Stand-up paddleboarding is a pleasurable pastime to enjoy with your dog. You can spend an afternoon or a whole day paddling around, enjoying the fresh air, and exploring nature with your best friend. Finding the appropriate paddleboard to balance both of you simultaneously and manage your combined weight is absolutely critical. It will ensure that your trip will run smoothly and that your paddleboard won’t pop unexpectedly.
It’s highly unlikely that your dog will pop an inflatable paddleboard. Just take care to pick a board with a sufficient weight limit to handle the both of you. Inflatable paddleboards are specially designed to withstand a considerable amount of stress, so your dog won’t pose a severe problem.
There’s an extensive selection of inflatable paddle boards, so finding a board capable of supporting the combined weight of you and your dog shouldn’t be too challenging. However, it’s important to note that the most durable inflatable paddle boards are sold with a higher price tag. Below, we’ll discuss the various features of these high-caliber inflatable paddle boards that make them puncture-resistant to dogs.
Why It’s Very Unlikely that Your Dog will Pop an Inflatable Paddleboard
In the early days of inflatable paddleboards, people were quite skeptical about their durability. Originally, the prospect of dogs popping these inflatable paddle boards was a genuine issue.
Compared to a hard SUP board, it would only seem rational to assume that hard SUP boards are the superior long-term option. Over the years, however, inflatable paddleboard manufacturers have been rewriting the narrative and proving time and time again that the inflatable boards can hold their own.
Nowadays, the tables have turned. Some paddleboarders even go so far as to say that inflatable paddle boards have surpassed hard paddleboards in durability. There’s no question that the majority of inflatable paddle boards could easily fend off the tomfoolery of dogs. Nonetheless, there’s still a small chance that your old inflatable paddleboard could pop if you don’t pay close attention to the weight limit of the board.
If you’re not familiar with inflatable paddleboard construction, you’re probably wondering, “How can inflatable boards be this durable?”
Reason #1: High Quality Inflatable Paddleboards are Made from Military Grade Material
For one, inflatable paddle boards are not made from the same inflatable material as a backyard kiddie pool. When people think of water inflatables, their minds are automatically drawn to the flimsy, kid-friendly inflatables that you can blow up with your mouth. Having been around a couple of stand-up paddleboards, I can definitively say that these types of inflatable boards bear no resemblance to these tacky water toys.
According to Tower Paddle Boards, upper-end inflatable paddle boards are constructed from military-grade material (source). These inflatable paddle boards are designed to tolerate harsh water conditions, like fast-moving waters and rogue ocean waves.
In addition, these paddleboards are built to resist popping in rocky conditions. Occasionally, the bottom of paddleboards will bounce off of the rocky depths below in shallow waters. As time has gone on, manufacturers have taken note of this and made the necessary adjustments to guarantee that their inflatables won’t succumb to this rough landscape.
Put simply, if the materials used to construct these inflatable paddle boards are good enough for the military, they should be more than enough to fend off your dog.
Reason #2: Inflatable Paddleboards are Comprised of Multiple Layers to Increase Durability
Furthermore, inflatable paddle boards are made with multiple protective layers.
When you look at the superficial layer of an inflatable paddleboard, it’s impossible to glean all of the complexities going on underneath. Many people are under the false impression that there’s only a single layer separating the outside world from the inflatable core. Surprisingly, there’s a lot more happening here than meets the eye.
In recent years, inflatable paddleboard manufacturers have implemented new technologies around inflatable core construction. There are three different methods of inflatable core construction (source):
- Single Layer – least amount of protective layers and coating
- Fusion – moderate amount of protective layers and coating
- Dual Layer – maximum amount of protective layers and coating
In the early days of paddleboarding, the majority of inflatables were made with a single-layer core construction. Nowadays, manufacturers are gravitating more toward fusion and dual-layer core construction as they steadily uncover ways to reduce costs and maintain a healthy margin of profit. These advances have benefited both the consumer and producer.
So not only is it terribly difficult for your dog to puncture through the military-grade material, but your dog also has to break through multiple layers of it. That’s a tall task, even if they do have a sharp set of canine teeth.
Reason #3: A High Quality Inflatable Paddleboard Could Survive Getting Run Over by an Excavator
Sometimes, words simply can’t do the job. For this reason, I thought it best to show the true extent of how inflatable paddle boards can hold up against extreme pressure by showing you a video of an inflatable paddle board versus an excavator. Watch the clip below to see an inflatable paddle board survive getting trampled on by a CAT Digger!
If this doesn’t show you that your inflatable paddleboard is safe from your dog, I don’t know what will. Admittedly, I thought that the inflatable would burst right on the spot. But, surprisingly, it held up remarkably well.
Small CAT excavators weigh anywhere from 11 to 18 tons to give you some perspective (source). Needless to say, that’s a lot of excess weight to put up with as an inflatable paddleboard!
Reason #4: Dogs Ate Peanut Butter off of an Inflatable Paddleboard Without Popping It
I came across this video of someone slathering an inflatable paddle board with peanut butter and letting a bunch of dogs loose on it. So if you ever wondered how your inflatable paddle board would fare against the appetite of your dog, I’d recommend watching the clip below.
I know this experiment pales in comparison to the durability test of the inflatable paddle boards versus the excavator. Still, I figured I’d throw it in, considering the topic of this article. If there were ever a time for an inflatable paddleboard to be in danger of popping, this would be the time for it to happen.
Can You Bring Your Dog on an Inflatable Paddleboard?
Now that your skepticism of inflatable paddle board durability has been cleared, it’s time to address how realistic it is to paddleboard with your dog.
Taking your dog on your inflatable paddleboard is definitely possible. However, it’s important that your dog knows how to swim and feels comfortable around the paddleboard before taking them out. Taking a dog out on the water without paying any heed to these stipulations is a recipe for disaster.
Keep in mind that there’s a tiny chance that your dog could still potentially pop an inflatable paddleboard if you ignore the weight guidelines. However, paddleboards come in various sizes, so as long as you select the correct size that works for you and your dog, it shouldn’t be a major concern.
If you attempt to put a big dog onto a smaller paddleboard, there’s a greater likelihood that you may run into issues with popping the board. To take out a larger dog, be sure to obtain the right accessories and invest in a paddleboard with a heavier weight limit.
To minimize the likelihood of popping your paddleboard, you should also stow it away properly when it’s not in use. Even with an appropriately sized board, there’s still a chance that your dog can pop it when it’s left out. Your dog may bite, claw, or bounce on the paddleboard if it’s left exposed. Although you’ve seen just how durable inflatable paddle boards are, it’s still better to store your board away from your dog just in case.
Tips on How to Ride Safely with Your Dog on an Inflatable Paddleboard (Without Popping It!)
If you choose to paddleboard with your dog, you should prepare beforehand to ensure a smooth ride. The more you practice and get your dog comfortable with the idea, the easier it is to keep them calm and discourage them from popping the board. To help keep your dog on its best behavior, I included a few tips below.
Get Your Dog Familiar with Swimming
Some dogs are natural swimmers, but not all. A few breeds can’t swim because of their body structure, including pugs, boxers, and bulldogs. If you want to paddleboard with one of these dogs, consider fitting them a doggy life jacket, like the Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jacket, for paddleboarding.
If your dog is not comfortable around the water because they don’t know how to swim, consider teaching them. There are classes you can choose to sign up for to help accelerate this process. For some dogs, all they really need to do is spend more time closer to the water to build up a natural amenity.
Bring the Paddleboard Inside
Exposing your dog to the presence of the paddleboard will help your dog get intimately familiar with it, so it doesn’t feel brand new. Make sure to set the paddleboard somewhere that allows your dog to poke around and explore what it is.
However, be aware that your dog may have a negative reaction to the inflatable, which could result in the paddleboard popping. Although it’s a tiny chance, it’s something to think about.
Train Your Dog to Get on the Board
After your dog has built up an amenity to the paddleboard, devote some time to practicing how to get them on and off. You should only do this if your dog has basic obedience skills. By training your dog to get gently on and off, they’re far less likely to panic and bite and claw at the inflatable.
It’s also a smart idea to bring in a few doggy treats along for the trip, like these Milk-Bone Soft and Chewy Dog Treats.
It would be best if you placed the treat in between where you would normally stand on the board and the nose of the board. This is the place where your dog will most likely be, so it’s good practice to lure them to the spot by placing a treat there.
It would help if you also came up with a verbal command to get the dog on board while you’re on the water. When your dog gets on board and eats the treat, you can further reinforce this behavior by offering them one more treat and praising them for listening.
Train Your Dog to Paddleboard Outside
Your dog may need a little time to practice transitioning on and off the paddleboard at home where they feel most comfortable. The next step in the progression is to bring the paddleboard outside on a flat surface. Practice helping your dog get on and off outside to help them get more familiar with it. From there, you can practice standing on the board as well.
Head to Your Paddleboarding Spot
Lastly, you should go to a local water spot and practice the aforementioned steps to get your dog on the water. Do this in a shallow spot. It may take some practice to help your dog get familiar with the actions. When they can do this well, you can hit the water. Keep these first few sessions short as you and your dog get acquainted with performing the actions together.
Checklist to Keep You & Your Dog Happy While Paddleboarding (& Discourage Board Biting!)
Once your dog is fully trained to paddleboard, there are a couple of additional items you will need to bring on your paddleboarding trip. To keep it simple for you, I condensed all the items you and your dog need for these paddleboarding trips into one easy-to-follow list. These items will help your dog to behave well and avoid trying to pop the paddleboard.
- Doggy Life Jacket – This is a good idea to have on your dog regardless of whether or not they can swim.
- Dog Treats – Bringing these will allow you to reward your dog for good behavior on the trip and keep them calm.
- Water Bottle – Keep it full and share some water with your dog for longer trips.
- Hat – This is a must if it’s a sunny day out, especially if you’re prone to sunburns.
- Sunglasses – Yet another necessity on sunny days to protect against the glare of the sun.
- Dry Bag – This will help you hold onto anything you need to bring along that can’t get wet. This may include your wallet, sunscreen, phone, keys, and dog treats.
There are also some bonus items you may want to consider bringing along as well. For one, having a few extra beach towels in the car never hurts. A dog car seat protector, like this Dog Back Seat Cover Protector, works well too. These items will keep your car clean. Those sandy beaches or long dog fur can wreak havoc on your car after a long paddleboarding session.
The Bottom Line
Inflatable paddleboards are extremely durable. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about your dog popping your board with how well constructed modern inflatables boards are made.
However, if you’re still worried about your dog puncturing a hole in your board, the best thing you can do is train your dog to paddleboard. This will demand time and patience on your part, but it’s well worth the reward. There are not many things that could beat paddleboarding with your dog.