If you live in an area with lots of paddle boarders, you have more than likely seen at least a few people paddle boarding with their dogs. And you might be wondering while they gilde on by with their pup on the front of their board, “How do they paddle board with their dog?”. We luckily you have come to the right place! In this blog post we are going to teach you everything about How To Paddle Board With A Dog.
What You Will Need To Paddle Board With A Dog
Although we all want to get out on the water right away, there are a few different things that you may want to consider to make paddle boarding with your dog a great experience.
Choosing The Right Paddle Board (SUP)
Having the right paddle board can make or break your experience paddling with your dog because having the wrong board can lead to it being difficult to balance, paddle, or for your dog to stand on. That is why you should consider these recommendations when selecting a SUP.
Type Of Paddle Board (SUP)
If you are new to paddle boarding, you may not know that there are many different types of paddle boards and each of them are better for specific activities including:
- Hardtop Paddle Boards
- Inflatable Paddle Boards
- Touring Paddle Boards
- Surfing SUP
In our case, we recommend purchasing a hard top paddle board for paddling with your dog. This is because the hard top paddle board will give you a more stable base and will not be susceptible to significant damage if your dog decides to bite or scratch on the board.
Although, these types of actions from your dog could still potentially damage your board but not to an unusable condition.
Paddle Board Size
Now that you learned that hardtop paddle boards are the way to go, you need to figure out what size paddle board you should get. But this is where it gets a little tricky. This is because for the everyday rider you will want a board that is perfect for your weight but with a dog on your paddle board you will need a larger board.
To find out the right size paddle board for you and your dog, try using our paddle board size calculator. This will give you a good estimate of the size and volume for your weight. When entering the weight in the calculator, add a little more than the weight of your dog to your weight to find a board that will comfortably fit you and your dog.
Paddle Board Surface Material
Although we already touched on the material of the board in the paddle board type section, we still need to talk about one more important part of the paddle board… the surface material.
The surface material of the paddle board will make a big difference in how much you enjoy paddle boarding with your dog because you will need to find a surface that you and your dog can comfortably stand on.
Ideally, your paddle board will want to have a deck mat that stretches the whole length of the board. But as you will see when searching for boards online, most only stretch ¾ of the board.
The reason for needing the mat to stretch the full length is that it will make it a lot easier for your dog to stay comfortable on the board without sliding off the board.
If you cannot find a board that has a full length mat, try putting a yoga mat on the front of the board.
Dog Life Jacket
No matter how strong of a swimmer your dog might be, it is important to always have them wear a dog life jacket. This is because in many cases your dog might get too excited and jump off or you may fall off the board. Either way, it is better to be safe than sorry with something as important as your dog.
This one is not always necessary, but from experience having a leash can really help when trying to get a dog on the paddle board and having something to tie them up with while loading and unloading the paddle board gear.
Depending on your dog and how trained they are, it can be super useful to bring some dog treats to get them on when launching your paddle board. Also, if they do decide to go swimming, it can be a great way to your dog back onto the paddle board.
Preparing Your Dog To Paddle Board
Paddle boarding can be a very overwhelming experience for a lot of different dogs, that is why we recommend taking it slow by getting them used to the life vest and paddle board. The easiest way to do this is by placing your paddle board in a pool and getting your dog used to sitting on it while wearing a life vest.
Learn How To Get Your Dog Back On The Board
Lastly, before you take the leap of bringing your dog on the board for the first time you will need to learn one important skill, how to get your dog back on the paddle board.
Our best suggestion at learning how to do so is by practicing in a pool with your dog or in some shallow water. The easiest way to get a dog back on the board is to lift them up from their life vest. This is because many of them will have handles which make it significantly easier.
Without a life vest will take some learning depending on the size of your dog. But as they say, practice makes perfect.
How To Paddle Board With Your Dog
Now that you have all the right gear and have gotten your pup used to the paddle board and life vest, you will now be doing it for real! But before you do, try following these simple steps to make paddle boarding with your dog a breeze:
Hold Your Paddle Board In Shallow Water
When starting you will want to have your board in the shallow water so that your dog can easily hop right on to the board.
Get On The Paddle Board
Now that you have your dog on the board, you will want to get on the board. Many people find it easier to start on your knees and then stand up later, but either way works.
Have The Dog Stand In Between Your Legs Or At Your Feet
The easiest way to paddle with your dog is to have your dog stand or sit in between your legs or at your feet. This is because it will keep the weight in the correct place to make it easier for you to paddle.
Although if you have a small dog, you can allow the dog to sit further up on the board because the dog is lighter and will affect your paddling significantly less.
Keep The Rides Short
When first starting out, keep the rides short. You just want to get the dog comfortable being on the board. But over time, keep extending the rides until the dog is comfortable to ride as long as you would like to.
Watch Out For Your Surroundings
Since dogs can be all over the place, it is always good to be aware of your surroundings so that if they do decide to jump off into the water or fall off they do not get injured by a boat or anything else in the area.
This one may seem like a given, but you should always bring water for yourself and your dog because you will not have shade out on the water.