Doggie Adventures, Episode 5: Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Updated: Oct 13

A dog stand up paddle boarding in San Diego Bay.

If you're looking for a new water activity to try this summer, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great option. SUP is easy to learn and it's a lot of fun! And chances are if you’re reading my dog lover blog, you love dogs too! If you love spending time with your dog and being out on the water, SUP’ing with your pup may be the perfect activity! Not only is it a great way to bond with your furry friend, but it's also a great workout for both of you. Plus, your dog will love all the new smells and sights!

Always consult your physician and veterinarian before any strenuous and/or high-risk activities

What you need for a stand-up paddle boarding adventure with your dog

Before you head out on your stand-up paddle boarding adventure, make sure you have all the supplies you need. You'll need a SUP board, paddle, life jacket (for both you and your dog), and leash. And it’s highly recommended that you bring along a bag with snacks and water for yourself and your pup.

The costs for this equipment can get pretty high, and if you’re just testing the waters, you can always rent the gear. If you are in the San Diego area, West Coast Paddle Board Rentals is a great place to get some gear, and best of all, you can reserve your gear in advance!

Here’s a short list of the minimum required gear.

· Stand-up board & paddle

· Life jacket for you and your pup

· Sunscreen for you and your dog

· Board Leash

· Dog Leash

· Plenty of water, treats, and snacks for you and your pup

· Safety whistle to warn other boaters

SUPing with your pup: Places to explore across the U.S.

Two women Stand Up Paddle Boarding with their dogs in Mission Bay in San Diego

There are a few things to consider when choosing a SUP destination with your dog. First, think about your pup's energy level and swimming ability. It’s always recommended that when SUP’ing with your dog that you stick to flat/calm water. Also, keep in mind your pup’s comfort level: you should consider a spot that’s less congested than normal if your dog does not do well in large crowds. Lastly, always check the water temperature. Just like humans, dogs can get hypothermia. Check out this terrific blog post by the AKC on water safety tips for dogs.

Here are some favorite places to SUP with dogs across the United States:

Mission Bay, San Diego California

The bay is calm and sheltered, making it ideal for SUP’ing with your pup. Second, there's plenty of room to explore - you and your pup can paddle around for hours and never get bored. Third, the views are simply gorgeous - you'll both love taking in the sights of the city from the water.

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

This popular lake is perfect for SUPing with dogs because there are plenty of little coves and inlets to explore. Plus, the water is usually calm and there's plenty of room to paddle around.

A man and his dog on a SUP board

The Florida Keys

If you're looking for a warm-weather destination, the Florida Keys are hard to beat. There are many dog-friendly beaches where your pup can swim and play, and the gentle waves make for perfect SUPing conditions.

Puget Sound, Washington

This scenic body of water is ideal for SUPing with dogs because there are so many different places to explore. From sheltered inlets to open ocean coastline, Puget Sound has it all. And, since it's located in the Pacific Northwest, the weather is usually pretty mild - perfect for a leisurely paddle with your furry friend.

Where do I Start?

If you're thinking about taking up a new watersport with your dog, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. But, with a little preparation and patience, you and your pup can enjoy all the fun and excitement that comes with participating in a new activity together. In today’s internet age, it’s pretty easy to search for someone who is trained in helping others and their pups learn to SUP. If you're in the San Diego area, you're in luck – there’s a really great resource that’ll get you and your doggy SUP’ing in no time!

Sup Pups in San Diego

A woman and her dog on a SUP board wearing matching dog and owner shirts by Fetch the Sun

Sam at Sup Pups has been in the business of teaching dogs to stand-up paddleboard since 2014. She’s a certified WPA Flat Water Paddleboard Instructor with over 25-years of water experience and she’s been a dog lover her whole life. She teaches the basics, safety, and technique of SUP and helps your dog fall in love with the sport.

Her lessons are typically offered in 1-hour segments between sunrise to sunset and include all necessary gear. They start off with the basics on land and gradually move into the water. And you’ll have a certified instructor next to you at all times making sure you and your pup are confident. As an added bonus, you’ll get photographs of you and your dog paddleboarding together.

Sam’s philosophy is that every dog deserves to live the dream and the ultimate California dream is getting salty, having fun, and giving your pup their best life. We at Fetch the Sun are with you 100 percent!

Get Started Today

So there you have it! Stand-up paddle boarding with your dog is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. All you need is a paddle board, life jacket for you & your pup, and some basic swimming skills. There are plenty of great locations across the world to paddle board with your dog. And if you're looking for a great SUP experience, be sure to check out Sup Pups in San Diego!

A woman and her dog doing Stand Up Paddle Boarding in San Diego California