In this pandemic, it might just be a tad difficult to get hold of a friend to paddle with you and even if you do find someone, the risk factor lingering at the back of your mind can spoil your fun! But paddling alone can be boring, so why not take your pup along for a ride?
That’s an idea alright, however, if need to discern if your pup likes water first. If it doesn’t then there is no point trying for it would be a distressing experience for it and no owner can bear to see their little furry friend in distress. Taking it out for swims can be the best judge for his temperament in water.
If it at ease in the water then my friend, you are in for a treat.
Where to begin?
With the right sort of Paddle board, of course! It's important to keep four things in mind when choosing a paddle board for you and your dog: stability, capacity, traction, and construction.
- Stability: The wider the board, the more stability it would offer. Wider boards are better suited for larger dogs that tend to shift their weight more and throw the paddler off balance.
- Capacity: Don’t forget to take account of the weight of your gear in addition to your and your dog’s weights.
- Traction: Maybe opt for paddle board with a full deck pad so it’s easy for your dog to grip when there are waves. Lucid paddle boards offers an extra deck a deck pad that you can use in the back or front of the board and proves a great choice for your beloved pets
- Construction: Believe it or not, but an inflatable paddle boards are the most durable option for your pup. Thanks to the military-grade PVC our inflatables can withstand your dog nails and are very comfortable on the dog’s paws.
Before you add a second passenger you’ll want to first master the basics: standing up, paddling and turning on your paddle board. Even then, you want to be sure your dog is ready too. Your pup should know basic commands like “sit” and “stay” to make your experience together safe and fun.
Things you need to pack:
- PDF: Get your pup a life jacket even if it is a good swimmer! Be sure to try it on with them at home to make sure they are comfortable and it fits snugly. A PFD will ensure that your dog is safe should he fall or jump in the water and hit his head. A life jacket with a handle on top is recommended for helping lift him back onto the board.
- Dry Bag: Depending on your destination and the length of your paddle trip, you may need a few additional things. A few items to consider packing in your high water dry pack are water, collapsible water bowl, dog waste bags and treats.
Getting your companion comfortable on the board:
Remember, this is an alien situation for it, no matter how much he trusts you and seems frolicking, it is sure to feel a tad bit nervous.
- Getting him settled in: Pull your board out in the backyard or living room and let your dog sniff it, look at it and explore it on its own terms. When he seems ready, put a treat on the board and encourage him to jump up himself. Have your dog sit and jump down. Repeat this till he seems comfortable. It is important to make sure not to force your dog on and off the board.
- A dry run first: Once your dog seems comfortable hopping on the board, stand where you would normally stand when paddling. Have your dog sit where you would like him to if you were on the water. If he sits and stays, give him a treat. Practice paddling, rocking, hopping. Your dog will probably jump off, but this is a good opportunity to test just how comfortable he is. Have him jump back on and keep practicing.
The first Peddle:
Before heading out to sea make sure that you give your dog’s nails a trim that will minimize the chances of your board getting scratched or your deck pad torn.
When you get to your launch point, take your dog and the board close to the water. Practice the same training steps with treats to be sure your dog is responding the way it had done earlier. When your dog seems comfortable and confident, give it a shot! Keep the first paddle short and keep the treats coming. If it doesn’t go as planned, learn from your mistakes and try again another day.
Don’t expect the very first ride to be your best, it won’t. But soon, you’ll be past the choppy waters and have a great buddy that would love to go paddle boarding with you.