Kayaks offer a great boating and fishing experience with their relative stability and high performance. The experience gets even better when you have the chance to kayak with your lovely dog. For me and my dog Strout, kayaking is an afternoon routine, we enjoy amazing times together thanks to our beautiful dog-friendly vessel.
However, in order to enjoy your time with your dog on the waters, you have to know how to find a suitable kayak that can provide a sturdy support and a smooth experience.
Here, we will share our experience with different types of kayaks and list down the ones most suitable for your dog. We will also provide you with tons of usage and safety tips in this buying guide so you can make the most of your vessel.
Table of Contents
We Ranked and Reviewed These 10 Kayaks for Dogs
01 Ocean Kayak Malibu Two 12-Feet (Top Pick)
You might want to know why Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is our top pick, right? Its excellent features and high-end compatibility speaks for itself and has been validated by many users over time. A number of the amazing features of this recreational kayak for dogs makes it stand out from the rest.
It sports a well-designed seating system placed separately from each other. The placement of seats is deliberate to aid passage and prevent any sort of interference when doing so.
You can easily reduce your panicking and that of your dog when you’re out kayaking in a watercraft as accurate as this. Your turning is done accurately and with its steady tracking system, there is little or nothing to worry about when in this kayak. But remember this will require a 2-person lift since it is on the heavier side.
- The dog kayak has a length of about 12 inches
- Comes with a width of about 34 inches extendable
- It weighs about 57 lbs.
- It has a maximum load capacity strength of about 374-425 lbs.
- It has a good and very adjustable seating system with up to 3 seats
- Its seating system can take up to three people at a time
- Comes compact with a number of seating options
- It has a versatile deck storage system
- It is stable that allows for easy movement of your dog
- A lot can be done to reduce the weight
- It can be structured to come looking way fanciful than it does.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu is well known for its versatility, durability, and reliability. Its seat has been configured in a way that is comfortable not just for you but also for your dog. In terms of reliability and durability, it is built with quality materials. It comes with a solid PVC construction that keeps it away from the dent and wears. Then this model should be ideal for you.
Whether your dog chooses to sit around or move freely, there is enough space that can accommodate all of it. Do not forget that you can always add that extra seat to it for an extra person.
02 Intex Explorer K2 (Also Great)
With an impressive and compact design, Intex Explorer K2 is a versatile option for you and your dog. It is safe and secured, and offers a gold storage option. It is also made from one of the finest and most durable material making it reliable for use.
Why should I go for the Inter Explorer K2? It is as simple as just desiring an extraordinary kayaking experience for yourself and your dog.
Great for recreational purposes and for beginners: While some models for dogs are great for recreational purposes, others are effective for fishing. Among the few top kayaks for recreational purposes is the Intex Explorer K2 .
It has a number of features so you can have a memorable time with your dog. Need we also say at this point that its relative ease of use makes it perfect for beginners?
Comes with perfectly functional paddles that are easy to use: Its paddles are no doubt one of the most functionals you can find on the market. However perfectly functional they are, they come with a disadvantage which is you get wet while making use of them.
- Comes at length measured at 10 inches and a width of about 36 inches
- It has weight if about 35 lbs. that is expandable
- It is suitable for larger dogs as it has a maximum load capacity of about 400 lbs.
- It is inflatable, adjustable and very much durable
- Additional paddles are included on purchase
- Its absolute compact design makes it easy to store
- Just like you, your dog can also sit and relax
- The additional paddles give you an option should the original one fail or go faulty
- Your dog’s claws and teeth sprang damage it because of its material strength
- It is not favorable for use under some windy conditions
- While in use, you are likely to get soaked easily
Being a compact boat, it is one of the best dog kayaks for 1 man and a dog. Anything short of that might just get the whole experience all clumsy and uninteresting. With a good and impressive structure, you can easily inflate this kayak in minutes and can be transported easily.
Having a disadvantage of not being favorable for use during windy climatic conditions, it is still one of the top kayaks out there.
03 Lifetime 10 Foot, 2-Person Tandem (For Large Dogs)
Do you have big dogs and you want to take them out in your fishing expeditions? If yes, then this Lifetime model is what you need. This dog-friendly model takes the third spot on our list for all the good reasons that we’re about share.
First of all, this 2 person model comes with a solid hull made from a hard shell that gives it durability. Expect to spend your pet’s lifetime with this boat without an iota of concern.
Excellent for the largest breeds: Large dog breed owners are always faced with the issue of balance and stability when on board. This item solves this problem by providing all the space and strength needed to be confident while kayaking.
Comes with adjustable two molded paddle rests to keep your paddles stashed: To have your paddles stashed, this model offers two molded paddle rests. With these rests, your paddles are well in place keeping them firm as you keep propelling.
Its multiple footrest positions make it a versatile vessel: This 2 man model’s footrest position goes well with the feet length of anyone and any dog breed. This helps the pets feel comfortable as they sit on the boat while they are fishing and having all the fun.
- Has a good length of 13 inches and a width of about 42 inches
- It has an average but appreciable weight of 52 lbs.
- Designed for large sized dogs it has a maximum capacity of about 500 lbs.
- Comes with additional paddles and paddle rests also
- With a high load capacity strength, this kayak is what everyone with a large dog should desire
- Known for its high performance and durability and still durable
- Has a good price-to-quality ratio, making it a cheap and sizeable choice
- Its weight sometimes poses a challenge to its speedy on water
Everyone with a large dog needs a kayak that offers a lot of space so that your dog can enjoy as much freedom as you do. In this 10′ tandem boat, you have enough space to take two persons and a bigdog. Its build is solid enough to assure its reliability. It’s a second-to-none dog friendly model that you can get for the price.
04 Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 (For Medium Dogs)
The Vapor 10 is a recreational kayak and occupies the 4th spot on this list. As a recreational model, it offers a good price to quality ratio, known to be highly stable and offers supreme comfort. It comes with amazing features both for you as well as for your dog.
Offers a single user seat with a whole lot of space: Though offering just a single user seat, it has a lot of space. So even though you are either standing and your dog is sitting or vice versa, there is still enough space to run around on this raft.
This space extends even to its storage as this model offers enough storage space for fishing and other items. These items are stored up in dry clothes so as to prevent them from getting wet.
It has one of the most spacious cockpits available on the market. So, whoever is getting in there, can paddle without interfering with others in the kayak. Its spacious cockpit is its highest selling point.
- Comes with a length of about 10 inches
- Its width measures up to about 30 inches
- It comes with a weight that is measured at 47 lbs.
- Its maximum load capacity falls within the range of 325 – 330 lbs.
- It has one of the largest cockpits a dog kayak can have
- When you think of relaxation, this is a great choice
- It comes with a molded-in paddle rests that makes paddling much easier and faster
- A large cockpit that allows you and your dog in without hindering exit and entry.
- Inexpensive, reliable and durable
- It has a poor drain plug location
Though perfect for a day out kayaking experience with your dog, Vapor 10’s poor storage system is inconvenient. However, if you take only your dog with you on board and there’s no extra or additional load, then you can go for this model.
Looking beyond its useless drain plug location and poor storage capacity, this model is a reliable choice. Under 500 bucks, this stands on a firm ground.
05 Sevylor Coleman Colorado (For Small Dogs)
Offering enough space to accommodate two people and one dog, Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a widely used product. Suitable for both beginners and professionals alike, this can be used both in calm and rough water bodies. A number of its features are exclusive to it, and they include the following.
In terms of reliability and durability, it is built with quality materials. It comes with a solid PVC construction that keeps it away from the dent and wears.
Being a fishing kayak, it comes with fishing rod holders and fittings that keep it firm. This makes fishing all the more interesting especially when you are accompanied by your little or large doggy.
- Comes in 14 inches by 34 inches length and width
- Has an average weight that measures 45 lbs.
- Comes with an 18 gauge PVC construction.
- Comes with a quick set fishing rod holders
- It is a very affordable dog kayak with a price to quality ratio that is worth the buy
- It is rated as a qualitative and highly inflatable model
- Has a lot of space that can accommodate two people and a large size dog
- It has a durable and reliable fabric material
- It is not watertight, items inside the hull can easily get wet
Are you looking for an option with a strong fabric so it can withstand wear and tear? The Sevylor Coleman Colorado can offer you all that strength. With this vessel, you have all the strength that you and your dog need while fishing and kayaking.
06 Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak With Deluxe Package
Sea Eagle 330 is known to be one that can inflate itself in only seven minutes. Not only does this make it a fun boat, but its seating positions are also comfortable and adjustable. With two seats well positioned in the craft, you can have one while your dog taking the other.
These seats have been well-positioned in such a way that they do not interfere while you are hopping in and out of the kayak.
Sea Eagle 330 comes with flexible but durable steering. It is easy to steer adding to its general flexibility. So regardless of how flexible this vessel is, the steering capacity makes it stable in water. The better a dog kayak keeps going while on water, the more stable it is likely to become.
- A good dog kayak with a length of about 11 inches
- Comes in a sizeable width of about 34?
- It has a weight capacity on design of about 26 lbs.
- Has one of the most impressive maximum load capacity of about 500 lbs.
- Its stability, durability, and reliability are very much assured
- It has a swift and smart inflating ability that happens as fast as seven minutes
- Its maximum load capacity makes it great for large dog breeds
- It is designed with features that secure its stability
- In terms of price to quality ratio, it takes the lead
- A bit heavy
- Storage system could be improved
The Sea Eagle 330’s inflating ability is its highest selling point. Customers cannot just get over its fast inflating capacity. This two seater model not only promises a fun experience, but you can also use it for transport and storage.
It offers a two-seat system that makes it comfortable for you and your dog. With you and your dog alone, you are most likely not to experience an issue of balance and stability. Overall, this is an excellent product for sale, and we highly recommend this one.
07 Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot
Coming in different colors and design types, the Sun Dolphin fishing kayak is a multipurpose craft. With this model, you have the opportunity to create a colorful expression in any water body as much as you can give your dog all the comfort it needs.
A good model for dog is one that ensures maximum comfort and security for the dog, and this is where this kayak excels in.
One of the major factors to be considered when getting a kayak is its functionality. Coming with a range of color schemes might make the design a fanciful one, but in terms of performance, it is superb. On this fishing model, you can glide through any water body smoothly while getting your hands free for fishing activities.
When you are busy doing that, your dog is able to run around without any fear of falling off the board. Its functionality is what makes it desired by many who look to combine fishing and pleasure touring with their dogs.
Not all dogs-friendly models have impressive tracking mechanisms. This is also what makes this particular model a valuable one among others. This is reflective in its price too. With a nice tracking and turning ability, this one is able to maintain balance while taking sharp turns in the water.
- It comes with a secured length of about 10 inches
- has a corresponding width of about 30 inches
- Not so weighty comes with a weight of about 44 lbs.
- It can’t take really large dogs as its weight capacity is just about 250 lbs.
- Has a good storage system especially at the rear end of the kayak
- Offers a lot of legroom both for you and your dog as well
- Its storage system can accommodate a lot of items
- It comes with P. A. C. included in its package on delivery
- Sufficient foot length make it a comfortable one for you and your little pet
- Difficult for the dog to understand its operation
- It’s not so compact and allows water inside
Are you looking for a craft that offers enough leg and storage space? Do you want low priced model with high performance? Then the Sun Dolphin Journey is an excellent choice. It offers all the comfort, and security needed by you and your dog for a memorable kayaking experience.
It also comes with seating and storage arrangements, which means you can come along with extra items. However, make sure you pay attention to the manual guide that comes with this kayak so as to keep you and your dog safe while going in and coming out.
08 Perception Hi-Life Kayak & Standup Paddleboard (SUP)
When you think of a small and portable choice, you can give it a try. The Perception Hi-Life is a solid boat that offers all the comfort needed to accommodate you and your tiny pet. With a number of useful features and specifications, it offers more to you in terms of functionality while keeping your small size dogs beside you.
Comes with an additional stand-up paddleboard: It comes with a number of additional attachments which include a stand-up paddleboard. This paddleboard can be installed to aid the paddles while you move the boat on different water bodies
It has a strong base and all the balance needed to stay safe while in the water: This type is designed with a strong base that keeps it firm on water. This makes this model resistant to changing climatic conditions. When onboard, you and your dog don’t have to worry that you might go off balance.
- It comes in a short length of about 10 inches
- Its corresponding width measures about 38 inches
- Comes at a light weight of about 43 lbs.
- Best for sized dogs with a weight of maximum load capacity of about 230 lbs.
- It has good storage and transport systems as well as trackers and turners.
- Its legroom can accommodate you and your small sized dog
- Enough storage to accommodate both fishing gear and other items
- Its foot length is not just comfortable, it is also adjustable
- You have to keep an eye on your dog while in this kayak to ensure it’s safe
Perception Hi Life might not be suitable for beginners, but carefully following through the manual guide that comes with it can provide all the help needed. Also, because of its complex nature, it is important you adhere to its safety instructions.
We can safely say that it is one of the best kayaks that you and your dog can use for a safe and enjoyable water adventure!
09 Perception Kayaks Pescador Pro 12.0
As a sit on top fishing raft, it offers the space needed to comfortably sit yourself and your dog. This vessel not only offers great features but also sports well-defined specifications.
A good foot length offers a lot of comfort while onboard. This comfort is needed both by you and your dog. With the feet length provided by this item, you don’t have to worry about not being comfortable. Get on board and be ready for an entirely different fun level.
This model is easily navigable since it comes with a strong hull. It is able to make its way to the calmest and toughest water body. You will also enjoy all the comfort, balance and speed needed for you and your dog to have fun. Note that, unlike the Tribe 13.5 model, it can house only one person.
It is an easy-to-understand and-operate boat. This makes it beginner-friendly as you will not have to be referring to the manual guide often.
- Has a measured length of about 12 inches and a corresponding width of about 36 inches.
- Its feet length measures about 13 feet in some and 14 feet in others
- Comes as a model that can take up to 500 pounds
- Compact design with foldable seats
- comes with auto draining scupper holes to make draining much easier
- Simple to understand and use, making it great for beginners
- It has foldable and highly adjustable seating options
- It gives your dog all the space it needs to play around and the safety needed to do so
- Comes with an extremely wide hull making improving its maneuverability
- You need to step up your budget as it is a bit expensive.
Pescador Pro 12.0 is great for fishermen and long-distance travelers who would love to be accompanied by their dogs. With this kayak, fishing is a whole lot merrier as you can paddle the kayak with your hands off. Allowing enough space, you can get all the company needed from your puppy to help keep fishing alive.
Remember that you have to prepare a handsome budget if you truly want to have this model because it is expensive. Are you looking to have such an awesome experience out there in the water? Then get this one and hop on.
10 Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13-Foot Tandem
For a kayak that works pretty well in all kinds of water regardless of the climatic condition, this should be a really good pick.
Comes with bungee cords that aid storage: This is one of the few models that come with bungee cords. These bungee cords are put in place so they can be easily stored and secured. With this located at the back end of this kayak, you do not have to worry about items stored causing any sort of imbalance whatsoever.
Its sturdy hull assures stability and enhances its maneuverability: It also has a strong hull that ensures great stability. Also, you will like the experience where you are able to maneuver through water bodies right?
Yes, with the hull of this boat, it is able to maneuver its way through water bodies. You can enjoy more from kayaking when you are all out maneuvering through the water.
- Comes with an expandable length of about 12 inches and a width of 30 inches
- It weighs an average of about 47 lbs.
- Good for large dogs with a maximum load capacity of 300 lbs. to about 350 lbs.
- Comes witnesses a solid hull it aids its maneuvering ability
- Offers a lot of room for you and your dog to sit and move around comfortably
- Has a stable hull that makes maneuvering possible
- Has a poor speed compared to other products.
- A lot of improvements has to be made to its storage as it falls really short
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T is an exclusive option if all that you and your little puppy seek to achieve is a day out to catch some fun. It is usable for both calm and rough waters and maintains decent stability.
Although its slow speed sounds like a disadvantage, it might just be a nice way to spend more time in the water with your amazingly gentle friend – your dog.
Dog-friendly Kayaks: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
Dogs are adorable! You’d never regret taking your pet out on a river or an inshore expedition. But you must ensure that they will be safe and sound when on the waters. That’s why unlike choosing any standard kayak, specific kayaks designed for dogs require different points to be checked. Check the following points below and you can have an amazing kayaking experience with your canine.
1. Enough Space
Kayaks for dogs differ in terms of their dimensions. While some have large dimensions, others have average dimensions and some others are smaller in dimensions. Its dimensions determine the space it offers.
For medium and smaller boats, they often add an extra career for dogs. But you should go for the models that are big enough to hold you and your little friend securely.
Knowing the purpose for which you need the vessel will determine how much space you should expect from your boat. The regular outside length of these vessels are 8 ft, 10 ft, 11 ft and 12 ft. However, you can get longer than that.
Another factor to remember is the stability of the boat. It is risky for you and your dog to go kayaking in a vessel that is not so stable. Models with dog seats should offer more stability than a kayak that is meant for just me alone.
Safety is of the utmost importance when paddling with your puppies. You also need to train your dog a bit so it does not act crazy while onboard. The high-end boats usually feature adequate and flexible safety measures. You can modify your boat to attach dog outriggers to your vessel for gaining more stability.
These are a couple of poles attached to the either side of kayak body. Also, make sure you get bright color models– yellow, white, orange (as seen in Scrambler 11 by Ocean Kayak), green (as seen in Spectrum solo models), sky blue and the likes– so you can be detected from far.
4. Durability & Build Material
When you read through the specifications of every item available, look for the building materials. Make sure the outer parts and inner surfaces of the boat are made of high-quality materials, thereby making it durable and rigid.
5. Weight Capacity
The weight capacity of the vessel is also a factor to be considered when buying one. How much can the boat carry? Remember that in considering this, you also have to consider the weight of your dog and what you want of a kayak. Larger dogs require a kayak with a higher weight capacity.
6. Cost Effectiveness
A top-quality boat does not always have to be expensive. It is possible for you to get cheaper options that are as effective as the expensive ones. Make sure you go for ones with a good price-to-quality ratio.
What Type of Kayak Is Suitable for Dogs?
Can dogs travel in kayaks? Of course, they can! However, it’s important to note that not all types are suitable for dogs. While some are good to go, others need to be avoided when you’re planning to take a dog onboard.
Before we head onto the discussion, A quick tip: make sure you have all the pet accessories available when on the water with your pet.
1. Sit-On-Top or Sit-In Kayaks
The sit-on-top types are the most common dog kayaks. Designed in a more compact way, sit on top models can be used on various water bodies from the more calm ones to the busy ones. They are great for dogs for their relatively large space and excellent weight capacity.
These types are known to be most befitting for dogs because of their relative ease of use. Also, more seats can be added, removed or adjusted to sit on top kayaks. They are not just ideal for dogs, they have established themselves to be the most used type all over the world.
2. Tandem Kayaks
Tandem kayaks are also suitable for dogs. However, unlike the sit on top models, they are great for more calm water bodies. Apart from that, they are more of a beginner option with features that make them easy to drive.
They can be used for recreational purposes and for taking your small pet out at any time you want. Chinook model by Aquaglide is one example of an ideal tandem model.
What’s more, some advanced models are convertible, meaning you can turn them from 2 persons to 1 person boat. Some models support up to 3 persons.
The advantage of this type of boat is that it can also be used for fishing. So while kayaking with your dog in this vessel, you can also have some hands-on fishing rods, and get your fishing game on. This type comes with a strong outer shell that assures maximum protection while in it.
3. Fishing Kayaks
As the name implies, fishing kayaks are mainly for the purpose of fishing. However, they are still suitable for dogs especially when there is a separate career added for your pet. Offering lots of dog friendly features, these models make fishing expeditions comfortable for you and your dogs.
These models also offer enough space for carrying your fishing gear and equipment. Your pet will get ample space to move around.
In many cases, users tow two separate vessels together for extra space during fishing. There are plenty of kayak fishing spots in the Southern California and Colorado regions where you can take your pet on a tour with you!
4. Inflatable Kayaks
Inflatable kayaks are not just ideal for dogs; they offer a number of benefits you might not find in other types. Their common features include good storage space and excellent stability. Apart from that, they are super affordable.
The ease of use makes them ideal for beginners who want to have a worthwhile experience for which these vessels have specially designed platforms.
Like fishing float tubes, its downside remains a shortage of space and weight capacity, but beyond that, it is perfect for an amazing kayaking experience with your dog.
What Type of Kayak Should Be Avoided for Dogs?
As much as there are some kayak types suitable for dogs, there are others that should be avoided. One of the primary reasons to avoid these models is because they are not designed to carry dogs or any other pets. Two major kayak types fall into this category and they are the Ocean and the White Water kayaks.
1. Ocean Kayaks
The design of ocean kayaks is the major downside that makes it one that should be avoided for dogs. Coming with a long structure with pointed ends, this model is usually narrow– these features make them great for inshore fishing. The narrowness makes it not a comfortable option for a dog regardless of its size.
2. White Water Kayaks
Lacking a canine, White Water models are not ideal for dogs as well. This is because users having to steer the water making use of their fast movements that make it inconvenient to hold on to for a pet. Just like the Ocean category, White Water models are tight and have no extra space to accommodate you and your dog.
They have covered spray deck for additional protection from rough water. They are also delicate to use when kayaking with a dog because of how sensitive they can be to changes. White Water models also do not fit all water bodies.
Tips on Kayaking with Your Dog Safely!
Kayaking with dogs can be such a fun-filled experience as much as it can be a risky one. This is why you have to know how to keep yourself and your dog safe while making use of any of the kayaks for dogs of your choice. Here are some helpful tips you can adhere to when making use of kayaks for dogs.
- Don’t forget to have a life vest on. This is not only applicable to you, but also to your dog. Make sure to have your dog put on a life vest as much you have one on too. With a life vest on, you and your dog will not need to panic so much about falling overboard while kayaking.
- Have a proper understanding of the terrain. This is vital to a worthwhile experience. Make sure to seek prior knowledge of the terrain. In doing this, you have to understand the strength of the wind, the current flow and the people around.
This helps you to know what help to sought when kayaking goes wrong for you and your dog.
- Don’t rush things, there is no fun in rushing things. Take it one step after the other and enjoy every moment. When you don’t rush, you are able to understand the movement of the kayak. You are also able to understand and take note of how your dog feels about it. start.
Necessary Kayaking Gear for Your Dog
A dog just like a human in a kayak needs to be equipped with all the protective wears, ranging from a life vest to a long line. It doesn’t matter as to whether the dog is a swimmer or not. While some dog breeds can swim, others cannot.
So, designing a plan is better that protects all kinds of dogs. With the life vest, even if the dog was to be a swimmer or not, drowning has been avoided. The long line, on the other hand, helps to keep the dog from panicking while kayaking. You should also choose a kayak that has dog seats while kayaking with dogs.
It is also important that the dog’s leash is kept in place and in check and that an extra one is stored somewhere that can be reached. This is helpful should the leash kept gets lost or can be found in the case of an emergency.
A harness would also not be a bad idea should you need to pull your dog out of the water. This is more useful when an unexpected fall happens to your dog.
Make sure that regardless of the situation, you do not tie the dog to the kayak while onboard. Instead, fasten a detachable long line to them. This long line attached to them will give them all of the freedom to swim while onboard. This will also give the dog and edge of protecting themselves should an unexpected event happens.
Last but not least is the place of toys and rewards. Remember that your dog is as good as your friend when kayaking. Also, remember that your dogs make the whole experience more fun that it should be if you were all out alone.
So, it would be interesting if after you both are done rewarding, you are all ready to gift your dog a toy or a reward.
We hope our review has given you enough guidelines on how to identify the best kayaks for you and your dog(s) from so many choices. Starting out with the types of kayaks suitable for dogs and those to avoid, you now know which one to go for.
Also, with helpful tips provided on how to keep your dog safe when paddling with your dog, you know how to maintain safety.
Remember that knowing the purpose for which you are getting this watercraft has to be established first. This will help you know whether you should go for the Coleman Colorado fishing kayak, or you should settle for the two-person tandem fishing kayak for dogs. The choice is all yours.