While going on a kayaking tour with your friends/family is a great way to recharge and have fun, there’s nothing as delightful as the thought of taking your furry friend on the unique adventure.
If you’ve been considering going kayaking with your pet for a while now, it’s time to put your plan into action.
Here are five tips to help you get started.
1. Give Your Pet Some Time to Get Used to the Kayak and Paddles
If you’re going kayaking with your pet for the first time, remember that this is a new experience for them. They may take some time to adjust to the setting, equipment, and accessories, and that’s perfectly fine.
Give them some time to get used to everything, including the kayak and paddles. Let them have a sniff and sit around in the kayak for a while prior to starting the tour.
In addition, bring their favorite treats along to make the space and activity feel more familiar.
2. Get a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for Your Pet
Arranging a PFD for your pet is essential, even if they can swim. If your pet jumps out of the kayak, the PFD will safely hold them.
PFDs for dogs also feature a handle on the top to facilitate picking up your pet and carrying them to the dock. If you struggle to pick them up because of their size, this will make it easier for you to hold and steer them towards you.
Recommended Read: Kayaking Safety Tips
3. Take It Slow
Taking your dog to a fast river or the ocean is a big no, especially if you’re taking them kayaking for the first time. Instead, opt for flat water.
Start out in an area where the water is calm. Over time, you can branch out into more rapid rivers and springs as they acclimatize to the activity. However, even with ample experience, make sure you don’t go overboard and opt for water bodies with a low to medium velocity.
In addition, make sure you don’t go too far. Paddle for short distances and keep the pace slow. As stated earlier, you can always switch things up with time based on how your pet responds to different speeds, water bodies, and distances from the shore.
Pay attention to their demeanor. If there’s anything that upsets them (e.g. a certain location, etc.), it’s best to avoid it.
4. Don’t Forget to Pack the Essentials
Make sure you take the necessary dog kayaking gear along. This should include:
- A ziplock bag with treats
- A bowl
- A lifejacket or PDF
- A leash (avoid it inside the kayak at all costs; keep it handy for when you return to the shore)
- A comfortable and familiar towel/cushion/kayak seat for your dog to sit on
- Dog waste bags
- Lightweight, water-friendly toys that don’t occupy too much space (make sure they’re not new so your pet feels a sense of familiarity inside the kayak)
- First aid kit
5. Make Tour, Kayak, and Paddle Quality a Priority
When booking a kayak tour, make sure you inquire into the tour, kayak, and paddle quality.
Are the organizers of the tour experienced? Has the tour guide led pet kayak tours before? Are the kayak and paddle in good condition? Is the company reputable? Are the reviews up to par?
Taking these factors into consideration is essential. After all, you have precious cargo on board.
Once you check these questions off the list, you’re good to go!
Pet-Friendly Kayak Tours in Cocoa Beach
At Adventure Kayak of Cocoa Beach, we want to make sure you and your pup have the ultimate adventure in the clear, crisp waters of Cocoa Beach. If you’re looking for a guided adventure tour, you’ve stumbled on the right site.
Our pet-friendly tours are perfect for your furry friend. We use high-quality kayaks and paddles, and ensure each tour is supervised by our tour guide. You can choose to have our guide present throughout the tour, if you’d like.
We cover a wide range of locations, including Ramp Road Park, Kiwanis Island Park, Cocoa Beach Country Club, Honest John’s Fish Camp, Turkey Creek Sanctuary, and Thousand Islands, among others. Choose the perfect location and time based on your preferences to show yourself and your pup a great time!