Dogs have always been and always will be man’s best friend. They’re the kind of friends that are just happy to be included, smiling through rain or shine, wind and waves, and fishing days – both good and bad. Dogs have long been traveling with humans on boats and ships, but only recently on kayaks. Follow this guide to find the best kayaks for dogs.

Here at The Adventure Junkies, we strive to help you learn new sports and find the best gear. Whether you’re a brand new beginner, somewhat experienced or a seasoned adventurer, you’ve come to the right place for the best knowledge on the newest outdoor gear.

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

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QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST KAYAKS FOR DOGS

1. PERCEPTION HI LIFE 11.0

2. OLD TOWN DIRIGO 155 

3. PERCEPTION PESCADOR PRO 12 

4. LIFETIME SPORT FISHER

5. LIFETIME MANTA 

6. ADVANCED ELEMENTS 

7. OLD TOWN PREDATOR PDL 

8. SUN DOLPHIN JOURNEY 10 SS

9. SEA EAGLE 330 INFLATABLE DELUXE

10. RAVE SPORTS SEA REBEL 

 

 

 

COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST KAYAKS FOR DOGS

PICTURE
KAYAKS FOR DOGS
BEST USE
SINGLE OR TANDEM
SIT-ON-TOP
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
KAYAKS FOR DOGS
BEST USE
SINGLE OR TANDEM
SIT-ON-TOP
PRICE
RATING
Preception Hi Life 11.0
Overall
Single
Yes
$$
5.0
Old Town Dirigo 155
Overall
Tandem
No
$$$
4.2
Perception Pescador Pro 12.0
Overall
Single
Yes
$$
4.4
Lifetime Sport Fisher
Large Dogs
Tandem
Yes
$$$
4.3
Lifetime Manta
Large Dogs
Tandem
Yes
$$
4.1
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame
Large Dogs
Tandem
No
$$
4.4
Old Town Predator PDL
Small Dogs
Single
Yes
$$$
5.0
Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Small Dogs
Single
Yes
$$
4.0
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Deluxe
Budget
Tandem
Yes
$
4.5
Rave Sport Sea Rebel
Budget
Single
Yes
$
3.3

 

 

 

KAYAKS FOR DOGS REVIEWS

PERCEPTION HI LIFE 11.0

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: All-around kayaking with dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Single

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 33.5 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Removable skeg fin, large, flat platform, built-in storage/cooler under the seat, gear track doubles as a carry handle

CONS: Low weight capacity

 

 

 

OLD TOWN DIRIGO 155

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Touring with dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Tandem

SIT-ON-TOP: No

WIDTH: 29.5 in

STABILITY: Moderate

PROS: Fast touring kayak, removable child/pet jumpseat, Glide Track foot brace system, rear bulkhead, in-cockpit thigh pads

CONS: Heavy

 

 

 

PERCEPTION PESCADOR PRO 12

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Fishing with medium-sized dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Single

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 31.5 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Designed for high stability, tracks well, bow and rear tankwells, fishing-specific

CONS: Not suitable for large dogs

 

 

 

LIFETIME SPORT FISHER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Fishing with large dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Tandem

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 36.0 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Fishing-specific, multiple footrest positions, includes: 2 paddles, 2 paddle clips, 2 backrests

CONS: Not the most comfortable seats

 

 

 

LIFETIME MANTA

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Multiple dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Tandem

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 36.0 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Accommodates up to 3 people/pets, difficult to tip over, UV-protected HDPE, multiple footrest positions

CONS: Not the most comfortable seats

 

 

 

ADVANCED ELEMENTS ADVANCEDFRAME

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Best inflatable kayak for large dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Tandem

SIT-ON-TOP: No

WIDTH: 32.0 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Multi-chamber inflatable hull, easy setup, switches from tandem to single, puncture resistant material

CONS: Lacks durability of hard plastic

 

 

 

OLD TOWN PREDATOR PDL

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Fishing with small dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Single

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 36.0 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Built-in pedal drive, 6 removable accessory mounting plates, access hatch, rudder system

CONS: Not suitable for large dogs

 

 

 

SUN DOLPHIN JOURNEY 10 SS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Day trips with small dogs

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Single

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 30.0 in

STABILITY: Moderate to high

PROS: Large comfortable seating area, open cockpit, P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier), dry storage compartment, fishing-specific

CONS: Not suitable for large dogs, low weight capacity

 

 

 

SEA EAGLE 330 INFLATABLE DELUXE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Kayaking with large dogs on a budget

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Tandem

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 34.0 in

STABILITY: Moderate

PROS: Puncture-resistant material, comes with inflatable spray skirts, inflatable front and rear seats, two oars, reliable foot pump

CONS: Lacks durability of hard plastic

 

 

 

RAVE SPORTS SEA REBEL

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Kayaking with small dogs on a budget

SINGLE OR TANDEM: Single

SIT-ON-TOP: Yes

WIDTH: 35.0 in

STABILITY: High

PROS: Large inflatable platform, heavy-duty nylon cover, lightweight, 4 foam-filled handles

CONS: Low weight capacity, not meant for traveling long distances

 

 

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAKS FOR DOGS

SINGLE OR TANDEM

When you begin looking for the perfect kayak to share with your dog(s), it’s important to think about how you want your kayak to be configured. Some kayaks have one seat, some have two and some can accommodate one to three people.

 

SINGLE KAYAK

Single kayaks will not support multiple medium- to large-sized dogs. If this is the case with your family, a large, convertible tandem kayak will be perfect. Small dogs, meanwhile, will easily fit in a single kayak with their owner. There may be some overlap in the footrest area but if you don’t mind it, then there’s no harm done.

If you’re comfortable with your dog sitting in a seat in front of you, a tandem kayak will suit you well. Some dogs are uncomfortable sitting in their own seat because it acts as a barrier between them and their human.

To get an idea of how much room you’ll need, measure your dog from head to tailbone. This will give you a picture of the room they’ll take up when standing up on all four legs, and whether they are best suited to riding in a single or tandem kayak.

 

TANDEM KAYAKS

Tandem kayaks typically have double the storage room of single kayaks in the form of hatches or tankwells. While you may be able to fit yourself and your dog(s) into a single kayak, your cooler with cold beverages will likely be staying on shore. Consider what you’d like to pack for kayaking (extra layers, food, drinks, additional personal flotation, etc.) when choosing between single and tandem kayaks.

 

SIT-ON-TOP VS SIT-IN KAYAKS

Kayaks, both single and tandem, are generally split into two categories: sit-on-top or sit-in. Sit-on-top kayaks are like floating platforms. Legs are exposed to the fresh air and sunshine. Sit-in kayaks have a cavity that encloses the kayaker’s legs.

On the upside, sit-in kayaks typically offer more storage than sit-on tops. In single models, teacup dogs like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers will feel very safe sitting on your lap or between your knees. Some may even enjoy hiding in the kayak’s cavity down by your ankles. In tandem models, confident dogs can have a seat to themselves without compromising your leg room.

 

REASONS WHY SIT-ON-TOP KAYAKS ARE BEST FOR DOGS

1. Dogs are more free to move around on a floating platform. They can jump off into the water and with your help, crawl back on.

2. They can’t fill with water if flipped. These kayaks are molded to hold air inside of them. A number of “scupper holes” are molded throughout the kayak to allow water to drain back into the ocean, river or sea. Sit-in kayaks will likely fill with water and sink if they are flipped, which would be very bad for all parties involved.

 

WIDTH

When kayaking with dogs, leg room can be hard to find. Plenty of recreational kayaks will have widths as small as 22 inches.

We recommend choosing a kayak, either single or tandem, that is 29-36 inches at its widest point. This will give you plenty of room for gear or extra space to splay your legs out to the sides if your dog is sitting by your feet.

It’s also important to consider the size and shape of your canine friend when considering the width of a kayak. Dogs will be dogs. They’re not going to stand facing forward at all times. Once again, this is why knowing the length of your dog, from head to tailbone, is important.

The kayak should be wide enough to accommodate both front and back feet of a standing dog. If they’re scrunched up or have difficulty turning around, it’s possible that one foot could slip off the side of the kayak.

This could cause them to lose their balance and fall in. Not only will this tarnish your dog’s experience, they may be scared of kayaking the next time. In addition, it can be very difficult for you (and painful for your dog) if you’ve got to lift their 80 lb body back into the kayak by only their legs and harness.

 

STABILITY

A stable kayak offers peace of mind and ease of travel. All of the kayaks reviewed in this guide are built to be at least moderately, if not highly, stable.

Small dogs aren’t heavy enough to rock most kayaks. Big dogs are another story! Should they see a bird, turtle or fish and start jumping around with excitement, the kayak could rock or flip. It’s never fun to lose electronics, not to mention, try to get back in a kayak and pull your dog in with you.

Fishing kayaks are built to be highly stable because many fishermen like to have the option of standing in them. A few of the kayaks we’ve chosen are fishing kayaks. Whether you’re using them for fishing or not, these are some of the best options for kayaking with dogs.

Best Kayaks for Dogs - Best Kayaking Gear Articles – Kayak Accessories and Gadgets – Kayak Products and Ideas for Men and Women – Packing Lists for Kayaking Trips

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