Gracie Went Kayaking: Guide to Boating Adventures with Your Dog


 Gracie in Kayak


Can a blind dog

enjoy a boat ride?




Look at this face!!



She had the time of her life

and so did we!





Let me tell you about

one of the most exciting adventures

Gracie has ever been on!!


    We moved to Pennsylvania almost 2 years ago and we live less than a mile from a pretty large size lake.  It is beautiful and serene.  Last summer, we went canoeing and kayaking there with the boys multiple times and loved it.  The peaceful feeling is priceless in the chaotic, fast paced world that we live in.  I wanted to experience that with Gracie and see if she enjoyed it as much as I do.  So, I went on Amazon and found an incredible price on life jackets for Gracie and Cody.  




Furever Grace in kayak

Does this look like a blind dog?!!!  She’s such a brave soul!



    Gracie and Cody loved the boating experience.  Gracie even took a little swim in the lake.  She loved it.  Gracie is a brave soul.  Even in her blindness, she loves to try new things and even put her front paws up on the side of the kayak to get to a higher place.  We decided not to try Cody with swimming yet since he has been nervous during bathtimes and we did not want to risk losing any of his trust since he is still new to us.  Maybe one day, Cody will try his paw at swimming.  


Furever Gracie Dog kayak




Things to Consider When Taking a Dog out on a Boat or Kayak


  1. How long do you intended to stay out on the boat?  

     I knew that we only intended to be on the boat for about an hour for the first trip with the dogs, so the supplies that I needed for them were minimal and the situations that I needed to be prepared were for few.


     2. What will the temperature and conditions on the water be like for your outing?

     The day we went out on the kayaks it was hot and sunny.  I brought along blankets for the dogs to lay or sit on for comfort.  I also took along water to keep them hydrated and a small umbrella in case the sun was too much for them.  They never needed the umbrella since they were so active and wanted to be in the middle of the fun, but I will continue to take an umbrella on any future outings, just in case.  


     3. Remember to take along all necessary safety items. 

     I took along their leashes, collars/harness and life jackets.  Do you need a tether cable?  Do you need shade for your pup?   

Do you need a cooling bed?  Check out this cooling bed on amazon!




     4. How will you get your dog on and off the boat?  Have a plan.

     Since our dogs are small, I had my son pass the dogs down to us after we were already in the kayaks.  Worked out very well.  


     5.  What will you use for sunscreen?

     It is not safe to use human sunscreen on your dog, as they may lick their fur and ingest the chemicals that are harmful to them.


     Here’s an excellent, comprehensive article of options for sunscreen for dogs!



Furever Gracie Cody in Kayak Dog


         Boating with Dogs Checklist:

             Collar and/or Harness


             Tie-Out Cord (if needed)

             Life Jacket

             Blanket and/or towel

             Cooling Mat

             Drinking water

             Pet Sunscreen

             Small umbrella (for shade)

             Food or treats (depending how long you plan to be out)





Safety Tips

  1. Be sure that the life jacket is securely strapped on your pup.
  2. Offer your dog a drink of water repeatedly if it is a hot day and provide shade from direct sun.
  3. Watch your dog for any signs of stress or discomfort.  (signs of dehydration and heat stroke in article below)


Check out this great article on recognizing the signs and symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke in dogs and what to do if it happens:







There are affiliate links in this post, but the experiences I have shared are for products that I have used and genuinely recommend.  

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  • Reply
    Kathleen Burns
    August 15, 2016 at 12:53 am

    I love the stories and adventures of Gracie. She is adorable. And so loved. I like how you give advice in your site. Thank you. I will love Gracie furrever too.

    • Reply
      August 18, 2016 at 1:06 am

      Awww…Thank you, Kathleen. Gracie is amazing and we do adore her! She is so brave and has no idea that she has a disability. She is such an inspiration! Thank you for your kind words about our website. There are some very exciting things in the works for this site. Come back and check it out and sign up for our email list for updates!! Have a great evening!!

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