Stand Up Paddleboarding. Everyone’s doing it, even the dogs.
Your dog wants to do just about everything with you; they love to go for hikes, ride shotgun in your car, spend the day on a boat…so why not paddleboarding?
Most dogs love the water, and paddleboarding is a perfect activity for almost all sizes and breeds. Here in Florida, it’s an experience you can share with your pup year-round. It can be done on almost any body of water, and it’s a great way to bond with your best friend.
Paddleboarding allows you to experience the water in a whole new way. You can explore islands and mangroves that you couldn’t get to by boat, play on deserted beaches,get up close to local wildlife, and have a great outdoor adventure!
Preparing to SUP with your pup:
If you haven’t tried paddleboarding yet, start by taking lessons or go on guided tours, and get comfortable on the water first. It’s also a great way to learn the local waterways. If it’s your pup’s first time, start slow, and let them get comfortable with the board before you put it in the water.
You can train your dog with simple commands to help prepare for this new experience. You want your dog to know when to:
- Get on and off the board
- Lie down
- Stay – especially when it sees a bird or a fish it wants to chase
- Wait – until you tell it to jump off the board.
Go at your dog’s pace, and don’t rush it. Reward them with lots of treats to reinforce good behavior. Introduce your dog to the board on dry land, and go over the commands until your dog responds consistently and you feel that they are ready. Then you can practice sitting, kneeling, standing, and paddling in shallow water. Once you’ve mastered that, you’ll be ready to get out on the water and have fun!
Cool SUP gear for your pup:
There are lots of cool accessories you can get for your pup that will help make your SUP experience safer and more enjoyable:
- Lifejacket – It’s always a good idea to outfit your dog with a lifejacket. It will help if your dog gets exhausted while swimming, and most lifejackets have a handle on the back that you can grab when you need to pull your dog back onto the board. Always have a lifejacket for yourself, as well, and a wetsuit for when conditions call for it.
- You can add a traction pad to your board so your pup won’t slip.
- Sunscreen – even dogs can get sunburned, especially if they have light colored fur or hair.
- Doggles: to protect your dog’s eyes and block UV rays.
- You can strap a GoPro camera harness on your SUP pup and see the trip from your dog’s point of view.
- With a little preparation you can be ready to get out on the water, enjoy an amazing adventure, and ride off into the sunset with your pup!