You have seen pictures all of the Internet, happy dogs surfing around on a paddle board with not a care in the world. And lets face it, what is better than paddle boarding with a friend than your furry best friend? If you love to paddle board and you love to get outdoors with your dog, then it is only just a matter of time until your pet is truly doggy paddling..get it? With that being said, there are always some safety tips to go around. A few months ago we outlined some tips for general paddle boarding safety, today we have some quick safety tips for paddle boarding with your dog and getting them accustomed to your SUP.
Start On Land
This is almost a no brainer, for anyone to get used to something that have to experience it right? Obviously your dog lacks two thumbs so jumping in the car and pumping up an inflatable paddle board is not an option for them. However, you can leave your inflated paddle board out for them to get used to. Let them lay out on it, put a treat on the board so that they resemble the board to a good thing and lastly, go over the basic commands of sit and lay while on the board so they help you provide the best balance for a good time while on the water.
Move To The Water
Once you believe your furry best friend is ready, head out to the water so that they can get used to the board on water with movement. Start in a shallow area where you can just push or pull them around so that they can get used to what is going on when the board hits the water. Except them to jump off, or fall of, just as you may have done when you first started. But with a few coaxing motions you can get them back up and surfing. If you notice that it just is not working out for your pup then take the sign and let them keep their feet on the ground. Just like anything, sometimes it’s just not made to be!
Paddle Boarding Safety Precautions
Safety should always be on your mind when you or anyone else hit the open waters. However, when you add a visitor to your ride you should also consider some safety precautions for them.
- Keep a life vest with you. In the event that you need to jump off and help your dog swim, you will want a life vest to help you stay afloat. It also does not hurt to get your dog a life vest as well. The option is of course yours and should be determined base on the area and current you plan on paddling. Not every dog is capable to paddle board with heavy surf.
- Do not leash your dog to your paddle board. If for some reason you fall off and your dog is attached to your paddle board you can probably expect a not so happy ending. If you do decide to keep your dog’s leash on while paddle boarding, make sure it is not attached to anyone that could jerk them around in the water.