If it's summer, it's time to get out on the water with your pup. But if it's Fido's first time to kayak or ride in a raft, you'll want to take it slow. Cate Hawthorne of Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Fort Bragg offers these tips for paddling with your pup.
• We recommend that people plan a short trip on calm water to see how their dog will take to kayaking and have a “Plan B” if the dog is stressed and whining.
• We don’t recommend allowing dogs to jump from the kayak to swim. A large dog jumping from the kayak can capsize the boat. If you have a dog who is an avid swimmer, consider paddling close to shore where there are easy options to land and allow him/her to swim. Also, consider that a swimming dog is a wet dog and makes for a wet ride in the kayak for the humans.
• We recommend that most dogs wear canine flotation devices (CFDs) . We find these most helpful for getting dogs into the kayak if they decide to go for a swim.
• Waterways are corridors for wildlife. Dog owners need to be responsible for pet waste along waterways as well as be considerate of wildlife.
For more dog-paddling tips, click here.
Photo courtesy Liquid Fusion Kayaking