Dogs love playing in the water! It’s always fun seeing your dog (or someone else’s) playing in the beach or at the lake with the family and making a splash in the water.
But, dogs aren’t necessarily good swimmers; after all simply enjoying the water doesn’t qualify a person to swim either. Furthermore, even if the dogs are good swimmers, there is still a chance that something unexpected (or a rough tide) might catch them off-guard.
Distractions, exhaustion, even sudden bad weather can actually mean disaster for these poor creatures, and it’s up to us to protect them (after all, they do protect us).
Certainly, you could just keep them away from the water… but, what’s the fun in that? Well, there is actually a rather simple solution for this conundrum, a dog life jacket!
Your Dog Needs a Life Jacket?
Now, you might be asking yourself, a dog life jacket, who needs that? Well, we’ll be glad to tell you, every dog owner should have at least one doggy life jacket in their homes, especially if they live near bodies of water or own pools. While it’s true that not all dogs enjoy swimming, and others aren’t in the best physical conditions to swim (old age, obesity); it can be borderline impossible to stop your doggy from taking a dip every once in a while (especially in hot weather).
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the sudden changes in weather that have been happening recently. Storms have flooded cities within the United States that never expected it, and they continue to appear at the most inopportune moments. Having a life vest for your puppy/dog stored in a safe location in your house can keep your pet away from tragedy. Especially, as the weather continues to change and tropical depressions/hurricanes become more common.
Finally, just keep in mind that even expert swimmers wear life vests when participating in almost any outdoor water activities. You’ll see them everywhere, SUP boarders, kayakers, boaters, and even canoers they all wear the life vest (or at least should) when they take part in these hobbies, and your dog is no different. A life jacket (dog or human ones) can make all of the difference in these situations, especially considering that you can bring your dog along for these activities if they are properly equipped to handle them.
Basically, your dog needs a life jacket; it’s not a matter of “why”, but rather a preventative measure than can also maximize the enjoyment in life of that lovable furry family member!
How to Find the Best Dog Life Jacket for Your Pet?
There are only a few key features you have to look for in a life jacket for your dog, but they are crucial for the longevity of the product’s life and your pet’s safety. Take into account the following options before choosing the one you want:
1. Proper fitting
A good life jacket will feel comfortable and will provide your dog with a sense of safety while wearing it. It’s fairly challenging to find one that fits your pet right out of the box, especially if you’re purchasing it online. But, don’t worry as many of these come with adjustable straps that can be used to fit the vest properly on your dog.
Pro tip: Find one that features a telescoping neck as this will allow you to securely fit it to your dog, and will allow it to adjust to his size as he or she grows older. This particular feature is useful, when you buy it early on in their life.
2. Handles, straps, and buckles (Internal/external)
Any doggy life vest worth its salt will have at least a few of these features included:
You see, pets can get stressed out while in the water if something were to happen or if they feel like they’re becoming exhausted. A handle on the life vest will let you quickly get a grip on your dog and pull him/her out of the water without having to risk the dog scratching you by mistake or jumping on top of you. This is especially useful, as scared animals won’t always react like they usually do, instead of calmly approaching you they might just start flailing in place or moving erratically. Having a life vest with a solid handle to grab on to in the case of emergency will let you and your dog escape from difficult situations with a lot more ease… especially if the doggy is stressed out.
The straps and buckles on the other hand can be found outside and inside the doggy vest, and each one has different benefits/downsides.
Outer straps (external) can be used to adjust the life vest quickly and easily, however, please keep in mind that it can easily snag on hazards that might be around the dock or even boats, so you must pay close attention to your pet if it’s this type.
Inner straps (internal) on the other hand will be slightly harder to adjust, but won’t hook to anything that is around and can keep your pet safe from those hazards.
3. Material and craftsmanship
You’ll always want to buy a life vest that is sturdy and durable, also made from high-density material that is capable of resisting rips and tear. Normally, these will last for years before requiring a replacement and stronger materials will also offer better protection during emergency situations.
4. Ease of wear
A good life vest will not only be comfortable but also easy to wear and this is ultimately determined by being able to put it on/off your pet quickly and safely. Always make sure you practice putting it on your doggy before setting out to the lake/beach as this will let your pet familiarize itself with the vest and will let get used to wearing it.
8 Best Dog Life Jackets 2019
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device
21 x 18 x 2''
9 x 3 x 12''
9.4 x 9.1 x 1.6''
15 x 7 x 2.5''
5.2 x 7.2 x 1.2''
25 x 10 x 2''
One of the coolest looking doggy life jackets on the market thanks to its comfortable design and versatility, the EZYDog Doggy Floation Device earns our editor’s choice as the best life vest for your pup!
Available in a variety of colors, you’ll find that you can get them in almost anything that suits your taste, from normal schemes such as red or yellow, to more complex patterns like camouflage, the EZYDog is sure to please.
But, that’s not all, as the EZYDog comes with a design that is certain to fit almost any breed you could have, see the vest is slightly shorter on the sides, but features a wide chest area that can adjust with the help of the straps.
Furthermore, its ergonomic design is meant to help your pup’s head stay above water, thanks its neck area featuring more padding than other models, you won’t have to stress about your dog’s neck getting tired. But, if they do indeed get tired, a solidly built handle will let you nab them right out of the water.
Still it’s a very solid purchase that will make both you and your doggy very happy. As such, the EZYDog earns top marks with our editors!
Dog life jacket + shark fin always equals awesome, but couple of that with a solid design and build, and you’ve got yourself a winner. The Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Jacket delivers in all of these areas and is a fantastic life vest that comes in multiple sizes and with a cool looking fin for added grip!
Made with heavy-duty flotation materials, you’ll watch your dog stay safe even in rougher bodies of water (just don’t get overconfident and always keep an eye on your pup). Additionally, it also has plenty of floating material around the neck, keeping it above water at all times.
Finally, the fabric on this dog life jacket is built to last, cementing the Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Jacket as one of the best products in the market.
Made for the active dog (and owner) who just want to spend some time at the beach, lake, nearby body of water with their furry companion, the Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket with Extra Padding is one awesome flotation device for your furry companion.
Comfortable and adjustable, this life jacket come in multiple sizes that are just perfect for whatever size your puppy currently is, and adaptable enough to stay with them for a prolonged period of time. The straps and Velcro fastening also provide extra safety to your dog!
Found in a variety of bright colors, you’ll also be able to spot them from quite a distance (but, hopefully not too far).
An easy to reach handle lets you pull your dog to safety no matter where he is, but if you’re more concerned with them getting away, the metal d-ring will let you strap them on a leash.
A solid purchase for anyone looking to get a life jacket for their dog, the Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket is awesome!
Highly buoyant and extremely visible life vest for your dog, the Paws Aboard R1400 Fido Pet Products Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket will keep your dog safe in any body of water. As with many other dog floating devices, this one also comes in a variety of colors that will catch your attention from miles.
But, what makes the Paws Aboard R1400 particularly special? Well, there its breathable mesh underbelly area actually makes this one easier to drain and dry faster than others, making it easier to store back in the car once your dog is done with the water.
A solid handle on top + a d-ring for attaching a leash will also help you keep your furry companion safe in any situation, and with the extra padding around the body, your dog will stay safely above water even in rougher seas.
Finally, some reflective straps will help you (and others) find your dog in the water even if it were to get dark.
One of the best in the market, the Paws Aboard R1400 can help you spot your pup in both the light and darkness.
We’ve all seen Finding Nemo, and most of us have loved it, well if you wanted your own pet clown fish, but didn’t want to risk harming the ecosystem or creating a scenario similar to the one in the movie, the JunBo Shark & Clownfish Shaped Dog Life Vest is for you!
This high-quality vest is made from highly buoyant materials that are also durable and comfortable for your furry companion. You’ll find that it provides them with a feeling of safety as you adjust it to their body thanks to the adjustable straps.
A solidly built handle will let your pick up your pet easily, and the dorsal provides and extra area to grip for quick retrieval of your dog. Plus, the fasteners around the neck and belly add to the feeling of safety that your dog will appreciate.
But, speaking of dorsal fin, you’ll find most doggy life vests feature a shark fin, but this one has a clownfish one that makes your dog look just adorable and fashionable.
A solid purchase for those who love Disney movies and clownfish without wanting to harm the coral reef, the JunBo Shark & Clownfish Dog Life Vest is perfect for you.
High quality cotton makes the Surblue Dog Life Vest one of the most comfortable and breathable life vest for dogs on the market.
An easy to reach handle and a cute design make it a cool/cute choice for those dogs who are more on the fashionable side thanks to its variety of colors.
The mesh fiber also allows it to dry fairly fast ensuring easy storage after the day is over. Plus the reflective tape on the side allows you to spot your furry friend even in the dark.
The adjustable buckle allows it to fit comfortably in your pet and makes it easy to wear.
The handle and d-ring combination is also present on this model, allowing you to keep your dog safe and sound with you by their side.
Still it’s perfect for those days when you want to go out to the lake, river, or beach with your doggy making the Surblue DogLife Vest a fantastic purchase!
Safety, comfort, and visibility are traits to always look for in a life vest for your pup, and the Outward Hound Dawson delivers in all of these areas.
The Outward Hound Dawson prioritizes the safety of your dog, and it shows through their design, unlike others this one has dual handles for maximum grip ensuring you can safely pull your pup out of any precarious situation. Additionally, the straps on this model are underneath the dog, which keeps them from snagging on anything above the water.
Reflective accents, bright visible colors, and a neck float all help keep your mind at ease, knowing that your dog is safely playing in the water. Plus, the five different sizes available mean you’ll find something that fits your dog perfectly regardless of size.
A sleek and smooth design also helps your dog become the most fashionable pup at the waterfront.
Extra padding and insulation helps your dog retain his body warmth even in lower temperatures.
Fashionable, safe, and comfortable, the Outward Hound Dawson is a great dog life jacket that’s perfect for your furry companion.
A protective shell for all the seasons that fits your dog comfortably and keeps them safely above the water, the Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket is here for your pup (and you as well).
This life jacket is a dual-purpose life vest in that it also functions as a raincoat to keep your pet relatively dry in the rain. Furthermore, its high visibility color scheme, plus the dual handles, and d-ring features all allow you to keep your dog safe in almost any situation.
Internal straps ensure that your dog won’t get snagged on anything that could be in the water, whether it’s above the waterline or below.
Five different sizes ensures you’ll always find something available for your dog regardless of size, and it’s rugged material design means that it’s both machine washable and extremely durable, helping you keep it around for prolonged periods of time.
Still, safety is the most important aspect to people who want to play with their dogs in the water and in that regard, the Kurgo Surf N Turf delivers masterfully, this makes it a solid purchase for anyone!
Pets are an important part of our families. Your children love them, and you do as well, so why not do what’s best for them, and get them a life jacket? Not only will you maximize the amount of activities your dog can (safely) participate in, but you’ll also be preventing any tragedies from striking at inopportune moments.
Dogs love the water, and most people enjoy at least one or two water based outdoor activities, and people know they have to wear life vests too; therefore your dog needs as well.
Choosing the one that is the best fit for your puppy is the most important part, after all if it looks cool, but doesn’t help them out, what’s the point of buying it? You need something that will conform to your dog’s body, and will keep them safely above the water.
But, thankfully, plenty of dog life jacket manufactures keep both of these features in mind. You’ll find an assortment of funny/cool looking life vest for your furry friend to wear and be the talk of the town as he safely swims with the kids for hours on end without fear of hurting himself.
Finally, they’re relatively cheap to buy and even the higher end ones don’t reach ridiculous prices, spending fifty dollars now and avoiding tragedy in the long-run is always going to be a winning investment in our book.
Don’t wait, get a doggy life jacket for your dog(s) and get them used to wearing it, especially if you like water sports and want them to join you in for the fun!