Paddling with your dog can be a fun and enjoyable activity for you and your furry friend. However, it is important to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the experience.
Here are some tips to consider:
Gradually introduce your dog to paddleboarding: Before you get in the water, let your dog get comfortable with paddleboarding on land. Allow them to sniff it and explore it, rewarding them with treats and praise for positive interactions.
Choose the right equipment: Use a stable and wide paddle board that can accommodate you and your dog comfortably. Consider using a non-slip deck pad to provide better traction for your dog.
Train near shore in calm waters: Start in shallow, calm waters to help your dog get used to the feeling of being on a paddleboard. Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage them and make it a positive experience.
Invest in a dog life jacket: Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, it’s a good idea to have him wear a properly fitting dog life jacket. This will ensure their safety in case of unforeseen incidents.
Teaching Basic Commands: It is beneficial if your dog is trained in basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. This will help you maintain control and keep your dog safe while paddleboarding.
Start with shorter trips: Start with shorter paddle sessions to prevent your dog from getting tired or feeling overwhelmed. Gradually increase the duration as they become more comfortable.
Consider weather conditions: Avoid paddling in extreme weather conditions such as high winds, storms, or excessive heat. Make sure the water and air temperature is suitable for your dog’s well-being.
Provide shade and fresh water: Bring a shade blanket or umbrella to protect your dog from direct sunlight. Offer fresh water at regular intervals to keep them hydrated.
Be aware of other boaters and wildlife: Keep an eye on your surroundings and watch out for other boats, kayakers or wildlife in the area. Avoid crowded areas to minimize distractions and potential accidents.
Have a plan for emergencies: Pack a safety kit that includes a first aid kit, leash, and your dog’s ID tags. Familiarize yourself with local regulations and emergency procedures.
Remember that every dog is unique and their level of comfort with the water and the paddleboard may vary. Always put your dog’s safety first, monitor his behavior closely, and adjust your plans accordingly.
Nicole from Sun Vibes SUP