Paddleboarding is definitely a fantastic way to get out exploring with your best friend on four legs. In almost any case, dogs can go on inflatable paddle boards. Think of the amazing memories you are going to create with your furry friend! The bond is going to run even deeper once you get out onto the open water, gracefully gliding together.

However, there are some considerations, precautions, and preparations to make before you head out on your SUP with your dog. In this article, we've provided 7 useful tips to take to ensure that you and your dog stay safe, happy, and get the most enjoyment out of your time on the water.

1. Choose the Right Paddle Board

First and foremost, you need to select the correct paddle board for you and your dog. Having a stable paddle board will be easier for you to maneuver and balance with your dog on it. The best paddle boards for dogs are longer and wider, which is more stable.

It also ensures you stay upright even if your dog is a bit fidgety and your dog will stay more stable when you hit more turbulent water or a wave or two. Besides, Look for a SUP with a deck pad, which can provide a firm grip for them. For most paddlers, a touring stand up paddle board would be a suitable choice to paddle with dogs.

2. Bring Some Treats and Water

You can use treats on your adventure to reinforce positive behavior. Reward your dog when it’s sitting on the board properly and being a good pup. if it gets excited, anxious, or fidgety, having treats to hand will allow you to reinforce good behavior and calm your dog down.

You and your dog will both need lots of water while paddling in the hot sun. It’s wise to bring fresh water as the water that surrounds you might not be potable. Be sure to get a collapsible water bowl, which is lightweight and easily folds up into a pack. When your dog is thirsty, stabilize it on the board for it to drink from, so it’s not tempted to drink the water you’re paddling in.

3. Check Their nails and Trim If Needed

Long nails or jagged nails can scrape or damage the surface of a SUP board. Make sure you check their nails and give them a trim or a file if needed before you take your dog paddling. A dog with trimmed claws is less likely to damage you and your paddle board while out on the water and and keep your dog from slipping as well.

4. Always Make Your Dog Wear a Life Jacket

Even if your dog is a confident swimmer, it is always a good idea to get your dog a life jacket. There are some reasons behind the recommendation:

  • When a paddle board capsizes it can disorientate your furry friend and make it difficult for them to recover in the water
  • Dogs that love the water may exhaust themselves before they realize they are too tired to swim back to you
  • If you get separated from your dog while on the water a brightly colored jacket will help you and other boaters spot him.
  • A PFD will ensure that your dog is safe should he fall or jump in the water and hit his head
  • New experience could freak them out and cause them to panic, which may impact your dog’s ability to swim. A life jacket for them even more important in this case
  • PFDs also usually have a handle or two that allows you to give your dog a helping hand back onto the board if they decide to jump off

5. Don’t be Tempted to Tie Them a Leash

Swift water currents can separate you and your dog very quickly. Having them leashed to the board would, ideally, prevent this from happening.

The flip side to this is that the dog’s leash can easily get tangled on your leash, or hang overboard and get caught on debris in the water, potentially dragging your dog off the board. In addition, these leashes can get tangled causing a dangerous situation. It becomes both a tripping hazard for you, and tangle or strangulation hazard for you and the dog.

6. Give Them Something to Grip

Adding an extra pad for your dog will make it easy for your dog to grip when there are waves and make its ride safer. If your dog feels like they aren’t going to slip, they will be more confident and have more fun.

 7. Do Some Basic Skills Training

Before paddleboarding with your dog, it should have mastered basic foundation skills such as sit down, targeting, wait, and go. Your dog will be off leash before, during, and immediately after your paddleboarding adventures.

If you haven’t worked on commands like “leave it” “down” “let’s go” or “side” that’s okay . Just be able to distract them if something does grab their attention. Be fun and upbeat, and praise and reward her as you slowly move the board around. You may not get it right the first time out, but it’s all part of the learning process.

Stand up paddle boarding with your dog can make a fun sport even more fun. There’s nothing quite like packing up your gear and your best friend into your car or truck and heading out to the lake for a day of sunshine and fresh air. By keeping these tips for taking your dog paddling in mind, you can ensure that your new adventure will be smooth sailing.
Written by Yanlin Liu