Owning a kayak has numerous benefits. Not only it promotes your health and assists in building muscles, but it is also an extremely fun activity. The only thing that could make it better is you can take your dog with you. The good news is that it is possible, and all you need is the best kayak for dogs.
What makes a kayak suitable for you and your furry friend? First of all, it needs to be big enough for both. If you choose smartly, you can even fit more than one dog in a kayak. However, you need to consider the maximum weight capacity. The dog-friendly kayak also needs to keep all of you afloat, which means you should look for maximum stability. After all, you don’t want to end up in the water.
We did the footwork for you and analyzed more than two dozen different kayaks to find the most suitable one for your pet. Our team checked out more than two dozen products and focused on both expert opinions and customer feedback. We kept in mind the specifics of dog kayaks, such as adequate size, weight capacity, and stability. Feel free to check out our table for a quick overview of available products, or scroll below to find a detailed review of each unit. Keep reading to discover our buying guide that we hope will help you find the best kayak for dogs!
More features: seats with adjustable backrest; gear straps; patented overlapping foot wells; carrying handles
If you can take a kayak to the ocean, you can take in anywhere! The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a great proof of that claim. The sit-on-top boat is one of the best options for kayaking with dogs. You can take your pet to the water and enjoy creating memorable adventures with them!
The seats come with amazing adjustability in four directions. That way, both of you can feel comfortable while minimizing slip risk.
Thanks to the sit-on-top design, it will be easy for your dog to enter the kayak. The boat is quite long, with a total length of 12 feet with enough space for your dog. It weighs 57 pounds, but that is also reasonably light for carrying. The manufacturer included premium components, which ensure great durability and stability. Additionally, the weight capacity is rather good because the kayak can fit 425 pounds of combined weight.
The only downside is that the colors might look a bit different than in the photos. However, that is a common appearance for many products, and it doesn’t affect all the great things that this kayak can do for you.
More features: elevated seat; front and rare swim decks with cushioning; built-in cooler; accessories-ready; removable fin; carry handles; drink holders
Did you know that this kayak won a prestigious international award for its unique design? While that is nice, it is the performance we care about, and the unit does many good things in that area, too.
For starters, it seems that this is an average length kayak as it is 11-feet long. It weighs 55 pounds, which is not that heavy, although it’s also not the lightest unit out there.
The added weight comes from premium quality components. They secure excellent stability and maneuverability, which means beginners should consider this model. The sit-on-top design makes it easy for your dog to get on it, and swim decks and hand grips also allow to climb up from the water easily.
The biggest drawback is the limited weight capacity. The manufacturer recommends only 280 pounds of total weight. That is why you should only consider this if you are looking for kayaks for small dogs.
The kayak comes with an elevated seat, which could be more comfortable, but it does have generous padding and a backrest. You can place drinks in holders to keep them safe while kayaking and the unit even has an integrated cooler. Ultimately, you could say this is a family and pet-friendly boat designed to relax in calm waters.
More features: 3-chamber design; K80 PVC construction; 2 skegs on the bottom; 5 one-way inflation and deflation valves; whitewater up to class III
Although it is incredibly light and portable, it also has a generous weight capacity, which places it among the best inflatable kayaks for large dogs. The kayak is long, and you shouldn’t have a problem with fitting you and your furry friend inside.
You will even feel comfortable as the seats are adjustable. It is easy to pump the kayak, and the bottom skegs are there to improve speed and tracking.
The problem lies in the stability of the kayak. If you don’t have any previous experience, it might be tricky to put the boat under control. You should avoid riding waves and stick to still water.
Additionally, the durability is as solid as it could be for an inflatable model. Unfortunately, that still means this unit is less durable than some other kayaks in our list.
It is all about your needs and preference. If you are looking for the lightest model with excellent portability, this is the one. But if you prefer stability and durability, you may not be that thrilled.
More features: linear low-density polyethylene rotational molded construction; paddle clips on both sides; 3 fishing rod holders; 6 in storage hatch
Are you getting ready for a fishing trip, and you would like to take your pooch with you? Sport Fisher can be an ideal kayak as it features three rod holders, as well as additional storage space for all your angling equipment.
The kayak is a bit heavy with 60 pounds of total weight, which is not easy for a single person the carry. Fortunately, the compact 10-feet size makes transport a bit more manageable.
Don’t be confused by the size – this is still one of the best fishing kayaks for larger dogs. The maximum weight capacity is 500 pounds, and the kayak has enough space for both of you in there. You can move either of the two backrests to find the optimal position. The seating is somewhat elevated to keep you away from the kayak floor.
The manufacturer included a paddle, and also made sure that all components are of superb quality. You will see the result of carefully chosen materials over time, and that will be the best way to confirm the overall durability and longevity of the kayak.
Ultimately, the kayak is perfect for fishers. The manufacturer did everything to make it look professional, which is why this model is so tempting for anglers who like kayak fishing with your dog.
More features: low-profile design; vinyl construction; adjustable inflatable seats; removable skeg; U.S. Coast Guard I.D. – NMMA Certified and TUV approved; repair patch included in the purchase
If you are worried that you may have to inflate this kayak by yourself, don’t worry anymore. The manufacturer includes a pump that makes inflation a piece of cake. Combined with the fact that the unit is only 37-pound heavy, it is what makes the kayak a suitable option for beginners.
Although the model is not as long as others on our list, it should fit you and your furry companion as long as your weight up to 400 pounds combined. The unit is an excellent pick for mild rivers and lakes. It is visible thanks to its simplistic design, which means you will minimize the chance of someone not noticing you while you’re on a kayaking trip.
The model is also quite comfortable. The seats come with backrests for your comfort, and the floor is not slippery, which is important for your dog. You can find a grabbing handle and line on both sides of the product.
It is interesting to note that you will receive a repair kit to fix any tiny punctures or pinholes. That way, you can ensure your kayak is not leaking air. You have the option of mounting a motor, but make sure to use the kit specifically made for these boats.
More features: 18-gauge PVC construction; 2 fishing rod holders; adjustable seats; carry bag and pressure gauge included in the purchase
When it comes to inflatable kayaks, the thing you question the most is durability. That is where Coleman did a good job and made Sevylor as durable as an inflatable unit could be.
The manufacturer used 18-gauge PVC to ensure the kayak can handle all challenges on lakes and calm waters. The nylon cover and tarpaulin bottom make the unit rather durable, but it still is not a smart choice for waters that are not calm. Despite that, it is nice to see a multiple air-chamber approach, which increases durability by keeping other layers inflated after one of the chambers is punctured.
The product has everything fishers may need, including trolling motor fittings and rod holders. You can also put the remaining equipment in mesh storage pockets, or consider putting some snacks in there, too.
It is easy to assemble and inflate the kayak. The double-threaded valve makes inflation simple, and you can even use the pressure gauge to check if you reached an optimal inflation level.
The seats are adjustable, although the unit could be more comfortable overall. It is another thing that’s a common occurrence with inflatable kayaks. The important thing, however, is that it is fairly light and portable, and it also has a solid weight capacity of 470 pounds.
More features: two drink holders, front and rare open storage; front, rare and side carry handles; paddle attachment points; Comfort Seating System with adjustable seatback
The first thing you notice is the design of this kayak. It comes in two different color combinations – sea spray and sunset, and they are both equally creative.
It is important to talk about the biggest advantage and drawback of the kayak at the same time – its weight. The product weighs 69 pounds, and it is hands down difficult to carry if you are alone.
However, that weight secures a 500-pound weight capacity and gives excellent stability and maneuverability. If you are looking for the best kayaks for beginners with dogs, this may be the one. It is the stability you need to minimize any mishaps while in the water.
It is a classic sit-on-top kayak, which means you can get in and out in a couple of seconds. You will find it very comfortable as you have the option of personalizing the sit. The seatback and footrests are both adjustable to your size and comfort.
You will find two hatches for storage in the front of every seat, and there is even a drink holder to keep your beverage while steering the water. It is important to mention that the weight doesn’t affect speed as this kayak is quite fast.
More features: UV-protected polyethylene, 2 adjustable quick release seat backs, 1 hatch, different footrest positions
The Lifetime Kokanee 106 Tandem Kayak stands out as one of the finest kayaks ideal for dog lovers. This unique sit-on-top design is not only perfect for tandem or solo paddling but also offers a comfortable space for your furry friend. Whether you wish to paddle with a buddy using the two adjustable backrests or go solo by shifting one backrest to the middle, the design ensures utmost convenience.
What’s more, the high backrests and multiple footrest placements guarantee a comfortable ride for both you and your pet. The kayak also features bungee cords on both ends, making it easy to secure any dog gear or toys, and a storage hatch that provides extra space to keep essentials.
Crafted from blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the Kokanee 106 boasts durability, UV protection, and resistance to impacts. At a length of 10 ft. 6 in., this sit-on-top tandem kayak is equipped with two adaptable backrests with easy-to-release fittings, a 6-inch storage hatch, bungee systems at the bow and stern, and a handy front toggle handle.
Additionally, it comes with a 5-year limited warranty on the hull, ensuring your peace of mind.
How to choose a kayak that is the most suitable for you and your dog? We are trying to answer that question in our comprehensive buying guide below!
Let’s try to clarify some dilemmas you might have when you choose the best option for you and your dog on a kayak.
It is hard to give a definite answer here, and you might need to consider the size and personality of your dog.
Recreational kayaks feature a compact size and enclosed cockpit with a big opening for passengers. If your dog doesn’t mind restricted spaces, you can consider using a recreational kayak, which is great for smaller dogs
However, a touring model may be a better choice if you are looking for additional space. These units often go to over 12 feet length, which should give plenty of room to move to your dog on board .
It is easier to choose when you know the basics of kayak types you are dealing with. Sit-in and sit-on-top models feature very different designs.
Sit-in units are usually quite narrow and allow the user a high level of body contact with the kayak itself. That should provide additional control, but also increase your speed. That makes this model a suitable choice if you plan to cross a significant distance during your trip. However, you will need some skill to handle that extra speed. Even the best sit-in kayaks for dogs will require some experience to drive them comfortably. Additionally, your dog should be very comfortable with the water, or they might get scared, especially if you don’t stick to calm waters.
Sit-on-top kayaks are more suitable for beginners. They also seem more pet-friendly because getting your dog in and out from the boat is effortless. It’s best for dogs as it also makes sit-on-top units like Ocean Kayak Malibu Two a smart choice if you have a restless dog.
When it comes to choosing a kayak for a dog, you should treat your pet as a person. Yes, your dog deserves credit, but the actual reason why you should go with a two-person model is an extra seat.
Most of the one-person kayaks are small, and they can’t fit a human and a dog in terms of both size and weight. That proves especially true if you have a big pet.
It is only natural that the two-person unit will have extra space and weight capacity. That is why you should primarily stick to them, especially if you are looking for the best kayaks for big dogs.
Let’s take a look at some crucial features you need to keep in mind when buying a kayak for a joint trip with your dog!
The dimensions and weight of your kayak will directly affect its portability. If you are taking your dog on an adventure, the chances are you will do all the carrying. It is why you may want to consider an inflatable kayak, such as Sevylor Coleman Colorado because those units are the lightest.
But if you feel strong and don’t mind doing some heavy-lifting, you can benefit from additional stability, durability, and weight capacity with heavier units. Perception Pescador is probably the most durable kayak on our list and a real long-term investment.
The best kayaks for large and medium-sized dogs have a huge weight capacity. It is as simple as that. If you have a big pet, you need a kayak that can fit both you and your pooch. That indicates that you should hunt for models that have a weight capacity of at least 400–450 pounds, such as Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak.
On the other hand, small dogs are not heavy, which is why they should easily fit in any tandem units. Perception Hi Life may be a great choice for your pooch in that case.
There is no one-size-fits-all kayak out there. That is why we say that you need to consider the features, and that applies to material durability and construction.
Kayaks can be inflatable and non-inflatable. Inflatable kayaks come very stable, making them a great choice for dogs, especially those new to kayaking. However, dog owners should be aware that a dog’s claws could potentially puncture the material, so it’s important to choose a kayak made from sturdy, scratch-resistant material.
Non-inflatable or plastic kayaks tend to be more durable, and will probably serve you for a long time. However, they are heavier and can be tricky to carry.
Do you have a small dog that you carry around wherever you go? In that case, you shouldn’t have a problem fitting it in your kayak.
But what if your dog is big and restless? In that case, you shouldn’t only consider that they can fit on the boat, but also secure enough space for them to move around.
Keep in mind – if your dog feels like they are in a confined space, it may make them nervous, and they might tip over the kayak!
Stability is extremely important in three situations:
If you are a newcomer to kayaking, you may want to look for the most stable kayaks, such as Pelican Prime 100. Even when you are in calm waters, a restless dog can easily turn over the kayak, and that is also where stability helps.
Finally, you need the unit to be stable if you are going to ride waves or tackle ocean waters. In that case, you also need a durable model, which is why Ocean Kayak Malibu Two can be a great choice.
The old saying goes that the better the warranty, the better the product. While that doesn’t have to be correct, the warranty is a nice indicator of whether the manufacturer trusts the product.
You can’t expect the same warranties for inflatable and standard kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are often not as durable, and they have a shorter lifespan than regular models. A couple of years must be the best guarantee you can expect.
As for non-inflatable kayaks, it depends on the manufacturer. The best units out there might even have a lifetime warranty on the hull. So invest in a kayak with such a warranty.
You have chosen the kayak, but that doesn’t mean your preparation for the adventure has ended. The fact that you are taking your furry companion with you means that you will need to pack some extra things for them. Here is a list of items that you will need.
The first thing you want to consider is your dog’s safety. You need to be ready for extreme situations. It may be difficult to accept, but dogs can also drown. Many dogs are good swimmers, but they might get scared, or an accident could happen.
That is why you should equip them with a life vest when go kayaking. It is vital to give your pooch a bit of time to get used to the vest because they might feel uncomfortable wearing it. You may consider showing them you are wearing the vest, too.
Is your dog restless, and you are afraid that they will knock over the boat? The chances are that will happen a couple of times during the day. In those situations, a harness can be useful for pulling them back on the kayak. A harness is something you will appreciate taking with you, especially in harsh weather conditions.
You won’t spend the entire time on the water. A leash is necessary when you reach the land. However, it is vital to mention you should NEVER use it on your pet while you are in your kayak.
Imagine if something goes wrong and the boat turns over while your dog is tied. You need to save or untie the poor animal quickly. The potentially terrible consequences are not something you want to deal with, which is why your dog should remain UNTIED while on the boat.
No, dogs shouldn’t consume seawater, and it cannot refresh them. You brought fresh water for you, haven’t you? You should do the same for your dog.
Apart from fresh water, consider taking their favorite food when you go kayak with your dog. If it is a short trip, snacks may do the trick, but you may need other food if you plan to stay on the water for long. If it helps to make your pet more comfortable in the kayak, consider taking their favorite bowls, too.
While it can be an amazing adventure, you might need some time and effort to make your dog comfortable in a kayak. If your pet is well-trained, that can make your trip significantly more enjoyable. Pooches that listen to commands instantly will cause little problems on the kayak. It can be particularly vital to learn them to poop on command.
Here are some other tips that you can apply:
Have you found the kayak that is best for dogs already? We have some of our favorite kayaks for dogs on our list, but if you are looking for the most inflatable light unit, you can’t go wrong with Sevylor Coleman Colorado. Although it is inflatable, it is quite durable, and you can even use it for fishing.
The Perception Hi Life is a kayak designed for small dogs and may not be the best for rough seas. A kayak with the unique design combining a kayak and a standup paddleboard.
And lastly, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is one of our favorite kayaks available on the market. When you’re kayaking in it, you’ll experience an ideal combination of portability, weigh capacity, and stability for you and your furry friend.
Ultimately, it all comes down to your needs and preference. Hope you were able to find the best kayak for dogs!