I am thinking of finally buying myself my own kayak after renting them form so long. With plans to add a puppy to the family sometime soon, I'm wondering: do people have suggestions of kayaks that are great for one person plus one four legged friend? An inflatable kayak would probably be most practical as I'm in an apartment and storing a 10ft boat would be difficult here. Are those normally safe for dogs to ride on considering their nails? 

The dog will most likely be medium sized (~under 65lbs when full grown).   

Thanks in advance for any advice, adventure on!

I have seen some ‘sit on top’ kayaks without the hold that look like they have space for a dog in front of the paddler.  That doesn’t help the storage issue.  I’ve only seen one inflatable and it seemed ok except for wind/chop, which you wouldn’t want to tackle with a dog.  Good luck!

I've kayaked with my small and medium sized dogs (15lbs and 30lbs) in a 14ft tandem kayak. I'd say the hardest thing is keeping them still with all the activity going on around you. Granted I am not in an inflatable kayak but I noticed their nails really dig into the kayak for support (it's kind of like dogs in cars, they don't like the movement and move around in the backseat from window to window). I would recommend keeping their nails short but also if it's inflatable, keeping them relaxed because that excitement might get a hole in the kayak. You could also put a towel down where the dog might have their paws on. I hope this helps!

I absolutely love my Feelfree Moken 10 sit-on-top! My dog is 40lbs and there's plenty of room for her on the front. She loves to lie down and watch for ducks and geese as we paddle. Sit-on-top kayaks are great because they're super stable even if your pup tends to move around a bunch. I know that info doesn't help you with your space issue, but in the long run, I feel like it's worth the hassle. I'm not sure how an inflatable would do. I've got a friend with one and she takes her dog out with no problems, but her dog is only 10lbs. I'm not sure it would hold up to a larger dog.


I have two kayaks, a SOT as well as a conventional sit in. I have installed a removeable section of carpet that my partner in crime can have somewhere to relax and have a grip to keep the unwanted swim from occurring. 

He still prefers a canoe

I have a sit on top kayak with a 50# doodle.  He is 2 years old and far too much energy to keep us reasonable stable.  I have the benefit of being in a house and planning to find a canoe this spring.  My sit on top had a section behind the seat that I thought would be perfect for him.  Bought when he was a puppy.  It didnt work.  He likes his people too much.  Especially when they are nervous....make sure they can be in front of you.  And yes, the blow up is tougher in wake and wind, but find one that is as rigid as possible when inflated, the reduce drag.  Higher quality usually does this.

@ThePlaidShirt can we see a picture of the poodle in the kayak?!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


  We have kayak'd with our dogs for years.  If you are just taking your pup for a ride, then an inflatable may work, although you will want some sort of liner between their claws and your boat.  Our dogs get in and out of our boat at will and will swim boat to boat 'to check on all of us'.  A good life jacket with handle is necessary so we can assist them getting back in the boat in open water.  We actually taught our dogs to stay with us when hiking by working with them while running the shoreline and swimming between boats.  We use open recreation kayays (Prodigy, and a Wilderness tandem with seat removed, for our 95 lb labradoodle), which seem roomy and sturdy enough for the dogs and us.  We plan on kayak camping, so play time in the boats is important to teach the dogs what is safe and acceptable behavior.  Hope this helps..