There are tons of summer fun activities we can do with our pups but if you’re going to hit the water, I highly recommend trying to stand up paddle with your pooch.
Build up to SUP
While many might take to the board like pro’s, you will have to put some time, effort and patience into getting your pup not only used to the board, but used to being on the board on water. Use treats and positive reinforcement to make certain they are comfortable.
Unlike the restrictions and lack of flat surfaces on a kayak or canoe, SUP boards allow your dog to balance while taking in the scenery – of course while you do all the work of paddling. Below is my friend Sabrina’s Aussie Moon, soaking in the scenery.
Total Body Workout
SUP offers a total body workout for both parties. Core muscles are needed for balance as well as leg muscles and stabilizers. While you don’t necessarily feel the aerobic workout unless you paddle hard – I can assure you you’re not just getting a tan.
There is of course going for the swim as well – SUP and swimming, especially for older dogs (and humans) can be great on the joints.
Great for the Mind and Soul
And besides the physical health benefits, SUP is great for building a better bond between you and your buddy. A greater level of trust is required that will allow your dog to trust that you wont dunk him (on purpose) and you need to trust that he wont jump off or dunk you.
While you’re out balancing and paddling away, you’re also paying pretty close attention to what your pup is doing and how they are liking it – what balanced dog doesn’t love a little more devoted attention? This is great mentally for you and them. Also, the tranquility of water, even if you are riding some waves is proven to be therapeutic.
So whether your town has a local pond or you’re headed to a vacation destination with your dog and some water, look into SUP with your pup. Its a fun, relaxing yet stimulating activity that you both can enjoy, even if your dog doesn’t like water. You just have to be extra careful with having them get on and off – my little girl doesn’t like to get her pretty feet wet.
Some tips from an experienced SUPer – thanks to Sabrina at @mauithegoldenretriever:
- Inflatable sups (isups) are excellent choices for dogs, nails don’t scratch them
- Make sure the board has a nice long deck pad for them to grip
- The bigger and thicker the board, the better stability you’ll have
- Never tie your dog to the board
And remember, knowing how to save your pet should they fall in is a great preventive measure to take before you take to the water with your pal. Life vests are always a must as well. They provide handles for easier on and off the board (or out of the water) action.
Do you have a story to share with us about your SUP with your pup experience? Share it with us.