2 min read
Many packrafters want to share their outdoor interests with their four-legged friend. Here we have gathered our best tips and advice based on the experiences of our ambassadors and customers when you want to bring your dog into the packraft
1. SPEND TIME ON HABITING
To avoid unpleasant situations, it is important to spend time getting your dog to get used to the packraft. Although the packraft is a stable craft, the movable floor will be unfamiliar to a dog. Feel free to start on land before you move out on the water, practice commands, and train your dog to thrive in the packraft.
2. GET A PFD FOR DOGS
Most dog owners automatically believe that their dog can swim. This is mostly true, but there can always be situations where a life jacket will be lifesaving for the dog. Therefore, a life jacket should always be put on the dog.
If you still choose not to use a life jacket, the harness should be used. It will be much easier to lift the dog ashore or on board the boat again if it should be unfortunate to fall out.
3. WHERE SHOULD THE DOG SIT?
There are several options where the dog should sit in a packraft. The most common location is in the bow. If you have a spraydeck, it is possible to open in front so that you prevent water splashes on you when you are paddling while the dog gets fresh air and the opportunity to enjoy the view.
In smaller boats, it is not uncommon to place the dog on top of the spraydeck. However, the spraydeck is not as robust as the tubes and the floor, and the probability of tears is greater.
4. ADJUST A SLEEPING PAD
The thin packraft floor does not isolate very well against the cold water on the other side. Therefore, adapt a foam sleeping pad to facilitate a more comfortable space for the dog (This trick could also be used for small kids).
5. PROVIDE ENOUGH SPACE
For the dog to find peace in the boat, it is important to have enough space. If you are going to bring a dog and equipment, it is important to find the right model for your use. Recommended packrafts for use with dogs are:
- Viking and Viking Light for smaller dogs (or smaller people 😉)
6. TAKE BREAKS!
Make sure to take regular breaks to let the dog go ashore, pee and walk off the "sea legs". Maybe the dog's next stage should be on land along the river you paddle?
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