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Home Community and Events Enjoy & Capture Memories at Dog-Friendly Paddle Boarding Events

Enjoy & Capture Memories at Dog-Friendly Paddle Boarding Events

by Dan Turner
Dan Turner

I’ve always believed that the best adventures are those shared with our furry friends. That’s why I jumped to participate in a community dog-friendly paddle boarding event.

It’s not just about the paddle boarding; it’s about connecting with fellow dog lovers and enjoying a day filled with laughter, barks, and splashes.

The excitement of seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes trying to balance on the board, some confidently standing beside their owners, while others are cautiously sitting, is truly a sight to behold. It’s a unique experience that strengthens the bond between dogs and their owners, fostering a sense of community among participants.

Choosing the Right Paddle Boarding Event

Finding the perfect dog-friendly paddle boarding event isn’t just about picking the first one that pops up in a quick online search. It’s about sifting through the details to ensure both you and your furry pal get the most out of the adventure. I’ve learned a couple of tricks over the years to choose the best events, ones that leave us both wagging our tails long after we’ve dried off.

Pay Attention to the Details

When I’m on the hunt for a paddle boarding event, the devil’s in the details. I keep an eye out for:

  • Location: Is it easily accessible for me and my pup? We prefer serene lakes over ocean settings, as they’re often calmer and friendlier for first-timers or nervous paddlers.
  • Event Size: Smaller events often mean more personal space on the water, which is great for dogs who might not enjoy the hustle and bustle of larger crowds.
  • Support on Offer: I look for events with plenty of staff and support kayaks. Not only does this ensure safety, but it also means help is at hand if my pooch decides he’s had enough and wants to return to dry land.
  • Facilities: Are there amenities like doggy water stations or shaded rest areas? A well-thought-out event prioritizes participant comfort, both human and canine.

Assessing the Community Aspect

One of the joys of these events is the community they foster. I’ve found some lifelong paddle buddies through these adventures. But, it’s important to gauge the community vibe:

  • Is it welcoming to all skill levels? I always look for events where beginners and pros alike can share laughs and tips.
  • What’s the dog-friendly policy? It might seem obvious, but confirming that the event truly welcomes dogs and makes accommodations for them is key. This includes looking for clear rules that ensure all pups are comfortable and safe.

Extra Perks to Look For

Some events go the extra mile, offering perks that make the day even more memorable. These can include:

  • Professional photographs of you and your dog on the water.
  • Goodie bags filled with treats and toys for your pooch.
  • Post-event activities like group dog walks or picnics.

Preparing Your Dog for the Adventure

Embarking on a paddleboarding journey with your furry friend can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s essential to make sure they’re prepared for the adventure ahead. Here’s how I ensure my pooch is ready to hit the water safely and enjoyably.

Familiarization is Key

First things first, getting your dog comfortable with the paddleboard on dry land is crucial. I start by allowing mine to sniff and explore the board at their own pace, treating it as a fun new toy rather than a scary new challenge.

  • Place the board in a familiar area at home
  • Encourage exploration with treats and positive reinforcement
  • Practice commands like “sit” and “stay” on the board

Safety First

Safety can’t be overstated when it comes to water activities. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, a life jacket is a must. Not only does it provide buoyancy, but the handle on the back is incredibly handy if you need to quickly lift your pup out of the water.

  • Invest in a well-fitted dog life jacket
  • Look for one with a sturdy handle
  • Ensure it doesn’t hinder your dog’s movement or comfort

Acclimating to Water

If your dog isn’t used to being around large bodies of water, gently acclimating them is key. I usually start with shallow water play and gradually increase the depth as they become more comfortable.

  • Begin in shallow, calm water
  • Slowly introduce the paddleboard into the equation
  • Keep initial sessions short and sweet

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice really does make perfect. Before venturing out into deeper waters, I ensure my dog and I have a solid routine down. This includes getting on and off the board smoothly and maintaining balance while on the water.

  • Practice mounting and dismounting from the shore
  • Start with short paddles to build confidence
  • Always reward with treats and praise for a job well done

Preparing your dog for a paddleboarding adventure is all about patience, safety, and comfort. By taking the time to ensure they’re well-versed in what to expect, you’re setting the stage for many enjoyable outings together on the water. With these steps, my dog and I have enjoyed countless hours of paddling, and I’m sure yours will too.

Essential Gear for Dog-Friendly Paddle Boarding

Participating in dog-friendly paddleboarding events isn’t just about showing up with your furry friend in tow. Here’s a rundown of the essential gear we’ll need.

First and foremost, a Stable Paddleboard is crucial. Stability is key for keeping both you and your dog safe and dry as much as possible. 

Next up, Life Jackets for both you and your buddy. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, a life jacket is non-negotiable for their safety. They come in various sizes to ensure a perfect fit, and bright colors increase visibility in the water.

Let’s talk about Traction Pads. You can add them to your existing board or purchase a board that already includes them. They give your dog a specific place to sit or stand and help prevent slipping.

A Leash (for the Paddleboard) is a must. Not your standard walking leash, but one specifically designed for paddleboarding. It ensures your board doesn’t drift away if you fall off. It’s a safety feature I wouldn’t go without.

A First Aid Kit tailored for dogs should be part of your gear. In case of any minor injuries, being prepared can make all the difference. Include vet-approved items suited for your dog’s needs.

Let’s not overlook Sun Protection. Yes, dogs can get sunburned too, especially those with short fur or light-colored noses. A pet-safe sunscreen can protect your furry friend, and a hat or visor for you to shield your eyes from the glare.

Safety Tips During the Event

Joining a dog-friendly paddleboarding event isn’t just about having a blast with your furry friend; it’s also about ensuring everyone stays safe on the water. Here’s the lowdown on keeping tails wagging safely from start to finish.

  • Familiarize them with the board on dry land
  • Practice commands they know well
  • Introduce water slowly if they’re not used to it

This prep work means when the big day comes, they’ll hop on the board like it’s their personal floaty throne.

Next, check the weather. Paddleboarding’s best on a calm, sunny day, but not too hot that you or your dog overheat. If the weather apps show anything stormy or if it’s blisteringly hot, it might be time to consider a rain check. Overcast with a light breeze? Perfect paddling weather.

Let’s talk gear. While I’ve mentioned the essentials before, it’s worth reiterating how vital a good life jacket is — for both of you. Sure, your dog might be a better swimmer than Michael Phelps, but in the unexpected choppy waters or currents, a life jacket is a must. 

Here’s a quick gear checklist:

  • Stable paddleboard
  • Life jackets (yes, plural)
  • Traction pads for secure footing
  • Paddleboarding leash
  • Water and snacks
  • Dog-first aid kit
  • Pet-safe sunscreen

Moving on, hydration is the name of the game. Bring a collapsible bowl for your dog so they can sip in style.

Finally, keep an eye on your dog’s body language. They might start off pumped, but as the day goes on, waves of tiredness can hit. Know when it’s time for a break. Look out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Whining or barking
  • Slowing down or lagging behind

Capturing Memorable Moments

When you’re out there on the water, paddleboarding with your furry friend, every moment feels special. But let’s talk about turning those special moments into permanent memories. I’ve learned a few tricks over the years to make sure I don’t miss out on capturing the joy and fun of these outings.

First off, Preparation is Key. Before hitting the water, I make sure my camera or phone is fully charged. There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog catch the perfect wave only to find out your camera’s dead. Waterproof cases or bags are a lifesaver, not just for protection, but also for the peace of mind they provide. I always have a floating wrist strap attached to my camera or phone because accidents happen, especially when you’re juggling a paddle, a pup, and your photographic ambitions!

Then, there’s the art of Capturing the Perfect Shot. Action shots are the heart and soul of dog-friendly paddleboarding events. To get those dynamic, mid-action moments:

  • I set my camera to burst mode. This way, it takes multiple photos in quick succession, increasing the chance of getting ‘that perfect shot’.
  • I play with different angles. Sometimes, the magic happens when I’m taking photos from a low angle, almost level with the water.
  • Patience is my best friend. Dogs will be dogs, and getting them to pose perfectly can be as challenging as convincing them that the paddleboard isn’t a giant chew toy.

But what makes these photos stand out isn’t just the action or the quality. Sometimes, the most memorable snapshots are the candid ones – those moments of genuine happiness, curiosity, and the serene tranquility of being out on the water together.

I encourage you to play around with different techniques and find what works best for you and your dog. After all, the goal isn’t just to document our adventures, but to enhance the whole experience of participating in dog-friendly paddleboarding events.


Embracing the waves with my furry friend has always been a highlight for me. The tips shared have not only made our adventures more memorable but also allowed me to capture those fleeting moments of joy and companionship. It’s all about being prepared and embracing the spontaneity of our paddleboarding escapades. So next time you’re out on the water, remember to enjoy every splash and smile. After all, it’s these shared experiences that deepen our bond with our four-legged pals and create lasting memories. Happy paddling!


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