Stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) has exploded in popularity in recent years. The ease with which any beginner of any fitness level can enjoy the water has added to its appeal. One special phenomenon that has arisen with it is people who take their dogs with them when they SUP. If you are someone who wants to do this too, then safety for your pet is of the utmost concern. That is why it is essential to purchase a life jacket for your dog.
Top 10 Best Dog Life Jackets for SUP (2017)
Why You Should Take Your Dog Stand Up Paddleboarding
Dogs make great companions in general because of their ability to read and respond to our emotions. If you love to go stand up paddle boarding then there is a good chance that your dog will too. Almost all breeds love to swim so fear of the water shouldn’t be a big issue. The only exception to this is possibly bull dogs and pugs as they aren’t the best swimmers. The main reason to take your dog with you when you SUP is it will make it a more fun experience for you. It will also give you something enjoyable to do with your dog and another chance to bond with him on a regular basis.
How to Train Your Dog to SUP
Any breed of dog can be trained to stand up paddle board. Dogs of all sizes, weights and shapes can enjoy the fun of being on the water with their owners. The training itself is very basic and does not take a lot of time. As long as your dog knows the basic commands of “sit,” “stay” and “down” he will be able to have a safe trip out on the water. The important thing is introducing your dog to the paddle board on land first. This will help him to not be overwhelmed once the element of the water is introduced. You can stand on the paddle board and give your dog simple commands to encourage him to stay on it with you while rewarding him with treats. Once you’re ready to hit the water it only takes about an hour to train your dog to SUP.
Why Your Dog Should Wear a Life Jacket When You SUP
While all dogs can swim, and they usually do it better than humans, they still get tired. If you are going to be in rough waters the waves make it more difficult for your dog to keep his head above water. Just as we use life jackets to preserve the lives of people who fall overboard you want the same protection for your K9 companion. Even in a calm situation it is easier to pick your dog up and put him back on the paddle board if he has a life jacket than if he does not.
What to Look for in a Dog Life Vest
Buoyancy is obviously the most important factor in considering a dog pfd for paddle boarding. However different models place the buoyancy of the vest in different places. It is best to choose one that does not just put the flotation material under the belly. You will want a vest that provides buoyancy on all sides and especially in the neck area. This will ensure that your dog’s head stays above water even if he is injured.
You also want to make sure that the life vest you choose has at least one strong handle positioned above your dog’s shoulders. This will help greatly in picking your dog up and putting him back on your paddleboard. When it comes to life vests color isn’t just about style. Make sure you choose a bright color in order to make your dog more visible to boaters and jet skiers. You may even want to purchase one with reflective material for extra visibility.
How to Get the Right Size Life Jacket for Your Dog
Sizes like “small,” “medium” and “large” vary from brand to brand. In order to get the best fit you need to shop using your dog’s exact measurements. You should use a tape measure to measure your dog’s chest, length, and neck. To measure your dog’s length measure from the neck to the base of the tail. To measure the chest, wrap the tape measure from the top of your dog’s shoulder blades to the largest part of his ribcage. To measure the neck, simply wrap the tape measure around the base of your dog’s neck. Once you have these three measurements you can match them to the size guidelines that are provided by the life vest manufacturer. Most of the top brands will say that a certain length or diameter of neck will be a certain size. If the brand you want to purchase does not offer sizes based on exact measurements, it is recommended that you find another brand. This will save you money and time having to send something back if it doesn’t fit properly.
Once you have purchased a life jacket for your dog put it on him and see how it fits. Make sure your dog can sit and lie down comfortably and that the jacket is not obstructing his ability to relieve himself. Also check to see if the life jacket is rubbing uncomfortably in any areas. Once you are satisfied that you have a great fit you will be ready to paddleboard with your dog safely.
By following these guidelines you will ensure that you properly train your dog to stand up paddleboard with you. You also help ensure the safety of your dog by making sure that he has a quality life jacket to keep him afloat should anything go wrong. The next time you SUP with your dog this will give you the peace of mind that you can both enjoy your outing to the fullest.