Going on adventures with your human friends and family is always a memorable and fun time. With your dog being a furry member of your family, you can also bring them along for an unforgettable river rafting adventure.

However, while packrafting is an exciting and thrilling activity, it can be hazardous as well. It’s essential to know how to keep you and your pet safe so that you can navigate the waters and fully enjoy the scenic views and relaxing waves. Continue reading to learn how to keep your dog safe on your next rafting adventure.

1. Equip Them With a Life Vest

When taking your dog out on the waters, it’s essential to equip them with a life vest. Find a quality life vest designed especially for dogs and make sure they wear it when around and in the vessel.

There are even life vests with handle attachments on the back to help you easily scoop up your furry friend if they accidentally end up in the water during the trip.

2. Train Them To Feel Safe in the Water

Before taking your pet out on the water, you should ask yourself: Do they enjoy being near or around water? Do they exhibit anxiety or fear when near or in water? Would they be able to handle swimming in such a large body of water? If you answered no to any of those questions, you may want to reconsider taking your dog with you on your backpacking inflatable raft adventure.

You can do exercises and training activities in a pool to help your dog get familiar with the water and feel safe and comfortable in that environment. This may help to better prepare them for being in the water if they get tossed out of the vessel.

3.) Raft Through Calm Waters

Rafting through calm waters is an essential step in keeping your dog safe on your rafting adventure. Aim for class A, one, and two rapids to keep you and your dog in manageable waters. You shouldn’t paddle out in class three to six rapids when with your dog because this is extremely dangerous and difficult to navigate.

4.) Bring a First Aid Kit

Life can be unpredictable; that’s why it’s essential to bring a first aid kit with you on your trip. With a first aid kit, you can address any cuts, bleeds, or mishaps for you and your dog as well. Having something on hand is better than nothing, so keep this kit on hand when exploring the waters.

5.) Slowly Expose Your Dog to Rafting

Your dog may not be receptive to being in a raft and may hesitate to jump in with you. It’s a great idea to slowly expose your dog to rafting through positive reinforcement. You can start by simply floating in the craft with them and rewarding them for coming and remaining still in the vessel. This way, they won’t feel startled and distressed throughout the trip.

September 27, 2022 — Adrian Landia