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Canine Kayaking Companion: Dog Platforms for Your Kayak 2024

Kayak Dog Platform

Kayak Dog Platform

Updated on 10/22/2023
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail đź‘‹ Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

The love for pets and outdoor activities has sparked a growing demand for dog-friendly kayak platforms, allowing dog owners to share their adventurous spirits with their furry companions. For those who can’t bear to leave their canine friends behind, integrating a solid, stable platform on their kayak ensures that both pet and owner can enjoy the serene escape kayaking offers.

Having explored the calming waters and experienced the vibrant environments of Canal Point Recreation Area, Harbors Edge Park, and Manatee Bend Park, it became evident that having the right kayak platform can make the journey more enjoyable and secure for our four-legged pals.

In this article, we delve into the world of dog kayak platforms, exploring various types and installation methods and providing valuable tips for those willing to bring their dogs aboard. So whether you're a seasoned kayaker or just starting, this guide will help you find the perfect platform to let your dog join the adventure safely and comfortably.

Kayak Dog Platform

Kayak Dog Platform

If you plan on taking your furry friend out on the water, a few practical accessories can make your kayaking experience much smoother. Many options exist, from choosing the right kayak to getting the best attachments and outriggers for your dog. And don't forget about things like the best kayak dog platform and kayak seat for your furry friend. Trust us; these little extras can make a big difference in comfort and security. To make your search a little easier, we've compiled a list of some of the best options. And if you're still searching for the perfect kayak, check out our reviews of the top sit-on-top kayaks for dogs and the best inflatable kayak for dogs before you decide. 

Advice On Kayaking With Your Dog

Let's talk about some general advice for kayaking with your dog before we get into our in-depth assessments of the most refined kayak dog platform, seats, deck, attachments, and outriggers!

Take Things Slowly At The Beginning Of The Training.

Kayak Dog Platform

Kayak Dog Platform

Traveling at a modest and steady pace during the initial training is essential if your puppy wants to feel at ease while riding in your kayak. We have met many wonderful and obedient dogs who, for no reason other than their initial kayaking experience, were terrified of the activity and could not get over the traumatic event for the rest of their lives.

Even though your dog enjoys the water and jumps in it at every opportunity, kayaking is a whole other ballgame, and your dog may need some time to adjust to how the kayak moves when it's loaded with its weight.

For your dog to identify kayaking as a positive experience, you must be careful not to exert too much effort during the first couple of times you try it. It is a surefire method of doing this to look for opportunities to praise and congratulate your dog on the "small steps" necessary for a positive experience while kayaking.

Related Best kayak seats

Bring Along Some Extra Sweets

Bring Extra Treats

Bring Extra Treats

Because food is a powerful motivator for most dogs, having a supply of additional goodies on hand can be an excellent way to show appreciation for your dog's good conduct while teaching them to kayak. Consider the fundamental actions you would demonstrate to a close friend to walk them through paddling a kayak for the first time.

Some examples include getting into the kayak, sitting in the kayak (in the most comfortable position), lying down in the kayak, and remaining still and not jostling or moving the kayak when a duck swims past, and the list could go on and on. It is essential to ensure your dog has a good time during their first few kayaking outings.

Although your dog may respond better to a different incentive scheme, we still believe that carrying extra goodies while kayaking is an excellent way to thank your dog for behaving well.

Place The Layers In A Waterproof Bag.

Put Layers in a Dry Bag

Put Layers in a Dry Bag

If you want to teach your dog how to kayak, you should be prepared because, at some point, the two of you will probably have to swim together. When your dog abruptly leaps out of the kayak, maintaining your kayak's stability is not the most straightforward skill to master. 

In addition to this, when you take your dog kayaking, there are simply a more significant number of factors that have the potential to derail even the most meticulously crafted preparations. Some of these factors may cause you to become wet and chilly, and then you will have to try to return to your vehicle while not enjoying yourself. Therefore, taking extra clothes, food, and other stuff in a dry bag is always a good idea if your kayaking excursion lasts far longer than planned when you first set out on your journey.

Related Kayak Outrigger 

Dog Kayaks: Best Kayak Dog Platform

Dog platforms for kayaks (dog kayak platform decks) are designed to make it simpler and more convenient for paddlers to bring their canine companions along for the ride. Check out our coverage of these three excellent dog kayak platforms we've selected to examine.

Recreational activities such as biking and kayaking have long been popular pastimes, but interest in these activities has increased even more as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide. Due to the numerous restrictions and concerns surrounding indoor activities, outdoor adventures are becoming sought, and kayaking provides an easy way to achieve this social distance. It is always good to find a way for dog owners to make their pups a part of the outdoor exploration when they are out and about. Can you take your dog on a kayaking trip if you want him to join you? The first step is to buy a kayak suitable for you and your dog. We have compiled a list of what we believe to be the eight best kayaks for dogs this year to help you out. Reading our thoughts on the kayaks before getting in the water and an overview of what you should know when kayaking with your dog is a good idea. 

Stealth Dog Ramp: The Stealth Beavertail Ramp For Dogs

Dog & Kayaking

Dog & Kayaking

Suppose you enjoy hunting or fishing from your kayak. In that case, the Beavertail Stealth Dog Ramp is the most excellent kayak platform available to assist you in getting your dog back into your kayak after it has gone swimming after your most recent catch.

Related Best kayak outriggers

Folding Pet Ramp

This platform is made to hook onto the back of kayaks using a molded-in grab handle positioned at the stern. Regular folding kayaks up or down can stay permanently connected, depending on how you use them. You can also use it to hook onto the rear of canoes. Because it weighs 12 pounds and is constructed from the same rotomolded polyethylene material used in producing the most excellent fishing kayaks, you can be sure it is sturdy enough to support your dog's weight.

Haul Folding Kayaks

Discover what makes Long Haul Folding Kayaks the finest folding kayaks available. Wood frame kayaks are superior and have stood the test of time. We hand-pick the finest Ash and Birch woods, laminate and shape them into frame components, and seal them with a marine-grade finish. A robust, lightweight frame with stainless steel fittings can confidently handle large payload capacities and the stresses of full-size sail rigs. Kayak shells from heavy-duty marine rubber are hand-sewn and topped with the best marine materials. Paddlers benefit from ergonomically correct seating and thoughtful finishing touches.

Pet-Loading Platform From Great Day: "Load-A-Pup."



Loading your dog onto your kayak will be much simpler if you use this platform, which is the most excellent alternative. Due to its dimensions of 14 inches in width and 20 inches in length, it is suitable for larger dogs and little ones.

In addition, it is composed of lightweight aviation aluminum, so the total weight is only seven pounds. To prevent adding a significant amount of weight to your kayak, making it more challenging to navigate while you are out on the water.

It is designed to attach directly to motorized boat ladders but can be modified to fit on a kayak's back with some work. You might want to investigate the possibility of purchasing a trolling motor mount or looking at do-it-yourself options for achieving the same result.

The Poolwhale Floating Step

You can use this loading platform instead of the Great Day loading platform, which is ideal if you have a tiny dog that you enjoy kayaking with you. The top of the box is a resealable bag, which you can fill with sand or any other heavy material.

When you are in your kayak, and your dog wants to go for a swim, you may quickly release this step over the side of your kayak. It is rated to support up to 20 pounds of weight, and the ramp between the stage and the weight bag will assist you in re-acquainting your canine companion with the security of your kayak.

When you are through using it, you can easily store it in the storage container located at the stern of your kayak until the next time you use it. Weighing less than half a pound, depending on what you put into the weight bag at the top, won't add much to your kayak, so there's no need to worry about that.


Best Kayak Dog Seats

You'll want to invest in kayaks with dog seats to ensure your canine companion is comfortable on the lake. Here are three solutions to consider to make your kayak's seating arrangement more comfortable for your dog.

Surf To Summit Hot Seat Kayak

Surf To Summit Hot Seat Kayak Seat

Surf To Summit Hot Seat Kayak Seat

The Surf To Summit Hot Seat Kayak Seat is crafted from a pleasant and water-resistant thermo-molded foam material that is sturdy and long-lasting. After removing the laminate backing and adhering it directly to the fabric of the cockpit (after it is dry, of course), it will be possible to bind it to the cockpit of your kayak securely.

Hot Seat Kayak is an excellent seat in the 'jump seat' area that is standard on most tandem recreational kayaks. It was created primarily for calm water touring, which is the most typical kayaking you should be doing with a dog on board, and this seat is perfect for installation in that location.

YakGear Cushion For Seating

Another excellent option for providing your dog with a more comfortable seat pad is the YakGear Seat Cushion, available in various sizes. It is constructed with a non-skid bottom to prevent it from moving about while in use, and it is meant to be compatible with most kayaks. It is covered by a three-year limited guarantee from the manufacturer if it does not meet your expectations. The cushion is 14 inches broad and 11 inches deep, which may be sufficient for smaller dogs to lie down while riding in your kayak.

Cushion For The Docooler Kayak's Back Seat

A lightweight variant, the Docooler Kayak Back Seat Cushion, is also available, designed to work best with sit-on-top kayaks. Your dog can sit on it comfortably, even for long days of paddling, because it is constructed of a nylon material that is quite durable.

The Docooler Kayak's Back Seat cushion comes with double-sided foam tape already attached to the back, making it much simpler to connect it to the location on your kayak where you would like your dog to sit while you paddle. It has a width of 15.7 inches and a depth of 13.8 inches, providing a large amount of seating space for your pet.

Best Kayak Dog Decks

Bringing a dog kayak presents several challenges; one is that canines struggle to maintain their hold on the brittle plastic material from which most kayaks are constructed. So, these kayak dog decks and mats will fit on any deck surface of your kayak to provide your dog with a more secure footing.

Non-Slip Grip Decking Mat For The Punt Surf

Punt Surf Non-Slip Grip Decking Mat

Punt Surf Non-Slip Grip Decking Mat

The Punt Surf Non-Slip Grip Decking Mat is a square deck measuring 20 inches by 20 inches manufactured from marine-grade EVA foam that is lightweight and diamond-grooved. This decking material will remain on the underside of your kayak thanks to superior 3M adhesive, which you can apply anywhere you choose on the deck of your kayak.

This mat comes in a pre-shaped size, but it is straightforward to cut and shape to fit exactly where you want it to go.

You can use this mat to give your dog a much-needed grip on your kayak, whether you want to place strips along the gunwales and deck or create a square spot for your dog.

Traction Decking Mat For DIY Use By Foammaker Universal

Foammaker Universal DIY Traction Decking Mat

Foammaker Universal DIY Traction Decking Mat

With a length of 34 inches and a width of 9 inches, this Foammaker DIY Traction Decking Mat has dimensions of 34 x 9 inches. It is a thin, resilient, lightweight sheet of marine-grade, diamond-grooved EVA foam. It has a 3M adhesive backing for solid adhesion to polyethylene kayak material.

Attaching the pad takes only a few minutes, and you can trim it to any proportions you choose to provide a better fit for your specific kayaking rig. In addition to enhancing the level of traction available to your four-legged paddling buddy, this accessory will shield your kayak from the scratches and other damage that a dog's claws can cause.

Oceanbroad Non-Slip Deck Pad, 4-Piece, Oceanbroad

Oceanbroad 4-Piece Non-Slip Deck Pad kayaks

Oceanbroad 4-Piece Non-Slip Deck Pad kayaks

The Oceanbroad 4-Piece Non-Slip Deck Pad comprises four squares, each of which has dimensions of 15 inches in length and 10 inches in width. Each pad is constructed of marine-grade EVA foam and features a 3M adhesive backing for enhanced adherence to the material used to build most kayaks.

Because it comes in smaller squares, this four-pack makes it easy to tailor your gripping deck installation and decreases the amount of measuring and cutting you'll need to add much-needed grip to your kayak for your dog.

Best Kayak Dog Attachments

There is a potentially endless number of attachments that you might add to your kayak to make it more manageable to paddle while also carrying a dog. However, we have limited our discussion to three of the most effective kayak dog attachments to get right down to business.

Multiple Leash For Seattle Sports 

Product tested by Board and Kayak
Our Overall Review

Things we like:

  • SECURE - Keep From Losing Your Paddles and Fishing Rods By Securing Them With The Multi Leash
  • STRETCHY - The Multi Leash Stretches to 48' in Length and Retracts to 32'
  • MATERIALS - Internal Bungee Sheathed in Heavy Duty High Visibility Green Tubular Webbing
  • FEATURES - Quick Release Buckle With Velcro Closure to Attach to Paddle or Fishing Rod and a Snap Hook to Secure to PFD or Kayak

Things we don't like:

  • May not be suitable for very heavy or bulky paddles and fishing rods
  • Stretchiness may cause it to lose elasticity over time
  • Velcro closure may wear out or lose effectiveness with frequent use
  • Green color may not appeal to all users or may not be easy to match with other gear
  • May not be suitable for use in extreme weather conditions
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Read full review

Seattle Sports Multi Leash is a durable piece of kayaking equipment that is suitable for a variety of different activities. You may use it to keep your kayak paddle linked to your kayak in rough waters, but it can also provide a hands-free means of keeping your dog tied to your kayak. When they spot something that piques their interest, puppies bolt from the water and swim for the shore. On the other hand, this leash will keep your dog tied to you at all times, and it may even enable you to let your dog pull your kayak down the river for short distances while you enjoy some downtime.

This particular leash can reach a maximum length of 48 inches while being tugged and can be retracted to a height of 32 inches when not in use. On one end, it features a snap hook ideal for latching onto the ring located on your dog's collar. Conversely, it features a quick-release Velcro closure that you can attach to any handles or lashing points on your kayak.

A Pet Life Jacket: "Paws Aboard."

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket kayaking

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket kayaking

We realize that when you think about kayak attachments, the first thing that comes to mind is things that you can attach to your kayak. However, among these options, we have something specifically for being fastened directly to your canine companion while you kayak.

The Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket is available in a wide range of sizes, and it attaches to your canine companion with a combined total of three buckles and straps. It is best to tuck two of them under your dog's body, and the third one should be fastened around their neck. On the top of the pet life jacket, there is a sturdy handle that will go a long way toward helping you pull your pup back into your kayak after they go swimming. In addition, a small D-ring lets you attach a leash directly to the life jacket rather than attaching it to your pup's collar, giving you more control over your dog while paddling.

Our Overall Review
Read full review

Sunshade For Kayaks By Adventure Canopies

Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade

Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade

Attaching the Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade to your kayak is something we strongly recommend doing if you live in a region where the sun is powerful and if you want to spend a significant amount of time out on the lake with your dog.

Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50 or more and fits kayaks with a length of more than 10 feet. It is effective against 99.9 percent of the sun's potentially damaging UVA and UVB radiation. The canopy has hardware made of stainless steel and materials resistant to mildew, so you won't have to worry about it stinking even if it gets wet. Additionally, the canopy is up to 54 inches long, which allows it to provide shade for up to ten square feet of space.

Best Kayak Dog Outriggers

When a dog is included in the equation, stability may become a significant issue for even the most skilled kayakers. When you take your dog out on the water, you won't have to get out of the kayak and swim every time since these kayak outriggers make your kayak more stable.

The Hydrodynamic Stabilizer Float Package, Manufactured By Spring Creek

Spring Creek Manufacturing Hydrodynamic Stabilizer

Spring Creek Manufacturing Hydrodynamic Stabilizer

This specific Hydrodynamic Stabilizer Float Package from Spring Creek Manufacturing has a width of 36 inches and is also available in widths of 30 inches, 40 inches, and 45 inches. These outriggers have a range of motion of up to 20 inches in each direction, and the combined weight of each float is five pounds. On the other hand, each float offers an additional 27 pounds of flotation capacity to your kayak.

Specific Hydrodynamic Stabilizer Float Package includes not only the two floats but also a universal receiver crossbar, two telescoping arms, and one set of clamps that you may attach to the gunwales of your kayak. First, measure the width of your kayak, where it is the broadest, and then compare that measurement to the dimensions of the suitable packaging for the size of your kayak's width.

YakGear Outriggers For Kayaks And Canoes, Generation 2

YakGear Kayak & Canoe Outriggers

YakGear Kayak & Canoe Outriggers

The Railblaza Starport base, provided with the YakGear Generation 2 Kayak and Canoe Outriggers, allows you to attach the outriggers to your kayak. Because this foundation has to be connected directly to the gunwales of your kayak using bolts, installing it will require you to waterproof the bolts after the base has been attached. The length of the outrigger arms is around 30 inches, and they may be found extending off both sides of your kayak. As a result, you will have a stable foundation that extends 22 inches on either side of your kayak.

These outriggers have a construction made entirely of stainless steel, improving their corrosion resistance. Additionally, the package includes the following:

  • All of the mounts.
  • A Hardware.
  • Installation instructions.
  • Rigging advice will be required for a successful installation on the very first try.

Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System

scotty kayak stabilizer system

scotty kayak stabilizer system

The Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System is packaged with two inflatable outriggers and outrigger arms, and all of the mounts and hardware required to attach it to virtually any kayak are now available. One advantage of purchasing this product is that you can deflate these outriggers and keep them in less space when unused.

However, you will most likely need to securely place the bases to your kayak's gunwales. This will require you to drill through the kayak, and when you have finished installing the floors, you will need to ensure that everything is watertight.

Nevertheless, the outrigger bladders will provide an additional 30 pounds of buoyancy apiece, and the 34-inch outrigger arms will extend to provide your kayak with a much more sturdy platform when your huge dog jumps aboard.

Orange Dog Life

Orange dog life: Dogs come in various sizes and shapes. Whether your dog is short and stout or long and skinny, there is a dog life jacket that will fit them. With sizes XS-XL and adjustable straps, you can choose the size that best supports your dog based on its circumference. We recommend sizing up if the dog's girth size is more significant than this range.

Splash Orange Dog

Splash orange dog: The Outward Hound Granby Splash life jacket for dogs is one of the best, with bright colors and reflective accents to increase swimming visibility. No matter how experienced or novice your dog is, a front-neck float will keep his head above water.

Pet Loading Platform 

Great Day Load-A-Pup & Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket

Our Overall Review
Read full review

Because we could not choose just one item as the most delicate dog-related kayaking equipment, we selected two items as our top selections. Getting your Kayak Dog Platform with you may not be easy, and this is often the most challenging aspect of taking your pup out on the water with you.

To get your dog into the kayak before your trip, you can use the advantages of shallow water or a dock. However, getting your dog back into your kayak after paddling through deeper water can be challenging for many people.

Because of this, we have decided that the Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket and the Great Day Load-A-Pup Pet-Loading Platform are the two products most deserving of the "best accessory" we've discussed in this post. After your dog has been swimming, you can reenter your kayak with these items to make it easier. You can easily lift your dog from its abdomen rather than its collar or neck region because the life jacket has a handle attached to the back. If you choose to use the pet-loading platform, your canine companion should be able to climb back into your kayak independently. At the same time, you concentrate on maintaining your kayak's stability.

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket, Neoprene Dog Life Vest Swimming

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket, Neoprene Dog Life Vest Swimming

Once your dog has learned how to use the kayak, this will unquestionably be the easiest way to get them back into the kayak, even though it may involve some training upfront.

In addition, when you and your dog go kayaking together, we strongly advise always ensuring that your dog wears a life jacket. It pains us to tell you, but you never know what unknown hurdles or unexpected occurrences may lead the two of you to swim to safety.

If this does occur, you can calmly rest in the knowledge that your dog will have the additional buoyancy they require to swim until you can get the two of you back into your kayak. We also recommend that you check into some of the best life vests available for human usage in kayaks.

Kayaking With Dogs, Choosing The Best Dog Kayak

Kayaking with your furry friend can be a fun experience. However, having the right equipment and accessories ensures your dog is safe and comfortable while kayaking. A dog kayak accessory is one of your most essential accessories. This can include a kayak with a dog seat, a kayak sidecar for your dog, or a kayak dog accessory that provides additional support and comfort for your furry friend.

Consider a DIY sit-on-top kayak if you want a more customized solution. This allows you to modify your kayak to meet your needs, including adding a dog seat or a kayak sidecar. Another option is to install canoe stabilizers or outriggers, which can provide additional stability and support for your kayak. A kayak outrigger platform is an excellent option for a simple and effective solution.

When choosing the best dogs for kayaking, it's essential to consider your furry friend's size, weight, and energy level. Some breeds, such as retrievers and other sporting dogs, are naturally suited to kayaking and will enjoy the experience. However, ensuring your dog is comfortable and safe while kayaking is essential.

Consider a DIY front-seat dog platform if you're looking for a more affordable solution. This allows you to create a custom platform for your dog that's both comfortable and secure. Another option is a dog training platform, DIY, which can help you train your dog for kayaking and prepare them for the experience.

In conclusion, there are many options for those who want to kayak with their furry friend. Whether you're looking for a kayak with a dog seat, a kayak sidecar, or a custom solution, there's a perfect solution. By modifying your kayak for your dog, you can ensure that you and your furry friend have a fun and enjoyable kayaking experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best place for a dog to sit in a kayak?

Some dogs may be sitting or lying in the well between your feet, and they can occupy the second seat in a kayak designed for two people. A dog can also sit or lie on top of the kayak if there is another passenger.

What is the best way to kayak with my dog?

When your dog is on dry land, teach him how to get into the kayak. Hold the kayak still so it doesn't rock, or better yet, prop it up, so it doesn't tip over. With your dog seated in the kayak, command your dog to 'get in' the kayak. Treat your dog when he jumps into the kayak.

Can you take a dog kayaking?

In contrast to a motorboat or canoe, you can't simply put your dog in the boat and go. Is that to say you can't take your dog out on the water? No, of course not. Your dog can learn to love the kayak and be a safe passenger with some patience and simple acclimatization.

How safe are inflatable kayaks for dogs?

Yes, it is. Inflatable kayaks are usually built to last a lifetime; despite dogs' claws and paws, they can handle them.