[TOP 5] Best Dog Life Jackets – Make Your Pup Safe In Water

Dog Life Jackets

Swimming with your dog is a wonderful activity. On lazy summer days, it allows your pooch to stay cool, even when the sun is shining. As with humans, swimming is also an excellent source of exercise for your pet.

For a dog, one minute of swimming is equivalent to four minutes of running. Swimming builds strong, lean muscles and is an appropriate, low-impact exercise for older dogs. In this article, we will take a look at the best dog life jackets on the market.

Best Dog Life Jackets Comparison Chart

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As we all know, however, water activities are not a completely risk-free undertaking. Wet conditions can vary and some dogs are not naturally good swimmers. Certain breeds are simply not designed for swimming; they have thick bodies, short legs and small paws. Turbulent water conditions may even overwhelm a small dog.

While some dogs are excellent swimmers, swimming is an intense exercise for them, so they won’t have boundless energy while out in the water. Your dog may even get into a situation where it is not physically able to get out of the water, especially places like swimming pools with high, slippery sides.

We protect our children while they indulge in aquatic activities, so as responsible pet owners, why shouldn’t we protect our dogs?

A dog life vest is an option that can offer you peace of mind while around the water with your pup. Now, you might be wondering…

Does My Dog Really Need a Life Jacket?

Well, let’s take a look. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if a life vest is appropriate for your pooch:

  • Have you seen your dog around water?
  • Can he swim? Can you supervise him at all times while he is swimming?
  • Can he swim in rough waters or waves?
  • If your dog joins you on boat or paddle surfing rides, are you 100% sure your dog would be able to reach the shore if the boat capsized?

If you answered no to any of these very basic questions, then you should consider a life jacket as an option for your pet.

The bottom line? In extreme cases, your dog could end up injured and stuck in the water, and when it comes to your dog’s well being, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Are Dog Life Jackets Just for Boat Rides?

This is a matter of personal taste but, in our opinion, if you have invested in a life preserver for your loving pet, he may as well wear it whenever he is around water.

A life jacket for dogs can actually curb a number of unwanted aquatic behaviors of dogs. Your dog may be the type to obsessively dive for objects in a lake. Of course, if the dog is wearing a life vest, he cannot indulge in this behavior.

Is there anything worse than being scratched by a dog underwater?

Most dog flotation devices have handles, making it possible for you to hold the dog away from yourself or from kids in the water. In addition, the life jackets create drag in the water, which means your dog will have to work harder in order to move forward, making swimming even better exercise for them.

Fitting Fido

So, you’re convinced. You have decided that life jackets are a great tool in keeping your swim-loving pooch safe. However, how on earth do you assure a comfortable fit for one of these things?

Most life jackets for dogs will come with a weight recommendation, but you mostly just want to make sure your dog is comfortable in the vest. Not too tight and not so loose that he looks like he is drowning in the life jacket itself! So, what does that mean exactly? Some ground rules to go by when your dog is wearing the jacket, include:

  • Can my dog sit?
  • Can my dog lie down?
  • Can my dog comfortably go to the bathroom?

Online shopping can be a great tool when shopping for pet products in general. You get much better prices and a much larger selection. To find the perfect fitting for a life jacket while shopping online, make sure you measure him lengthwise (from his neck to his tail) and also at the thickest part of his chest to make sure it doesn’t end up too tight.

Your dog should be able to walk normally in his life jacket once he gets used to it. If he can’t, it may be too long, which would impede his leg movement or it may cause uncomfortable friction.

Vital Features

In addition to proper sizing, there are certain aspects of a dog life jacket that are indispensable to ensure your dog’s safety. When purchasing a life jacket for your pup, ensure the following:

  • A grab handle. This feature allows you to easily pull your dog to safety in case of an emergency. A grab handle also makes it easier for you to lift your dog out of the water when you yourself are in an awkward position, such as seated in a kayak or atop an unstable surfboard.
  • Bright colors and/or a reflective trim. This feature enables your dog to be seen from afar. Stay away from dull colors like black and blue as this can actually camouflage them in an ocean or lake.
  • Flotation. Of course, your dog life jacket needs to be able to keep him afloat if your pet is unable to keep himself buoyant.

As a dog owner, you should kit out your pet with a life vest that fits perfectly, as well as look out for vital features on your pet’s life preserver. The following section will focus on our picks for the best dog life jackets on the market.

Dog Life Jacket Reviews

1. Ruffwear – K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, by RuffWear

RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium
  • BUILT TO LAST: The K-9 Float Coat is constructed from time-proven, abrasion-resistant materials to instill confidence that the jacket will be able to keep your...
  • STRATEGICALLY-PLACED CLOSED-CELL FOAM PANELS: Strategically-placed closed cell foam panels enable your dog to maintain their natural swimming position without...

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This doggy lifejacket comes in sizes XXS–XL, so you are sure to find one that fits your dog perfectly. The neck is also adjustable, so if you have a slender dog with a wide chest, you will still be able to fit him properly for a life jacket.

It comes in yellow or red which are both vibrant colors to increase the visibility of your dog while it is in the water. The reflective trim will allow your dog to be visible, even in poor lighting conditions. It has a strong grab handle on the back to allow a dog owner to easily lift their pup out of the water.

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The flotation pads are designed to support the dog in his natural position and will keep its face out of the water, even if it is tired. The RuffWear K-9 Float Coat is expensive but highly durable and can be washed by hand. The only real negative point is that the leash ring is made of plastic and some users reported that this feature was fragile.

  • Durable
  • High-visibility rating
  • Adjustable neck
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy-to-maneuver handle
  • Expensive
  • Leash ring is plastic

2. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket, by EzyDog

EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Small, Yellow)
  • BEST HIGH-PERFORMANCE FLOTATION DEVICE DOG LIFE VEST JACKET: Combining advanced manufacturing techniques and the highest performance materials available, our...
  • ADJUSTABLE DESIGN WITH 50% MORE FLOATION MATERIAL: Adjustable neoprene straps form an ergonomic, secure fit that keeps up with your dog. The EzyDog dog life...

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This life jacket for dogs comes in sizes XS-XL. The XS accommodates the tiniest of dogs that weigh as little as 15 lbs. It is available in three strong colors; bright yellow, vibrant red and a camo color. Since visibility is one of our main features to look for in a pet life jacket, we can’t recommend the camo color, unless it is for hunting with your dog.

This pet flotation device also features reflective detailing to improve visibility in poor lighting conditions. This life jacket has 50% more flotation materials when compared to similar products, including ample under-chin padding to keep a tired pooch’s head out of the water.

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You are guaranteed a good fit as the life vest attaches via two stretchy neoprene straps around the chest and belly. This life jacket will even fit awkward or unusually shaped dogs thanks to this feature.

It is also significantly less expensive than the Ruffwear Float Coat. The EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device has a built-in handle that allows you to lift or guide your dog out of the water.

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Vibrant, highly-visible color options and reflective detailing
  • Vest is fitted with two flexible underbody straps
  • Inexpensive
  • Some users expressed concern about the strength of handle for lifting a large breed out of the water
  • No buoyant padding under belly

3. Fido Pet Products Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket, by Paws Aboard

Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket Large, Red
  • New reflective strips for maximum visibility
  • Bright designer colors and unique designs

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This dog life jacket comes in sizes XS-XL. It comes in only one color: a gorgeous, highly-visible poppy red. The straps that fit around the body are fitted with reflective straps for better visibility in dark or dusky conditions. It has a strong grab handle on the back to allow you to help your dog in and out of the water. This strap is even appropriate for lifting large dogs.

The underside has breathable mesh that contains the dog’s entire body. One concerning observation is that the vest fits long on a dogs body. The length measurement is extremely important with this jacket, otherwise the meshing can cover your dog’s private parts and he may end up urinating on the vest, not to mention that this flaw could cause discomfort.

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This jacket is made out of quality, durable materials. Although buoyant, this life jacket carries the dog low in the water, which may make pet owners nervous if they know their dog is a poor swimmer. It will also not keep an exhausted dog’s head out of the water in an emergency. The Paws Aboard life vest is reasonably priced and affordable.

  • Bright and vibrant red color
  • Large variety of sizes
  • High-quality material
  • Slim fit
  • Inexpensive
  • Meshing interferes with dogs private parts
  • Not buoyant enough to keep a heavy, poor swimmer safe
  • Plastic leash ring

4. Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket, by Kurgo

Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Medium, Red
  • DOUBLES AS DOG LIFE JACKET AND RAINCOAT: This 2 season coat can be used as a life vest to assist your dog when in water or on a boat, and as a raincoat by...
  • 2 CONTROL HANDLES: Dog jacket has 2 transverse handles for quick control to extract dog from water when needed; life vest for dogs is made of rugged ripstop...

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We’ll start off this review by pointing out that Kurgo has a lifetime warranty in place of this life jacket, meaning that, any manufacturing issues such as broken leash rings or buckles, or torn stitching, will not be an issue for you. This life jacket comes is sizes XS-XL and is available only in red. It also has reflective trimming around the collar for better visibility.

The Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket comes in high-quality, rip-resistant material and features not one but two grab handles on the back. One handle is positioned lengthwise and the other widthwise for an easy grab at any angle. With easy removal of the floatation layer, this life jacket can easily be turned into a raincoat for your dog.

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This lifejacket also features two leash rings… and they are made of metal! Be aware, however, that during sizing that these life jackets are on the larger size, so if your dog is in the middle of two sizes, opt for the smaller one.

The jacket attaches under your dog’s tummy but there is no floating material under there, so this jacket is most appropriate for active dogs that are at least O.K. swimmers. This life vest is affordable and reasonably priced.

  • Vibrant, visible color and reflective trim on collar
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Two grab handles
  • Two metal leash rings
  • Converts into a coat
  • Bulky
  • No floatation material under belly

5. Outward Hound Ripstop Dog Life Jacket, by Outward Hound

Medium Dog Life Jacket, Outward Hound Granby Splash
  • DUAL RESCUE HANDLES - This dog life jacket is constructed with dual grab handles for easy rescue & restraint
  • HIGH VISIBILITY - Never lose sight of your dog with bright orange coloring & reflective piping

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This pet life preserver comes in three different colors: plain red, plain orange, and “fun fish,” which is a bright orange with a fish design of the “Finding Nemo” variety. All are highly visible on the water and feature reflective accents to help improve visibility in poor light conditions. The Outward Hound life jacket comes in sizes XS-XL.

It also boasts an under chin flotation to help keep your pooch’s head above the water. It has a double grab handle to assist you in lifting your dog in and out of the water. Both handles are fitted widthwise on the body. This feature allows for proper weight distribution when pulling a dog out of the water.

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This life preserver is reasonably priced. It does not have a leash ring. This pet life jacket is highly buoyant and floats well. It will even support a poor swimmer. However, it must be noted that some users reported that the flotation materials were awkwardly positioned and rolled their dog in the water.

  • Affordable
  • Bright Colors and reflective trim
  • Two grab handles
  • Variety of sizes
  • Ample buoyancy
  • No leash ring
  • On some dogs, the floatation material is awkwardly placed

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pet safe. If your dog spends a lot of time around the water, whether swimming at your weekend retreat cottage or acts as your co-captain on a marine vessel, he really should have a dog life jacket.

Accidents do happen and, just like you, your precious pet is an animal that is not designed to swim indefinitely. All of these jackets are great options for keeping your dog safe in aquatic situations. For proper sizing, you can use fitting charts on the web, but your best option is to go to a store and try them on and then order online for a better price.

Which life preserver to buy depends largely on your dog’s shape, athleticism, ability to swim and comfort level in the water. With the right life jacket, your pet can splash around and have fun without you having to worry about his safety.

2 thoughts on “[TOP 5] Best Dog Life Jackets – Make Your Pup Safe In Water”

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.

      Ruffwear has awesome cooling vests for dogs.( Swamp Cooler for Dogs) Frontpet also has cooling vests, and so does Bingpet. They all have 4-5 star ratings on Amazon. That said, it’s always best to keep your dogs out of the sun during the hot summer months to avoid heatstroke and exhaustion.

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