The Benefits of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding with Your Dog

Dogs are social animals that need constant attention. They like to play a lot. If you have one, you might already have some fun water toys like KONG Aqua or the Training Dummy. But it wouldn’t harm if you took the dog-play a notch higher by allowing him to accompany you for a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) adventure.

But before you head to the waters with your dog, you better have some toys to tire him out so he won’t be restless on the paddleboard.

If you love SUP, always remember that your dog also likes it just as much. Paddleboarding offers a sense of peacefulness as you navigate new scenes and enjoy a fresh air away from home. Before you do that, make sure you teach your dog how to stand up and sit on a paddle board.

SUP is not only great fun if you are with your dog, but it can also enhance your well-being and health plus that of your dog. Here are some benefits of SUP with your pup.

1.Increases Your Strength

If you want to increase your core strength, the best way to do it is to go paddleboarding. This activity engages your body's core muscles, thus helping you build lean muscle and abdominal strength.

In essence, paddle boarding will strengthen your shoulders, back, legs, and arms. Your dog will also experience these same benefits. When standing on the paddleboard, your dog will use its leg and core muscles just like humans. Meaning your dog will get the same level of exercise as you do.

2.Builds Stamina

Being an enjoyable adventure, you can be on your paddleboard for long hours without realizing the passage of time. You won’t even feel you’re exerting yourself. This works to your advantage because it helps build your stamina. The same will be the case with your dog. Besides, SUP is a low-impact workout, making it safer than running and other injury-prone exercises.

3.Improves Joint Stability

When on a SUP board, you must keep your balance. Doing this will activate your lower leg and foot's tiny muscles the same way physical therapy does. Standing dynamics with a focus on stability uses most of the muscles in your joints. This will keep your joints stable and keep joint diseases related to joints at bay. Your furry friend’s joint will also improve as you continue taking him to the waters.

4.Reduces Stress

When out the paddle boarding with your dog, you’ll meet other paddlers, enjoy nature, and break free from the daily chores. All these will work together to reduce your level of stress. Water itself is a great stress reducer. Just observing a river flow or the waves splashing on the shore will improve your well-being and reduce your anxiety and stress levels.

5.Vitamin D

When paddling out there in the sun with your dog, your body will produce vitamin D essential for bone strength. Vitamin D is also known to improve mental health. If you usually spend a lot of your time indoors, paddle boarding can help you get the daily dose of vitamin D that your body needs.

If it becomes too hot, you can jump into the water and swim. Swimming is an excellent exercise for people and pups. It is the best way to keep muscles healthy and active. Make sure your dog knows how to swim before you jump with him into the water.

6.Bonding with Your Pup

Being out there on the waters with your four-legged friend provides a great opportunity for bonding. A dog can be a good companion, but only if there’s a strong bond between the two of you.

Want to Try SUP with Your Pup?

Don’t rush. Before you pick your paddleboard and drag your dog to the river or lake, there are certain things you have to consider. Here are some of them.

Take a Paddle Boarding Class

Before you start paddle boarding, you’ll need to learn a few basic paddling skills. This will not only make your paddling more enjoyable, but it will also ensure you and your dog are safe on the water. Look for a certified paddleboard trainer to help you and your dog.

Buy a paddleboard that can support you and the dog.

Paddleboards aren’t the same. They vary both in size and shape. Since you’ll share the board with your pup, you must choose the board with the right size and shape for you.

You can consider a 10+-feet board if you have a big-bodied dog. Dogs prefer soft top paddle boards because they are not as slippery as epoxy top boards. Also, consider buying inflatable boards; they provide better stability and traction.

Make Your Dog Feel Comfortable

Not all pups know how to swim. Some breeds like boxers, dachshunds, and bulldogs are very poor swimmers. Some dogs also feel uncomfortable with large masses of water.

So, before you take your dog out paddling, offer him some swimming lessons and make him familiar with the river or the lake where you’ll be paddling. The training may take time, but the effort you put in will pay off.

Practice standing and sitting together

As you practice how to stand or sit on the paddle dog, involve your dog as well. Take your dog out paddling only when you’re both of you have mastered standing and sitting on the paddleboard.

You can practice on dry land before you hit the water. Train your dog to understand that the paddleboard is a place to stand or sit and stay - no movements.

Finally: Enjoy Your Paddling!

Once you are sure you are your dog is well trained, you can enjoy your paddling spree. You can start with shallow and calm parts of the river as part of your training before moving to more turbulent parts. One more thing. Don’t forget life jackets when paddling.

Matt Bartlett

Outside is always better .I'm an avid Traveler, Cyclist, Paddler,Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Sports Lover & Wannabe Runner. I write about adventures and share them on my website and for other outdoor publications. . Wannabe Runner Love being outdoors.I enjoy sharing outdoor experiences with others.

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