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Paddle With Your Pooch: 10 Top-rated Kayaks for Dog Owners (2024)

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best kayaks for dogsBefore you embark on a kayaking adventure with your four-legged buddy, you’ll need a Fido-friendly kayak. Picking the right one can be ruff, so I’ve compiled a list of the best kayaks for dogs.

We’ll dive into the types of kayaks, dimensions, comfort, and inflatable versus hard-shell models.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed choice and set sail with your furry first mate.

So, grab your paddles and let’s fetch the best kayak for your dog!

Things to Consider When Buying Dog-friendly Kayaks

There are different types of kayaks in the world, and you should choose the best kayak for dogs that work for you, your equipment, and your pup, as well as everything your pup needs.

Here are a few important factors to consider before purchasing a kayak for you and your dog.

Types of Kayaks

Things to Consider When Buying Dog-friendly KayaksThere are two basic types of kayaks, and which one you choose will all depend on your specific needs and skills. Each has its advantages.

Sit-In Kayaks

This traditional type of design has many advantages and is an excellent choice for the experienced beginner. Sit-In kayaks come in a variety of models, including recreation, trekking, and whitewater models.

  • Narrow and fast traditional sit-ins increase paddling efficiency, making it easier to reach more distant destinations.
  • More body contact with the boat gives more control when turning or performing maneuvers to avoid capsizing.
  • The ability to add a spray strap to keep you drier and warmer when the temperature drops
  • Better for calm and well-trained dogs with experience on the water

Sit-on-top kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks are fully open watercraft with plenty of space and stability. While the recreational kayak is dog-friendly enough, it is primarily made for those with smaller dogs who only want to keep their pets between their legs, which is why we have chosen to rate open kayaks only.

These boats are super easy to get on and off and are perfect for dogs of different sizes, including the huge ones. Generally, two to three people can accommodate your dog (s) will have plenty of space. There’s usually plenty of storage, too, so you can take your gear and many other useful items with you.

The sit-on-top kayaks are usually stable too, which means it’s crucial to pay attention when kayaking with your dog: trust us, the last thing you want is a scared dog.

So, recreational or sit-on-top kayaks? No right or wrong here: Depending on the size of your dog and your needs, choose the kayak you think both you and your faithful furry friend will enjoy.

Speaking of good and bad, there are certain types of kayaks to avoid if you plan on kayaking with your dog There are actually: sea kayaks and white water kayaks.

Kayaks to Avoid When Kayaking with Dogs

Kayaks to Avoid When Kayaking with DogsSea kayaks are not ideal for kayaking with dogs. They are narrower than other types of kayaks, which means your pup won’t have a lot of space. Sea kayaks are also designed differently from traditional kayaks, and focus relies on secondary rather than primary stability, which can cause them to rock too much when stationary, which your dog may find uncomfortable.

Another type of kayak to avoid is white water kayaks, as they have just enough room for one person in the cockpit; they are controlled by moving your body in the desired direction – something you can’t do with a dog on board.


Needless to say, the size of your dog should influence your decision to choose your kayak. Before considering the dimensions of your kayak, you should know the dimensions of your dog.

Even the most educational and well-behaved dogs will move, so make sure your kayak is properly sized to make it a comfortable and safe experience.

The width of the kayak is important to consider. You must be sure that regardless of how your dog stands, the front and rear legs will fit comfortably on the kayak. You don’t want your dog to slip and fall out.

Account must also be taken with the carrying capacity of your kayak. If you have a large, heavy dog, make sure your kayak can support your dog’s weight, yourself, and your equipment.

Hardshell Vs Inflatable Kayaks

While using an inflatable kayak for dogs may seem like a silly idea, they are not made with the same low-quality plastic material that beach balls use.

Thanks to their heavy-duty materials and portability, these can be a great choice to kayak with dogs.

This being said, hard shells are still a better option in durability but weigh more and aren’t easy to transport.


When it comes to comfort, you should also pay attention to your dog’s comfort – your dog may feel uncomfortable with the water, and it will only get worse if he or she feels the same way in the kayak too. It helps him to stay calm and enjoy his outdoor experience better.

10 Best Kayaks for Dogs of 2024

Buying a dog friendly kayak is an important decision for you and your dog – you’ll be floating on the water for many hours together, so make sure you choose a comfortable model for both of you!

Below are our top picks for the best kayak for dogs:

1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak – Best Inflatable Kayak for Dogs

intex explorer k2 kayak 2 person b00a7exf4cView On AmazonThe Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is on our list as the best kayaks for you and your dog because it is inflatable and therefore portable.

This is especially beneficial for those who need to carry their own equipment. Still, it is worth noting that inflatable kayaks are best kept in less heavy water and non-wind conditions, making this kayak ideal for the trip lake or a quiet river.

This kayak is also specially designed for two adults, making it perfect for one adult and one dog, who can even have their own seat.

Even if your pup is in position and only one person paddles, the kayak is easy to steer and responsive. The dog’s weight even makes for better tracking as this kayak can handle the wind trying to catch and reciprocate like a sail with a single kayaker.

This kayak is perfect for recreational purposes. While it cannot compare to a kayak’s features with a rigid, solid hull, it offers exceptional benefits such as the ability to pull out when needed.

Even better, like an inflatable kayak, this house can be easily stowed away so that you can introduce and familiarize yourself with the kayak for your dog before each kayak trip.

Also, don’t worry that the claws (or teeth!) Pose a risk to this kayak, as the strong vinyl construction is durable and rigid.

One downside to this kayak is that although the included paddles are perfectly functional, they wet the kayaker, but this can be counteracted by upgrading the paddles.

  • Easy to store
  • Your puppy gets its own seat.
  • Comes with paddles
  • Can handle your dog’s claws and teeth
  • Paddles get you quite wet while paddling.
  • Get carried away by the wind with a light load.

2. Perception Pescador Pro 12 Kayak for Dogs

perception pescador pro 12 b01lxkf75fView On AmazonThe Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a fantastic kayak for anglers who like to take their dog on fishing adventures. Both the front and back of this kayak have large tank pits where your pup can lie back and relax. Plus, it’s stable, comfortable, and packed with great features such as rod holders and gear pads.

Thanks to its roto-molded HDPE hull, the Pescador Pro 12 is one of the market’s heaviest kayaks. Not only does it easily withstand scratches on dog nails, but it also withstands knocks and blows on the water. Also, the one-piece construction is completely leak-proof and has excellent stability in all conditions.

Functionality is the main focus of this kayak, and each feature is intended to be user-friendly. The mesh seat can be adjusted in two positions, while the sliding footrests provide optimal leg comfort. The kayak is cozy, reliable, and guarantees an enjoyable ride, especially on calm water.

With the Pescador Pro 12, you will have no problems packing and organizing your belongings. Even though it doesn’t have a dry hatch, the front and rear storage areas are spacious enough for your bags and fishing gear. As we noted, the kayak also comes with two recessed holders and two equipment rails so that you can fish too.

Key Features
  • Breathable mesh seat with 2-degree height adjustment
  • Fast-adjust foot braces for best leg comfort
  • Best for lakes, ponds, and calm water situations
  • UV-resistant hull with outstanding buoyancy and stability
  • A single of the greatest kayaks for canines to lie down and appreciate the ride

3. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-on-top Recreational Kayak

ocean kayak malibu two tandem b00qilumlcView On AmazonThe Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is known for its large capacity. It has one of the greatest capacities in the kayak category. It can comfortably accommodate up to three people or one person and two dogs or two people and one dog.

The kayak is made of a single layer of polyethylene, which makes it sturdy and increases durability and stability. To a great extent.

The best feature is the seating positions in which up to three people can paddle easily. The kayak comes with gear straps, side handles, and a patented overlapping footwell.

  • Sits up to 3 folks, your pup integrated.
  • Several seating positions
  • A great deal of deck storage
  • Excellent stability for when your canine moves close to
  • A small heavier than most kayaks

4. Sundolphin Bali Ss 10-foot

sundolphin sun dolphin bali ss b0088b4xbkView On AmazonIf you’re a beginner kayaking with a pet, you need a watercraft that is stable, affordable, and easy to use. That is what the Sun Dolphin Bali SS is all about. With a spacious, comfortable seating area, adjustable footrests, and paddle holder, this kayak is ideal for beginners: both human and dog.

Made of Fortiflex high-density polyethylene with a stable hull, the Sun Dolphin Bali SS is durable and quite sturdy: easy to handle, especially when moving slowly. This kayak comes with a portable accessory carrier (PAC), a handy thing that can be used as extra storage.

The Sun Dolphin Bali SS is the perfect kayak for those who need both leg and storage space, thanks to plenty of room in the front and waterproof storage in the back (and the addition of the PAC).

It is available in lengths of 3 meters (ideal for smaller dogs) and 3 meters (for your larger puppies!). Just make sure if you choose this kayak that you and your pup practice getting in and out, so you don’t tip it over!

  • Lots of legroom for you and your pooch
  • A good deal of enclosed storage at the rear
  • P.A.C. incorporated
  • It comes in 10 and 12-foot lengths
  • Straightforward to flip with inexperienced dogs
  • Self-bailing drill holes can get you moist.

5. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher

lifetime 10 foot two person b004eem87gView On AmazonThis is a large and robust sit-on-top kayak made for up to 3 people. It is made of lightweight polyethylene for easy transport and durability. <<< 65 pounds is not and particularly light for a kayak

The hull is designed for ultimate stability and tracking, so you can stand up to fish or sit to the side without falling over <<< tracking is only useful while paddling. This high level of stability and large load capacity is great news if you are kayaking with a large dog.

Designed for comfort and high functionality, this kayak comes with a variety of footrest positions for kayakers of all shapes and sizes. This can also be helpful if your dog decides to reset between your legs or close to your feet.

If you like fishing, this kayak comes 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 your dog.

  • Shoppers have mentioned that the Sport Fisher is superb really worth for funds.
  • There’s a great deal of space for 3 individuals, and it can deal with wavy, choppy waters incredibly effectively.
  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a rudder. Fortunately, there is an alternative to attach 1 ought to what you want. It does aid with monitoring and stability, but most shoppers do not bother as they have found that it is fine without.

6. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Inflatable

sevylor coleman colorado 2 person fishing b00j0s0jgsView On AmazonThis is an inflatable fishing kayak designed for two people (or one person and one large dog). Made from 1000 denier tarpaulin on the bottom and 840 denier nylon on the cover, this kayak is rugged, durable, and puncture-resistant.

This kayak is made for both comfort and stability and has two adjustable seats. Not only is this great for your comfort, but also your dog’s comfort, and you can move the chair closer to you if you wish.

It comes with plenty of storage options, rod holders, and paddle holders when you want to rest or just sit and float.

To get it to and from the water, there’s a built-in dual threaded Boston valve and gauge for easy and accurate inflation and deflation and comfortable handles for a smooth transition in the water.

  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Excellent craftsmanship and design and style
  • Transportable and light-excess weight
  • Some paddlers report that the oars brush the mounts when paddling.

7. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

intex excursion pro kayak professional b07f88p35cView On AmazonThe Intex Excursion Pro Kayak offers the convenience of inflatable kayaks with the added durability of a strong internal structure. This versatile craft is great for fishing, cruising, or just cruising around with your pup.

The body of this kayak is made of sturdy and layered material, and it has a 400lb capacity, so it should have enough buoyancy to support most dog and human teams.

It is conveniently sold with paddles, an air pump, a bag, and a pressure gauge.

The boat is designed with built-in rod holders for dog owners, footrests, and interchangeable fins that you can adjust to the depth of the water.

The Intex Excursion also comes with two inflatable and reclining seats, so you shouldn’t have a problem making room for your furball.

Key Features
  • Spacious and comfy for two kayakers and a puppy
  • Thirty-gauge vinyl shell for leading-level sturdiness
  • Splash guards on the two ends protect the cockpit from dry.
  • Mounting bracket for attaching kayak gear
  • Waterproof bag incorporated for storing added gear

8. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak for Dogs

wilderness systems pungo 120 b07h7w85wtView On AmazonWhile it may seem a bit unusual to use a sit-in model for canine kayaking, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 proves that it’s not only possible but a lot of fun. It has a spacious cockpit with a comfortable seat, making it a good kayak for smaller dogs.

Its slim hull design makes the Pungo 120 one of the fastest kayaks in its class. At the same time, the stability it offers also makes it one of the most dog-friendly kayaks. Thanks to its size, the kayak also has a pretty good load capacity (325 pounds). This means you don’t have to worry about him losing his stability even with your dog and many things on board.

To make your paddling sessions more fun, the Pungo 120 comes with a comfortable Phase 3 AirPro seat. Besides, it is also equipped with adjustable footrests so that you can find the ideal leg position. While all kayakers can use this model, we recommend it for smaller and medium-sized people for maximum comfort.

The Pungo 120 is feature-rich and comes with a large dry storage area, a bungee cord deck, and an adjustable dashboard for small items. The dry storage hatch offers enough space for larger items, so you can also use the kayak for multi-day trips.

Key Features
  • Lengthy and narrow hull picks up pace really quickly.
  • Excellent for petite paddlers and smaller sized canines
  • Useful and customizable dashboard in the front
  • Huge rear dry hatch with an entirely sealed bulkhead
  • Thigh pads and adjustable foot braces for leg comfort

9. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11

ocean kayak scrambler 11 one person b00hld3y6qView On AmazonThe Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 is a great sit-on-top kayak for just about any type of water. The Tri-Form hull has the stability and maneuverability to handle the ocean waves and surf without tipping over, but it also follows well on the flat waters of a lake or calm river. While it may not be fast, it can handle anything you throw at it.

The Comfort Plus seat gives you plenty of legroom to get into a comfortable position while also leaving plenty of room for your puppy! The Comfort Plus can be adjusted in four directions to ensure you are in the most comfortable position for all-day adventures with your best canine friend!

There are elastic cords on the front and back of the kayak for storage (the bungees at the back would be a perfect place to put a cool box for you and your pup and the water supply), but that means there is no internal storage.

The Cam Lock hatch is the hatch closest to you, but don’t leave your phone in it!

Since the Scrambler is a sit-on-top kayak, chances are you will definitely get a little wet. If you plan on being in cooler water, a dry bag is an excellent idea to bring any extra clothes and towels.

You can attach these with the included bungee cords to make sure you and your dog can get dry.

  • Space for you and your pup to sit comfortably
  • Excellent stability
  • Lack of storage
  • The greatest tempo is rather slow.

10. Lifetime 90479 Youth Kayak

lifetime 90479 youth 6 feet b00cx0kn0cView On AmazonThe Lifetime Youth Kayak is a kids’ kayak with plenty of room for your little one to bring their best friend on tour. The deck is completely open, so the dog can lie down without interfering with your child’s paddling. However, keep in mind that the boat is only 6 feet long, so it’s not the best kayak for large dogs.

The kayak is made of HDPE and has a double hull and inverted backs, making capsizing impossible. It & # 39; is great for ages 5 and up and paddles easily so your child doesn’t tire easily. As we have noted, it is very open so that both your child and their dog will feel comfortable on the water.

If we had to point out a downside to this kayak, it would lack padded seats. However, the seating area is molded, and the kayak comes with footwells, so paddling isn’t a problem even on long sessions. The dog can sit in the center of the kayak or on the flat deck behind the seat.

As this is a recreational kayak for children, it does not come with organized storage. As for the features, the kayak comes with scuppers to drain excess water, a T-shaped handle and molded finger grooves for carrying, as well as a high-quality 6-foot paddle.

Key Features
  • A lot of location for a tiny or medium-sized canine
  • Ideal dimension and managing for a kid kayaker
  • Twin-fin fashion considerably improves tracking
  • Reverse chine on the sides for added stability
  • Swim-up deck for climbing on the kayak

Hard-shell vs Inflatable Kayaks

It’s time we got into the hotly debated topic among kayakers: inflatable kayaks or hard shell kayaks; which is better?

Honestly, there isn’t one ‘the best kayak’; it all depends on your own needs and preferences. As with most things in life, both rigid and inflatable kayaks have their pros and cons, so what you ultimately want is a watercraft whose benefits suit your own preferences and needs and whose drawbacks you don’t mind.

To help you decide which kayak is best for you and your dog, we’ve listed the pros and cons of both types of kayaks.

Inflatable kayaks

These kayaks are the modern versions of traditional kayaks that must be inflated before use and deflated after use.

  • Lightweight and Easy to Store: Perhaps the biggest advantage of inflatable kayaks is their lightweight. They are small and compact and easier to store and carry than hard shells. Many inflatables are super light and, when deflated, can fit in the trunk of a car or even in a backpack. If you don’t have a garage, this is the kayak for you.
  • More Affordable: Generally, inflatable kayaks are cheaper than their rigid counterparts. Of course, the high-end inflatables can be just as expensive as hard shells, but you don’t have to go for that if you’re a beginner.
  • Require Less Maintenance: An inflatable kayak is made of flexible materials that are less prone to scratches and impact than the rigid materials used in hard-shell kayaks. However, some models are prone to punctures, but these are usually cheaper alternatives.
  • Needs to be inflated: Unlike the hard-shell kayak, which you can just take out of your car and put in the water, an inflatable boat needs to be inflated before you can use it. Of course, some kayaks are inflated in less than 10 minutes, but cheaper alternatives may require more time, and then there’s the deflation: before you can put your inflatable into storage, you must deflate it.
  • More difficult to control: Because they are lighter than rigid kayaks, inflatables are more difficult to control. This is a particularly negative trait when you are in the middle of a large body of water during bad weather. Still, it must be said that the newer inflatable models are more stable and easier to drive than ever.

Hard-shell kayaks

Rigid kayaks or hard shell kayaks are the traditional kayaks usually made of plastic, wood, or other materials.

  • Always ready to go: To use a hard shell kayak, all you have to do is take it to the water. Literally, there’s no rolling out, blowing up, deflating, or anything like that, just from the car to the water and when you are done, from the water to the car, saving you time and energy and keeping your dog from waiting.
  • Very Stable: Since rigid kayaks are usually heavier than their inflatable cousins, they are more stable and firmer on the water, accommodating if you’re out and about in very windy, stormy weather with a scared pup.
  • Better maneuverability: Hardshell kayaks are designed to be quick and easy to maneuver. They give more control than inflatables, which is useful in general, but especially if there is a nervous and scared animal standing next to you.
  • Heavy and Large: Because they are rigid, hard kayaks can be difficult to store and transport. This is especially problematic if you live in an apartment and don’t have a garage. Because they are heavier than inflatables, they can also be difficult to transport from the car to the water, depending on where you are parked.
  • Needs More Maintenance: Rigid kayaks are prone to bumps, lumps, and scratches and may require a little more maintenance than inflatables, especially if you want a wooden kayak (that’s why you won’t find one discussed in this article).

Make Your Own Dog Kayak Platform

If you want to take your dog’s comfort on your kayak a little further, a DIY kayak dog platform is a popular strategy among kayak dog owners because it gives your dog a little extra legroom.

Creating a platform requires some woodworking, but it is not a too complicated process.

Best Kayak For Dogs FAQs

How do I make my kayak dog-friendly?

It may help make room for your dog on board so that it has room to move around and is comfortable. Bring food and water and dog-friendly food bowls.

Maybe you may even want to bring a small dog bed depending on your dog’s size and space, as this can help your dog feel safe and comfortable on longer trips.

How To Go Kayaking With Your Dog?

For a successful trip, it is important to introduce your furry friend to the kayak in advance. Once they get used to it, make sure the dog has a comfortable place to go. It has to keep it from overheating, so you should always have water on hand and maybe even bring a dog umbrella.

Are inflatable kayaks good for dogs?

If you like kayaking and have a dog, it is normal to want to kayak your dog. Can an inflatable kayak handle a dog’s claws? The answer is yes… In fact, they are ideal for dogs because they are so stable, comfortable, and safe.


Kayaking with your dog can be a great time to bond and a great experience for both of you. We guarantee they will love spending time in nature and being with you.

There are plenty of models on the market that will allow you to do this safely and comfortably.

Hopefully, the best kayaks for dogs on our list will make them feel comfortable and comfortable for everyone on the trip can enjoy.

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.