Can I take my dog paddling?

We receive a lot of questions about whether dogs are allow in our kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards - here is our advice:


Here at Windermere Canoe Kayak, we love dogs. We even have one of our own - 

Dubs dog enjoying a SUP session

However, whilst some dogs are happy in the water, it is difficult to predict how they might react to being on boards or boats. Some dogs love being on top of the water, while others just want to be in it, or even far away from it! On occasion, nervous, excited, or larger dogs can upturn boats if they try to make a leap lake-wards. Although it’s easy to get back on, sometimes it can be hard to persuade your pet to do the same…


We recommend: 

  • Doggie buoyancy aids: purchasing a doggie life jacket/buoyancy aid for your dogs before you come, as this can make things a lot easier.
  • One dog per boat: sometimes more than one dog in a boat could be challenging, so one dog per boat is best. We usually give you a slightly larger boat to accommodate two paddlers and a dog. 
  • Kayaks, not canoes: canoes sit higher out of the water than kayaks. For this reason we probably wouldn’t recommend a canoe, as if the dogs end up in the water it is very difficult to get them back into a canoe. Unless you  have rescue experience in canoes, and know how your pet usually reacts, kayaks are your safest option.
  • Don’t attach their lead to the boat: this can be dangerous for you and your dog if you boat capsizes.


Advice for Paddleboarding with dogs: 

With SUPing, it can be quite difficult for a beginner to feel stable straight away, and therefore having a dog on the board moving around and potentially trying to jump off will likely result in both of you spending a lot of time in the water… 


But if you don’t mind this, or you’ve been SUPing before, and feel confident that you can stay upright, and that your dog will be able to sit calmly - there’s no reason why you can’t give it a go! 


We hope this helps!