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It can be hard to find a friend joining your Paddle boarding trip regarding your busy schedules. So, why not take someone who always has time for you: your dog.
However, there are a few things you need to know before taking your dog on the water. The first obvious questions is: Does my dog enjoy water?
Most dogs can overcome their fear and slowing fall in love with water after a few swimming attempts. This is crucial to whether you should take your dog on a SUP trip. If your dog still hate water after multiple tries, you would need to reconsider the SUP buddy idea since it might be a nightmare for him or her. However, if you dog happens to love water, then he or she has the potential to be a great SUP buddy with some proper skill training.
1.How to start
First you need to find a proper paddleboard. There are 3 things you need toconsider for a paddle board with dogs:weight capacit,stability,traction.
Weight Capacity: Please add up your weight, your dog’s weight and all the other things you will bring with you on a SUP trip, such as paddle, waterproof bag, life Jacket and etc. Use the sum to determine how much weight capacity you need the board to handle.
Stability: Since dogs tend to move around and transfer its weight here and there, causing the paddler to lose balance, you will need a board with high stability for you to bring dogs on. How to find a stable board? The easiest way is to look at the paddleboard’s width. Under most circumstances, wider the board, more stable it is. 31.5 inches is wide enough for most purposes, however, you should consider an even wider board if you have a very large dog.
Traction: A paddleboard with anti-slip pad is must for paddling with a dog. Your dog needs to hold on to the pad when you encounter waves or sharp turns. Diamond or alligator patterned EVA pads are the two classic types for higher traction. It can save you a lot of trouble from fixing the scratches left by your dog. Please take your dog’s size into consideration when you are shopping for paddleboards with non-slip EVA pads.
There are various types of paddleboards on the market. Such as All round, Surfing, Touring, and Group paddleboards. All round inflatable paddleboard is the best choice for you as it performs well in all aspects: weight capacity, stability, and traction. It provides more flexibility for you to pick you desired activities.
You will need to have basic knowledge in mind before the SUP trip: How to get on the paddleboard, how to stand up and how to paddle. Make sure your dog is also ready by knowing how to jump on paddleboard, sit down and listen to your other instructions.
Life jacket: Even if you and your dog are both excellent swimmers, safety vest is a must for preventing accidents.
Waterproof bag: Take your essentials in water resistant bag, such as drinking water, food, garbage bag, cellphone.Don't forget your dog!
Take your paddleboard in the backyard and give your dog some time to get familiarized and comfortable. You can leave some snacks or toys on the board, encourage him or her to jump on it. Try to train your dog to sit on the area you prefer, if succeeded, express your encouragement verbally, and give him or her a prize. Try the training exercise multiple times until your dog seems comfortable with it.
Don’t forget to trim your dog’s nails before the trip, this will minimize the risk of scratching or ripping the paddleboard. Take your dog to shallow water first before actually going deep. Warm up using the tricks you did with him or her in the backyard to make sure your dog performs comfortably in water settings.
Start your trip when he or she gets used to the environment, I guarantee you will enjoy it so much more!