Paddleboarding With Dogs

Paddleboarding with your dog is a fun way to enjoy the water together but needs a bit more planning on the coast when the seasonal dog restrictions on the beaches kick in.

Fortunately we know how to beat the ban and get those doggy paddles in!

In areas like Torbay, South Devon, dogs get a free reign over all beaches from the 1st October to the 31st March – rules such as picking up their mess and keeping them on the leash when on the promenades don’t change whatever the time of year. 

Once the holiday season kicks in from 1st May – 30th September the beaches on the list below ARE STILL DOG-FRIENDLY so make a great place to paddleboard from and between depending on your capability.

You know how best to look after your dog, but we couldn’t relax without at least sharing this basic guidance:

  • Start small! A 20km windy, rainy adventure paddle on choppy water isn’t the best way to introduce anyone to paddleboarding. Introduce your dog to the sights, sounds and smells of the paddleboarding in the garden. Pump it up with them present and let them play on it in familiar surroundings.
  • Practice! How will your dog react when you fall off? when you are trying to get back on? when loud boats pass? Will it sit tight or leap to chase wildlife? You need to know these things before you go out for your first paddles.  Allow time for you both to practice and build confidence and make it fun – a scared dog and a nervous human shouldn’t go out on the water!
  • Heat!  Aside from the obvious, the sun can make the deck of a paddleboard quite hot, quite quickly so swash some water over it to keep it cool before you set off and keep checking it as you go.
  • Water! Take water and a bowl to keep everyone’s hydration levels up – humans can of course use a bottle!
  • Suncare! For everyone! ensure sensitive areas such as the dog’s nose and ears are protected from the sun with a dog-appropriate sun protection product.
  • Flotation! Invest in a high-quality dog buoyancy aid for peace of mind. Most dogs can appear to swim well, but over what distance? Worn out dogs can exceed their capability putting themselves and therefore you in danger.  A buoyancy aid can help them enjoy themselves for longer, and handy grab straps on the back can help you control your dog on board as well as helping you recover them from the water. We stock a wide-range of dog buoyancy aids from sizes 0-3kg up to 40kg++.

As promised, here is the dog-friendly list grouped into some paddle routes to get you started:

Torquay: Anstey’s Cove - Babbacombe Beach – Maidencombe Beach

Torquay: Beacon Cove – Peaked Tor Cove - Meadfoot Beach (North East section) can be extended from Meadfoot – Anstey’s Cove (more experienced paddlers)

Paignton: Fairy Cove - Goodrington Sands (North section) – Oyster Cove – Saltern Cove (can be extended to Elberry Cove for stronger paddlers)

Brixham: Fishcombe Cove / Churston Cove – Elberry Cove (Start from Shoalstone if you are confident crossing the Harbour Mouth)

Brixham: Shoalstone – St Mary’s Bay (for more experienced paddlers)

Livermead Sands is also dog friendly but has a designated waterski lane!

We also sell buoyancy aids for adults and lifejackets for children to make paddling safer for everyone.