We’re going to make a couple of assumptions about you right now. You’re fairly outdoorsy, and you LOVE your dog. When you’re grabbing your keys to go out the door, chances are there are a pair of hopeful puppy-dog eyes looking your way. As dog owners and enthusiasts, the team at Finla are very keen to make it more accessible for you to paddleboard with your dog. We’ve put together a little bit of information to help your furry friend get his sea legs.
THE RIGHT BOARD
If you’re going to make this work, there are a few size-related issues to address. If you’re trying to get your Newfie onboard, you are going to have to consider larger, more accommodating models. For the most part, however, a board over 10ft long and 30 inches wide will work for your pup.
Firstly, your main consideration is the surface of the board. Will there be enough grip for your dog’s paws, both when he’s dry and when he’s drenched from a swim? Many boards will have the right kind of traction already, but don’t worry if not. You can buy traction pads online for this very reason, or even just a non-slip shower mat.
Secondly, we’d always recommend you pop your pup in a canine life jacket. They nearly always come with a handle, which means you can rest assured that should he get into a pickle, you can pluck him back onto the board.
You’re a dog parent, you’ll know a lot of this already, but just in case:
- Check how he is around water. If he bolts from the car straight for a salty sea plunge then you have a fairly good idea that he’ll be excited for this new adventure. Does your dog only do a bit of a sniff and a tentative paddle? Stay aware of his reactions, you want him to enjoy this too!
- Make sure his nails are trimmed. Quite apart from making him more comfortable, he won’t pierce the material and leave you both stranded at sea.
- Does your dog get cold easily? If he’s going to be out in the elements, quivering, you might try a layer underneath the life jacket. He’ll thank you for it!
- Try to keep it to one dog to start with, especially if they’re more hesitant.
- Take a little container of water. Dogs don’t necessarily understand that the great big water bowl you’re floating on isn’t for drinking!
INTRODUCE THE DOG
Familiarity is key, so let your dog have a good look around the paddleboard in advance. Maybe he’ll have a little sniff, a curious step onboard. Your pup just needs to establish that this strange object is friend, not foe. Take the board to the waters edge and have him do a little bit of practising. You might find that it’s second nature!
An easy way for your furry friend to think paddleboarding is his new favourite thing: plenty of snacks! Take a little bag of treats in your pack and reward all his paddleboarding progress. Give him plenty of fuss and encouragement, and make sure that he knows you’re having a great time too!
Have fun tackling this new challenge, and we look forward to seeing you gliding along with a blissed out pup soon!
Our boards come in two sizes, and both fit the requirements to be able to paddleboard with your dog. Check out our inflatable paddleboards by clicking here.