Have you been thinking about taking your pup paddle boarding? Awesome! Taking your dog paddle boarding can be an incredible experience for both you and your pet. It gets them outside, they get to have an absolute blast on the water, and you get to spend quality time with your best furry friend in the world. If you haven’t taken your pup paddle boarding or introduced them to your inflatable SUP board yet, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s all about balancing fun and safety. If you already love bringing your dog along for adventures on the water, consider these tips a refresher course. In any case, when it comes to combining pets and paddle boards, always make safety your top priority.
1. Take Things One Step at a Time
If your pup is new to paddle boarding or the water in general, take things slow. They may be unsure about the water and uncertain about riding on an inflatable SUP board. To get them started, see how they react to the water. Keep the inflatable SUP board on the backburner for now. Some dogs won’t go near the shoreline, and others need time to observe the water, other dogs, and people before they feel comfortable. And then there are those who are ready to dive straight into the deep end! Gauge your pup’s interest. They may need to see you go into the water first. Wade around in the shallows with them. In truth, it might take a few trips to your favorite paddle boarding spot to get your dog used to the water.
2. Patience is Key
As your pup discovers the water on their own, it can help make the transition onto the inflatable SUP board much easier. It might simply take a little time. First, let them get used to the water. Let them splash and play around near the shoreline. Then, let them explore a little farther out. You can encourage exploration and play by bringing some toys along. Just make sure they float! Alternatively, you can get your pup acclimated to the water and ready to paddle board by making it a group effort. If you and some friends have multiple dogs you want to introduce to paddle boarding, bring them along. Introducing a social aspect to the process can be beneficial in getting your pup ready for adventure!
3. Introduce Them to the Inflatable SUP Board
When you feel it’s time to bring the paddle board into the mix, patience remains the key to staying safe and having fun. Start at the shore or on a dock. Then get on the board and see if your pup will follow. They may need some encouragement, so keep some treats handy. Once they’re on the board, keep things slow and steady. Push off from the shore or the dock and let your pup find their balance. If they jump into the water, that’s OK! It may take a few tries before they get the hang of it. By staying near the shore in the shallow water, they can easily get back to dry land.
4. Gaining Traction
Another important aspect of the experience to keep in mind is traction. Sometimes, the surface of your paddle board lacks the traction your pup needs to feel confident while standing on the board. With that said, your inflatable SUP board may already come with traction pads adhered to the standing surface. Many high-quality boards do. However, if your paddle board doesn’t have a traction pad, your dog may take one step, decide it’s too slippery, and back off. It could even discourage them from getting back on. In short, traction equals confidence for your pup. And when your doggo is confident on the board, you’ve just overcome the biggest hurdle in introducing your pup to the paddle boarding lifestyle!
5. Grab the Safety Gear
Some dogs love being on the water but aren’t the strongest swimmers. Because of this, investing in safety gear for your pup is a must. After all, the right gear can give you peace of mind. For dogs new to the water and paddle boarding, a life vest for flotation can be a lifesaver. That way, if they do jump or fall into the water, they don’t have to expend too much energy. Investing in a leash can also be a good idea. Goggles, or doggles, can too (though these are only really necessary if your pup has eye trouble or you’re spending the day on saltwater). Whatever gear works best for your dog, it’s always a good idea to get them suited up when you venture into deeper waters. Plus, keeping their safety top of mind can help you prioritize safety for yourself as well.
6. Stay Hydrated and Energized
It’s crucial to keep you and your pup hydrated and energized while paddle boarding. If you can, take water and snacks along for the ride. You can find coolers made to strap to the back of just about any inflatable SUP. That way, you have water and snacks in the back, you in the middle, and your pup up front. Or keep everything in a waterproof bag over your shoulders. If you or your dog need water or a snack, you’ve got everything you need! Bringing water—whether on the board or while you’re waiting on shore—is essential, especially if you’re on saltwater. You definitely don’t want your pup drinking the salty stuff since it can make them sick.
7. Pace Yourself
Paddle boarding can be tiring! So is spending a day in the sun. One thing that’s easy to forget is that a dog’s skin is just as susceptible to the sun’s rays as your skin. Dogs with longer coats are better protected, but if your dog has a short coat, white fur, or pink skin, keep a close watch on them. To help keep them protected, spend plenty of time in the shade. Take extended breaks back on shore in the shade to help keep them cool and protected. These breaks are an excellent opportunity for you to rest as well. You don’t want to overdo it, especially while you’re getting your dog acclimated to being on an inflatable SUP board. After a good 30-minute break, you’ll be ready for another round of fun!
Paddle boarding season starts right now, and iROCKER is your partner on the water! They’re your number one source for all the paddle boarding gear you could possibly want. From inflatable paddle boards to hard boards and inflatable docks, iROCKER has something for everyone. Already have a SUP? Don’t worry! They also have plenty of gear and accessories to take your adventures to the next level. Get a cooler to strap to the back of your board and bring the party onto the lake! Want to turn your inflatable SUP into a kayak? iROCKER has the SUP to Kayak Conversion Kit for you. And don’t forget a waterproof Bluetooth speaker! It doesn’t matter if you’re a paddle boarding newbie or you’ve been getting out on the water for years, iROCKER helps keep you inspired for your next excursion.
Find everything you need to start your pup’s inflatable SUP board adventure at https://www.irockersup.com/