Is It Safe to Canoe With a Dog?

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and a dog lover, you may have considered taking your furry friend along on a canoe trip. However, you may be wondering if it’s safe to canoe with a dog. The answer is yes, but there are some precautions that need to be taken to ensure the safety of both you and your canine companion.

Preparation is Key

Before hitting the water with your dog, it’s important to make sure they are comfortable around water. Introducing your dog to water gradually and in a positive environment will help them feel more at ease. You can start by letting them play in shallow water while supervised and gradually move towards deeper water.

It’s also essential to ensure that your dog is wearing a properly fitted life jacket. Even if your furry friend is an excellent swimmer, unexpected situations can arise while on the water, making a life jacket crucial for their safety.

Canoe Safety Tips with Your Dog

When canoeing with your dog, it’s important to keep both yourself and your pet safe by following these tips:

1. Start Slowly

It’s best to begin with shorter canoe trips and gradually build up to longer ones as you and your dog become more comfortable on the water.

2. Choose Calm Waters

Avoid rough waters or areas with strong currents that could put you and your dog at risk.

3. Keep Your Dog Comfortable

Make sure there is enough space in the canoe for both you and your furry friend to sit comfortably without feeling cramped. Bring plenty of fresh water for them to drink, as well as their favorite treats or toys.

4. Be Mindful of Temperature

Dogs can overheat quickly, especially in hot weather conditions or direct sunlight. It’s important to take breaks often so that they can cool off.

5. Practice Good Etiquette

Be mindful of other boaters and wildlife in the area. Keep your dog on a leash while on land, and clean up after them.


Canoeing with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. With the right preparation, safety measures, and responsible behavior, you and your furry friend can make memories on the water that will last a lifetime.

Photo of author

Michael Allen