Paddle Boarding with Pets: Tips and Tricks for Bringing Your Furry Friend Along
Need some company while stand up paddle boarding? Try bringing your furry friend with you.
Stand up paddle boarding is a popular water sport that many people enjoy, but did you know that your furry friend can also join in on the fun? Paddle boarding with pets can be a fantastic bonding experience, as well as a great way to introduce your dog to a new outdoor activity. In this article, we will discuss some helpful tips and tricks for successfully paddle boarding with your pets, as well as some essential gear you'll need to make the experience safe and enjoyable.
Choosing the Right Stand up Paddle Board
When planning to take your pet paddle boarding, it's essential to choose the right board for both you and your furry friend. Inflatable paddle boards (SUPs) are a popular choice for pet owners, as they provide a more stable and comfortable surface for pets to stand or sit on 1. Hard paddle boards can also work, but you may want to consider adding a deck pad for additional grip and comfort.
Introducing Your Pet to Paddle Boarding
Start on Dry Land
Before hitting the water, it's essential to introduce your pet to the paddle board on dry land. This helps them get comfortable with the board and its feel 2. Allow your pet to explore the board, sniff it, and walk around it. Encourage them to stand or sit on the board while you gently rock it, simulating the motion they'll experience on the water.
Gradually Progress to Shallow Water
Once your pet is comfortable on the board on dry land, you can move to shallow water 3. Start by having your pet on the board while you stand in the water, holding the board steady. Gradually move into deeper water, ensuring your pet remains comfortable and confident. It's important to take your time and not rush the process.
Paddle Boarding Techniques with Pets
Maintain Balance and Stability
When paddle boarding with pets, maintaining balance and stability is crucial. Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent 4. Keep your core muscles engaged and maintain a low center of gravity to help keep the board steady. Your pet should also be positioned near the board's center point, allowing for better balance.
Paddle Technique and Strokes
Using proper paddle technique and strokes is essential when paddle boarding with your pet. Hold the paddle with both hands, one on the T grip and the other halfway down the shaft 5. To paddle forward, reach forward with the blade, submerge it into the water, and pull back towards your feet. Practice different paddle strokes, such as the forward stroke, sweep stroke, and reverse stroke, to maneuver the board efficiently and safely with your pet on board.
Essential Gear for Paddle Boarding with Pets
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
Both you and your pet should wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while paddle boarding 6 Ensure the PFD fits your pet securely and comfortably, allowing them to swim and move freely.
Paddle Board Leash
A paddle board leash is an essential piece of equipment when paddle boarding with your pet 7. It keeps you connected to your board in case you fall off, ensuring that you can easily get back on without losing your board. Your pet should also be connected to the board with a leash, preferably one that is designed for use in water.
Protective Gear for Your Pet
To ensure your pet's comfort and safety while paddle boarding, consider investing in protective gear, such as a life jacket, paw protection, and UV protection 8. This will help keep your pet safe and comfortable, especially during longer paddle boarding sessions or when paddling in rougher waters.
Additional Tips for Paddle Boarding with Pets
Know Your Pet's Limits
Just like humans, pets have their limits when it comes to physical activity. Be mindful of your pet's energy levels, and don't push them too hard 9. Ensure they have access to fresh water and shade, and take breaks as needed to prevent overheating or exhaustion.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
When paddle boarding with your pet, it's essential to be prepared for the unexpected. Bring a small first aid kit for both you and your pet, as well as a dry bag to store any valuables or electronics 10. Additionally, be prepared to adjust your plans or route if your pet becomes uncomfortable or anxious.
Respect Wildlife and Marine Life
Paddle boarding with your pet is a great way to explore nature, but it's essential to respect the environment and any wildlife you may encounter 11. Keep your pet on a leash and under control, and be mindful of local regulations and guidelines for interacting with marine life.
Paddle boarding with pets can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By taking the time to prepare, using proper paddle boarding techniques, and investing in essential gear, you can create lasting memories on the water with your pet.