Best Kayak for Dogs

Best Kayaks for Dogs Comparison Chart

Max Capacity
Seat Capacity
Ideal Dog Size
Bottom line
Best Overall
Best Single Kayak
Perception Hi Life 11
55 lbs
11 ft
34 inches
280 lbs
Sit on top
Small - Medium
A very stable and stylish kayak that’s great for taking kids and pets on the water.
Not recommended for large dogs
This is a versatile, durable, and stable kayak that can give you and your pet the best and most comfortable experience on the water.
Best for Big Dogs
Perception Rambler 13.5
78 lbs
13 ft 5 inches
34 inches
550 lbs
Sit on top
Small - Large
Offers stability, comfort, and the most space for two persons and their dog.
Big and heavy
If you’re looking for a kayak with plenty of space for you, your dog, another person, and all your gear, then this is a great choice.
Best Bang for the Buck
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
57 lbs
12 ft
34 inches
425 lbs
Sit on top
Small - Large
Supports tandem or solo paddling and is lighter than most tandem kayaks.
Paddles are not included
A great choice for an affordable hard-shell tandem kayak with plenty of space for an adult, a child, or a furry companion.
Best Inflatable Kayak
Driftsun Rover 220
28 lbs
12.6 ft
38 inches
600 lbs
Small - Large
Easy to carry, inflate, and store. Plus, it comes with complete accessories for kayaking.
Higher sides make it harder to lift big dogs from the water
This high-quality inflatable kayak offers ample space, high max capacity, and complete accessories at a reasonable price.
Perception Tribe 9.5
46 lbs
9 ft 5 inches
31.25 inches
300 lbs
Sit on top
Small - Medium
Solid construction and is lighter than most kayaks with an incredibly beautiful design to boot.
Not recommended for large dogs
A perfect choice if you want to go kayaking with your dog alone.

When it comes to kayaking and canoeing with dogs, one of the most important things you have to consider is the watercraft itself. See, your choice of kayak or canoe will determine whether you’ll have a great and memorable time with your furry friend or a nightmare. More importantly, it can affect your and your dog’s safety while in the water. 

However, with the many different kayak types, sizes, and styles available today, it can be difficult to choose which one to buy. So to help you out, we’ve made a guide on what to look for in a dog-friendly kayak. We have also rounded up the best kayaks for dogs, so you can go paddling with your pup whenever and wherever you like. 

How We Chose the Best Kayak for Dogs?

After hours of extensive research and comparing different types and models, we were able to put together a list of the top kayaks for dogs. We checked out several brands to see what was available in the market and shortlisted all those that we liked and those highly recommended by dog owners. 

To further cut down our list, we began comparing kayaks with one another. We looked at their features, value for money, durability, and quality. From there, we were able to narrow it down to the final 5 products you see below. 

So whichever kayak for dog you decide to go with, we guarantee that it can keep you and your furry friend safe and comfortable throughout your ride

Top 5 The Best Dog Kayaks

Why we love it: 

  • Very stable
  • Has a built-in cooler under the seat
  • Easy to get in and out of
  • Deck cushioning

What it is best for:

  • Small to medium breeds
  • Flat, slow-moving, and calm coastal water types
  • Kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding

The Perception Hi Life 11 is our top choice for the best kayak for dog. With a 34-inch width and 11-foot length, it offers great stability and enough room for your furry friend to move around. It’s also versatile as you can paddle it as an ordinary kayak or use it as a paddleboard. So you can sit and stand without worrying about tipping over. 

What’s great about this kayak is its unique swim deck platforms. The front and back decks have low sides, so it’s easier for your pet to get in and out while on the water. It even has hand grabs, giving you or a child easier access.

This is a great single kayak that’s easy to control and slightly more manageable to carry from one point to another. It also has a comfortable seat and a built-in cooler under it, which is perfect for drinks and snacks. Plus, it has deck cushioning throughout its floors, giving your pet a soft and grippy surface. 

On the downside, however, the Perception Hi Life 11 is not recommended for large breeds of dogs. But overall, with its versatility, stability, quality, and design, it is certainly a good kayak for dog. 


  • ZLighter than many single kayaks
  • ZBroad and large enough for 1 person and a dog
  • ZGrippy surface area
  • ZCan be paddled standing up or sitting down


  • QNot ideal for very large dogs

Why we love it: 

  • Large seating area
  • Additional seat for kids or dog
  • Easy to get in and out of
  • Multiple footrest options

What it is best for:

  • Small to large dogs
  • Lakes, ocean bays, light surf, and slow-moving rivers
  • Beginners and intermediate paddlers

For those with large dogs, the Perception Rambler 13.5 is a great choice. It’s a kayak with dog seat in the middle and a very spacious storage area at the rear for your gear. It also has a roomy seating design and handles a lot of weight. So you’re able to take everyone and everything with you.

This is a big and heavy kayak, so you will need help carrying it from your car to the water and vice versa. But because of its size and built, it can fit taller riders without feeling uncomfortable. It has multiple footrest options, making it capable of accommodating paddlers of all sizes. 

We also like this kayak’s stability and durability. This is a pretty solid watercraft with its impact, UV, and abrasion-resistant design. It’s steady on the water too and the molded-in seats are easy for anyone to get in and out of.


  • ZStable and sturdy
  • ZGreat for all skill levels
  • ZVery spacious
  • ZVery high max weight capacity


  • QBig and heavy

Why we love it: 

  • Great stability
  • Tracks very well
  • Comfortable seats
  • Very easy to get in and out of

What it is best for:

  • Small to large dogs
  • Solo, tandem, or tandem with a child or pet

Here’s one of the more affordable yet good kayaks for dogs in the market. The cheapest on our list, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two supports tandem or tandem paddling with a child or pet. Not only that, but since it offers 3 seating positions, you can also paddle it alone using the center configuration. 

Even with its longer length and wider width, this kayak is surprisingly lighter than many tandem kayaks. Sure, it will still take some work to load and unload on top of your car. But compared with other similar types of kayaks, this is surely easier to manage. 

Since the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a tandem kayak, it offers plenty of space for two people or 1 person with a dog and still has room for gear. It has comfortable seats and is very easy to get in and out of. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with paddles. But other than that, this is a versatile, stable, very durable, and affordable kayak that’s sure to give you and your pup a great time on the water. 


  • ZVersatile
  • ZGreat value for money
  • ZWell built with good balance
  • ZLighter than many tandem kayaks


  • QDoes not come with paddles

Why we love it: 

  • Very high max weight capacity
  • Plenty of space
  • Extremely sturdy
  • Comes with complete accessories

What it is best for:

  • Small to large dogs
  • Flat and rough water
  • Can handle class III and IV rapids

If you are looking for a lighter and more portable kayak for you and your furry friend, then look no further. The Driftsun Rover 220 is an inflatable kayak that’s good for dogs. It has a huge weight capacity of 600 lbs, so it can easily fit 2 adults and your pet with extra room to spare. 

This inflatable kayak is extremely sturdy with its reinforced double-layered PVC and high-pressure drop stitch floor. This makes it able to handle obstacles in rough waters without getting damaged or punctured. It’s very stable, too. You can take it on class III and IV rapids without worry. 

We also love that this kayak has a removable rear tracking skeg. You can quickly take it out on whitewater to eliminate obstruction or leave it on when you’re on flat water. If you’re with your dog, however, best to leave it on. This will help make the kayak track better. 

Another thing we like about the Driftsun Rover 220 is that it comes in a complete set. It includes paddles, seats, a hand pump, and everything you need to start kayaking with your dog. They’re even conveniently stored in a travel carry bag. 

On the other hand, one disadvantage of this kayak is its higher side walls, which can make it hard for your pup to go in and out while in the water. 


  • ZHigh-quality and durable
  • ZLight and easy to travel with
  • ZComes in a complete set
  • ZQuick to set up


  • QHigher side walls can make it hard for your dog to go in and out while swimming

Why we love it: 

  • Beautiful design
  • Great stability
  • Can accommodate riders of different sizes
  • Rugged and low maintenance

What it is best for:

  • Kayak good for dogs with small to medium built
  • Ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers or streams
  • Any skill level

Not a fan of big and heavy tandem kayaks? Well, the Perception Tribe 9.5 might just be perfect for you. Weighing 46 lbs, it is the lightest hard-shell kayak on our list. Sure, it’s still a challenge to carry from your car to the water and back. But it’s easier to handle than most. 

Now, even with its more compact design, this kayak offers ample space and weight capacity to hold a small to medium-sized pet. If you have a bigger dog, however, it is best to look for something bigger.

Other notable features of the Perception Tribe 9.5 is its adjustable seatback positioning that offers a more personalized fit and comfort, multiple footrest options to accommodate paddlers of all sizes, and a center hatch with a built-in bag and lid to store your essentials. As a bonus, it looks really cool as well. 

Overall, this is a good-looking, stable, and durable single kayak that goes great with your trusted furry friend. 


  • ZResistant to UV, impact, and abrasion
  • ZLarge front and rear open spaces
  • ZComfortable and well-balanced
  • ZCan accommodate taller riders


  • QNot recommended for large dogs

What to Look For When Buying Kayak for Dog ?

Here are the things you need to look out for when choosing what kayak for dogs to buy:

Type or Design 

There are many different types of kayaks in the market. The two main categories of kayaks are flatwater and whitewater. Then there are 5 types of flatwater kayaks and 4 types of whitewater kayaks. So it can be very confusing to know which one to get. 

But when it comes to kayaking with your dog, flatwater kayaks are the best. This is because they are designed for relatively calm water, which is better for your furry friend. You can use them in slow-moving rivers and stable lakes, ponds, harbors, and ocean inlets. 

For the design or type, sit-on-top is the best dog kayak. It’s basically an open vessel with no walled sides and an open cockpit. So it is easier to get in and out of, especially for your dog. It is wider than most types of kayaks, so it has good stability, too. 

Now, if you’re not ready to get a full-size kayak for you and your dog, you can also settle for inflatable kayaks. They are easier and more convenient to carry and travel with. Well-made inflatable kayaks also have good balance and are easy to maneuver. Plus, they’re not as prone to popping as you may think. Just make sure your dog’s nails are short.


When choosing a kayak for you and your dog, look for those on the wider side. Generally, the wider it is, the more stable it is on the water and the less likely it is to flip over. This also means that it will be safer for you both. As a guide, choose those with a width of 34 inches or wider.


You want to look for a kayak that has enough room for the two of you to sit comfortably. Usually, a tandem kayak or double kayak will do the trick. It can fit two people, or in this case, you and your dog easily. It also offers plenty of space for dogs to sit, stand, or lay down. 

On the other hand, paddling a large kayak on your own can be challenging. So if you’re not quite up to the task yet, then you may also try single-person kayaks. Some have enough surface space for your dog, especially if they’re not really all that big.  

Weight Capacity

Here’s another important factor to look out for when choosing good kayaks for dogs. You need something that can hold both of your weights plus all of your gear. If you have a rather large dog or you’re planning to go on the water with another person, then you’ll need a kayak with a higher max weight capacity. 

A good rule of thumb when it comes to weight capacity is that you should not go over 70% of the kayak’s maximum weight limit. This will give you the most stable ride. So if the weight limit is 500 pounds, try not to exceed 350 pounds. 


You should also consider a kayak’s durability before deciding to buy it. See, the more durable it is, the longer it can last – which also means the more value for money you’ll get. More importantly, the safer it will be for you and your pet. 

That said, look for dog-friendly kayaks that are made with very sturdy materials. Hard-shell kayaks hold up pretty well and they are exceptionally durable. But inflatable kayaks work great too if they’re made from strong materials. Higher-quality inflatable kayaks are usually made of polyurethane compounds and elastic fibers. They are also made in layers. This keeps them rock and dog-nail-proof. 

Surface Grip

You also want a kayak with foam or rubber cushioned floor or surface area. Without it, the surface will be too slippery and hard to grip, making it difficult for your dog to stay put. 

There are, however, deck pads and traction pads that you can buy online and install later on. If you have a dedicated spot on your watercraft, you can also try kayaking with dog seats. There is a wide variety of doggy kayak seats available in the market. 

Benefits of Kayaking with a Dog

If you’re tired of your usual walks and occasional hikes, kayaking is a great activity that you can try with your dog. It allows you both to enjoy the great outdoors and get some much-needed sun. Most of all, it’s a great way to bond and create new memories together. 

See, dogs are good companions when kayaking. According to the American Kennel Club, they offer comfort and they can ease your worries. Several studies also show that dogs can help alleviate stress and anxiety. 

Dogs also make you happier. A 2009 study claims that looking into your furry friend’s eyes can raise your oxytocin level or also known as the “love hormone.” All these go perfectly with kayaking, which is known to be a peaceful and meditative activity, depending on where and how you do it. Besides, your dog probably hates being left in your home. So why not just take them with you, right?

So are kayaks good for dogs? Well, yes, especially for those who love water. They can jump in and splash around while on a ride. This helps them cool down, especially on hot summer days. It’s also a good chance to stimulate their senses and have them try something new.

On top of that, kayaking can also improve your fitness, flexibility, and strength. According to Better Health, kayaking and canoeing can improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase your muscle strength from all the paddling, increase your torso and leg strength, and reduce the risk of wear and tear on your joints and tissues. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can my dog go in an inflatable kayak?

A: Yes, your dog can go in an inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks today are built to withstand sharp rocks. So they are more than capable of handling your pet’s paws and claws. This is because they are made with very sturdy materials. They are more durable than your usual toy and pool inflatables. 

Q: What type of kayak is best for dogs?

A: The best type of kayak for dogs is a sit-on-top kayak. These types of kayaks don’t have closed cockpits or vessels, which means they are easier for your dog to get in and out of. They are also usually wider than other types of kayaks. So they are more stable and have more room for you and your pet to ride comfortably. 

Q: Can a dog fit in a single kayak?

A: Yes, dogs can fit in a single kayak but not all. Some single kayaks have enough space for small and even medium-sized dogs with a single rider. However, if you have a large and heavy pup, best stick to a tandem kayak. 

Q: Will a dog pop an inflatable kayak? 

A: No, a dog will not pop an inflatable kayak – at least for higher-quality kayaks. This is because they are made from sturdy PVC materials, which are resistant to punctures and scratches. 

Q: Can a dog go in a kayak?

A: Yes, a dog can go in a kayak. Just make sure it’s a dog-friendly kayak. Meaning, it is stable, durable, easy to get in and out of, and has enough room for your pup to sit, stand, or lay down and relax on.