Stand-up paddle boarding with your dog can be a fun bonding experience, but it’s important to prioritise safety to ensure a fun and enjoyable outing for both you and your furry friend. Here are 7 tips to help ensure safety for you and your dog when out on a paddle board.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT:
It’s important to choose the right equipment to ensure a safe and comfortable paddling experience for both you and your dog. Look for a paddle board with a stable, buoyant and sturdy design, as well as a personal flotation device (PFD) for both yourself and your dog. Purchasing a safety device for your dog will also allow you to attach a lead (if needed) to the device so that they are secure on the board as well.
2. START SMALL:
If your dog is new to paddling, it’s a good idea to start small and gradually build up to longer paddles. Choose a calm and sheltered body of water to start, and keep the paddling sessions short to help your dog get acclimated to the new activity.
3. TEACH YOUR DOG BASIC COMMANDS:
Basic obedience training can be helpful in ensuring your dog’s safety on the water. Make sure your dog knows commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” and practise these commands on land before hitting the water.
4. USE A LEASH:
It’s a good idea to use a leash to help keep your dog close and under control while paddling. Choose a leash that is sturdy and secure, and make sure it’s properly attached to your dog’s flotation device. If you do have a jumpy dog, however, please do not use a leash as this can be dangerous for both you and your little pooch. We do recommend that a leash should be releasable to avoid tangling – and avoid taking your dog out in fast flowing or rough water.
5. STAY CLOSE TO SHORE:
When paddling with your dog, it’s a good idea to stay close to shore in case of emergencies. This will also help keep your dog within easy reach in case they need to get off the board.
6. BE AWARE OF YOUR DOG’S PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS:
Just like humans, dogs can get tired or cold while paddling. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and behaviour, and be prepared to take breaks or head back to shore if needed.
7. RESPECT WILDLIFE:
Paddle boarding with your dog can be a great way to experience nature, but it’s important to respect the wildlife and their habitats. Keep your distance from wild animals and avoid disturbing them
By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable paddle boarding experience for you and your dog. Remember to always be mindful of your surroundings and the conditions of the water, and don’t hesitate to seek help if you run into any problems.
Don’t forget to check out the dog buoyancy aids that we have for sale here
Happy Paddling & Stay Safe!