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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have an older Riken bucket boat, its a 1986 and will be 25 years old next year. My dog was swimming for the boat and tried to get in, while doing so she clawed a very small hole in the tube. Has anyone else ever had a problem with dog claws scratching or puncturing their boat? I am curious if anyone has seen this happen on newer boats or if dog claws ever puncture a self bailing floor. The tubes on my Riken are slowly deteriorating after 25 years and I am wondering if claws are an issue on newer rafts and or inflated self bailing floors? Thanks.
 

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Yes, depending on the size of the dog , I do not take my dogs rafting, but when I have inflated my boats at home the back claws on the dogs do the most damage because they push all their weight with them and the natural reaction is to extend the back claws. The front claws do a lot of scratching but have never put a hole or rip like the back claws. I have no problem with dogs on the river trips , I just like leaving my dogs at home.
 

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That's one of the reason my dogs wear booties. Also to protect their feet from broken glass and fish hooks that tend to litter the shores around launches/take outs.
 

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dog 'n boats

inflatables are so much better now than they were in the 80's. when i bought my first campways raft in 1980, i was worried about my dog's claws and fish hooks as well, but i've never had a punture or problem from either. if your raft is no longer durable enough to handle a swinging dog paw, i would imagine the weight of the loaded boat against any kind of sharp rock or stick might be the end of it.
 

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do you regular clip your dogs nails? That would probably help. My dog has been on around 20+ weeklong raft trips over his 12 years and I havn't had one issue with him causing damage, even on old crappy boats. Granted, he is only 45 lbs.
 

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I have a newer PVC boat and haven't had any problems with my 2 dogs (60 and 80 pounds). I haven't even noticed any scratches. I bought a pawdicure at Pet Smart, its basically an electric nail file that works great and rounds off the nails, but that is mostly to protect the wood floors in my house.
 

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Our dogs love the raft, and I've never had a problem with their claws. I do keep their nails trimmed, and have since they were puppies which keeps them from growing very large or long (it keeps the quick shorter). Either you've got some witches for dogs with sharp/long nails (Happy Halloween), or your boat is pretty old and fragile.

A dog PFD is useful for dragging them into the boat (it has a handle) so they don't claw up. You might also consider some sort of decking over the side tubes so they don't walk directly on it, and you can also do floors (I use polymax even on the bow/stern floors for day trips, just so they have a better platform and can grip it better). There's always the bow/stern tubes exposed, but that's all I have for you. Maybe a new (to you) used boat sometime soon? Those old Rikey's can be pretty fragile.
 

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i second the advice given for grinding your dogs' nails down. just clipping them leaves the ends sharp (which could be a problem for the riken it sounds like)

when im not boating, i am a dog groomer:

so my edumacated opinion is that using the dremel tool (or pawdicure, although my dogs hate it and i have heard of injuries caused) to file your dogs' nails down is the best way to go: it gets the nails short and smooth. perhaps taking your dog/s to the local groomer and letting her do it would be easiest :)


we have never had a problem with dog nails and rafts, but the oldest boats ive worked with are late 80's avons, tough as nails. i have 3 dags now, and for awhile i owned a 110 pound rottie rafter who flailed like a fish at the boat when she swam, it was never a problem (she just looked crazy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like I'll just clip their nails during the season, maybe ask the groomer to file em a bit so there not as sharp, thanks for the replies. My Riken boat is actually in pretty good shape for its age, just one patch from my dog, The wear is on top of the bow tubes. The material is fading quick from the sun and time. Each trip a little more fades and peels off. I don't think the boat really got 303d much until I got it a few years ago. But yes a newer self bailer would be nice.
 

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I have a newer vangaurd and my dog goes on every trip and have never had a problem. He ways about 80 pounds and giant claws. Maybe its just the older boat.
 

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I've never had a problem with my 2 year old NRS Otter and two labs. The dogs are usually with me for daylong fishing trips or weeklong floats up here in AK. I only have about 400 miles on the boat so your experience may vary. I notice minor scratches by the end of the summer, but re-coating the boat with 303 protectant before putting it up for the winter eliminates them.

 
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