Kayaking with your dog

Dogs are allowed in the Lower Salt River, but you’ll need to follow a few basic rules.

First, whether or not you’re kayaking, make sure your dog is probably licensed and vaccinated.

You’ll also need to keep your dog leashed at all times when you’re in a developed recreation area. But be sure to remove the leash as soon as you climb into the boat so it doesn’t become a hazard, and then keep it in a safe, accessible place. Like any public place, please be prepared to pick up after your dog—no one wants to enjoy their snack break next to a smelly pet deposit.

If you haven’t paddled the Lower Salt River before, I strongly suggest that you go at least once before bringing your dog on a trip. It’s best to get a handle on how to paddle the river before adding an animal.

If your dog isn’t well behaved or socialized, or doesn’t seem to enjoy the water much, then it’s probably best to leave them at home. After all, the river can be a crowded place, with numerous humans, dogs, horses, and other wildlife that can each cause their own set of problems. 

A few additional tips for getting your dog ready for a kayaking trip:

  • Test out how the boat logistics will work before you arrive at the river. Don’t forget that you’ll need full range of motion to paddle.
  • Make sure you have a recent photo in case your dog does get lost
  • Ensure that your dog has a collar with up-to-date contact information, and ideally a microchip
  • Don’t forget to bring a leash, zip lock baggies to pick up after your dog, and—optionally—a bowl you can give your dog fresh water from (you may not enjoy the ride home if river water). Many dog owners also purchase a doggie pfd with a leash attachment.