There are so many kayaks available for purchase, and not every type is suitable for dogs. However, if you have one and you want to make it dog-friendly, a simple modification can make it happen.
As you can see, you have two options. Purchase a dog-friendly one or modify it. In this article, we will learn the process of modifying kayaks for dogs.
But before that, you must complete some positive-reinforcement training for your dog. It makes no sense that you have a suitable kayak that you want to dive in with your furry friend and your dog fears climbing on it or jumping frequently on the water.
Now, we will let you know the process of modifying a kayak for dogs, and later, we’ll discuss safety and reinforcement training. Let’s see!
Process of Modifying Kayak for Dog
The modification process for a kayak for a dog may be different as there are so many different kayak brands and not every model is designed the same. For that, we have to create a complete process that is flexible for all types of kayaks.
Step 1: Insert Non-slippery Materials at the Front or Back of the Kayak Surface
Depending on the type of kayak you have, you have to put non-slip materials on the front or back of your kayak. Here you can use a piece of wood or plastic, or a non-slip cloth if the surface is even. Depending on your boat’s materials, you can simply tie it or screw it. Make sure it won’t move so that the dog keeps its balance when diving.
Step 2: Add Climbing Options
If you are planning to share kayaks with your dog, then you must make sure to add stair-up options for the dog. You might be thinking, “Why do you have to do it? This is just because a dog can jump on the water for fear, a wave, or any other reason, and that is a very common thing that can happen. In such a case, a staircase can help a dog go back to its kayak seat.
As a climbing option, you can simply add a rope net or rope stair on both sides of the space that you set for dogs. This can help your dog come back to its space after falling into the water.
Step 3: Attach Retractable Leashes to Kayak
It is very important to attract retractable lashes with your kayak. As you can guess, a dog can jump or fall from a kayak for so many possible reasons. It can be for a wave, fear, or another reason. It doesn’t matter why a dog can fall; if it happens and your dog is not tied up with your boat, it can be dangerous. So, you have to find a suitable place to attach the retractable leash and link it to your dog when traveling with the kayak. However, it is also possible to use regular leashes, but sometimes they can hurt your dog if it takes a long jump or falls in a wave. So, make sure to have a retractable leash and attach it near your dog’s modified sitting spaces.
Step 4: Insert the Kayak Stabilizer
Most kayaks are usually narrow, and for that reason, it is very common to rotate the whole boat as it falls into the water. Obviously, you won’t want to experience the same with your furry friends. For that, you must add a stabilization system to your kayak to make it way more friendly for your dog. You will find stabilizers in any boat shop or online. You can also create your own modified version. All you have to do is connect two sticks, similar to a plane wing, and attach the round floatable foam to the ends of both sticks.
Step 5: Have a Trial Before Going on a Trip
When the modification process is complete, make sure to have a trail on sound water. Here, you have to make sure your dog can sit properly in modified spaces and can step up to the boat using rope stairs if necessary. And if you are completely satisfied with the modification and confident enough, then you can enjoy your vacation with your beloved friend traveling on water.
As I told you before, kayaks are different based on specific models. So, you have to set up your own modification plan. From our mentioned steps, you can get a basic idea about the complete process. Now, analyze your kayak types and modify them as best you can.
Tips and Safety Precautions
Maintaining safety is essential when you are on a boat with an animal. There are a lot of safety matters you must look forward to. So, what safety matters do you have to look at when you are planning to ride on the kayak with your dog? Read below to learn:
1. Make Sure to Use a Life Jacket for Both Your Dog and Yourself
It is very important to wear a life jacket, even if you know how to swim. Imagine you are on a boat and got sick, can you still swim at that moment? Very questionable!
2. Choose a Comfortable Dog Life Jacket
There are so many dog life jackets out there for purchase, but most of them are not very comfortable for dogs. So, you have picked the right size and one that is built with soft and comfortable materials. However, sometimes a dog feels uncomfortable wearing a good life jacket. It’s because of unfamiliarity. So, make sure your dog feels comfortable wearing a life jacket.
3. Doesn’t Your Dog Know Swimming?
Despite being equipped with a life jacket, your dog must know how to swim; otherwise, it can get anxious if it falls into the water. For that reason, you have to make sure your dog can swim well or let him teach first. Animals like dogs don’t need that much time to master swimming. So, if your furry friend doesn’t like swimming or doesn’t know how to do it, use positive reinforcement to train your dog.
4. Make Your Dog Comfortable With a Kayak
Making your dog comfortable with the kayak becomes necessary if you are planning for long kayak boating. The main purpose of traveling with your dog on a boat is to have a good time. Isn’t it? And if so, then would you like to be on a kayak with your scared buddy? For that, you have made your dog familiar with your kayak before going on a long trip.
5. Take Some Food Before Going on a Kayak Tour
To keep your dog under control and happy, having treats is a good option. Not only that, treats reduce boredom, anxiety, and fear during travel time. For a short kayak season, treats might not be necessary, but if you are planning to spend over an hour on the water, make sure to take some dog food with you.
These tips on positive reinforcement and safety can help you and your furry friends’ journey a lot. The positive training tips above will definitely make your dog confident and fearless during travel and make the journey safer and easier.
Spending good times on the water without furry friends is not very enjoyable sometimes. But when you are planning to enjoy summer with a kayak, you may leave your dog on the surface or make your kayak dog-friendly. Due to the narrow and slippy build, boating on a kayak with a dog is not a good idea until you have modified it.
We hope that our modification ideas and tips can help you a lot in this case. So, why being so late? Generate suitable modification ideas from our suggestions and modify your kayak at your best.