Best Paddle Board with Dog

Looking for the best paddle board with dog? If you're a dog lover who loves water sports, paddle boarding with your furry friend can be a thrilling experience. If you're in the market for the best paddle board to share this adventure with your pet, you've come to the right place.

There are a huge range of paddle boards available, but it’s important to consider several factors when choosing the best paddle boards for dogs. Paddle boarding promises to present a fun-filled splashy ride, but optimizing for stability, durability, and space can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for you both.

**Be sure to read to the end to learn the 5 most important things to do when introducing your dog to paddle boarding.**

woman-paddling-with-dog-lake-tahoe-silhouettePaddle boarding with dog on Lake Tahoe

The 5 most important features to look for if you plan to paddle with your dog

Size and Weight Capacity
Perhaps the most important factor when considering a paddle board for you and your dog is its size and weight capacity. The board needs to be big enough and sturdy enough to safely accommodate both you and your dog. A wider, longer board is typically more stable, which is particularly important when paddleboarding with a pet.

Dogs have sharp claws that can easily damage a regular board. You'll want a paddle board that's made from durable, dog-friendly material that can withstand those potential claw marks. Inflatable paddle boards are often a good choice because they offer good durability and are also soft for your dog's paws.

When paddling with a dog, a stable board is essential. An unstable paddle board will be hard to manage and could make the experience stressful and unsafe for both you and your dog. Boards with a good width and thickness tend to offer better stability.

Traction Pad
A board with a good traction pad will make it easier for your dog to stay put and not slip into the water. Look for a paddle board that has a large, soft, and grippy pad surface.

Extra Features
Look for convenient extra features in a paddle board that you may benefit from when paddleboarding with your dog. These could include attachments for securing a dog leash, bungee cords to store belongings, and a folding chair for better board control if water or wind conditions change. An inbuilt handle is also a plus, allowing you to easily carry the board around.

Here we are paddle boarding with a couple of our dogs.  As you can see from the video they love the water and they love to paddle board!

Delving into the 5 best paddle board with dog features more deeply

Let me give you a deeper insight into why these five factors are important when choosing the best paddle board with dog.

Size and Weight Capacity

Your paddleboard needs to be large and sturdy enough to accommodate both you and your pet. Depending on the size and weight of your dog, you might need to look into larger boards. For example, if you have a larger dog breed like a German Shepherd, you'll need a board with a higher weight capacity, and enough surface area for your dog to sit or stand comfortably without unbalancing the board.

For dogs that are less than 20 pounds, you can typically take them on just about any standard 10-foot by 31-inch paddle board. The limiting factor is typically not the capacity of the board as much as it is your comfort with something moving on your board and shifting the weight a little. With this size board there will be plenty of room for both you and your dog.

But what if you have a larger dog or like to feel more stable?

We would recommend you use a board that is six inches thick, 12-feet long and at least 33 inches wide for any dog that weighs 50-100 pounds. If you have a Great Dane or a dog over 100 pounds, we recommend you consider one of the paddle boards that are generally used for fishing since they are even wider, typically around 35 inches wide. The Aqua Marina Drift Fishing paddle board would be perfect for a well trained 100+ pound dog.  So would the Aqua Marina Super Trip Family inflatable paddle board (pictured below) which is a whopping 14-feet long and 34-inches wide. .

These are the best guidelines based on our experience with our dogs and paddling with friends and their dogs. Do check the weight capacity as well as there are boards designed to carry more and less weight. If you have a big dog, the ROC Inflatable Stand Up Paddle board has a maximum capacity of 275-300 lbs. and affords ample room, even for larger breeds like Labradors or Golden Retrievers.  Bottom line size and weight capacity matter when considering the best paddle board with dog.


The material and workmanship of the paddleboard play significant roles in its durability. Dogs can inadvertently scratch and damage the board with their claws. We have never had a dog pop a board with its claws. When a large dog scratchs the board it only results in cosmetic damage. We would never leave a dog alone with a paddle board where they could chew it or dig at it for an extended period of time, of course, and neither should you. Always supervise your dog around a paddle board.

When you are looking for the best paddle board with dog, especially a larger dog or active medium sized dog, look for a board made from military-grade PVC material, for instance, the iROCKER Cruiser Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, can withstand the potential claw marks and lasts longer, making it worth the investment. Made with quad-layer PVC, it promises optimal durability even when facing a dog’s nails going for a scratch! We have a friend that has a very active Border Collie that has an iROCKER. They have been paddling all over the place for the past two years and their board still looks brand new because they made durability a priority when they were picking out the best paddle board with dog.

Durability promises longevity. Going for a durable board ensures your pet's claw won't damage it.


A wobbly board can make your dog nervous and may hinder them from enjoying the experience. It can also be dangerous as it increases the risk of tipping over. Wide and thick boards, like the Atoll 11'0" Foot Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board, offer better stability. This particular board is 32 inches wide and 6 inches thick, providing a stable and balanced platform, even with the extra movement and weight of your dog.

When it comes to stability, it's crucial. The best paddle board with dog has to be stable enough so that they are not constantly falling off. The motion of water can make your dog feel uneasy if the paddleboard is unstable. Seating area size is another critical factor. You don't want your pet to feel crowded or uneasy, and there should be sufficient space to accommodate both you and the dog in a comfortable setting.

We have small dogs that weigh around 20 pounds and we will often take more than one out paddle boarding with us. We love using our 12-foot long by 33-inches wide Aqua Marina paddle boards as they are super stable and we feel comfortable paddling on them with two dogs even when the water is choppy or there are small 1-2 foot waves. While we are a bit lazier are prefer paddling in our reclining stadium seats where we are super comfortable and stable regardless of what else is on the paddle board, the kids will often paddle standing up with two dogs in fairly rough water.

Traction Pad

Our top 5 best paddle board with dog list would not be complete without listing traction. A paddleboard with a great traction pad helps your dog to stand or sit steadily without slipping off.

When boards are wet, they can get a bit slippery for dogs, especially since they aren’t as good at anticipating how the board will move over a wave or when you run it into another board or beach it on the bank. It is for this reason, we prefer using an inflatable paddle board when we are out with our dogs. Not only is it softer and more comfortable for them, but inflatable boards have better traction.

When mesmerized by the water and what they see under the water, our experienced dogs will often fall in for almost no reason, especially when they are on the very front of the paddle board where there is no traction pad. Older dogs, in particular really appreciate a large, soft traction pad for them to sit and lay down on.  We like to sit back and relax while we are out paddling all day, so we can understand why our dog would like to be comfortable too!  

An example of a board that comes with large soft pads is the 'ROC Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board', with a non-slip deck pad covering much of the board's surface, providing secure and comfortable seating for your dog.

Another board worth mentioning here is the Atoll 11'0" Foot Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board which is known for its comfort, providing traction pads for extra grip and security and it is spacious enough to attach a folding chair or kayak chair for longer voyages or if you just plain prefer sitting down like Julie does on most days.

Extra Features

Extra features of a paddleboard offer convenience and safety to you and your dog. Boards like the 'SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board' offer many great features such as D-ring clips for securing your dog's leash or a dog life jacket, a bungee-corded storage area, and more. There's also a handle in the middle, making it easier for you to carry the board or to hold onto when in the water. We especially like extra D-rings for securing the folding seats we use for paddle boarding.

Julie typically does not put a life jacket on Silli, our experienced paddle boarding Border Terrier when she is paddling while sitting down in her folding chair. That’s because on her 12-foot long Aqua Marina paddle board she is super stable and with Silli wearing her harness clipped onto the board with the bungee leash (read about the setup here), Julie just reaches down, grabs the leash and reels 20-pound Silli back in like a fish when she goes off the side. If Julie were standing and the water was very cold, then Silli would wear her life jacket since she might be in the water for a minute or so while Julie stowed her paddle and knelt to grab the leash.

These features add convenience, comfort and security to your paddleboarding experience which is why they made our best paddle board with dog feature list.  They ensure you and your furry friend have a fun and safe adventure out on the water! After making an informed paddleboard choice and receiving the thumbs-up bark from your canine mate, you'll find it’s not just a sport but a fun way to bond and create beautiful memories.  Check out our paddle board accessories page for more details about super helpful safety and accessory information.

A few paddling experiences to consider with your dog

Now, let's talk about the possibilities for fun - and there are plenty!

One favorite story involves our friend’s Golden Retriever who would jump off the board to fetch floating sticks. Using the SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board, her owner could sit down and just paddle along, effortlessly matching his dog’s pace. At one point he was trying to train her to swim in front of the board and pull him along like a sled dog.

Paddle boarding with a dog is also perfect for exploring nature. Imagine stealthily gliding through serene waters, with your dog at your side, spying on ducks, and experiencing a different perspective on the world. Once, while we were paddle boarding with our dogs in Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming, we surprised a Moose while paddling up the stream that fed the reservoir!

If you're a fan of adventures, then paddle boarding with a dog is a must-try on the ocean. The thrill of the waves, the vastness of the sea, and the companionship of your four-legged friend can amp up the adrenaline rush like never before. Be careful to consider how your dog will react to wild life though as we had a friend with a husky that went nuts when the sea otters in Monterey Bay showed interest in it. It had a lot to say to those otters before jumping in and getting itself tangled in kelp. Another good reason to be sure your dog is wearing a life jacket and attached to your paddle board via a leash. The otters seemed to be laughing as much as the humans were!

For those seeking tranquility, paddle boarding on calm lakes can be a meditative escape. It also presents a lovely bonding opportunity for your pet, where you can both immerse yourselves in the quiet elegance of the lake. We love paddle boarding up rivers when the wind has died down and it is hard to tell where the water ends and the sky begins!

Armed with the right knowledge, a spirit for adventure, and a faithful companion, paddle boarding can become your next favorite water sport. So gear up, get on board, and embark on the journey of making incredible memories.

The 5 most important things to do when introducing your dog to paddle boarding.

Slow and Gradual Introduction
Never force your dog onto a paddle board. Start by allowing them to get comfortable with the board on dry land. Let them sniff around it and gradually introduce them to standing and sitting on it. Reward them with treats and praise for showing interest and courage. This process will help them associate the board with positive experiences.

Training and Safety Precautions
Teach your dog basic commands such as "sit", "stay" and "off". These commands can ensure they stay safe during the paddle boarding session. It's also very important that your dog is wearing a life jacket designed for dogs at all times. Even if they are strong swimmers, sudden fall-ins or strong currents may lead to threatening situations where a life jacket can be a game-changer.

Practice in Shallow Water
Before venturing into deeper waters, let your dog practice in shallow water. Let them get the feel of the movement of the board in the water. You can hold the board steady and let them climb on and off the board by themselves. This way, they can re-familiarize themselves with being on the paddle board while it's floating.

Make It Fun
Most dogs love playtime, so make their paddle boarding experience fun and enjoyable. Bring their favorite toy onto the board, play fetch in the water (if it’s safe and allowed), or let them jump off the board and swim back (only in shallow and calm water). This can make paddleboarding an exciting event that they look forward to.

Comfort Breaks
Regularly check up on your dog, making sure they are comfortable, hydrated, and not over-heated. Allowing for breaks, where they can get off the board, swim, and relieve themselves on dry land, can greatly enhance their overall enjoyment. Remember, every dog is unique, respect their limits. If they show signs of anxiety or discomfort, it might be best to wrap up and try again another day.

After making an informed paddleboard choice and receiving the thumbs-up bark from your canine mate, you'll find it’s not just a sport but a fun way to bond and create beautiful memories.

Some last pointers for the best paddle board with dog

So, whether it’s for the thrill of the ocean waves, the tranquility of lake paddling with a sit-down option, or just the need to stay active with your furry friend by your side, paddling with a dog has something for everyone.

Remember to be patient with your dog if he doesn’t immediately love being on the water. Some breeds are more reserved or less comfortable with water than others. With patience and training every dog can enjoy paddle boarding.

For some dogs, paddle boarding is about the endless splashing and swimming and you will need to train them to stay on the board. For others, the occasional topple into the water accompanied by hearty laughter from you to let them know it is OK and that the water is not a monster will result in the perfect end to a day with beautiful sunsets over the water, shared with your trusty furry friend.

To conclude, paddle boarding with your dog can be a truly rewarding and unforgettable experience. It is more than a leisure activity; it brings closer the friendship between you and your furry buddy, opening new avenues of adventure and fun-filled memories.

Selecting the "Best Paddle Board with Dog" comes down to considering multiple factors, including stability, durability, weight capacity, comfort, and space. But rest assured that the right selection can pave the way for pleasant adventures and abundant fun.

On that note, we hope this article has helped you gain clarity on choosing the best paddle board with dog and how to make it an amusing and safe experience for both of you. Soon enough, you'll discover that there's no joy quite like gliding through water, with your favorite paw mate by your side.

Happy paddling! We hope to see you out on the water!

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