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The 11 Best Kayaks For Dogs

Outdoor recreation has traditionally been a popular activity, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in activities such as riding and kayaking has surged even more.

With so many constraints and concerns around indoor activities, outdoor excursions are becoming increasingly popular, and kayaks offer an easy method to socially remove oneself.

Finding opportunities for their dogs to participate in outdoor exploration is always preferred by dog owners. So, what if you want to take your dog kayaking with you?

The first step is to get a kayak that can accommodate both you and your dog. To assist you, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled reviews of the eleven best kayaks for dogs this year.

Read our opinions on the boats, as well as an outline of everything you need to know while kayaking with your dog, before you hit the water. Have fun paddling!

What You Should Know Before Going Kayaking With Your Dog

Now that you know more about the finest kayaks for paddling with your dog, here’s some additional information to help you and your dog have a safe journey.

Choose the Right Boat

When reading our kayak reviews, you may have noticed certain recurring themes. Overall, the finest dog kayaks are spacious, sturdy, and have a large maximum weight capacity. The other amenities are more for your advantage than your dog’s, who presumably doesn’t care if you have a cup holder or not. Choosing the correct kayak for a successful water adventure with your dog is the first step.

Be Honest About Your Dog’s Capabilities

Regardless of how much you want your dog to be your adventure companion, not every dog is made out for the role. If your dog has never shown any interest in water or is openly scared of it, they may be uninterested in kayaking. A dog who has never been near water, on the other hand, could turn out to be an excellent kayaker. If your dog is well-trained, socialized, and adaptive in general, he or she should be able to learn to be comfortable on a kayak.

Purchase a Life Jacket for Your Dog

Just like you should wear a life jacket whether or not you know how to swim, your dog should do the same. Weather conditions can change suddenly, and a careless powerboat can throw a lethal wake across your path, no matter how cautious you are. Even if you choose the most sturdy kayak, there is always the possibility of capsize. Fit your dog with a life jacket to keep them as safe as possible.

Begin on Dry Land

You didn’t learn to kayak overnight, and your dog won’t either. Take your time getting your dog acquainted to the kayak before taking it out on the lake. Place the kayak in a location where your dog will see it frequently and develop accustomed to it. Allow them to explore the kayak and reward them if they climb in by themselves. Choose a location for your dog to ride and begin teaching them how to settle there. Again, if your dog already knows basic obedience, the process will be much easier.

Begin slowly in the water.

Once your dog is comfortable with the kayak on land, progressively transition to the water. Slow down and continue to use positive reinforcement to educate your dog how to behave in the kayak if he appears stressed at any stage. Before attempting a longer journey, have them familiar and schooled on where to sit or lay in the kayak in shallow water.

Prepare yourself

When you’re ready for your first kayak journey with your pet, make sure you’re well-prepared with all the necessary equipment. Make sure you have water and a way to keep your dog cool if it’s hot outside. Sunscreen may be required for dogs with short hair or light skin.

Bring your dog’s collar and leash, but don’t tie them to the kayak. If the kayak flips and your dog becomes stuck beneath it, this might be disastrous.

A pair of Doggles or dog goggles is an extra device that could make your dog’s vacation more comfortable. This device shields your dog’s eyes from rain and sunlight.

Exercise Water Safety

When kayaking with your dog, practice basic water safety to keep both of you safe. Do not go out on the water during or after a thunderstorm. Avoid kayaking when intoxicated. If you’re kayaking on a multi-use body of water, keep an eye out for powerboats and jet skis.

Follow all state and municipal laws about where you can paddle and fish, as well as leash laws. Ensure that your dog is up to date on all immunizations as well as heartworm, flea, and tick prevention.


Best Overall: Perception Tribe 13.5 Rank First

  • 13’5″ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 79 lbs.
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.

The Perception Tribe 13.5 Sit On Top Tandem Kayak is our pick for the finest overall kayak for dogs. This kayak has plenty of room for both you and your dog. It has two large seating places with adjustable backs for a comfortable paddle. There’s also a molded middle seat for children or dogs. This kayak could possibly carry two people and their dog, depending on the size of your dog. The kayak can carry up to 500 pounds, so even large breeds can ride in it. The Perception is surprisingly easy to handle and maneuver for its size. Despite having two carry handles, this kayak may be too hefty for one person to lift on top of a car.


  • There is plenty of room for even the largest dogs.
  • In the water, it is simple to use.


  • It may be too heavy to carry and raise by one person.

Best Value: Excursion Pro Kayak by Intex

  • 12’7″ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 39 lbs.
  • 400 pound maximum weight capacity

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is our recommendation for the finest kayak for dogs for the money. This inflatable kayak is built of durable PVC material that is resistant to water damage. This similar toughness will help it withstand your dog’s claws. The Excursion is easy to store and transport because it is inflatable, and it is light enough for one person to carry quite effortlessly. It swiftly inflates and has adjustable footrests for comfortable paddling. The rear seatback can be removed to provide more space for your dog to lie down or stand. Because it’s inflatable, it won’t last as long or be as sturdy as a hard-shell boat, but it still offers fantastic value for money.


  • Simple to store and transport
  • Rapidly inflates
  • For extra dog space, the rear booster can be removed.


  • Long-term durability concerns

Premium Choice: Teton 120 DriftSun

  • 12’2″ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 72 lbs.
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.

The Driftsun Teton 120 is more expensive than the rest of our choices since it is more robust and multifunctional. This kayak is designed for extended days on the water or multi-day adventures, with various fishing rod holders, built-in cup holders, and plenty of storage, including a sealed dry storage compartment. The double padded chairs and center seating area provide plenty of space for you, your dog, and possibly another human companion. This kayak is wide and stable, so it can manage flat or choppy water and give a smoother ride, making your dog feel more secure onboard. While it is lighter than some other hardshell kayaks, it may be difficult for one person to transport and load.


  • Designed for extended trips
  • There is plenty of storage and room.
  • Ride is stable and smooth.


  • greater cost
  • It may be too heavy for one person to load and transport.

Malibu Ocean Kayak Two

  • 12′ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 57 lbs.
  • 425 pound maximum weight capacity

The Malibu Two is an ocean kayak that can also be used on flat water like lakes and rivers. Because of the low sides, your dog can easily jump in and out. The kayak features two comfortable seats as well as a center place for your dog. Due to the design of the footrests, single paddlers can also sit in the center. This boat does not have as much storage room as the last two hard shells we looked at, but it is less expensive and lighter. Despite its size, it is wide and solid in the water and handles nicely. Paddles must be bought individually.


  • Simple entry and exit
  • Stable and simple to paddle
  • Single paddlers can easily adapt it.


  • There isn’t as much storage space.
  • Paddles are available individually.

Fishing Kayak BKU TK122U

  • 12’6″ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 74 lbs.
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 770 lbs.

Because they are built to be especially stable on the water, fishing kayaks are a fantastic choice for kayaking with dogs. The BKU TK122U has a very high maximum weight capacity, allowing you to transport even the largest dogs. It includes two dry storage compartments as well as robust aluminum chairs for a comfortable paddle. The disadvantage is that the extra seat cannot be removed, but there should still be enough room for your dog. Although this is a sit-on-top kayak, the interior is slightly deeper than others, which may make your dog feel more safe, especially if you’re just getting started on the water together.


  • In the water, it is extremely stable.
  • Maximum weight capacity
  • Seats that are both comfortable and deep


  • The seats are not detachable.
  • Boat that is more pricey

Inflatable Kayak Solstice

  • 11′ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 440 lbs.

The Solstice is a sleek, easy-to-maneuver inflatable kayak that is light enough to be carried and paddled by a wide variety of persons. It’s simple to inflate and deflate, making it ideal for storage and transportation. This kayak’s floor is strong enough to survive dog claw damage. While the kayak can accommodate up to 440 pounds, it is roughly a foot shorter than the other kayaks we’ve examined and may be a little cramped when paddling with a large dog. The seats are simple to move about to find the best paddling spot and give your dog enough room to stretch out. Users report that this kayak is steady in the water and fast enough to go through rapids (leave your dog at home for that one!).


  • Lightweight and simple to paddle
  • In the water, stable
  • It is simple to inflate, carry, and move.


  • More compact than some other tandem kayaks

Inflatable Kayak SeaEagle

  • 12’5″ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 32 lbs.
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 650 lbs.

The Sea Eagle inflatable kayak has the highest maximum weight capacity of the inflatable kayaks we tested. It’s also long and spacious, built to carry three people, so there’ll be plenty of room for your dog. This boat inflates in about ten minutes and folds up compact for simple transportation. The seats of this kayak are changeable, allowing you to choose the ideal configuration for you and your dog. However, several users reported that the chairs were not particularly robust, which reduced their comfort level when paddling. This kayak, like many inflatables, can struggle in windy circumstances.


  • Maximum weight capacity
  • There is plenty of room.
  • All of the seats are moveable.


  • Seats are not as durable.
  • Windy situations can be difficult to manage.

10 Old Town Vapor

  • 10′ Kayak Length
  • Kayak Weight: 47 lbs.
  • 325 pound maximum weight capacity

The Old Town Vapor is a sit-in kayak, yet the cockpit is large enough to accommodate your dog. There’s also a storage area behind the cockpit that may be used to house a dog. While this kayak has a maximum weight limit of 325 pounds, a large dog is unlikely to fit in it. This kayak is light enough for one person to carry and handle as a single kayak. It’s also shorter (10 feet) than some of the larger tandem alternatives, making it easier to store. Sit-in kayaks are frequently more secure to paddle in, and this is an excellent blend of security and space for your dog.


  • Kayak with a seat
  • lighter and more compact than a tandem kayak
  • easier to transport and paddle


  • 325 pound weight limit
  • Interior space is somewhat limited.


The Perception Tribe is our best overall kayak for dogs because it is a strong, roomy, and easy-to-handle boat that is great for canine water adventures.

The Intex Excursion Pro, our best value pick, is a lightweight, robust inflatable boat that’s ideal for solo paddlers and their canine co-pilots.

Kayaking with your dog can be a great way to spend time in nature while bonding with your pet.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope that our reviews of these eleven best kayaks for dogs will assist you in selecting the best boat for you and your dog to paddle together on your adventure paddles.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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