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8 Best Kayaks for Dogs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

8 Best Kayaks for Dogs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Nia Perkins

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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dog on an orange and white kayakOutdoor recreation has long been a popular pastime, but interest in activities like biking and kayaking has increased even more in the past decade. For dog owners, finding ways for their pups to join in the fun is always preferred.

If you want your dog to join you on a kayaking adventure, the first step is to buy a kayak that’s suitable for both you and your pet. To help you out, we collected reviews of the best kayaks for dogs available. So, before you hit the water, read through the details on the boats and the overview of what you need to know when kayaking with your dog. Happy paddling!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated in 2024)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top
  • Easy to handle in the water
  • Plenty of space for even giant dogs
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
  • Inflates quickly
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Removable rear booster for more dog space
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    DriftSun Teton 120 DriftSun Teton 120
  • Stable, smooth ride
  • Plenty of space and storage
  • Designed for longer excursions
  • Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Stable and easy to paddle
  • Easily adapted for single paddlers
  • BKU TK122U Fishing Kayak BKU TK122U Fishing Kayak
  • High weight capacity
  • Stable in the water
  • Comfortable seats and deep interior
  • The 8 Best Kayaks for Dogs

    1. Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Tandem Kayak — Best Overall

    Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit on Top Tandem Kayak for All-Around Fun Large Rear Storage with Tie Downs

    Kayak Length: 13’5”
    Kayak Weight: 79 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

    The best overall kayak for dogs is the Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Tandem Kayak. It offers plenty of space for you and your dog. It has two spacious seating areas with adjustable backs for comfortable paddling. There’s also a molded center seat designed for kids or dogs. Depending on the size of your dog, this kayak could theoretically carry two people and their pup. THe weight capacity goes up to 500 pounds, so even giant breeds can take to the water in this boat. The Perception is easy to handle and steer, especially for its size.

    While it has two carry handles, this kayak may be too heavy for one person to manage, especially for lifting on top of a car.

    Pros
    • Plenty of space for even giant dogs
    • Easy to handle in the water
    Cons
    • May be too heavy for one person to carry and lift

    2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak — Best Value

    INTEX Excursion Pro Inflatable Kayak Series

    Kayak Length: 12’7”
    Kayak Weight: 39 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

    The best kayak for dogs for the money is the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak. This inflatable kayak is made of tough PVC material, designed to resist damage from water hazards. This same durability will help it resist your dog’s claws. Since it is inflatable, the Excursion is easy to store and transport and light enough for one person to carry fairly easily. It inflates quickly and features adjustable footrests for comfortable paddling. The rear seatback can be removed to give your dog more room to lie down or stand.

    This inflatable kayak likely won’t last as long or be as durable as a hard-shell boat, but it still provides good bang for your buck.

    Pros
    • Easy to store and transport
    • Inflates quickly
    • Removable rear booster for more dog space
    Cons
    • May have durability issues in the long term

    3. DriftSun Teton 120 Kayak — Premium Choice

    DRIFTSUN Teton 120 Hard Shell Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’2”
    Kayak Weight: 72 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 500 pounds

    Super durable and versatile, the Driftsun Teton 120 Kayak has a higher price point than the products on the rest of this list, but it’s designed for long days on the water or multi-day excursions. This kayak features multiple fishing rod holders, built-in cup holders, and plenty of storage, including a sealed dry storage compartment. The double-padded seats and center seating area offer plenty of room for you, your dog, and maybe even another human friend. Wide and stable, this kayak can handle flat or choppy water and provide a smooth ride, helping your dog feel secure onboard.

    While it’s lighter than some other hardshell kayaks, this boat still might be tough for one person to carry and load.

    Pros
    • Designed for longer excursions
    • Plenty of space and storage
    • Stable, smooth ride
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Might be too heavy for one person to load and carry

    4. Kokanee Sit-On-Top Kayak

    Kokanee Sit-On-Top Kayak

    Kayak Length: 10’6”
    Kayak Weight: 76 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 425 pounds

    The Kokanee Sit-On-Top Kayak is a tandem kayak that also works for solo paddlers. The low sides make it easy for your dog to jump in and out. It has two quick-release seats, and the middle area is big enough for your dog. Alternatively, if you’re a single kayaker, you can sit in the center due to the design of the footrests, and your dog can sit either in front or behind you, depending on how big they are. This boat is wide and stable in the water and handles fairly well despite its size. It doesn’t have that much storage space, but it does have a water bottle holder and bungee cords to secure soft items.

    This kayak is heavier than it looks at 76 pounds, so you might need to get a kayak cart to carry it around. Also, while the seat backs are made of sturdy plastic, there isn’t any padding on the bottom, which can get uncomfortable after a while.

    Pros
    • Easy entry and exit
    • Stable and handles well
    • Easily adapted for single paddlers
    Cons
    • Heavy
    • Uncomfortable seating

    5. Brooklyn 13.0 Pro Tandem Kayak

    Brooklyn 13.0 Pro Tandem Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’8”
    Kayak Weight: 75 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 770 pounds

    Fishing kayaks tend to be ideal for paddling with dogs because they’re designed to be extra stable in the water. The Brooklyn 13.0 Pro Tandem Kayak also has a high maximum weight capacity so you don’t have to worry about carrying even the largest of breeds. It has two water-resistant storage compartments, multiple fishing rod mounts, and ergonomic aluminum seats for comfortable paddling. Although this is a sit-on-top kayak, the interior is deeper than many others, which can help your dog feel more secure, especially when you’re just starting out on the water together.

    The downside is that neither seat can be removed, though there should still be plenty of space for your dog.

    Pros
    • Extra stable in the water
    • High weight capacity
    • Ergonomic seats and fishing rod mounts
    Cons
    • Seats aren’t removable
    • Expensive

    6. Solstice Inflatable Kayak

    SOLSTICE Inflatable Kayak Boat Series for Adults & Kids 1 to 2 Person Tandem Raft Options

    Kayak Length: 11’
    Kayak Weight: 40 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 440 pounds

    Sleek and easy to maneuver, the Solstice Inflatable Kayak is light enough to be carried and paddled by a wide range of people. It’s easy to inflate and packs up small when deflated for easy storage and transport. The floor of this kayak is tough to withstand dog claw damage. The seats are easy to move around to find the perfect paddling location and give your dog room to stretch out. Users report that this kayak is stable in the water and fast enough to run in whitewater (though leave your dog at home for that!)

    While the kayak holds up to 440 pounds, it is about a foot shorter than many other kayaks and could be a bit tight when paddling with a big dog.

    Pros
    • Light, easy to paddle
    • Stable in the water
    • Easy to inflate, carry, and transport
    Cons
    • Smaller than some other tandem kayaks

    7. SeaEagle Inflatable Kayak

    Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Sports Kayak

    Kayak Length: 12’5”
    Kayak Weight: 32 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 650 pounds

    The SeaEagle Inflatable Kayak has the highest max weight capacity of the inflatable kayaks on this list. It’s also long and roomy, designed to carry three people, so there’s plenty of space for your dog. This boat inflates in about 10 minutes and packs up small for easy transport. The seats in this kayak are movable, so you can figure out just the right arrangement to keep you and your dog comfortable.

    Some users have found that the seats aren’t that sturdy, however, which decreases the comfort level when paddling. Also, like many inflatables, this kayak can have a tough time in windy conditions.

    Pros
    • High weight capacity
    • Plenty of space
    • All seats are movable
    Cons
    • Seats aren’t that sturdy
    • Can have issues handling windy conditions

    8. Pelican Argo 100X EXO Premium Sit-in Recreational Kayak

    Pelican Argo 100X EXO Premium

    Kayak Length: 10’
    Kayak Weight: 36 pounds
    Max Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

    The Pelican Argo 100X EXO Premium Sit-in Recreational Kayak is a sit-in kayak, but the cockpit is oversized, providing enough room for your dog to join you. The foam blocks inside the boat provide extra flotation, and the design of the hull makes it more stable when you’re getting in and out. At 36 pounds, this single kayak is light enough for one person to carry and handle. It’s also relatively short at 10 feet in length, making it easier to store than many of the tandem options. Sit-in kayaks often feel more secure to paddle, making this a good balance between security and space for your pet.

    Be aware that this kayak only has a 275-pound max weight limit, though chances are that a giant breed won’t fit in this boat, anyway. It also doesn’t come with a paddle.

    Pros
    • Sit-in kayak with oversized cockpit
    • Easy to carry and store
    • Stable design
    Cons
    • 275-pound weight limit
    • Paddle not included

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    What to Know Before Kayaking With Your Dog

    Now that you’ve learned about the best kayaks for paddling with your dog, here’s more information to help you and your dog enjoy your adventures safely.

    papillon dog on an orange kayak
    Image By: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

    Pick the Right Boat

    You probably noticed common themes when reading these kayak reviews. Overall, the best kayaks for dogs are roomy and stable and have a high maximum weight capacity. The other features are primarily for your benefit rather than your dog’s, as they probably don’t care whether you have a cup holder. The first step in a successful water adventure with your dog is selecting the right kayak.

    Be Realistic About Your Dog’s Abilities

    No matter how much you want your dog to be your adventure buddy, not every pup is cut out for the job. If your dog has never shown any interest in water or is actively afraid of it, chances are they may be less than enthusiastic about kayaking. However, a dog that’s never been around water may turn out to be a fabulous kayaker. If your dog is well-trained and socialized and fairly adaptable overall, chances are that they can learn to be comfortable in the kayak.

    Get Your Dog a Life Jacket

    Just like you should wear a life jacket whether you know how to swim, the same is true for your dog. No matter how careful you are, weather conditions can change quickly, or a reckless powerboat can shoot a dangerous wake across your path. Even if you pick the most stable kayak, there’s always the chance that you could capsize. Keep your dog as safe as possible by fitting them with a life jacket.

    Start on Dry Land

    You didn’t learn how to kayak overnight, and neither will your dog. Take your time getting your dog used to the kayak on dry land before you advance to the water. Place the kayak somewhere your dog will see it often and become accustomed to it. Allow them to investigate the kayak, and reward them if they climb in on their own. Decide where you want your dog to ride, and begin teaching them how to settle there. The whole process will be easier if your dog already has a good grasp of basic obedience.

    Start Slow in the Water

    Once your dog is comfortable with the kayak on land, move to the water, but again, take things slowly. If your dog seems stressed at any point, slow down, and continue to use positive reinforcement to teach your dog how to behave in the kayak. The goal is to get them comfortable and trained on where to sit or lie in the kayak in shallow water before you attempt a longer trip.

    Be Prepared

    When you’re ready for your first kayak adventure with your pup, make sure you’re packed and prepared with all the gear you might need. Make sure you have water for you and your dog and a way to keep them cool if it’s hot out. Dogs with short hair or light skin might need sunscreen for protection.

    Bring your dog’s collar and leash, but never attach them to the kayak. This could be disastrous if the kayak overturns and your dog becomes trapped beneath it.

    An optional item that could make the trip more comfortable for your dog is a pair of Doggles, or dog goggles. This product protects your dog’s eyes from water and sun.

    Practice Water Safety

    To keep yourself and your dog safe, practice basic water safety when kayaking together. Don’t go out on the water during a thunderstorm or when one is forecast. Avoid kayaking under the influence. Be alert for powerboats and Jet Skis if kayaking on a multi-use body of water.

    Follow all state and local rules when it comes to where you paddle and fish, as well as leash laws. Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and heartworm, flea, and tick prevention.

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    Conclusion

    The best overall kayak for dogs, the Perception Tribe, is a sturdy, roomy, and easy-to-handle boat, ideal for canine water adventures. The best value choice, the Intex Excursion Pro, is a lightweight, durable inflatable boat, a good option for solo paddlers and their canine co-pilots.

    Kayaking with your dog can be a fantastic way to spend time in the great outdoors while also bonding with your pup. We hope that these reviews of kayaks will help you pick the perfect boat for you and your dog to take on your adventurous paddles together.


    Featured Image Credit: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

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