Getting out and exploring the outdoors is a wonderful way to stay healthy and fit. While some of us prefer hiking, walking, or jogging, others enjoy paddling along a lake, or floating down a river in a kayak.
While it may seem impractical or even unsafe to take dogs kayaking with you, there are a number of reliable inflatable kayak options that fit the task.
Of course, it’s important to follow a few basic rules before setting out on the water with your dog.
First and foremost, even if your pup is an excellent swimmer, it’s important that he wear a life vest. This will keep him afloat in the event of an emergency, and also makes him visible in the water.
Second, be sure to give your dog time to get familiar with the kayak while you’re still on shore. This means letting him sit inside so he can get used to it, and find the position that’s the most comfortable for him.
Also, remember that most inflatable kayaks are generally meant to be used in smaller bodies of flat water, so be sure you’re familiar with the area you’re visiting to avoid unexpected encounters with whitewater.
Can Dogs Go In An Inflatable Kayak?
If you’re concerned about your dog’s claws ripping through an inflatable kayak, it may seem as though it would be more practical to purchase one of the harder plastic models.
The truth is that inflatable kayaks can stand up to far more damage than you’d think, and they’re also beneficial for your dog’s comfort. Surprisingly, the material has more give to it than rigid plastic, and it’s also easier on your dog’s paws.
In elderly dogs or those with joint problems, inflatable kayaks prevent pain by absorbing some of the impacts of rougher water.
So which inflatable kayak for dogs is the best? Here’s what we found.
What’s the Best Inflatable Kayak For Dogs?
1. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Inflatable Kayak
An ideal choice for any kayaker and his dog, this kayak is at once convenient, comfortable, and durable, while also being very steady in mild to moderately choppy weather.
It quickly expands to its 10 feet long capacity, weighing just under 30 pounds when deflated. Also, it can be easily folded and placed in a carry bag for storage or transportation.
The nylon covering is tear-resistant, coupled with Boston valves that are absolutely guaranteed to be leakproof.
Likewise, the PVC/tarpaulin material along the bottom not only stand up to your dog’s nails, but it even prevents damage from underground rocks, sticks, and the like.
Additionally, the interior plug can be removed to allow for water to drain.
This product is manufactured by Driftsun, a company based in Chico, California that focuses on providing inflatable equipment to aquatic thrill-seekers.
Along with the kayak, you get two padded seats, two lightweight oars, a removable fin that allows for directional accuracy, a double-action air pump, and a travel bag that stores the kayak.
- Extremely durable
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Very lightweight
- Removable fin
- Paddles don’t seem to stand up well to rough conditions
2. Intex Explorer K2, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
This two-person kayak provides plenty of room for you and your dog, and is perfectly suited to exploring smaller bodies of water.
It has a weight limit of up to 400 pounds, so larger breeds can easily go along for the ride. At just over 10 feet in length and 3 feet wide, it’s also large enough to be both stable and comfortable.
The durable vinyl material can stand up to your pet’s paws, as well as rocks and other hazards. On top of that, the inflatable I-Beam floor helps to provide structure to the bottom, and the grab lines on both ends make transportation easy.
This product is manufactured by Intex Recreation Corp, a company that specializes in inflatable airbeds, pools, and spas.
Apart from the kayak, there are dual inflatable seats with backrests that can be used at your convenience, or stored when not in use.
Also included are a pair of lightweight, aluminum oars, a high output air pump, and an emergency patching kit. There’s even a removable skeg that helps provide consistency in direction.
- Ideal for larger dog breeds
- Durable vinyl material
- Easy to transport
- Visible, bright yellow color
- Can be somewhat difficult to keep on course during windy conditions
- Low-sitting seats can be uncomfortable for some people
3. Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Person Inflatable Sport Kayak
If you have a very large dog, want to take both your medium-sized dogs kayaking together, or wish to sail on a romantic trip down the river with your significant other and your pet, this inflatable kayak meant for three is a perfect choice,
It has an impressive weight limit of 650 pounds, and not only can it carry you and your furry friend, but it’s also rated for adventure, being capable of traversing up to Class III whitewater!
In spite of its impressive size, the kayak is relatively lightweight when deflated, and can easily be stored and transported.
The hull is made from PolyKrylar, meaning it can stand up to even the sharpest claws. Plus, the drain valve allows you to easily expel any water that made its way in after docking, and the dual skegs on the bottom are great for increasing speed and directional accuracy.
Moreover, there’s a big storage space for supplies, and even camping gear.
This product is manufactured by Sea Eagle, a family-owned business based in Long Island that dates back to the late 1960s.
Besides a set of inflatable seats that can be easily removed, you get a set of inflatable spray skirts to keep you dry in rough conditions. There are also 2 paddles, foot pump, and carry bag, as well as a pressure gauge and repair kit to ensure maximum safety.
- The best inflatable kayak for large dogs
- Three-person capacity
- Suitable for whitewater
- Lots of storage space
- Can be difficult to carry alone once it’s inflated
4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
If the only thing you love more than fishing is fishing with your dog, this is a dream kayak for a fisherman and his canine companion.
The boat is just about as durable as it gets, with a combination of 18-gauge PVC and a tarpaulin bottom. This means that it can stand up to your pet’s paws time after time. For added toughness, there’s even a nylon cover that helps protect it from punctures.
It’s also designed with multiple air chambers, which assures that even if your dog’s nails happen to puncture one area, the water will be contained rather than flowing into other chambers.
The rod holders are adjustable, so you can find your perfect spot and lay your pole in place, and there’s ample space for storing supplies and your daily catch.
In addition, the hands-free fishing afforded by this kayak is even more fun with the trolling motor, allowing you access to places a typical kayak wouldn’t be able to handle.
This product is manufactured by Sevylor, a company founded in 1948 which specializes in producing high quality, inflatable recreational water products.
The kayak comes with adjustable seats, and a set of lightweight aluminum oars.
- Makes hands free fishing a breeze
- Rugged material
- Multiple air chambers
- Adjustable rod holders
- Trolling motor
- The inflatable chambers seem to warp as time goes on
What Should You Look for in an Inflatable Kayak for Dogs?
This is probably the most important quality in selecting a good inflatable kayak. Even the best-trained dog, or one who’s very familiar with kayaking can still be unpredictable if he gets excited or scared.
If your dog suddenly moves or tries to jump overboard, it’s necessary to have a kayak that provides enough stability to avoid tipping over or other safety issues.
Pay close attention to the weight limit your kayak is capable of handling, particularly if you have a larger breed.
Even though the color of your kayak may seem trivial, there’s far more to it than just personal preference. You want to look for a kayak that’s red, yellow, orange, or some other bright color rather than selecting a black or grey model.
The brighter the color, the more visible you and your dog are to boaters and people on shore. If you should ever run into an emergency situation, you want your kayak to be easily seen, and darker hues can be difficult to spot, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
Dogs’ nails can be very sharp, meaning that they can easily puncture or tear cheap materials. In an inflatable kayak, even the smallest rip in the material lets in water.
If you’re planning on taking your dog kayaking with you, look for a boat that’s made from a rugged material, such as vinyl.
Whether you’re going for a quick paddle around the lake, or on an all-day excursion, you want to be sure that both you and your dog are as comfortable as possible. Inflatable seats provide a soft cushion, particularly if there’s a backrest attached.
Small to medium-sized dogs may enjoy having a seat of their own to sit in, while other pet owners prefer to exclude the second seat so there’s a place on the floor for their dog to curl up.
When we set out on an adventure by ourselves, we need to bring a certain number of things with us, such as food, water, and even an extra set of clothes. The need for adequate storage space on your inflatable kayak is even more important when you bring your dog.
Particularly if you’re kayaking in saltwater, having an ample supply of fresh water is absolutely vital, as is some food, a few dog treats, and a leash in case you decide to go ashore for a while.
If you have a passion for kayaking and want to include your dog, purchasing an inflatable kayak is the ideal way to go!
If you’re not into fishing or adventure kayaking, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is probably the best overall inflatable kayak for kayakers and their dogs.
The softer, yielding material is far better on their paws and joints than harder plastic models, and the extra room means that your dog will have a spot where he can curl up and relax if he gets tired of watching the water.
Be sure to adhere to weight limits and any other restrictions, and that everyone aboard wears a life vest. This way, you and your dog will be in many days of fun on the water.