7 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs
Stacy Reed
Author: Stacy Reed
Stacy is a freelance writer who has always shared her life with dogs, especially German Shepherds.
Published date: December 4, 2022
Updated date: January 18, 2024
This article was reviewed and fact checked If you have found any errors, please contact us!

7 Best Inflatable Kayaks for Dogs

Curious about the best inflatable kayak for dogs? What factors do you weigh when buying one? Are you eager to acclimate your dog to kayaking? 

If you relish outdoor adventures with your furry friend, an inflatable kayak designed with dogs in mind might be the perfect choice. 

The popularity of dog-friendly kayaks is on the rise, offering an excellent way to share aquatic experiences with your pet. However, before purchasing, consider crucial factors such as weight capacity, durability, and size to ensure a comfortable and safe ride for you and your dog.

 Make sure there’s ample space for your furry companion to move freely on the kayak of your choice.

To guide you through these queries and assist you in selecting the perfect kayak for your next water outing, we’ve curated a list of the top seven inflatable dog kayaks. 

This diverse compilation caters to various needs and budgets, increasing the likelihood of finding the ideal vessel for you and your pet.


Here’s a comprehensive review of the seven best inflatable kayaks for dogs: 

Best Overall: Lifetime Tandem

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 124″ by 36.2″

Weight: 60lbs

Weight capacity: 500lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: open sea, small lakes, big lakes, slow rivers 

The Lifetime Tandem is an excellent choice for tandem kayaking in any conditions, thanks to its robust polyethylene construction that provides UV protection and long-lasting durability. With a substantial weight capacity, it can easily accommodate even larger dogs, making it an ideal companion for fishing trips where nobody gets left behind.

This kayak is designed with versatility and offers space for three or two individuals and their canine companions. Its flat-bottom hull enhances stability, ensuring a secure paddling experience. The kayak features multiple straps, clips for convenient storage, and a watertight hatch to protect your gear and essentials.

While the Lifetime Tandem may pose a challenge for novices to maneuver, it becomes an ideal choice for those familiar with kayaking. If you have prior kayaking experience, this kayak is the perfect match for you and your four-legged friend to embark on memorable adventures.


  • Huge weight capacity
  • Incredible stability
  • Ample storage space
  • Highly durable design


  • Not the best pick for beginners

Runner-Up: Intex Explorer K2

Runner-Up: Intex Explorer K2

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 123″ by 36″

Weight: 35lbs

Weight capacity: 350 lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: small lakes and slow rivers

The Intex Explorer K2 stands out as an excellent choice for beginners entering the world of tandem kayaking. Boasting fully adjustable seats with inflatable backrests, this kayak ensures optimal comfort for you and your furry companion. 

With a generous weight capacity of 350 lbs, it accommodates dogs of various sizes, making it a versatile option.

Affordability is a crucial advantage of the Intex Explorer K2, particularly compared to other multi-rider kayaks on the market. 

While it may not be the top choice for larger water bodies and requires some time for inflation, it still earns its place as the most cost-effective kayak for dog enthusiasts.


  • Affordable
  • Fully adjustable inflatable seats
  • Decent capacity
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Not appropriate for huge water bodies
  • Not quite durable

Best for Value: Pelican Sentinel 100X EXO

Best for Value: Pelican Sentinel 100X EXO

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 120″ by 30″

Weight: 40lbs

Weight capacity: 300lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: small lakes, slow rivers 

The Pelican Sentinel 100X EXO offers an affordable and lightweight solution for kayaking enthusiasts. Featuring a padded and flat deck, this kayak ensures comfort during your water adventures. With an adjustable raised back seat and a detachable watertight case in the stern, it provides practicality for various needs.

Designed with simplicity, this open-deck kayak is particularly well-suited for beginners. Its accommodating nature extends to small and medium-sized dogs, making it an ideal choice for those exploring recreational kayaking with a spacious sit-on-top boat. 

Consider the Pelican Sentinel 100X EXO for an accessible and enjoyable kayaking experience.


  • Affordable
  • Open deck layout


  • Low-standard seat position

Best for Large Dogs: Crescent Crew

Best for Large Dogs: Crescent Crew

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 156″ by 35″

Weight: 79 lbs

Weight capacity: 600lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: slow rivers, big lakes, surf

The Crescent Crew brings together comfort, paddling excellence, and skilled craftsmanship to create a distinctive kayak. 

It’s light enough for solo paddling and spacious for a pet or kids. If you have a large dog, rest assured it will comfortably fit in this kayak. 

With a robust 600lbs weight capacity and an innovative hull design, you’re guaranteed a stable and enjoyable paddling experience in any situation.


  • Quite stable
  • Huge capacity
  • Adjustable foot tracks


  • Heavy
  • Difficult to load or offload

Best for Durability: Sea Eagle 385 ft

Best for Durability: Sea Eagle 385 ft

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 150″ by 36″

Weight: 44 lbs

Weight capacity: 635lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: open sea, big lakes, slow rivers  

If you’re in search of the most robust inflatable kayak, the Sea Eagle 385 ft deserves your attention. Crafted with crocodile skin material, its flooring and tubes are scratch-proof and non-slip. 

This kayak, designed as a fishing vessel, boasts substantial capacity and exceptional stability, making it an ideal choice for accommodating large and curious dogs.


  • Remarkable tracking performance for an inflatable kayak
  • Portable and easy to inflate
  • High durability
  • Sufficient standing room for fishing


  • Shallow average seating position
  • Raised sides may pose challenges when lifting larger dogs out of the water

Best on a Budget: FeelFree Juntos

Best on a Budget: FeelFree Juntos

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 134.4″ by 30.5″

Weight: 60.6lbs

Weight capacity: 397lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: small lakes and slow rivers

This spacious and comfortable sit-on-top kayak is purposefully designed to cater to both pets and children. The front jump seat is perfect for your dog, providing ample space for you to paddle effortlessly. Additionally, the Juntos offers generous storage space under the seat, ensuring you have room for your and your dog’s supplies.


  • Additional jump seat for a pet or kid
  • Stable
  • Enough storage
  • Molded handles


  • Quite slow

Best Hunting or Fishing Choice: NuCanoe Unlimited

Best Hunting or Fishing Choice: NuCanoe Unlimited

Quick Facts

Dimensions: 150 by 40″

Weight: 84lbs

Weight capacity: 650lbs

Cockpit type: Sit on top 

Best for: open sea, small lakes, big lakes, slow rivers 

The NuCanoe Unlimited stands out as a versatile hybrid kayak designed for both fishing and hunting, featuring an impressive carrying capacity of 650 pounds. 

This substantial weight limit ensures even the largest dogs can enjoy a comfortable ride. With a spacious open deck layout and ample storage, your dog can relax as you explore, making it an excellent choice for hunting excursions. 

True to its name, the NuCanoe Unlimited offers unrestricted paddling possibilities while ensuring comfort throughout your journey.


  • Huge capacity
  • Tandem or solo
  • Excellent stability


  • Restricted stern room
  • Non-adjustable seats
  • Heavy
dog beside a woman's foot

How To Choose a Kayak for Dogs: A Buyer’s Guide

Dogs often find water to be a calming and enjoyable environment, making kayaking an excellent bonding experience. Choosing the right kayak for this adventure can be challenging due to the numerous options available. 

Here, we’ll highlight key considerations when selecting a kayak for your dog.

Canine Kayaking Excitement

Kayaking with your dog can be a thrilling experience with some preparation. Teaching your dog to be comfortable near water requires effort but results in a rewarding adventure with your furry companion.

Paddleboard-Kayak Hybrids

Hybrid boats combining stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking features are popular. These low-profile, sit-on-top kayaks with a wide cockpit offer stability. While their flat decks resemble paddleboards, sitting in kayak mode is recommended for stability, especially when introducing your dog to the experience.

Tandem Kayaks

Tandem kayaks provide ample space, accommodating both a human and a canine companion. Some models can accommodate two persons and two dogs, making them ideal for larger breeds. Tandem inflatable kayaks are particularly suitable for big dogs.

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are a great choice for fair-weather kayakers. Offering convenient storage options and ease of transport, these kayaks are favored by dog owners. 

Their home storage capability helps pets acclimate to the kayak, reducing anxiety during kayaking. However, they may have limitations in windy or stormy conditions.

Thus, choosing the right kayak depends on your preferences, your dog’s size, and the type of kayaking adventures you plan to embark on together.


  •  Look for kayaks with sufficient side height to hold your dog securely.
  • High sides provide protection and reduce your dog’s risk of falling off.
  • While sit-on-top kayaks are an option, they may result in more water exposure. A sit-in kayak with a large, open cockpit is often better.

Weight Capacity

  • Choose a kayak that can support the combined weight of you and your dog.
  • Avoid two-person kayaks if you plan to bring your dog with a partner to prevent potential capsizing, especially if your dog gets overly excited.


  • Opt for a kayak with a low risk of capsizing.
  • Dogs’ excitement can lead to instability, making a broad-based kayak preferable.
  • A broad base enhances stability, preventing your dog from swaying and helping maintain overall balance.

Types of Kayaks for Dogs

person kayaking with dog

Kayaks for dogs should have ample room for the dog to sit or lie. 

While there are numerous brands available, all these dog-friendly kayaks fall under the following classifications:

  • Sit-in and Sit-on-top kayaks
  • Inflatable kayaks
  • Tandem kayaks
  • Recreational kayaks

Kayaks To Avoid When Kayaking With Dogs

The following kayaks are not suitable for kayaking with your dog:

Whitewater Kayaks:

  • Designed for navigating rapids, these kayaks are smaller and provide limited space for your pet.
  • Not recommended for kayaking with dogs due to their compact design, making them best suited for single users.

Sea Kayaks:

  • Narrow and pointed, sea kayaks are optimal for competitive paddling.
  • If your main goal is paddling with your dog and not competitive kayaking, consider sit-in or inflatable kayaks instead.

Choosing a Dog-Friendly Kayak

dog sitting on a kayaking boat
  • Ensure the kayak has enough space for both you and your dog to stand, sit, and lie down comfortably.
  • Consider factors like stability, weight capacity, and safety when selecting a kayak suitable for kayaking with your furry friend.

What Kind of Kayak Is Best for Paddling With Dogs?

The best kayak for paddling with dogs is dependent on various factors.

Are you looking for a budget-friendly option with stability, bigger capacity, durability, or storage?

Once you’ve narrowed your search to your specific wants and needs, you can find the kayak to deliver the best experience. 

Use this guide as a good starting point to find the best inflatable kayaks for dogs currently available.

Safety Considerations When Kayaking With Dogs

When kayaking with your dog, ensure you take all safety precautions, as there’s always a risk of capsizing.

To begin with, wear the appropriate gear, such as a life jacket.

Also, you’ll want to ensure that you are familiar with the waters.

If you or your dog are afraid of water, address this obstacle before heading to the lake or river waters.

Preferably, train your dog to swim and let him familiarize himself with the kayak you’ll use for your adventure.

As for kayak selection, choose one that can comfortably accommodate you and your dog.

If you’d like to paddle in rough ocean waters, use something other than a kayak suited for gentle waters.

Also, ensure that the kayak is in good condition before setting out.

Never paddle under the influence, and avoid exceeding 70% of the max weight capacity of your inflatable kayak. 

This reduces the risk of accidents that would have otherwise been avoidable occurring.

Kayak Fishing With Dogs

kayaking boat

Fishing kayaks designed for dogs are generally characterized by increased stability and width compared to other kayak variants. These kayaks are crafted to provide freedom of movement, allowing you to stand while fishing. They often boast a generous load capacity and a roomy deck. 

Additionally, there is typically ample storage space for your pet to feel at ease or explore. To enhance the experience, it’s beneficial for your dog to have basic training, ensuring a prompt response to your commands.

Can You Put a Dog in an Inflatable Kayak?

At first glance, it might seem obvious to choose a plastic kayak due to its puncture-resistant nature. However, inflatable kayaks shouldn’t be overlooked. 

These are not your typical pool loungers. Most inflatable kayaks are made from sturdy PVC designed for beaches and rocky shores. As long as your dog’s nails are trimmed, the risk of puncture is minimal. 

Inflatable kayaks are typically larger, more open, and offer greater stability than plastic kayaks. This is especially beneficial if you have a larger or more adventurous dog that enjoys exploring in the water.

Sit-on-Top vs. Sit-In Kayaks for Dogs

Most paddlers prefer sit-on-top kayaks when paddling with their dogs. The open deck design offers more space for your dog to move comfortably. Sit-on-top kayaks are usually wider and more stable. 

They also make it easier to get your dog back onboard if they go into the water, thanks to features like drain bungs for easy water drainage. 

Sit-in kayaks may have limited space, with your pet sharing the cockpit with you. Tandem kayaks, however, offer a separate cockpit for your dog, making them ideal for small or timid dogs that can snuggle and stay cozy. 

Ensure your sit-in kayak allows for easy evacuation in an emergency.

Kayaking With a Dog: Tandem vs. Solo Kayaks

Solo kayaks are designed for you and your gear. They often have an open deck or storage room and can sometimes accommodate a pet. Check the weight restriction and stay within 70% of the kayak’s capacity. 

For large dogs, consider tandem kayaks with ample capacity. Sit-on-top tandem kayaks can be paddled solo, and having a large dog in front can help with balance.

Top Tips for Getting Your Dog Used To Kayaking

dog in cap doing kayaking

Stay Safe While Kayaking with Your Dog:

1. Prepare Yourself:

   – Equip yourself with all necessary gear.

   – Ensure you and your dog have enough water for hot weather.

   – Consider sun protection for dogs with fair skin or short fur.

   – Dog goggles can protect their eyes from water and sun.

2. Carry Essential Equipment:

   – Bring your dog’s collar and leash, but don’t clip them to the kayak.

   – Avoid potential risks if the kayak capsizes.

3. Start on Dry Land:

   – Introduce your dog to the inflatable kayak on dry land.

   – Allow them to play around and climb up, rewarding with treats.

   – Teach them where to ride and how to relax in the kayak.

Taking these steps ensures a safer and more enjoyable kayaking experience with your furry friend.

Get Your Dog a Life Jacket

As you should don a life jacket regardless of your swimming ability, so should your dog.

Irrespective of your cautiousness, the weather might change abruptly, or a careless powerboat could create a hazardous wake in your path.

Even with the most steady kayak for dogs, there’s still the possibility of capsizing.

Optimize your dog’s safety by providing them with a life jacket.

Be Realistic About Your Dog’s Abilities

Not every dog is fit to be an adventure companion.

If your dog has shown little interest in or active fear of water, it might be less interested in kayaking.

However, a dog that has never been near water could be an excellent kayaker.

If your dog is well-trained, flexible, and socialized, it might feel comfortable kayaking.

Pick the Right Boat

Upon checking our kayak reviews, you’ve noticed recurring themes.

The finest kayaks for dogs are often spacious, sturdy, and have a large max weight capacity.

Additional features, such as whether your kayak has a cup holder, are mostly for your convenience and comfort, not your dog’s. 

The first element to enjoying a fun day in the waters with your furry friend is picking the correct kayak.

Start Slowly in the Water

After your dog becomes accustomed to the kayak on dry land, you may gradually introduce it to the water. 

If at any moment your pet companion appears overwhelmed, pace down and continue using rewards to train your dog how to act while kayaking.

The goal is to make them comfortable and accustomed to lying or sitting inside the kayak on shallow water before attempting a longer journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the FAQs on the best kayaks for dogs.

Can a dog go in an inflatable kayak?

Yes. Inflatable kayaks provide minimal safety risks and offer an excellent opportunity to bond with your dog. Train your dog to stay safe and calm throughout your kayaking excursion.

Can a dog fit in a one-person kayak?

Yes, most canines can fit in solo kayaks so long as the kayak’s cockpit or deck is big enough to accommodate both of you comfortably.

Do they make kayaks for dogs?

Yes, manufacturers are increasingly developing kayaks for dogs. 

These kayaks come with special features to accommodate the dog, and any necessary supplies while ensuring the dog doesn’t obstruct the paddler.


In conclusion, the selection of the best inflatable kayaks for dogs combines essential features such as stability, spaciousness, and durability. Whether you’re paddling solo or with a canine companion, these kayaks offer a versatile and enjoyable water adventure. 

From open deck designs to tandem options, each kayak on this list provides a safe and comfortable space for you and your furry friend to explore together.

Remember to prioritize safety measures, introduce your dog to the kayak on dry land, and ensure you have the necessary gear for a secure and memorable kayaking experience with your canine companion.

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