Nature and dogs make for an ideal combination, and there are few better ways to spend time with your dog than outdoors. Dogs love it, you benefit from it, and it will bring you two closer than ever. Kayaking is a great activity to enjoy together with a canine friend! Most dogs are comfortable on the water, and while they could need some time to adjust – they are likely to end up loving it!
The first step towards a successful kayaking experience is finding the best kayaks for dogs. One that provides safety and comfort sits one or two people, depending on whether you plan to head out alone. Proper preparation is the key to a successful experience, and it starts with the perfect kayak for your needs.
View the Best Kayak for Dogs Below
1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
- Brand: Ocean Kayak
- Product Dimensions: 144 x 34 x 20 inches; 57 Pounds
- Features: Comfortable, Slip Prevention, Easy Get On and Off
- Seating Capacity: 2
If you want to go on a kayak adventure with dogs in your family, this sturdy and great-looking Ocean Kayak Malibu has the potential of taking both and your fur friend out for great adventures. It has two seats for human kayakers, both with their own backrest and handles on the side, and it has enough space for an additional child or pet to come along.
These dog-friendly kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry down to the water, and they can hold up to 425lbs at a time! The hull has a lifetime warranty. You will be secured while sitting thanks to the overlapping patented footwells and skid plate securely. Ocean Kayak’s Malibu line includes amazing and versatile sit-on-top kayaks like this, so rest assured you won’t be disappointed with its quality.
+ Tandem kayak with room for a dog
+ Lightweight and durable kayak
+ With molded-in handles and skid plate
+ Maximum capacity of 425lbs
+ Comfort plus seats with 4-way adjustability
+ Great for paddling solo or with a canine companion
– Paddles are not included
– No storage compartment
Why We Like It – The best kayaks for dogs are those that will comfortably fit your furry best friend, and this kayak is made with extra space to accommodate a pet or a child. It’s capable of holding larger dogs and is easy to maneuver, the ideal kayak you have been looking for!
2. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Brand: Elkton Outdoors
- Dimensions: 12.2 feet in length and 3 feet wide
- Features: Dual Riders, Sealed Dry Storage, Rotomolded
- Seating Capacity: 2
Durability is important when kayaking with dogs, and with this kayak, dogs can come along without you having to worry! It is built to last with a Rotomold injected body, which prevents it from puncturing and cracking even after years of use. The Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak can hold two adults and a canine friend if the total weight doesn’t exceed 650 pounds.
It has built-in storage areas for you to bring your own things and those belonging to your dog (everyone needs a snack). Your dog will have plenty of space to both sit and lie down between you and the other person paddling or in the front of this dog-friendly kayak. Taking dogs on kayaks should be safe and fun, and you will get that and more with this incredible outdoor product.
+ Built-in two storage compartments
+ Designed for long-lasting use
+ Two carry handles for easy transport
+ Comes with complete kayaking gear like paddles, rod holders, and bungee cords
+ 650 lbs total capacity
– Product weight is heavy but includes two carry handles for easy transport
Why We Like It – This is the Rolls Royce of kayaks for dogs. With a unique design, comfortable seats, plenty of space for your dog, and space to store personal items! Whether paddling solo or kayaking with your dog, this is easily the best kayak for dogs.
3. Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak
- Brand: Lifetime
- Item Weight: 73 Pounds
- Material: Roto-Molded Polyethylene
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 Pounds
Make the best out of your kayaking adventure in the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Fishing Kayak with your pooch. Specially built for superior strength and durability, this is the best kayak for long-lasting use. It’s made with High-Density Polyethylene, making it the standard for hard-shell kayaks capable of withstanding fading, cracking, and peeling.
You will be amazed by what this kayak can do on a rough sea or calm waters. It has a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs and can hold up to three people, so you don’t have to worry about your large dog joining the party! That’s not all. You’ll also get multiple kayak accessories along with a 5-year limited warranty with this Lifetime Fishing Kayak.
+ With 6 in. hatch for storage
+ Includes 2 kayak paddles, 2 moveable padded backrests, and 3 flush-mounted fishing rod holders
+ Comfortable and ergonomic 3-seating
+ Designed for safe and extremely stable kayak rides
+ Maximum weight limit of 500 lbs
+ 5-year limited warranty
– Short 10 ft. length may be too crowded for two adults
– Item’s overall weight makes it hard to carry by yourself
Why We Like It – The hull design of this quality kayak is what makes it great for tracking. We like it the most because it includes kayak accessories like two paddles, two moveable backrests, and three flush-mounted fishing rod holders.
4. SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak
- Brand: SUNDOLPHIN
- Color: Blue, Lime
- Features: Large, Comfortable Seating Area, Adjustable Foot Braces
For those who mostly paddle alone, this might be the best kayak for dogs in the family because paddling with a dog is a lot more fun than paddling on your own! Sun Dolphin Bali is a small kayak best suited for smaller dogs due to the lack of additional sitting space. A small- or medium dog could easily fit up front, and the size and weight make it an excellent vessel for single paddlers.
It offers maximum stability and the option to store personal items (or dog treats!) in the rear. The open cockpit design makes it easy and hassles free to get into the kayak.
+ Offers maximum paddling stability
+ Perfect for a small and medium-sized dog
+ Large and comfortable seating area
+ P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) for extra storage compartment
+ Lightweight and easy to carry
+ With protective thigh pads, adjustable foot braces, and paddle holder
– Only has one seating capacity but can still carry small to medium dogs and one person
– No carry handles making it hard to transport
Why We Like It – If you plan to be paddling alone, this is a great kayak for small to medium-sized dogs. The bonus is that it has multiple storage compartments and an extra P.A.C.
5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
- Brand: Sevylor
- Product Dimensions: 30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches; 37.61 Pounds
- Features: Adjustable Seats, Multiple air chambers, Airtight System, Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders
- Seating Capacity: 2
Have you ever wanted to be the coolest kayaker on the lake when you go out with your dog? Sevylor Coleman Colorado kayak is the bad boy of kayaks, made with sturdy material that will keep you floating for as long as you want to be out there. The camouflage print is perfect for when you want to blend in and be one with nature.
When kayaking, dog safety is important. This product has more than enough space to accommodate dogs of all sizes, even when two humans are on board. It is lightweight with several air chambers, working as a backup if one would puncture or rip. The NMMA certified 1000D tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover is exceptionally high-performing and is made to resist rips and tears.
+ NMMA Certified 1000D Tarpaulin bottom
+ Multiple air chambers for back-up
+ Sophisticated airtight no-leak system
+ Room for two people and a dog
+ Sevylor trolling motor fitting to enhance your fishing experience
+ Double threaded for easy inflation and deflation
– Does not come with paddles and pump
– The two inflatable seats offer little back support
Why We Like It – A motor can be added to this product if you want to just chill and enjoy the ride. It is very spacious and the perfect kayak for kayaking with your dog. With one of the best kayaks for dogs, both you and your dog’s safety is the top priority as it’s durable and safe from your dog’s nails or dog’s claws.
6. Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Sit-on Kayak
- Brand: Lifetime
- Product Dimensions: 120 x 36 x 19 inches; 73 Pounds
- Material: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Plastic
- Seating Capacity: 2
- Features: Contoured Seats, Durable and lightweight, Paddle cradle, Scupper holes
This product is perfect for a safe and stable paddling experience for those dog owners who go kayaking with big dogs! The Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Sit-on Kayak is slightly wider than many other similar products, which prevents it from tipping over if your dog moves around. The design and structure are very simple, but it is all you need for a safe and fun outing with your furry friend.
There is room for two people and a dog, but if you have a large dog, you might want to consider paddling alone for a more comfortable ride for both you and your furry family member. It maneuvers well both on the lake and on calm rivers, and you can easily rinse it off with a hose after use.
+ Slightly wider than the average kayak
+ Easy to rinse off and keep clean
+ 500 lbs capacity that can fit two adults and a dog
+ Hull design provides amazing stability and tracking
+ With front carry handle for easy transport
+ Versatile designed for solo or tandem paddling
– No hatch included for dry storage
– Tracking in a straight line may be challenging with this at first
Why We Like It – Big dog owners often struggle to find dog kayaks that won’t tip over every time the dog moves around. And this hardshell kayak has the perfect wide structure to comfortably fit your canine friend.
7. Sea Eagle 370 Inflatable Kayak
- Brand: Sea Eagle
- Colors: Blue, White
- Item Weight: 44.25 Pounds
- Features: Inflatable Kayak, 3-seating capacity, Super Comfortable Seats
- Maximum Capacity: 650 Pounds
Lightweight, portable, and durable is what this Sea Eagle 370 3-Person Inflatable Boat is. One of the best sit-in kayaks you can find on the market, and what’s even better is that it’s totally affordable! It features two movable deluxe seats and can hold up to three persons and your large pooch.
No worries, even when your dog likes to fool around the kayak because this one is very sturdy and stable. Sea Eagle provides us with a high-quality kayak that gives outstanding tracking and speed performance.
+ Includes 2 removable skeg
+ Can hold larger dogs and two adults
+ 5 deluxe 1-way inflation/deflation valves
+ Super comfortable Deluxe Kayak seats
+ With two paddles, foot pump, and carry bag
– Some reviews complain that the seats offer no back support
– Hard to steer
Why We Like It – This kayak is suitable for beginners! You can rely on its structure and build, and moreover, it’s very easy to handle and carry. If you want to improve your quality time with your dog, kayaking may be the way to go.
8. Riot Kayaks Edge LV Flatwater Day Touring Kayak
- Brand: Riot Kayaks
- Product Dimensions: 12 x 23 x 174 inches; 59.99 Pounds
- Material: High Density Polyethelene
- Features: Advanced custom-fit seating system, Adjustable Sliding Footbraces
Glide through the water on this slender and graceful Riot kayaks that will make putting dogs in kayaks seem ridiculously easy. Small and medium-sized dogs will love sitting in either the rear or upfront, and you will be surprised by how effortlessly the kayak moves through the water. These might not make ideal big dog kayaks due to the reduced sitting space and the slim design, but this depends on how comfortable (or uncomfortable) your dog is on the water.
In this kayak, dog accessories can be brought along and held in place by elastic cords. It has integrated thigh braces, a retractable skeg, reflective lifelines, a drain plug, and adjustable sliding foot braces.
+ Slim neckline and slender bow
+ Advanced custom-fit seating system
+ Pilot rudder system in place
+ Reflective lifelines and drainplug
+ 1 human seating capacity and 2 seats designed for dogs
– Cockpit might be a little tight and not ample room for big feet
Why We Like It – It is a multi-functional and classic type kayak with great speed and tracking abilities. It takes you where you want to go, fits a dog, and has all the functions you need to enjoy a safe and carefree ride.
9. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
- Brand: Intex
- Item Weight: 35 Pounds
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 23.13 x 16.25 inches
- Seating Capacity: 2
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 400 Pounds
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is the best of the best in the category of inflatable kayaks. Its color is designed for improved visibility so that you’re seen even when you go kayaking at night with your doggo. The snap to assemble, lightweight, and compact features of this kayak make things easier for you.
Several things like the grab line, grab handle, repair kit, and even a U.S. Coast Guard I.D are included with this inflatable kayak. Paddle comfortably with the provided two adjustable, inflatable seats with a backrest, and you’ll have a seamless kayaking adventure. Also, you can enjoy additional accessories such as two aluminum oars and an Intex high-output pump for easy inflation and deflation.
+ Adjustable inflatable seat with backrest
+ Comfortable and spacious cockpit design
+ Removable skeg for directional stability
+ Affordable kayak
+ Suitable kayak for small dogs
+ With Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
– Not recommended for low rivers and lakes
– Difficult to inflate
Why We Like It – Designed for comfort and convenience, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak just takes the cake on this one. It’s best experienced on lakes and mild rivers and can handle up to 400 lbs of maximum weight.
10. Old Town Predator MX Angler Fishing Kayak
- Brand: Old Town
- Product Dimensions: 144 x 34 x 14 inches; 82 Pounds
- Capacity: 400-pound maximum load capacity
- Features: Slip-resistant, Stable and Efficient Ride
This Old Town kayak dog platform may be last on our list of dog-friendly kayaks but is, in fact, one of the best kayaks you can find! Going on kayaks with dogs is exciting and relaxing at the same time. What better way to get started than with this high-quality fishing kayak? It is made by one of the oldest kayaks manufacturers. It has a support track foot brace system, side-mount paddle storage, a water-tight bow hatch, and a slip-resistant Exo-Ridge deck.
It also has a maximum 400 lb hold and a limited lifetime warranty. Going kayaking with dog seats in your kayak makes the experience a lot safer, and the anti-slip cover will make sure your dog stays in the boat.
+ Features a limited lifetime warranty
+ Convenient side-mount paddle storage
+ Maximum capacity of 400lbs
+ Slip resistant Exo-Ridge deck
+ Perfect kayak for fishing and on-water sports
+ Include molded paddle rests, a large water-tight bow hatch with Click Seal cover, and tackle storage
– Not enough rod holders on the forward of the seat
Why We Like It – It is large and wide, with a comfortable seat for you and plenty of space for your furry friend. It is stable enough to stay on course even if your dog moves around a lot.
Kayaks for Dogs Buyers Guide
Dogs love fun-filled activities just as humans do. So why not pick an activity that both you and your dog will enjoy and share as a bonding experience. And kayaking with your dog might just be the wholesome water adventure you’re looking for! Now that you know our top 10 best kayaks for dogs, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the most suitable ones for your pooch and the things you need to look for in one.
Types of Kayaks Suitable for Dogs
It is easy to learn how to kayak, and having your furry bestie with you will make the outing a lot more fun and rewarding. What you need to do before you can get anything else is to purchase a kayak and to start working with your dog to prepare them for your first kayak ride together. That’s why, before anything else, we want to provide you with a guide to help you out on picking the right type of kayak for dogs.
Inflatable kayaks, by its name, are just like the standard kayaks but made from a synthetic rubber called Hypalon to make it inflatable and deflatable. This type of kayak is more suited for calm weather conditions as it’s not sure to withstand tough waves. What’s great about inflatable kayaks is they are lightweight and easy to carry and store. So if you want something on the go, then this is the one for you. It’s also good to know that inflatable kayaks are a cheap alternative compared to other kayaks.
Now, if you have a larger dog and need enough room for the both of you. Your safest bet is to choose tandem kayaks because they tend to be more spacious, and they can accommodate one to two persons or dogs.
Sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayaks are generally the most preferable because of their hull design. It has an open cockpit, so you don’t have to worry about leg space much, and it’s guaranteed that medium to large dogs can fit in it as well. A sit-on-top kayak provides more stability which is one of the most important things to consider when kayaking.
Recreational kayaks are much spacier and enclosed, except for the cockpit. They can usually hold small to medium dogs; however, not much room can fit larger canines. If your pooch just likes sitting on your lap or at your feet, you are sold with a recreational kayak. The downside is recreational kayaks lack speed and tracking capabilities. That’s why they are only recommended for casual use.
Fishing kayaks are just as dog-friendly as recreational and sit-on-top kayaks. They have wider decks, so there’s more room for both of you and your dog, and they are also stable. The con of this type of kayak is they don’t perform well with rapids, unlike whitewater kayaks which can handle rougher waves. It’s best to settle for a fishing kayak if you’re only planning on using it in calm waters.
Kayak for Dogs to Avoid
Here are some kayaks that you need to avoid because they are not the most suitable for dogs.
Whitewater kayaks are specifically designed to endure rapids. They are much smaller than sit-on-top kayaks leaving almost no room for your dog aboard. With that in mind, it’s not the best to use when going kayaking with your doggo. Because of their narrow build, large dogs, even medium ones, won’t fit, and they are just made for one person basically.
While sea kayaks are also small and narrow with pointed ends. While whitewater kayaks are much smaller, sea kayaks are just as unfitted to use with dogs. Sea kayaks are more for competitive water paddling. If that’s not your main purpose, then you are better of with inflatable or sit-in kayaks.
Important Things to Look for in Kayak for Dogs
How big of a kayak you’ll need depends on how big your dog is and how much extra space you would like to have. Kayaks and dogs can work wonderfully together if you manage to find one that fits everyone. So first, consider if you plan to take your dog out on your own or if a friend, family member, or partner will be joining you.
There are 2 people kayak options if there will be more than one of you, so get that if you won’t be alone. If you are solo kayaking, you are probably better off with a single-seat kayak for convenience, as it will be easier for you to paddle and transport by yourself.
Once you know if you will be using it for one or two people, it is time to look at the additional space available for your dog. Bigdog kayaks will obviously need to be bigger than those for small dogs, as you can’t have your dog balancing at the very edge during your outing.
Your dog should be able to lie down comfortably without running the risk of falling overboard, so check the measurements carefully before you make your choice.
Check how much the kayak weighs, as it could be heavy for one person to manage a very heavy kayak with a large dog as a passenger. If you are alone – choose a lighter product to avoid pushing yourself physically more than what the sport requires typically.
Going on a kayak with dogs is not supposed to tire you out so to the point that you never want to go out there again, so pick a lightweight kayak with a maximum weight limit to suit your needs. Most quality kayaks have a maximum limit of between 350-450lbs, but it is always good to double-check.
The wider the kayak, the more likely it will be stable enough to handle a dog that might get the idea to start moving around. This is important, especially if your dog is large, as a small dog might not make much of a difference even on a narrower kayak. There is a big difference between kayaking with a Chihuahua and doing it with a Rottweiler. So if you have a heavy pup – look for a wider kayak for stability (unless you want to end up in the water as it tips over).
Frequently Asked Questions
How to prepare my dog for kayaking?
Firstly, be prepared to be patient. Consider if your dog has the personality to enjoy kayaking; a hyperactive dog or a dog that is extremely fearful might struggle, while a calmer dog that enjoys spending time with you would probably love the experience!
While many dogs can be trained to like it, it simply isn’t for everyone, so always take your dog’s unique traits into consideration before choosing an activity. Start training on land and make sure your dog knows the “stay” command, or you might have trouble keeping him or her on the kayak.
Can a dog go in an inflatable kayak?
This might come as a surprise, but an inflatable kayak is usually ideal for dogs! They tend to be made to withstand a lot more than just dog claws, and the benefit is that they are often very stable and comfortable for you, while offering good space for your dog. By getting the best inflatable kayak for dogs, you will also get a mean of transport that is extremely lightweight, and that you can easily paddle and transport yourself.
Should my dog wear a lifejacket or a floating device?
All dogs out on the water should be equipped with a well-fitted life vest, life jacket, or any other canine-appropriate floating device, even if they are good swimmers. You never know what could happen when you are out there, and a lifejacket makes sure your dog will stay above water until you can get to him and pull him out.
This is something you don’t want to compromise on, so get a dog lifejacket already before you start training your pooch to enjoy being on the kayak.
A dog in a kayak is adorable but it is also a great learning experience for your dog. It teaches patience, balance, and much more. Before anything else, make sure you get the right Kayak accessories for dogs. Practice makes perfect, and it is never too late to try something new.
Choose a kayak depending on the size of your dog, and make sure there is enough room for your pooch to both sit and lie down without risking falling off. If your dog is comfortable – you’ll be comfortable too.
Did You Know?
Even the most unlikely dog can learn to enjoy kayaking, provided you are willing to be patient. So if it is something you wish to do with your dog – don’t give up if it doesn’t work out right away.
We Think You’ll Like: How to Train a Dog to Kayak
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