There’s nothing worse than heading out for an exciting adventure on your kayak for the day, only to be left with the feeling of guilt saying goodbye and leaving your dog inside for a few hours.
However, it doesn’t need to be this way. In fact, nowadays there are multiple kayaks on the market that are more than suitable for your dog to join you on your kayaking adventures.
It can be difficult to know what kind of kayak is best for you and your pooch, so we’ve piled together a list of the best kayaks around to accommodate you and your dog.
So keep on reading to one that fits your needs best and take a look at our informative buyer’s guide to see what to look for in your new kayak.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick for the best kayak for dogs is this Intex Explorer 2-person kayak that has a maximum weight capacity of 400lbs, so will be enough to accommodate one adult and a large dog, but you’ll also need to factor in the weight of your gear on board.
It’s made out of heavy-duty puncture-resistant material so you won’t experience any accidents from your dog’s claws while out on the water. It has an inflatable I-beam floor for rigidity so it won’t get damaged from getting in and out of the water with your pooch.
The kayak comes with an adjustable seat with a comfortable backrest for yourself and the cockpit is designed for comfort and space for your pooch to lie down or sit as they please on your kayaking adventures.
The kayak is made for smaller bodies of water like lakes and mild rivers, so we wouldn’t recommend heading out on this in the sea any time soon.
The Intex Explorer also comes with 2 paddles to help direct you around the water and a hi-output pump for easy inflation when you’re eager to get paddling.
- Heavy-duty puncture-resistant material - Won’t burst with your dog inside
- Adjustable seat - Can move become more comfortable for you and your dog
- Large cockpit - Plenty of space for your dog and your equipment
- 400lb weight capacity - Can accommodate an adult male and a large dog
- Paddles are not the best - Not the most sturdy material
If your dog has sharp claws or they’re prone to digging around everywhere they go, then you’ll be happy to find this kayak from Advanced Elements that is made up of three layers of material for extreme puncture resistance for peace of mind when paddling with your pooch.
The aluminum ribs and stern offer good stability even when maneuvering around the kayak and the three-seat locations allow for solo paddling or accommodate your furry friend when you’re looking for some company.
The seats within the kayak have high support and good padding to ensure ultimate comfort for long hours of paddling.
The weight capacity of the kayak is enough for you and a large dog, or even two small dogs if they’re well behaved.
You can convert the deck at the front of the kayak to make more room for your dog in the front and also have spare space to store your lunch or even your camera bag.
- 550lb weight capacity - Can hold you and 1 big dog or 2 smaller dogs
- Very comfortable seats - Great for all-day paddling
- Good stability - Won’t tip when moving around on the kayak
- Inflating and deflating is tedious - Can take a while
The Sevylor is an ideal choice for anyone who’s looking for a 2-person kayak to enjoy with a friend or family member or even your dog once in a while as it has plenty of interior space to sit comfortably even when you’re spending hours on the water.
The 2 seats within the Coleman kayak are adjustable which means you can move them to a position that would be most comfortable to hold you and your furry friend.
The design is made up of 18-gauge PVC, tarpaulin, and nylon materials to withstand heavy use in lakes and offer reliable protection against punctures. Multiple air chambers will allow another chamber to stay inflated even if one is punctured by your dog.
The kayak also comes equipped with paddle holders to secure your paddles out of the way when you’re taking a water or snack break during your adventures.
There are even rod holders on the construction of the Sevylor kayak which makes it easier to go hands-free when you’re fishing with your dog.
- Paddle holders on the design - Secures paddles out of the way
- Ultra-durable materials - Puncture resistant against dog claws
- Adjustable seats - Adjust to accommodate you and your dog
- Tracking is not the best - Easy to go off course when not paddling
If you’re skeptical about buying an inflatable kayak like the ones we’ve recommended above, then you may prefer this polyethylene kayak that will be ideal for yourself and a small dog, as the weight capacity is only 300lbs.
Whilst there is no designated seating for an additional person, there is plenty of room in front of the single-seat where your dog can lie down comfortably without being squished.
There is implemented storage at the center of the kayak which will come in useful for storing your keys, cellphone, or even some delicious doggy treats for your pooch. Additionally, there is front and rear storage for you to store any other kayaking essentials that you may need.
The Perception kayak is UV, impact, and abrasion-resistant so will stay in top condition no matter how many times you and your dog hit the water together.
- Plenty of storage - Safely store your essentials on board while paddling
- Impact and abrasion-resistant - Won’t damage the construction with your dog on board
- Plenty of space in front of seat - Dog can lie down, sit or move as they please
- Smaller weight capacity - May only accommodate a smaller dog
Despite being so lightweight and portable, this Sea Eagle kayak is a great choice for adventurers who want to bring their doggy along with them. It holds up to 500lbs, so it will easily fit you and a sizable pooch without affecting the stability of the construction.
The Sea Eagle is quick and simple to inflate, managing to be out on the water in just 6 minutes so you won’t have your over-eager dog whining beside you while you pump it up.
The two skegs implemented on the bottom of the design provide improvised tracking so you can go faster and further without having to put too much effort into paddling.
Inside the kayak, it’s spacious for you to stretch your legs while also being able to accommodate your dog’s numerous relaxing positions in front of you.
The construction is made up of puncture-resistant material so your dog will be able to stand up and enjoy the views, however, we do always recommend you clip your dog’s claws before embarking on a long kayaking day.
- Lightweight and portable - Not inconvenient when controlling your dog by the water
- Holds up to 500lbs - Enough for you and a large dog
- 2 skegs on bottom of construction - Offers effortless paddling
- No attachments on side of the kayak - Will have to attach gear on front or rear
Best Kayak For Dogs Buying Guide
Types Of Kayaks
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to have your dog with you on any kind of kayak, and there are some types of kayaks you should completely avoid if you’re looking to frequently use it with your pooch.
You should go for recreational or sit-on kayaks as they offer enough room for both you and your pooch but still provide good stability while out on the water.
Do not buy a sea kayak or a whitewater kayak as not only are they smaller but they’re also narrower, which means it would be uncomfortable to accommodate both you and a fluffy friend inside.
Regardless of having your pooch on board, a kayak would need to be made of durable material anyway, but even more so to prevent the kayak from getting damaged from chewing or scratching.
If you’re going for an inflatable kayak, ensure it’s made out of puncture-resistant durable vinyl, and try to avoid fiberglass kayaks as they’ll easily scratch from your dog’s claws.
Whether you get a single-person or two-person kayak will depend on the size of your dog and also how well behaved they are. If your dog is small or especially nervous, then you may want to keep them between your legs in the footwell at all times to make sure they’re ok.
However, if your dog is a little too big to fit in between your legs in a single-person kayak, or they’re confident and well-behaved, then sit them in the second seat in a two-person kayak as it’ll be more comfortable for you both.
Ensure you seek out a sturdy and stable kayak that won’t flip at the first feel of movement.
Whilst you do not mind being tossed into the water, your dog may not agree and it could be a traumatizing experience for them especially if they’re not the strongest swimmer, or they manage to get stuck under the flipped kayak.
If your dog is very excitable and is likely to move around while on the kayak, maybe even deciding to jump off into the water of their own free will, then having a stable kayak will prevent accidents from occurring.
Seek out a wide kayak that has stable hulls, so it floats easily and minimizes the possibility of flipping.
As your dog will be joining you out on the water, you’ll need to make sure that the weight capacity is enough for both you and your dog’s weight combined.
Pop your dog on the scales and combine it with your own and also factor in any equipment or gear you’ll be taking out while kayaking to find an appropriate weight capacity for a kayak.
Best Kayak For Dogs - FAQ's
Can You Bring Your Dog Kayaking?
Yes, as long as you’re experienced with kayaking and your dog is obedient and well trained so will listen to your instructions when onboard the kayak, then it is fine to bring your dog kayaking with you.
It may also be a good idea to put a dog life jacket on your dog before embarking on your kayaking adventures.
How Do You Train Your Dog To Kayak?
Your dog may need to get used to your dog sitting and staying in the kayak on land before heading out on the water.
If your dog isn’t a strong swimmer, or they don’t like going in the water, then you may just have to accept that they’re not cut out for the kayaking life.
Sit in your kayak on land and then encourage your dog to come over with commands or lure with treats and once they sit or lie down within the kayak reward them.
Once they’ve mastered this, get your kayak onto the water and sit yourself down first, then encourage your dog to get in by demand (it’s not a good idea for someone else to place them there) and don’t push off until they’re settled inside the kayak.
Are Sit-in Kayaks Better For Dogs?
Yes, sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks are the best for dogs as it allows them to climb into position easily and also maneuver slightly if they’re uncomfortable.
Where Does A Dog Sit In A Kayak?
One a one-person kayak, a small dog can sit between your feet in the well, however, if your dog is bigger or you have a two-person kayak then your dog will be able to sit in the second seat.
You may want them to sit towards the front of the kayak with you behind so you can keep a watchful eye on them and ensure they’re ok.