Who’s ready for some fun in the sun? As the days get warmer, splashing around in the water is a great way for you and your dog to stay active and cool. If your pup is a strong swimmer and loves the thrill of frolicking in the surf, why not broaden his or her aquatic horizons with a more challenging activity? From kayaking, to paddleboarding, to dock jumping, to boating, here are six water sports to try with your dog this summer.
If you’ve ever been kayaking, you know it’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature (not to mention, a fantastic upper body workout!) Treat your dog to the same experience by training him or her to ride along on your maritime adventure. Be sure to outfit your dog with a lifejacket, leash, and sunscreen, and don’t forget to bring water for both passengers. With a little patience on your end, your dog may come to love the relaxing motion of the waves.
Standup paddleboarding (or SUPing) is infinitely more fun with your canine best friend on board. “To introduce your dog to the board,” says Vetstreet, “start on land, whether you’re in your yard or at the beach.” Allow your dog to explore the board and offer CANIDAE® dog treats when he or she gets on the board. Though Labs and Golden Retrievers tend to be SUPing naturals, most any dog will catch on with practice.
If your dog is already used to swimming in waves, he or she might be ready to ride them on a surfboard. Like paddleboarding, it’s important to introduce your dog to a surfboard on grass or sand first, and be sure you’re using a soft top foam board so those little paws can get a good grip. When you think Fido is ready, start off in very shallow water to let him get used to balancing. Eventually, you’ll be able to paddle out to the big waves and watch your dog ride into shore!
Also known as dock diving, dock jumping is an event in which a dog run downs a dock and jumps into the water after a throw toy. There are countless videos on YouTube of this incredible demonstration of canine athleticism, and there’s even a competitive circuit of events for diehard participants. In a DockDogs competition, canines can compete in Big Air®, a long jump event, Speed Retrieve™, a timed event, and Extreme Vertical™, a high jump event.
If you spend most weekends on your boat, there’s no reason you can’t take your dog with you. You’ll likely find that Fido enjoys the fresh air just as much as you do, not to mention the exciting smells that come along with it. Just as with all water sports, be sure to outfit your dog with a lifejacket and sunscreen, and make sure to provide ample fresh water to discourage your pet from drinking from the lake or sea.
Before you and your dog set out to enjoy the water this summer, it’s crucial to brush up on basic safety tips. Whether you’re headed to your backyard pool or the open sea, we compiled everything you need to know in our article on, “Keep Your Dog Safe In and Around Water.”