that address their needs and enhance the experience for both of you.

Food and a Food Bowl (for Longer Trips)

When setting out on extended kayaking journeys with your canine companion, it’s imperative to provide sustenance and vitality by bringing along provisions and a receptacle. Here are four dog-compatible accessories to contemplate for your kayaking expedition:

  1. Foldable Dog Bowl: A collapsible dog bowl is a practical choice for kayaking excursions, as it can be conveniently stowed and transported. Seek a durable, impermeable design that can withstand choppy waters and canine paws.
  2. Dog Food Container: A sturdy, waterproof food container can aid in keeping your dog’s nourishment dry and readily available during the journey. Select one with a secure closure to prevent spills and leaks.
  3. Dog Food Dispenser: A dog food dispenser can facilitate the management of your dog’s meals while kayaking. Choose a design with multiple compartments to portion out nourishment and a secure closure to prevent spills.
  4. Food Sack: A durable, waterproof food sack can safeguard your dog’s nourishment from moisture and contamination. Seek a design with a secure closure and ample capacity to accommodate provisions for the duration of your voyage.

Leash (for Use on Shore Only)

When kayaking with your dog, a leash is essential for their safety and yours. It guarantees that your dog remains within reach on shore and doesn’t stray. Here’s a table of the most suitable leashes for kayaking with your dog:

Leash Type Features
Ruffwear Engineered for dogs accompanying their humans in rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing, and paddle boarding. Features a sturdy handle ideally positioned to hoist dogs out of the water, a leash clip-in point beneath the handle, and reflective trim to enhance visibility in low-light conditions.
PVC-free foam Soft and comfortable for your dog, both in and out of the water.
Telescoping neck closure Adjusts for various dog sizes and is permanently attached and secure.
Strategically placed foam panels Facilitate a natural swimming posture.
Water-compatible webbing Remains stable in wet environments.

Training Commands for Kayaking With Your Dog

Training Commands for Kayaking With Your Dog
When kayaking with your canine companion, it’s essential to teach them a few key commands to guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience. Mastering skills like Get in your spot, Okay!, Leave it!, Lay Down, and Get in the water/Get in the boat will help your furry friend feel comfortable and secure on the water.

Get in Your Spot

Get in your designated area is an indispensable instruction for training your dog for kayaking. This instruction enables your dog to comprehend where they should be situated in the kayak and guarantees their well-being on the water. Here are some suggestions to facilitate training your dog to get into their designated area:

  1. Commence on land: Accustom your dog to the kayak on land prior to taking them on the water. This will aid them in becoming familiar with the kayak’s shape and dimensions.
  2. Employ treats: Reward your dog with treats when they enter their designated area on the kayak. This will assist them in associating the kayak with positive experiences.
  3. Practice: Engage in practice getting your dog into their designated area on the kayak in diverse environments, such as your backyard or a tranquil body of water.
  4. Exercise patience: Training your dog to get into their designated area on the kayak may necessitate time. Exercise patience and consistency in your training methods.


is a vital command when kayaking with your dog. It’s imperative to guarantee your dog’s safety and well-being while on the water. Here are some suggestions on how to utilize the command successfully:

  1. Dog lifejackets: Verify that your dog is wearing a suitably fitting lifejacket. Seek one with a handle to aid in retrieving your dog into the kayak if necessary.
  2. Safety tips: Maintain your dog’s composure and comfort on the kayak. If your dog exits the kayak, remain calm and utilize the lifejacket handle to pull them back in.
  3. Dog commands: Rehearse the command on land prior to venturing out on the water. This will assist your dog in comprehending what’s expected of them while in the kayak.
  4. Kayak storage: Ensure adequate space within your kayak for your dog to move around comfortably. Select a kayak with an extensive front deck and an extra rear seat for your dog.
  5. Kayaks for dogs: Choose a kayak that’s stable and has ample space for your dog. Contemplate models such as the Oru Beach kayak, which is tailored for dogs and has a high weight capacity.
  6. Dog comfort: Ensure that your dog has access to fresh water, treats, and a comfortable place to sit on.

Leave It!

After becoming proficient at Okay!, it’s time to address Leave it!—a critical command for any kayaking pair. This isn’t merely about canine behavior; it’s a safety measure. Whether it’s appealing lake debris or wildlife, Leave it! guarantees that your pup’s attention remains on the journey.

A dog-friendly kayak with a steady, roomy cockpit provides more safeguarding, making obedience training simple.

Lay Down

As we proceed on our expedition into the realm of kayaking with our cherished canine partners, it’s imperative to emphasize the command Lay Down. This is a vital aspect of your dog’s training, guaranteeing their well-being and comfort as you navigate the waters.

Firstly, let’s examine the significance of canine conduct. A well-disciplined dog will enhance your kayaking escapade, making it more pleasurable and secure for both of you. It’s paramount to accustom your dog to the kayak prior to embarking on the water. This entails practicing the Lay Down command on dry land, employing treats and positive reinforcement to foster the desired behavior.

Once your dog is at ease on the kayak, it’s time to implement safety precautions. A personal flotation device (PFD) is an absolute necessity for your dog, just as it’s for you. The Ruffwear Float Coat Dog Life Jacket is a superior choice that incorporates considerate features such as a sturdy handle for effortless retrieval and a leash attachment point.

Now, let’s address kayak storage. Ascertain that your kayak provides ample space for your dog to recline comfortably. Consider models with elevated backs on the seats or detachable center fins that offer additional room. Moreover, contemplate kayaks with porthole covers to prevent your dog from inadvertently falling out.

As you advance in your kayaking endeavor, bear in mind to practice paddling techniques that accommodate your dog’s presence. The spacious cockpit of your kayak should enable both you and your dog to move around comfortably.

Get in the Water / Get in the Boat

To continue our discussion on training your dog for kayaking, let’s talk about the command Get in the Water / Get in the Boat. This command is imperative for guaranteeing your dog’s safety and well-being while kayaking.

First, it’s paramount to acquaint your dog with the kayak on land. Use treats to inspire them and practice sitting on the kayak with your dog in the garden. Be patient and composed, as your dog may be hesitant to get on the kayak initially.

Once your dog is at ease on land, it’s time to introduce them to the water. Begin by practicing getting in and out of the kayak on the shore. This will assist your dog in comprehending the process and building confidence in the kayak.

As your dog becomes more comfortable, you can start practicing getting in and out of the kayak in the water. Use treats and commands to guide your dog into the kayak and encourage them to remain calm and focused.

Additionally, always carry a leash for use on shore only, as well as fresh drinking water, dog treats, and a bowl for extended trips.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your adventurous pup, the Ruffwear Float Coat™ is the perfect fit. Just like Rufus, my 75-pound Labrador, the medium size’ll keep your canine companion safe and buoyant on all your paddling escapades.

How does the Float Coat™ Dog Life Jacket support a natural swimming position?

The Float Coat™ allows your pup to paddle naturally by supporting their body in the water. Its front and back handles make it easy to hoist them back aboard if they take a dip.

What are the key features of the Float Coat™ Dog Life Jacket?

The Float Coat™ is the ultimate water-wingman, effortlessly keeping your four-legged first mate afloat with its innovative, buoyant design and convenient handle – the perfect partner for your aquatic escapades!

How does the Float Coat™ Dog Life Jacket ensure buoyancy and comfort?

The Float Coat’s got your dog’s back – it keeps ’em afloat with its buoyant foam panels and helps them feel secure with its padded belly band. Comfy and confidence-boosting, it’s the paw-fect choice for peace of mind on the water.

How does the Float Coat™ Dog Life Jacket improve visibility in low-light conditions?

The Float Coat is a must-have for your pup’s safety – its bright yellow color and reflective trim guarantee they’re clearly visible even at dusk or dawn, so you can kayak without worry!


With proper preparation and training, kayaking with your canine companion can be an unforgettable experience – a true adventure on the high seas.

Equip yourselves with the best kayaks for dogs, like the inflatable Intex Explorer K2 or tandem Ocean Kayak Malibu Two.

Practice essential commands, secure life jackets, and set sail on a journey where the wind whispers tales of lifelong friendship.

The water awaits your pawprint.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.