Doggy Lifestyle: Stand up Paddle Boarding with Dogs

stand up paddle boarding with dogs

Maintaining an active lifestyle is a great way to look after both your physical and mental health. Not only is this important for us, it is also extremely important for dogs. Exercise and mental stimulation will ensure your dog is happy and healthy. So why not find a fun activity that both you and your dog can enjoy together?

Stand up paddle boarding has had a dramatic increase in popularity in recent years due it being suited to all ages and abilities. It is now becoming a great way to spend some quality time with your dog.

You can paddleboard virtually anywhere there is water – the wild ocean, a calm bay, river, lakes and even reservoirs.

There is some basic equipment you will need before you go on paddle boarding adventures with your dog. They include:

  1. Paddleboard – Choose a size that is right for you. The larger and wider the board, the more stable it will be. If you have a large dog, you may wish to go for a larger board. If you are experienced in paddle boarding or have excellent balance, you may wish to choose a smaller board. Your dog will need something to grip onto. This can be either a soft top board or a fixed deck grip pad to stop your dog from sliding off the board.
  1. Paddle – When purchasing a paddle, ask the store to measure and cut your paddle to suit your height and reach. Alternatively there are adjustable paddles available that can suit the whole family.
  1. Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – a life jacket is important for both you and your dog. There are many reasons why your dog may need a doggy life jacket but it is also required by law in some states and countries. When buying a doggy life jacket, get one with a strong handle on the back to help you lift your dog onto the board.

stand up paddle boarding with dogsPreparation for paddle boarding with your dog is also very important. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Familiarity – Get your dog familiar with the board. Place your board in the backyard or lounge room and let your dog sniff, explore and walk around it. Put a treat on your board and let your dog play with their toys next to the board. Take both the board and your dog to the beach or river and do the same thing.
  1. Swimming skills – Understand how well and how far your dog can swim in case of an emergency situation where you both may have to swim. When on the board, let your dog jump in for a swim and get some exercise.
  1. Start small – If possible let your dog jump onto the board themselves. Start small, sit on the board with your dog and play some games, have fun and get your dog used to the movement of the board. Slowly increase the length of paddle time.

Paddle boarding with your dog is great way to spend time with your dog and get some exercise too. Remember that your dog may get hot standing on the board especially during summer, so let him or her occasionally jump in for a swim to cool down. Have drinking water available nearby for both you and your dog.  Most of all, have fun and enjoy!


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One thought on “Doggy Lifestyle: Stand up Paddle Boarding with Dogs”

  1. Excellent article, Dee! Unfortunately, doggie SUP safety is one of the most neglected topics in our sport, and with the rise in the sport’s popularity (as you pointed out), it’s more important than ever to get this message out there.

    I just put together a fun infographic resource about dog SUP safety that I think would make an excellent add-on resource for your article. I would love to hear your feedback on it if you have a minute!

    Keep up the great work, and happy paddling. 🙂

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