5 Must-Have Paddleboard Accessories for Dogs

Paddleboarding is a water sport that is calming and invigorating. While it can be a nice way to have some alone time, it can also be a great way to bond with your canine companion. Dogs are known to love paddleboarding with their owners, but it can be a little nerve-wracking to bring them out when it could be dangerous for them. The addition of some accessories can ease that stress, though.

What accessories should you have to paddleboard with your dog? Paddleboarding with dogs should always include a pad for them to stand on, a way for them to get fresh water when dehydrated and a pouch for training treats. Five essential must-haves include:

  • Life Vest
  • A traction pad
  • Dog Sunglasses
  • Attachable storage packs
  • Cooler attachment
  • Cart attachment

There are a few more accessories that can be additionally useful to your dog’s safety and enjoyment of the sport. In this article, we will be looking at some of these accessories and recommending some of the best options for them on the market at the moment. Before we can do that, though, we should understand what kind of paddleboarding dogs should be doing with you.

What is SUP?

When most people talk about paddleboarding today, they are probably talking about SUP. Instead of paddling while sitting down, this water sport is all about standing. Hence the name, “stand up paddling” or SUP for short.

SUP has quickly become one of the most popular water sports due to its easygoing and relaxed nature. People of all ages have been able to become an expert standing paddleboarders. While the chill nature of the sport has brought in a lot of the fans, part of the appeal definitely comes from the ability to bring your furry friend along.

SUP for Dogs

Dogs bring joy to our lives. We love spending as much time with them as we can because they are our buddies, they love being active and we have fun with them. So, why not let them join us in SUP? Many dogs are naturally drawn to water, but others can learn to love the sport, nonetheless. In most cases of a dog joining their owner on the board, they take to it very quickly.

Taking your pup out on the water takes a little bit of training, however, and a keen eye for sure. It also might take a little more than just your board. There are a few things that you’re probably going to want to invest in (or at least put in your wishlist for later) to make your dog the happiest and healthiest it can be while joining you on the board.

Life Vest

Most dogs are great swimmers. Especially active breeds that you might want to bring out on the water, like Spaniels or Retrievers. But just in case your pup isn’t that good of a swimmer, or you’re just extra worried about their safety out on the water, look into getting them life vests.

A life vest for your dog might sound silly, but it can be especially helpful for smaller breeds, dogs with breathing problems, or dogs with anxiety. If your dogs deal with any of these problems, they will be more prone to swimming issues—especially in a situation that they don’t feel comfortable with yet. Giving them a life vest will ensure that they are protected no matter what.

Recommendations:

  • RUFFWEAR Float Coat Life JacketThis is probably the best dog life vest that you will be able to find online. It is made of very high-quality material, including an ultra-durable webbing on the outside. It is built with more than a few straps to make sure that it is always the perfect fit for your ever-growing pup. This vest also includes a reflective trim, just in case you are boarding at night. Not to mention, it comes in a nice variety of different, fun colour combinations!

  • Outward Hound Granby Life JacketThis is the ultimate affordable option. It is a fraction of the price of the first one with only a few minor setbacks in comparison. The Granby life jacket comes in bright, neon colours that make finding your pup easier than ever. They are also padded with foam on the inside, making them comfortable and non-irritating to your dog. The material isn’t as high of quality as the above option, but it works really well as a budget-friendly jacket!
  • ASENKU Dog Life JacketThe ASENKU is for fun dogs only. It is a well-working life vest with a little flair. Instead of being ultra-adjustable, this vest comes in a few different sizes for each dog. The fun part of this jacket that I’m referencing is the design. It comes in two options (shark or mermaid), with two color choices for each. This jacket could have your dog going straight from the paddleboard to the Halloween party!

Traction Pad

The absolute most important accessory that you can get for your dog before you start bringing them paddleboarding is a traction pad. The traction pad is almost always in the form of a sticky foam mat.

The mat helps your dog keep its grip on the board as they stand with you. This prevents your dog from slipping off the board, which tends to happen a lot with pups. You can add the traction pad to the front of the board where your dog would naturally stand.

Things that you should look for when picking out a mat are a textured foam surface that is primarily waterproof and an extra-strength adhesive for the back. Be on the lookout for mats that use adhesives from brands like 3M, as they are going to be the highest quality of adhesive out there.

Recommendations:

  • SUP-Now Paddleboard Pad – The SUP-Now traction pad is a full foam pad. It’s pretty large but can be easily cut to the correct size for your board. This traction pad has extra-grippy foam so it will keep all four paws planted on the board at all times. It is, plain and simple, the best traction pads out there at the moment.
  • Paw Prints Style Traction Pad – This item actually includes quite a few little pads instead of one big one. It has two groups of five pads that can be arranged in the shape of a paw print. One group is quite large; the other one is a bit smaller. They are very nice to look at and have really sturdy quality foam. The only part that you may be wary about is the lack of surface area for your dog’s feet. However, if you have a smaller dog, this may not be an issue!
  • Punt Surf Traction Pad – This is a very basic traction pad, with similar features to the others. It has high-quality foam and adhesive. The other good thing about it is that it is cut into four sections that are about two inches thick each, making it easy to apply to larger or smaller boards. It’s also the most affordable out of the three, which is definitely a plus.
See a Traction Pad on Action

Dog Sunglasses

Yes, this is a thing and not just a thing for cute pictures. The Doggy Sunglasses or dog goggles as they are often are called have more functions than just to make your dogs look super cool.

The doggy shades protect the eyes of your pet from the sun, just like sunglasses protect ours. It is the overexposure to the sun, and more importantly, its ultraviolet (UV) rays that all contribute greatly to the damaging of the retina in the back of the eye.

It’s like having a sunburnt eyeball, and both dogs, as well as humans, can suffer from this when exposed to the sunlight on a regular bases. The technical term for this painful eye condition is Photokeratitis and can be easily prevented with good eye protection.

Recommendations:

For Medium to Large Dogs – Take a look at these awesome Dog Sunglasses from Pedomus on Amazon. These goggles not only protect your dog’s eyes from the strong sun, UV rays and Infrared light. But also protect them from splash, debris, wind and dust. An adjustable double strap makes sure they do not slide off while not applying an uncomfortable amount of pressure around the eyes. sponge seal around the lenses also allows for extra cushion.

These doggy goggles are best sized for medium to larger dogs, like Goldie Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Mollys and Huskies.

For Small Dogs or Puppies – the Chuang Tiang Doggy Goggles is a must-have item. I’ve not tried these, but choose these for one great reason. This being the double strap. At first, Harry (my friends chocolate labrador) attempted to take of the above goggles, but the double strap prevented him from doing so. It wasn’t long before he forgot he was wearing them at all. The lens has the same UV protection as the above goggles and also with this much needed double strap. Treat you dog now with this practical and cute pair of Adorable Dog Goggles on Amazon

Attachable Storage Packs

If you want to carry anything out onto the water, you are going to need to attach a pack to your board. This includes treats for your dog, which can be essential to training. While a lot of dogs catch on to boarding relatively quickly, they’re still going to require a little training to get the hang of it and stay on the board for extended periods of time.

For this you’re going to need to give them treats. These treats can also just be a good way to make sure that they have some strength if you are boarding for a while.

The packs can also carry essentials to you, like your phone and keys. There are a few options to choose from when it comes to these kinds of bags, so you’ll want to pick the one that’s best for your situation.

Recommendations:

  • Seattle Sports Vinyl Coated Deck BagThe Seattle Sports deck bag is such a great little bag to bring out onto the water. It’s about the size of a medium-sized backpack, so it holds all of those little things that you might need—snacks, water, electronics, etc. Just make sure to keep those electronics in waterproof cases! The only downside to this convenient little bag is the lack of suction cups. Instead, you will have to attach bungees yourself (which you may already have on your board), which the bag will connect to.
  • SUP-Now Paddleboard Deck BagThis deck bag is the most convenient. It has a ton of storage space (12”x14”) and even comes with a free waterproof baggy for extra protection! This bag also comes with suction cups that are pretty sturdy, though you may want to reinforce them a little more with bungees or addition adhesive.
  • SUP Mesh Deck BagIf you’re looking for something easy, small and affordable, this is the pick for you. This little back is the smallest option I recommend, but it is more than half of the price of each other two. It is a little more cheaply made than the others, which makes sense when looking at the price. That being said, if you need storage in a pinch but don’t want to invest quite yet, this is a sweet little pouch.

Cooler Attachment

While you may not consider it at the moment, making sure that you have water for your dog and yourself is essential while boarding for an extended period of time. If you’re out any longer than an hour, you and your pup are going to start getting dehydrated. To prevent this from happening, you can get a cooler attachment for your board.

Most cooler attachments are going to be big enough for a bottle for you, but you may want to look into one that can also fit a small collapsible bowl for your dog so that they can get a drink without too much hassle. With a cooler on-board you can also carry some more perishable snacks with you, which your dog would probably appreciate!

Recommendations:

  • SUP-Now Paddleboard CoolerThis is the ultimate cooler attachment. The size (12.5” x 9”) is perfect for keeping cool water and snacks for you and your pup. It also comes with its own suction cups for attachment. This cooler comes with a water-proof baggy as well, which is great for anything that you’d rather not get wet. This pouch can be stuck, conveniently, in the front mesh pocket to grab when necessary. While many attachable coolers have a front pocket like this, the addition of the free baggy makes this addition even better.

  • SUP Deck Cooler BagThis is an extra-large bag for those of you who plan on being out on the water for a while. It functions about the same as the above cooler, though it does not come with its own suction cups or water-proof pouch. It is also a bit more expensive, but it could definitely be worth it for the size difference.
  • THURSO SURF Deck BagThis is definitely the luxury option. The THURSO bag is the biggest one yet, at 16” x 12”. It is also made out of incredibly sturdy material, which can be good if your pup accidentally steps or slips onto it. There are a couple of downsides to this bag, however. With all of those perks comes a price. This bag is almost $100 and requires outside attachment. It also doesn’t include a front mesh pouch or a water-proof pouch, which makes it a little less convenient than the other options on the list. This is definitely a quality over convenience investment.

Cart Attachment

If you’re bringing your dog to go boarding with you, chances are that you are lugging around a good bit more material than usual—and that definitely includes the pup. To make things way easier for you and way safer, too, you may want to try a SUP cart. It doesn’t have to be a SUP cart specifically, though. There are carts for surfboards, kayaks, and canoes that can work perfectly fine with your board as well.

These “carts” are usually just a couple of all-terrain wheels that you can attach to your board, but it definitely helps when it comes to carrying everything once you get on the beach/lakefront. There are a few options to choose from, though none of them are perfect and all of them are pretty expensive. If you’re handy, though, you could probably make your own!

Recommendations:

  • Onefeng Sports Adjustable CartThis is a simple, well-built option for anyone needing an easier way to lug their board on the beach. The wheels on this cart are very sturdy and make pushing this guy around a real breeze. This option is also significantly cheaper than the first, though it does only have one side for carrying.
  • Apex APX-DLY Paddleboard CartThis care is the most affordable option but might be the best bang for its buck. It is officially sold as a kayak cart, but it would work for boards. Instead of sliding your board into a slot, however, you would tie it to the card and roll it parallel to the ground. This definitely takes up more space but might be the steadier option (especially if you’re also trying to keep your pup from running off).

Final Thoughts

Paddleboarding can be one of the most enjoyable water sports and sports, in general, to do in leisure. But this sport can definitely get even better by bringing your dog along. Their enthusiasm for the water will be a welcomed addition to the activity and could make it even more enjoyable. Paddleboarding with your dog is also a great bonding exercise, especially for naturally water-drawn breeds.

While you could do this by simply bringing your pup out on the water as you do yourself, it may bring some unseen challenges. To avoid these issues, there are plenty of accessories that you can get to make the situation simpler.

The essentials are of course to help your dog stay on the board and stay hydrated and well-fed, but you may want to ease your own load of stress by getting something like a cart or an extra safety measure like a life vest. All of these are going to decrease any worry that you may have about going out on the water with your pup, therefore increasing that enjoyment. Hopefully, this article gave you some inspiration to do just that!


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Carlo Raffa

Carlo Raffa is a blogger, stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, water lover and local to Brighton city in the South of England. Paddle boarding is my escape and this is only the starting point. Being a larger guy at 260lbs I am finding it very good exercise as well, especially for building core muscles. This is something that believe it or not cycling 16 miles a day at 6 miles per hour doesn't seem to be doing. Paddle Boarding allows me to just grab my board and walk right through the busy bar filled beachfront between the two piers in Brighton and head straight out of shore. It's not long before the shouting and cheering of our buzzing beach fade into just the lapping waves and the people to just small dots of the Brighton shoreline.

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