Summer is finally here! This means you need to get outside and enjoy the sunshine with your dog! Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a fun sport and if your dog enjoys the water, it could mean a great time for both of you!
But don’t head to the water quite yet! First, make sure you have these items:
It is highly recommended that both you and your dog wear a life vest when on the board. If your pet falls into the water, a handle on the vest can be very helpful to get him/her safely back on the board. The vest should fit comfortably and securely without restricting your pet’s movement.
Note: A leash is NOT recommended on the board because if your dog falls/jumps in the water he/she or you could get tangled in the leash and this could be dangerous to both your dog and you.
In the sunshine, if you have a light-colored pet, they could get sunburn. It is best to apply a pet-safe sunscreen especially to the face and ears if you are going to be out for an extended amount of time.
Collapsible Bowl and Water
Prevent dehydration by bringing fresh water for your dog and a collapsible bowl.
You’re still not quite ready to jump in! Before you can hit the water, it is important to train your dog with the board on land. Here’s how!
- First and foremost, your dog must be obedient and not easily distracted for SUP to be a fun and enjoyable activity.
- To get started, place your board on the ground in your backyard and introduce your dog to the board. Make it a positive experience by placing treats on the board so that your pup will know the board is a safe place to stand and get a treat.
- Once your dog is comfortable with standing on the board and getting a treat, start working with him/her to sit on the board.
- Next, stand on the board and have your dog sit or lie down while you are on the board together.
5. Now it’s time to head to the beach but don’t get in the water yet! Pick an area near the water that’s calm and has as few distractions as possible. Practice your commands with your dog. Try getting on the board, sitting, and getting a treat all while on the ground next to the water.
6. Eventually, work up to getting in the water but stay close to the shore. Expect some tumbles in the water as you and your dog get used to balancing on the board. If you are having a difficult time balancing, start on your knees until you are more comfortable! Most importantly, pay attention to your dog. If he/she appears stressed, pack up for the day. Remember, you want to make it a positive experience!
We hope these tips help as you plan paddle boarding adventures with your dog. Stay safe and have fun!