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Taking a furry, four-legged friend out on the water in a canoe is a great way to spend the day. The problem is that not all canoes are a great option for dogs and may not have the room needed or be as stable when on the water.
Finding and buying the best canoe for dogs is key for any dog owner who wants to take their friend with them when canoeing. This can be a little overwhelming when shopping, but knowing what to look for will make the search much easier.
Any time a dog is in a canoe, the canoe is instantly at more of a risk of tipping over than without the animal. This is because even the best trained dog can still sometimes get too excited and accidentally jump or lunge across the canoe, causing it to tip.
A great canoe will be able to withstand not only normal rocking from the passengers, but also a dog that is moving back and forth inside the canoe while they get their bearings and smell the air.
While accidents can happen in any canoe, it’s a good idea to look for one that will offer the most stability possible when canoeing with a dog. The width of a canoe plays a huge role in how stable the canoe will be with a canine inside of it.
Wider boats are, generally speaking, going to be much more stable than narrower canoes are. This means that an excited dog will be much less likely to cause the canoe to tip when they are jumping around inside.
Not all canoes have as much room in them for bringing along gear, coolers, and other items, but it’s important to look for one that has plenty of room for these items, as well as for a dog.
Larger dogs will obviously be more comfortable in a roomier canoe, as they will be able to stretch out and relax while on the water.
Dog owners also need to make sure that they can easily bring along with them any of the supplies that their dog may need when away from home.
Additional water, food, and even a first aid kit for the dog is important so that they can be cared for in the event of an injury or accident.
Some dogs are perfectly happy relaxing and stretching out in a canoe for the entire ride, while others will try to run back and forth when on the water. This isn’t just distracting, but it is also dangerous.
A shorter canoe can limit the amount of space that a dog has to move around in when canoeing.
Of course, shorter canoes are much slower when in the water, which some users can find frustrating. They are easier to control in tight spaces, which is a good tradeoff to consider when shopping.
The durability of a canoe plays a huge role in how long it will last when on the water, especially when transporting a dog. Heavy-duty canoes, such as ones made out of aluminum are more difficult to transport, but aren’t nearly as likely as lighter canoes to be damaged by an overzealous dog.
While fiberglass canoes look and feel great and are easier to lift, they can easily be scratched by dogs with longer claws.
Excitable dogs who have the tendency to paw at the ground and scratch when they are nervous are much more likely to accidentally damage a fiberglass canoe than they are an aluminum one.
If a dog is willing to sit quietly during the ride, then the material that the canoe is made out of is not as big of a deal.
Inflatable canoes, while a lightweight option that is easy to control, can too easily be damaged by a dog.
Generally speaking, they are not a great option to use with a dog, although there are some dogs that are the exception and can remain calm when on the water.
Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS
Designed for stability, this great canoe is not so wide that dogs will be able to run back and forth, causing it to rock. The longer 15.6′ length provides plenty of leg room for any people in the canoe while still offering space for dogs to sit when on the water. Included fishing rod holders make fishing on a lazy day easier than ever.
Rugged hull is UV-stabilized to prevent damage from the sun
Built-in storage in center seat and built-in cooler provide plenty of storage room
Square backed canoe can be used with a trolling motor
Weight of 104 pounds provides stability in the water
Can sometimes arrive damaged
Will dent if run into something hard in the water
Old Town Discovery 110 Solo
The wider 40.5” width on this canoe is great for anyone who has a dog who wants a bit more room to sit and won’t rock the boat. The seats are designed to be comfortable for all day use and are made from nylon webbing that is breathable and UV resistant. With a lifetime hull warranty, canoers won’t have to worry about the condition of their canoe.
Polyethylene hull has three layers for strength and durability
Sleek shape is great for exploring in close quarters
Impressive 500-pound capacity is great for canoers with larger dogs
Low weight can easily rock in the water
Sharp dog claws may damage the canoe and can easily scratch it
Sun Dolphin Scout SS
While other canoes offer tons of storage space that make them a great option for use on longer trips, this canoe is great for taking a dog out on shorter excursions. The wide and flat bottom is ideal for any dog who will rest quietly in the bottom of the canoe without rocking back and forth. With three comfortable molded seats and a square stern for use with an optional motor, this is a very reliable option that is easy to control.
Longer length is ideal for transporting more people
Features six built-in fishing rod holders
Incredibly stable thanks to the shape of the base
Made from high-density polyethylene
Doesn’t have a lot of storage space
No stern tie down
Old Town Discovery Sport
Not only are the seats in this canoe incredibly comfortable, making it a great option for long hours out on the water, but the canoe features a flat bottom design that helps to prevent it from rocking in the water. This makes it an ideal option for dog owners who are worried that their pet may be too active in the canoe.
Features full-length stabilizing chines to prevent rocking and accidents
Large beam helps provide additional stability
Comfortable carrying handles make it easy to transport the canoe
Impressive weight limit of 1,650 pounds
Higher price tag can be an issue for some buyers
Three-layer hull can be scratched when run into sticks or rocks in the water
The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw is the best option for taking a dog on any canoeing trip. Even though it is roomy enough to allow a dog to feel comfortable sitting up and looking out, the space that they have isn’t so large that they can thrash about and cause the canoe to rock or tip over.
With plenty of storage space for food, drinks, and emergency gear, it’s a great way to include a dog on any excursion. A single canoer can easily handle this canoe, but it also has enough room for the entire family to come along without feeling cramped and uncomfortable.