- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Goin' on a Canoe trip - suggestions?

August 30th, 2007, 11:34 AM
Hi folks,
Molly and I have had a busy summer and we're gearing up to end it with a grand event... Goin' on a canoe trip!

Molly's never been in a canoe, i've done lots of canoe tripping but never with a canine friend before.

Does any one have any secrets to successful canoe tripping with dogs? In case you haven't met Molly, she's a golden retriever, about 80lb, loves swimming, about 9yrs old, adopted in May 2007.

Some questions....

What do you do about wet dog in the tent?

How do you keep dog in boat (when they are likely to jump out if they feel the need to swim)?

Any suggestions of things to bring for dog?

Wish us luck, should be a fun weekend! (and hopefully we'll have pics to share when we return):D

August 30th, 2007, 11:47 AM
Only one advice : take lots of pics :D

August 30th, 2007, 12:00 PM
These folks are extremely nice and would likely be able to give you lots of helpful tips if you email them.

I've never done the whole portaging, back-country camping thing with dogs, only day trips with a campsite homebase. I have an inexpensive pup tent (pardon the pun) which I always set up in the sunniest location into which the dog's go to shake and dry-off with lots of dog towels. You will want to bring an animal-specific first aid kit (if you don't have one do a "Search" ~ we've covered this topic a few times) along with a doggy life-jacket. I've actually never had a problem with my dogs leaping out of the boat ~ they enjoyed the ride! Maybe you should give her ample opportunity to swim and tire herself out before embarking.

Jim Hall
August 30th, 2007, 12:26 PM
i used to go with my lab mix all the time!!

Never white water just a nice trip at a walking pace

she would not relly want to jump out except when we were making shore

i found we really needed a lot more towels than we thought and a lot more food for him since he was so active

as for doggie in a tent dry off first and try to check his coat for bugs

i found if he did jump out you would have to go towrards shore cause you cannot get a 70lb doggie in a canoe in deep water you will all be swimming

you all gonna have a blast!! im jealous ;)

August 30th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Great suggestions mummummum! I guess I don't need to worry too much cause Dog paddling adventures is actually who we are going padding with. I hope to learn LOTS from them so we can do this on our own in the future. It's nice to know we'll be in good hands!

Does anyone know if dog coats will carry Poison Ivy? I hear it's become quite common where we are traveling and I HATE the stuff (I itch like crazy).

August 30th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Most important thing, you need a very obedient dog with strong down and sit stays. Even so you cannot expect a dog to STAY for more than minutes at a time in a canoe so you also need a stable canoe with lots of draft so 80 lbs of dog can shift her weight around every now and then. We use the STAY mostly when getting in and out of the canoe or when approaching something of interest to the dog, like the moulting four mallards who could not fly, the otters, the mink, the moose, the beaver, the HUGE snapping turtle, the deer etc.

Could tell you lots and lots more but as you are going with an experienced group who should advise you I hope I've made it sound like fun.

I suggest you ALWAYS wear your PFD as no dog is 100% steady. Pooch can wear one too.

Yes, dog hair can carry poison ivy and it can rub off on you.

Wet dog in tent can be combatted, again, by strong obedience. Just don't let her in the water before bed.

We trip in remote areas with our poochie and added to our standard first aid kit is needle nose plyers for porcupine encounters and Benadryl for bug bites.

August 30th, 2007, 09:03 PM
We've canoed with Lucy and also Riley last year when he was a puppy.

- stay people swimming distance from shore if possible
- don't leave any loose items in the canoe that you might lose if you go over
- i carried a thin foam (like the thermarest stuff) for Lucy to sit on, our canoe bottom wasn't very comfy for her and she stayed much more still when she had a comfy spot to sit.
- depending on the configuration of the canoe we found it useful to have Lucy up front with me between the bow and my seat. That left limited room for her to maneuver and so we were more stable. As she got more experienced we moved her to the middle of the boat which was better for weight distribution.
- the dog life jackets are great because of the handle they have on them :thumbs up . Also if you went over and she was trapped under the canoe it would be very helpful.
- Consider getting a few of those super absorbent shammy things to use for towels. They dry super quick and absorb a lot of water.
- Lucy never wanted to jump out either until we were quite close to shore
- Take extra ziplock baggies etc to put things that you might want to use during the day in (cookies, cameras etc).

August 30th, 2007, 09:34 PM
Thanks for all the tips everyone!:thumbs up

Unfortunately unwaivering obedience isn't yet one of Molly's strong suits but, it's not too bad and maybe she'll learn a few tricks from the other dogs too.

Per Jim i'm gonna pack in a stack more towels... I often don't even bring one for myself but I can see where they will be good to have for Molly (and combating wet dog in tent issue, as keeping Molly out of the water is going to be next to impossible unless I keep her tied up all the time, and I get the feeling that being off leash is a highlight of the trip for most doggies)

:lightbulb: I really like the foamie idea for the bottom of the canoe - probably helps with slipping and sliding too and would be great to have in the tent at night for some wet dog bedding. And that reminds me to pack my own thermarest too (now, where the on earth is it...). I'll have to find my "shammy" towel too, I never thought of using it on a dog.

Now.... if only I can teach Molly to paddle, maybe portage too....

August 31st, 2007, 12:57 AM
I'm sure no matter what you do or don't bring you will have a BLAST ! Just bring us stay-at-homes back lots of pictures !!!

August 31st, 2007, 02:22 AM
heheh good luck. Hope you and Molly have fun. I can't seem to get the picture of Molly jumping out of the canoe out of my mind though :laughing:

i think someone should be there minding the dog(holding the collar) while someone else paddles:thumbs up

August 31st, 2007, 08:29 AM
I am going to assume you are not actually going on a canoe trip since it seems carrying extra weight ("i'm gonna pack in a stack more towels") is not a concern. But just in case you are in an area that trippers use, or receives heavy day use, I have an extra suggestion and it is take doggy breath mints and dog shampoo. We have found portages and campsites to be heavily used as human washroom sites and you might find yourself disgusted at what dogs will eat or roll in. Please note, I am NOT suggesting you shampoo the pooch, or yourself, in a lake or river but emergencies can't be helped.

We put the foam on the canoe bottom too but also put a bit of pipe wrap over the gunnel where our girl likes to rest her head.

August 31st, 2007, 11:35 AM
How fun! I've been canoeing with 3 different dogs and none of them tried to jump out. I think they don't like it when the boat wobbles, they would rather not have the boat tipped over perhaps. Two of the dogs loved swimming also, so it wasn't as if they were afraid of the water so weren't jumping (one was a Golden). I can see how a dog would want to jump out near shore, though, so that is probably when it would happen.

As others have mentioned, yes, dogs can get the poison ivy oil on their coats and if you are sensitive and touch the dog, you can get it. If you wash your hands before touching other parts of your body, though, soon after touching the dog, you should be ok. There are some products on the market that supposedly protect you from the oil, I believe one is called Ivy Block, as an example.

For a wet dog in the tent, I can only suggest putting a blanket down for the dog to lay on. Or, don't let the wet dog in the tent 'til he or she dries!

Having camped and canoed with my dog and others before, I do agree that watching what the dog is eating is important. At one campsite there was some dead animal that my dog found right away and started snacking before I noticed (ewww!). People tend to leave garbage around, unfortunately. Also, I would bring a brush so if the dog gets burrs stuck it her fur, they can be more easily dealt with. My dogs have also gotten cold at night, so if your dog isn't used to cooler temps it might be a good idea to have something warm to cover her (if the temps are supposed to be cool, that is).

have fun!!!

August 31st, 2007, 04:17 PM
ooooo I'm so jealous! :goodvibes:

Not sure if you've left yet, but in case you haven't:

We took Toby canoing when he was really young and hyper but it worked out well because:
- we brought a dog first aid kit
- we tested him in a canoe in town before going on the trip
- we brought the thin foam for him to sit on in the boat
- we brought quick-dry towels (the small shammies they sell at MEC)
- we made him run around and 'air dry' a bit before heading into the tent (in addition to him being out of the water for enough time to dry before bed)
- we had him carry his food in his backpack because we had to portage a bit and we made sure to wrap EVERYTHING in his backpack in tight ziplock bags!

The one lesson we learned was to bring enough benadryl in the doggie first aid kit. He got stung by fire ants and his face swelled. Luckily we had ONE benadryl left and thankfully it helped. Scary!

I'm sure you'll have a BLAST. Obedience helps for sure, but dogs will be dogs. If you end up tipping, just try to laugh and enjoy the water with your pooch!

Make sure to take lots of pics - we'd love to see them when you get back!


August 31st, 2007, 06:35 PM
I have to admit I took my poodle on a canoe excursion once and he enjoyed it but he landed in the river a few times - low water tho, it was like he knew that but I am sure he did not. We just grabbed him and put him back in. Not sure what advice I'd give you - make sure all your stuff is in a water proof barrel and do not leave your CD player out on the canoe - I guarantee you it will land in the river!!! Don't ask how I know this! :laughing:

Have a good time!