The 7 Best kayaks for dogs: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

In OUTDOOR by Rachael SummersLeave a Comment

kayaking with a dog

Is there anything truly better than kayaking with your dog? 

Whilst taking the kids out is great, you can spruce things up a little by taking your dog along too. Kayaking is a great way to build a strong bond with your dog whilst getting them out for a nice relaxing day down the river. 

For the most part, kayaks are very simple, although things can quickly get complicated when trying to choose which one to buy. That’s why this simple guide was created in order to help you make a quick and easy decision as to which kayak will be the best choice for you. 

Let’s take a look at what the market has to offer to get started! 

In a hurry? The Best Kayaks for dog owners

The different types of dog kayaks

In order to choose the best kayak for your dog, you’ll need to first take a look at the different types of kayaks first. Some are better for small rivers whilst others are built to go out at sea. 

That’s why it’s better to get a good idea of what type will be the best for you before going out and spending a boatload of money (no pun intended). 

Inflatable Kayaks

This kind of kayak is great for beginners that are just getting used to the idea of kayaking all together. There are a few key reasons why these are a great choice for some, a few of those include it is easy to transport and fold away, and they come in at a super cheap price. 

If you’re on a small budget and new to the game then this would be a great option for getting started. The only downside is that they are sometimes limited to space and can only take a certain amount of weight. 

This means you’ll need to check out the specs before buying to make sure that it can hold you and your dog. And ill have that covered alongside each of reviews on this post. 

Fishing Kayaks

Fishing kayaks are great for what they were built for, and that s fishing. If you’re the fishing type and want to get stuck in with your dog then a fishing kayak may be a great choice for you. Usually, you’ll find they come well-equipped for heading out to fish but might limit you to being able to kayak in certain locations only. 

Touring (Sit-In) Kayaks

Amongst the others on the list, I’d say that this type of kayak is great for traveling on calm waters with your dog. You can take them just about anywhere that you have calm water and they make a great ride for just laying back and relaxing. 

These type of kayaks are best suited for smaller dogs and usually comes with a nice amount of storage and well equipped for fishing (depending on the brand you go with). 

Ocean (Sit-On-Top) Kayaks

Last but not least we have ocean kayaks also know as sit on top kayaks. Amongst the different types of kayaks on the market, I would certainly say that these are the most versatile of them all. You can use this in calm relaxing water and out at sea where the water is more aggressive too. 

Youll find that ocean kayaks are the best type for dogs because they offer a larger amount of space and as well as a higher limit for height. In some cases, you’ll find that you can take multiple dogs along in this too. Ocean kayaks are very stable and easy to paddle which makes it the perfect type of dog kayak for most of us. 

dog in life jacket

How to Kayak with your dog safely 

Youll want to make sure that you put safety at the top of your list each and every time you head out to kayak. Here are a few tips that might help: 

Wear a life vest 

To keep things safe Id recommend that you buy al life vest for you and your dog. Whether your kayaking or just out at sea, its always a good idea to play it safe, especially when dealing with large amounts of water. Even if your dog is a great swimmer it’s still best practice for them to wear a safety vest.

Know where you are

Just like heading gout in a boat its a good idea to either know the type of water that you’re kayaking in. Or to at least know the direction that you need to go in to get back to safety. This goes without saying but can be easily overlooked in certain circumstances. 

Take things steady 

There’s no need to rush as you’re, not in a race. Allow your dog to get used to the environment and the water as its probably a little intimidating at first. If its the first time taking your dog on the water then Id recommends you start off with something calm and relaxing, then later ramp it up once they’re used to things. 

Use an Outrigger for Stability
If you’re planning on going out fishing and know that you’ll be heading out and stopping, then its probably a good idea to install some outriggers on your kayak. They are built to help with stability and if you have a big dog then this could be the difference of tipping or remain ing stable. If you’re the DIY type then you can make them yourself but in most cases its better to just buy a pair. 

Keep Your Dog on a Long Line 

It’s best to attach your dog’s life jacket or life vest to a long line which is essentially just a long cord that prevents your dog from getting too far away. It will still provide enough room for swimming but will make sure that if your dog begins to panic or something goes wrong, then you’ll easily being to pull them back on board. 

best dog kayaks this year

The best kayak for dogs this year 

There is nothing I love more than going out on the water; Except for my dogs, of course, and spending a day out on the water with them! When kayaking with dogs, safety is extremely important; Always make sure your furbabies (and you) are wearing life vests, be familiar with your terrain, and over-familiarize yourself with every other possible precaution, you can take.

One of the most important factors when kayaking with your dog(s) is taking care when choosing the kayak itself. There are so many options on the market, and it’s important to find one that will keep you and your pup safe and comfortable. Whether you have a tiny, terrified terrier, or a hyperactive beast of a dog who likes to jump off and go for a swim, there is a kayak perfect for you!

Let’s get into it! 

1. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 – Best kayak for dogs

This sit-on-top kayak is by far the best and most comfortable kayak available for you and your four-legged friend.

Even if you’re a freakishly tall person like me, and have a big dog (who takes up much more space than they need to), there is plenty of room for both of you to be comfortable while you’re out on the water.

There is even enough space, and a high enough weight limit (300lbs), to fit multiple dogs inside, just in case you want to bring the whole pack along for an adventure. It even has Comfort Plus seating with four-way adjustability, so you can arrange the cabin to suit your seating needs.

Sit-on-top kayaks are very versatile kayaks that are suitable for both unpredictable water and still waters. The Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 has a tri-form hull, making it incredibly stable and maneuverable; It is not able to track fast but can handle anything that is thrown your way.

Specs

  • Length: 11’ 6.5”
  • Width: 74.93cm
  • Weight: 47 lbs.
  • Maximum Load: 300 lbs.
Pros
  • Ample room for you and the dog(s) to sit comfortably.
  • Good stability in any kind of water.
Cons
  • The available storage in the kayak leaves a lot to be desired; No waterproof storage at all.
  • This is a very slow-moving kayak.

With sit-on-top kayaks, you can expect to get a bit wet, and one area that the Ocean Kayak Scambler 11 falls short in is water-proof storage. There are bungee cords in both the front and back of the kayak, however, this will only stabilize items to get them from falling overboard on rough waters.

It would be a good idea to bring along some dry bags to store your phone, and any extra clothes, towels, or other items you need to keep dry.

2. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable – Best inflatable kayak for dogs

If you’re in the market for an inflatable kayak, the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is the best inflatable kayak option available for you & the dogs.

Keep in mind that while inflatable kayaks are great for storage and convenience, they are only intended for calm waters and should never be used in unpredictable conditions for the safety of you and your furbabies.

That being said, I have found inflatable kayaks are nice for dogs who are a bit trepidatious. Because they are easy to keep at home, your dog can get used to the smell of them long before your first journey into the water.

You can even inflate them in the yard (or in a large room) and let your dog hop in and hang out for a while! I was a bit skeptical in terms of how spacious it would be at first but found it to have plenty of room for my long legs and my space-hogging dog. While this kayak is called a “2-Person” kayak, don’t let the name fool you;

You can easily remove the seats to make space for a dog, or even two! It has a maximum weight of 400lbs, which is excellent for an inflatable kayak. And best of all, it’s incredibly easy to inflate.

There is a cargo net in the front of the kayak for storage but unfortunately, it is also lacking in the waterproof storage department. Luckily, since you’ll only be taking this kayak out on calm waters the risk of an incident is low, but accidents do happen. Better to be safe than sorry and keep your phone in a dry bag!

Specs

  • Length: 11′ 6″
  • Width: 76cm
  • Weight: 37.7 lbs
  • Maximum Load: 400 lbs
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Easy to inflate
  • large weight limit
Cons
  • Only good for calm waters
  • No waterproof storage (calm waters or not, accidents happen)

If you’re looking for something at a reasonable price that is built fo 2 and can be easily transported around, then this kayak is for you. To see more, you can head over to Amazon to see the availability.

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-foot Sit-In Kayak – Best Kayak for Small Dogs

This kayak is the best option out there for small dogs. Being a sit-in kayak, your little pup will feel more protected, and the sides will provide a bit of shade if they need a break from the sun and wind while out on the open water.

There is plenty of foot room for you to relax in the Sun Dolphin Aruba while your faithful dog rests by your legs or at your feet. Sit-in kayaks are also a great option for beginners going out for a scenic tour on calm waters.

If both you and your dog are relatively new to kayaking, sit-in kayaks are a perfect choice. This kayak is extremely easy to paddle and has adjustable foot braces. One of my favorite things about the Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-In Kayak is how much covered storage there is, its everywhere!

There is covered storage space at the back of the kayak, on the sides of the seat, and even a water bottle holder in the front!

Specs

  • Length: 11’ 6.5”
  • Width: 74.93cm
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Maximum Load: 300 lbs
Pros
  • Great for small dogs, will make them feel protected
  • Excellent for beginners, easy to use
  • Ample waterproof storage
Cons
  • Not accommodating for larger dogs
  • Not good for rough waters

This is overall a great kayak for small dogs and is a great place to start if you have not tried kayaking before. You can choose from a range of colors that this kayak comes in too, which you can check out over on Amazon.

4. Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 foot Tandem Kayak – Best Kayak for Large Breed Dogs

This tandem kayak, originally designed to hold up to three people, can instead hold one person and a pack of dogs, two people, and one large dog, or pretty much any human/dog combination you can imagine!

The Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Kayak has adjustable padded seats, plenty of waterproof storage compartments, and paddle holders so you can take time to pet your dog!

This sit-on-top kayak is incredibly stable and is perfect for large dogs who move around a lot, or even jump off to go for a swim! You won’t have to worry that your kayak will capsize every time the dog wants to venture out for a dip.

The Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Kayak is also prepared to take on some rough waters, making it a great option if you plan to go out on the ocean or sea. Again, sit-on-tops are incredibly versatile, so you can also take it out on a calm lake or river; There’s no need to be a daredevil!

Specs

  • Length: 13′ 6″
  • Width: 86.36cm
  • Weight: 70 lbs
  • Maximum Load: 500 lbs
Pros
  • Great stability for large dogs who like to move around and/or jump off to go swimming
  • Sits up to three people
  • Good for calm or rough waters
  • Excellent waterproof storage
Cons
  • Heavy to transport, but a trolley can be utilized

This beast is not for the faint-hearted and nor is it the kind of kayak that you can just throw into the car and travel with. If you are more of a serious kayak or even looking to get serious with it, then this is the kayak for you.

5. Ocean Kayal 12-feet Malibu – Versatile kayak

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is another tandem sit-on-top kayak with adjustable seating and multiple seating position options that can be arranged to accommodate one, two, or even three paddlers without influencing the balance or stability.

That makes this kayak an extremely versatile option. While this model is a bit more compact than most tandem kayaks, it still offers a ton of comfortability with Comfort Plus seats and molded-in seat wells.

It also has plenty of deck space, making it an excellent option for those who enjoy fishing with their dog. This vessel has superb tracking but due to its extreme stability, understandably, it isn’t very lightweight. However, you can always use a trolley if it is a bit of a struggle transporting it between the car and the water.

Specs

  • Length: 12’
  • Width: 34”
  • Weight: 57 lbs
  • Maximum Load: 375-425 lbs.
Pros
  • Sits up to three people
  • Multiple seating positions available without affecting balance and stability.
  • Plenty of deck storage, good for fishing.
  • Good stability for when your dog moves around
Cons
  • Heavier than most kayaks

This a great solution for multipurpose use as the seating comes with enough space for 2 adults and 1 dog. You can probably even get away with 1 additional person instead of the dog if that’s what floats your boat.

6. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

This is the perfect kayak for fishing with your dog; It is specifically designed for fisherman, and its spacious cabin makes it perfect for taking your dog along.

It is an inflatable kayak, which is usually an issue when it comes to fishing kayaks which need to be especially durable for traversing shallow waters. However, the Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is made of 18 gauge PVC, covered with 840 nylon.

This kayak has a 1000 D Tarpaulin bottom ensuring that no matter how shallow the water is, or what sort of sharp materials lie beneath the water, your kayak won’t spring a leak. Just as an extra safety measure, this model has multiple air chambers, so in the unlikely event one rips, the kayak will not capsize, allowing you and your dog safely make it to shore.

This kayak has every accessory and features a fisherman could dream of.

It is incredibly quiet so as to not disturb the fish (or your dog). It comes with a pair of Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders for easy casting, and Drings for attaching additional equipment. There’s even mesh pockets on the sides of the kayak that can be used for storing tackle.

Unfortunately, it does not come with a paddle (though you can order a reasonably-priced, quality paddle online separately). It also does not have a pump and considering the vast amount of air chambers it contains as a safety measure, inflating this kayak can get a bit exhausting.

Specs

  • Length: 12’
  • Width: 34”
  • Weight: 57 lbs
  • Maximum Load: 375-425 lbs.
Pros
  • Very durable and safe.
  • Easy storage and great features for anglers.
  • Very stable, yet easily portable.
  • Spacious.
Cons
  • No pump and complicated to inflate.
  • Does not come with a paddle.
  • Bulky sidewalls.
  • The rod holders tend to get in the way when you are paddling.
  • Slow-moving.

As you can see theres quite a few things to consider before buying this kayak. Whilst this appears to look nice and has all the fancy gadgets you could want there are still a few key features missing that you most other kayaks have. That’s not to say that this isn’t a great steal but to be sure you’ll have to see more on it over on Amazon.

7. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10

This single-user sit-in kayak is one of the smaller models on the list, but there is still room for your small or medium-sized dog to rest comfortably between your legs.

Despite how compact this kayak is, it is made for comfort; The Vapor 10 has a comfort flex seat, and thigh pads to ensure you don’t rub your legs raw during your relaxing day on the river.

It even has a molded-in paddle rest, so you can take a break from paddling and give your furry little seafarer some much-needed attention. There is a drain plug in case you need to drain some water out of the kayak, unfortunately, it’s not located in an efficient or convenient spot; It would be a good idea to bring along a bilge pump.

Specs

  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 28.5”
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Maximum Load: 325 lbs
Pros
  • Thigh pads to protect your legs.
  • Molded-in paddle rests.
  • Large cockpit despite its compact nature
Cons
  • The location of the drain plug renders it virtually useless.
  • Not enough space for larger dogs.
  • No storage

This is a great kayak to get out on calm waters any day of the week. However, I do feel it lacks some important parts such as storage and the location of the drain (it has one but in an odd place). For that reason, I would only recommend this if you are out with your dog and not in need to carry additional gear as such.

Conclusion

If you’re on the hunt for a new kayak or even considering the idea of kayaking with your dog, then this post will give you everything you need to now form the specs and qualities of each kayak in the review that will help you t make an easy decision on what would be the best choice for you.

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