Want to know the best life jacket for your dog? Then you are in the right place.
Going into water sports is always a fun experience you get into the water and enjoy freely with nature.
But leaving your boi(dog) at home is not always a great idea, sometimes you miss your fido and want their accompany.
So now you decided to take them on your next trip, but a question may arise – Is it safe?
Is it safe to take your fido in the water without any safety?
You may say – Yes, it is safe since a dog is a natural swimmer, and they can swim easily, or your pup loves water, so it’s easy for him/her to swim, etc.
Now you may be shocked to hear, but the answer is No! they are not safe in the water without any safety.
I know you must be thinking about how it can be possible?
Well, even though a dog is a natural swimmer and can swim comfortably in the water, they get exhausted after some time, and their movement began to slow off.
And if they can’t find a safe place soon, they began drowning and eventually drown if a rescue doesn’t occur, thus getting a threat on their life.
Now, if you are in shallow water or near the shore, then you may jump off and try to protect your dog when they seem to be exhausted, but what will you do in deep water or white water(if going for canoeing)?
Then you can’t merely jump and try to rescue; you have to be on board and try to help; otherwise, you will put a threat on your life as well.
So to make sure that you can quickly rescue in the case of an emergency, you need to make your buddy wear a life jacket specially designed for dogs.
A life vest for a dog provides extra buoyancy needed to stay afloat. Also, some are designed to support the natural swimming pattern while helping to float.
Now, a question will arise – Which life jacket to buy for your dog?
Well, don’t worry because I have spent more than 80 hours researching and asking the professionals to recommend the best vest for dogs.
So you can be assured that you are getting the right information.
After substantial research, I have finally summed up 11 best life jackets that you can get for your dog to ensure their safety and make sure that your journey remains happy.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
#11 SwimWays Sea Squirts Fin Friends
This is a durable life jacket made of heavy-duty fiber that allows maximum durability and peace of mind. Strong fiber resists tears and punctures that may occur when your pooch is enjoying freely in the water.
There are two belly straps and a chest strap that securely fits your dog in the vest and makes sure that they won’t slip out of it while swimming, which gives a sense of security.
The vest provides full-body water flotation and keeps your pooch mouth above the water, thus protecting them every time.
It has a flexible dorsal fin(Shark Fin) on the back that makes your pooch a center of attraction and gives them a cute shark look. Also, there is a handle near the Fin that you can use to lift your dog or carry the vest.
By connecting a leash to the metal D-Ring included in the vest, you can control your dog even on the land apart from controlling him/her in the water.
Currently, it is available in Blue color and two sizes – Small and Medium, for which the measurement looks like below.
- Adorable Design
- Durable Material
- Flexible Dorsal Fin
- Metal D-Ring for use on Land
- Not for Large Dogs
- Not for Long Haired
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes, but! It is a good quality vest with a cute design that you will love, but it is only a good investment if you dog is of medium or small size and has short hairs; otherwise, look below for better ones.
This is a very adorable life vest that can make your pooch a center of attraction on the beach or pool party. Wearing this gives them a cute and funny look since they pretend like a cute little shark.
The build quality and functionality is fantastic and keep your dog’s mouth above the water even when they are not putting enough effort.
If your dog is small and has a fear of water, then this vest will build their confidence and let them enjoy freely and fully in the water.
Overall, it is a good vest, but there are two things that I dislike about it.
First, since it is available in Small and Medium size, therefore, it is not suitable for large dogs and doesn’t fit them well, so if you have a large dog, then this one is not for you.
Second, even though it is perfect for small and medium hair dogs, it is not that good when it comes to long hair. The reason being that the long hairs get stuck in the jacket while swimming, so when removing, it can be a painful experience since the hair gets plucked out.
#10 Onemore Choice Camo Pet Life Preserver
The middle layer is made out of flexible nylon fabric that prevents tears and punctures that may otherwise have occurred when your pooch is enjoying freely in the water.
And finally, there is a mesh at the outer layer, which makes this vest breathable. It eliminates excess water and heat from being collected, thus making it lightweight and cool.
There are two ultra-durable Velcro belly straps, and a chest strap clipped together by Quick-release buckles that securely fits your dog within the vest and ensures that he/she won’t slip out even in the worst situation.
On the Belly straps, there is a reflective lining material that increases visibility in low light conditions, so if you are planning to go at night, then this jacket is for you.
On the top, there is a Solid handle that allows you to quickly move your dog in or out of the water or carry them wherever you want.
A D-ring is included in the jacket where you can attach your leash to control them on water or land without any further problem.
Currently, it is available in three different designs and color(according to gender), and five different sizes, the measurement is as below.
- Three Cool Design
- Reflective Material
- Comfortable and Breathable
- Size runs Small
- Quality is poor
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Maybe! The quality is not great; therefore, it will begin to rip off in a few use. So it’s a good investment only when you want it for one time use in a short vacation. Otherwise, look for better ones below.
The first thing that I loved is the three unique designs that are customized according to gender.
So for a male dog, there is Shark Design, and for a female dog, there is a Pink color Mermaid design, which suits well to both the genders.
Also, there is a Camouflage print design that suits all the pooch regardless of their gender.
Unlike the last vest, this one is comfortable for short as well as long hair dogs since the hairs don’t get stuck in the jacket.
The mesh present below helps it to dry faster and wicks away moisture quickly.
Overall, I liked this jacket, but there are two things that I really dislike about it.
First, many people, including me, have complained that the size fits small on the dog and that the size chart needs correction.
So I would suggest you buy a bigger size for a proper fit; otherwise, you will most probably get a smaller and tighter fit that your pooch will not like very much.
Secondly, the quality of this jacket is poor since the handle was broken on the first day. The straps and vest begin to rip off in the following days after a few uses, which I never expected.
#9 Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket
The two belly straps and an adjustable collar strap present on the vest clip together by a quick-release buckle to securely fit your dog within.
Also, it gives a sense of safety as it ensures that your pooch won’t slip out while enjoying the water.
Reflective strips are present on the belly straps to increase visibility during the low-light condition, which means your pooch can accompany you during a night trip.
There is a mesh present in the underbelly, which eliminates excess heat trapped in the body, thus making your dog cool during the journey. Also, it drains excess water coming in, thus making the jacket lightweight.
On the top, there is a rescue handle that you can use to control your dog in and out of the water quickly. Also, you can use it to carry your dog in/out of water or rescue him/her in case of an emergency.
In front of the handle, there is a D-ring where you can attach your own leash to control your pooch in and out of water.
Currently, it is available in eight different colors, design, and six different size option ranging from Too Small to Too Large. The measurement is as below.
- Good Material
- Lightweight and Flexible
- Great Color and Design
- Many Size Options
- Quality not as expected
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes, but! It is an excellent vest with many useful features, but it’s a good investment only when you want it for a short time, a vacation, let’s say.
The first thing that will amaze you is the range of fashion-forward designs they have on their list. Amazing Designs!
The unique design makes it comfortable for long and short hair pooch, unlike other vests that are only good for short hairs, which is a relief since you don’t have to be size-specific while getting this thing.
Also, here I felt that the size chart has good measurement and works the way it should, but there are few people who claim that the chart is a liar. So make sure to properly measure your dog’s Body girth to get a proper idea of the size you must get.
All the colors used in all the designs are of high vibrancy, which means you can easily spot your dog from far away, which is helpful in the water in case of an emergency.
Overall, I liked it, but there is something I disliked about it, and that is – Poor Quality.
In the first ride itself, you will notice that the mesh stitching has begun to come apart, and there is something not right.
In almost a week, your mesh lining, velcro straps, and other areas will begin to rip off, thus making it more and more inefficient.
So I would say that it’s a great jacket if you are getting it for a short vacation where your pooch is coming in the water for a day or two, otherwise, go below and buy a better one as it’s not long-lasting.
#8 Wellver Dog Life jacket
This is a durable and comfortable life vest made from ripstop fabric which prevents most of the tears. The soft foam-like material inside ensures that your dog remains comfortable while playing in the water.
There are two Velcro adjustable belly straps and a neck strap that provides easy adjustment. It securely fits your pooch inside the vest and ensures that he/she won’t slip out while paddling.
On both the belly straps, there is a highly reflective strip that increases visibility in low light conditions like dusk and night. It also helps you to quickly spot your dog above the dark water or in a crowded area.
Both the belly straps join up to make a handle that you can use to control your dog in or out of the water quickly. It can also be used to rescue in case of an emergency.
A soft adjustable foam-like protector is present under the belly that protects your pooch skin from chafing and provides extra comfort.
Currently, it is available in four different colors and size options, the measurement of which is shown below.
- Soft Adjustable Protector
- Highly visible color
- Reflective Strip
- Adjustable Straps
- Handles are facing the wrong direction
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Not Really! It is a good Dog life vest, but you can get a better jacket at a similar price.
The design is different from most other vests on this list, which has its own pros and cons.
Well, the pro is, of course, that you are getting a different design than most others, and the con is that there are many changes that are still not perfect.
All the four colors are highly vibrant and can help you to quickly spot your pooch from far away, thus helping you to find him/her in a crowded place.
And for night time, the reflective strips are there, which means it’s highly visible all the time no matter whether it’s day or night.
Overall, it is a good vest, but there are several things that I miss and others that I dislike.
The thing I miss is that this dog vest must have a mesh at the bottom along with the soft protector, which would have been helpful.
And the thing I dislike entirely is that the straps are faced in the wrong direction, and it is almost impossible to move the pooch in case of an emergency.
So that can be a problem, but else this thing is good.
#7 Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket
There are two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap that clip together by a quick-release buckle to securely fit your pooch within and ensure that he/she won’t slip out even after paddling for a considerable time in the water.
Soft foam is present on the neck strap, which floats in the water and supports your pooch head to remain above water even in the worst situation. It is helpful when your boi is exhausted and needs a little support.
On the top, there are two grab handles that you can use to control your dog in or out of the water. They can be used to rescue in the case of an emergency quickly.
The neoprene material used in the side panels provides enough buoyancy to stay afloat, and since neoprene has a natural stretch to it, therefore, it is very comfortable for dogs to wear.
Also, this material provides warming insulation, i.e., it keeps your pooch warm in cold water swims.
Currently, it is available in two high visibility colors and five different sizes, the measurement of which is as below.
- High Visibility Colors
- Neoprene Side Pannels
- Warming Insulation
- Double Rescue Handles
- Straps are loose
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes, But! It is a great life vest and a very good investment, but remember that you will face the loosen straps issue, which may make it not a worthy investment.
The most attractive thing about this dog life jacket is it’s very high visibility color, which quickly allows you to spot your pooch from a long distance or in a crowded area.
Another thing I totally loved is the floating neck-strap, which floats in the water and supports the face to stay above water. It enables them to breathe properly when exhausted.
In the previous vests, I hear a lot of people complaining that the handle breaks on the first day, well, this jacket has the solution.
The two handles quickly enable the rescue, and even if one of the handles breaks, then also you can still use the second one.
Overall, it is a fantastic life vest for dogs, but there is one thing that I strongly dislike.
And that one thing is that the straps keep loosing by itself frequently and you have to check and tighten them after a few intervals which is too irritating.
#6 EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device
This is a durable DFD(Dog Floatation Device) made from Heavy Duty Polyester, which resists tears and punctures that may otherwise have occurred while your pooch is showing his/her excellent swimming skills.
There are two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap made of neoprene that provides a secure fit and ensure that your dog doesn’t slip out while paddling through the water.
Neoprene has a natural stretch to it, which makes it adjustable and comfortable to wear so you can expect the straps to be comfortable.
Unlike other vests, it has a contoured neck design that allows your pooch to maintain their natural swim pattern, i.e., to paddle and keep the head above water. This design gives the most ergonomic fit and makes it more dog-friendly.
Inside there is an ultra-buoyant foam material that provides 50% more buoyancy than most other DFD and keeps your boi safely afloat.
Between the belly straps, there is a convenient grab handle that can be used to quickly carry your pooch in and out of the water in case of an emergency.
On the side, there is a highly reflective strip that increases visibility during low light conditions like evening, dusk, and night. It enables you to quickly spot your pooch at night if they slip off the boat or go somewhere.
Currently, it is available in three different colors and five different size options, the measurement of which is below.
- Durable PFD
- Ergonomic and Comfortable
- Ultra-Buoyant Foam
- Highly reflective Strip
- Contour Neck Design
- Design Tapered in the Back
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes, but! It’s a very good life jacket for dogs, but due to its bulkiness, it’s not the best one for small dogs.
The durable material used in this vest makes it of better quality than many others on this list. Polyester for sturdy exterior and foam for a comfortable interior makes it a perfect combination.
My dog liked the Contoured Neck design, which allows mobility and enables them to swim in their natural swimming pattern. I can see him enjoying the water.
The handle is of good quality, not the best, and can be used several times before it begins to rip off, which is fantastic. At least it will not break on the first attempt itself.
Overall, I really loved this jacket apart from two things.
First, The ultra-buoyant foam, which is inserted to provide 50% more buoyancy, has made it bulkier than other vests.
This can be a problem since some dogs may not be able to swim for long while carrying the bulkiness.
Second, the design reduces in the back rather than being broad, which tends the dog to lift rear horizontally to the head.
It may look small, but it forces their head to frequently go underwater, which can be a problem if done for a long time since it prevents them from swimming in their natural pattern.
#5 Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket
This is a modern dog life jacket also popularly known as a 2 season coat. Made with Nylon exterior, it makes sure that the vest is protected from most of the tears and punctures that otherwise may have occurred while your pooch is jumping and enjoying freely.
It has a removable flotation layer that you can remove to use it as a raincoat during springs and a regular vest during other summer activities like excursions.
There are two adjustable belly straps and a Velcro neck strap that properly adjust your fido inside and make sure that he/she won’t slip out during paddling.
On the top, there are two transverse handles made of rugged ripstop material that you can use to quickly extract your pup out of the water in case of an emergency. Also, you can use it to carry/control your dog in or out of the water.
The ripstop material makes the handle ready to withstand rough use, which makes it long-lasting.
Reflective trim is present on the vest to increase visibility during low light conditions like in the night or dawn. It quickly enables you to spot your fido over water in the dark or in a crowded area.
Near the front strap, there is a bottle opener that can come in handy while enjoying drinks during the trip.
Also, there are two metal D-rings where you can attach your leash to control your pooch in or out of the water.
Currently, it is available in a highly visible red color and five different size options, the measurement of which is shown below.
- 2 Season Coat
- 2 Control Handles
- 2 D-Rings
- Highly visible color and reflective trim
- Lifetime Warranty
- Can be Uncomfortable while pulling dog using Handle
- Not very much durable
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes! It is a fantastic life vest which has more than expected so probably a good investment.
It is definitely a multi-use life jacket that you in the water as well as on the land.
There is a floatation layer that you can remove to make it a regular vest and thus go on a short walk or something.
It gives more than what is expected in a dog vest like two handles, D-rings, bottle opener, and a lot more that really made me love this product.
Also, the color is very vibrant and helps to spot from far away quickly.
Overall I loved it, but there is something that I want to be added in here, and that is padding under the belly straps.
Currently, there is no padding under the belly straps, which makes it uncomfortable for the pooch(since the buckles tighten on the belly) when pulling him out of the water using the handle.
#4 Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jacket
There is an extra layer of padding present in the belly area that provides extra buoyancy and helps your dog to easily float even when he/she is exhausted. Padding also provides extra comfort and protection such that the quick buckle doesn’t irritate the belly.
Two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap clipped together by quick-release buckles securely fit your fido inside and ensures that the jacket stays on them even on a huge impact.
Reflective trims are present on both the belly straps to increase visibility during low light conditions like during night or dusk. It can also be helpful in the day time to quickly spot your dog in a crowded area.
On the top, there is a comfortable grab handle sewed with durable stitching that lets you quickly control your dog in or out of the water. It enables a quick rescue in the case of an emergency.
A D-ring is also present where you can attach your leash to control your fido and keeps him with yourself in a crowded area or on the boat etc.
Currently, it is available in eight highly visible colors(including two camos) and four different size options, the measurement of which is given below.
- Extra Padding
- Durable Gran Handle
- Adjustable Straps
- High Visibility Colors
- Neck Area is Small
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes, But! It is a good life jacket for dogs, but its a little bulky, so if you have a tiny pup, then it may be burdensome for them. Otherwise, it’s a worthy investment.
The best thing I loved about this vest(apart from safety) is its high visibility colors, new camo colors to be more specific, which gives it a modern look.
All the adjustable straps help to adjust the fit according to your dog, which is great.
It’s also comfortable than many other vests due to the extra padding layer, which gives an adjustable belly to your pooch.
Overall, it is a fantastic jacket, and all the features are already mentioned above, so let’s talk about some of the things I dislike.
Now, due to the extra padding layer, it became bulky than what it should be, which is ok for medium and large dogs. But for small and extra small dogs, that may become a problem since they have to swim with added bulkiness.
Secondly, the neck area is smaller, which makes it difficult to fit and adjustable, thus making it uncomfortable for the dog.
#3 Vivaglory New Sports Style
It is a new sports dog life jacket from Vivaglory made up of upgraded ripstop 600D oxford cloth that has passed CA65 test, which makes it quite durable. The ripstop material prevents tears and punctures that may occur while your pup is swimming freely in the water.
This new design gives more mobility and lets your dog swim in their natural pattern. The upgraded neck design gives more space, thus making them feel more comfortable and peaceful while paddling.
It has 50% more flotation material than many other vests, which provides more buoyancy and lets your dog swim easily even when exhausted.
There are two belly straps, and a neck strap clipped together by a heavy-duty quick-release buckle that securely puts your pooch inside and doesn’t let them slip out even on heavy impact.
On the vest, there are several reflective trims that enhance visibility in low light conditions, especially at night. It helps you to quickly spot your boi in a crowded area in the day and over the water in the dark.
A grab handle is available at the top center, which lets you quickly extract your fido out of the water in case of an emergency.
Currently, it is available in 10 different colors and five different size options, the measurement of which is given below.
- New Design
- Durable and Comfortable
- High Visibility
- Foam soaks Water
- More Buoyant at the rear than the front
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Of course Yes! You are getting a new design dog life jacket that provides more buoyancy and better Rescue Handle. Completely worth the investment.
I have already tested the Vivaglory Ripstop version and was amazed to see the sleek sports design of this upgraded version.
New in the market, it has all the things required by your dog for a safe and enjoyable journey like a durable exterior and a comfortable interior.
All the colors are highly visible and thus help in quickly spotting your dog in a crowded area or in the water in day or night.
Overall, it’s a fantastic and highly recommended vest, but there are two things that are not that great.
Firstly, the foam present inside the vest provides 50% more buoyancy, but it also soaks 50% more water than most of the jackets on this list. It may look like a small problem, but actually, it makes the vest bulkier.
The bulkiness may be good for medium and large dogs, but for small dogs, it can be a problem.
The second thing that I and a lot of other customers observed is that the rear part has more buoyancy than the front part, which forces the pooch’s head to go inside the water, thus making them drown.
#2 Outward Hound Granby
Made from durable Ripstop material, it is one of the most sustainable life jackets for a dog on this list. Ripstop material prevents most of the tears and punctures that may otherwise rip apart this vest and make it dysfunctional.
There are two belly straps and a neck strap that securely fits your pooch inside and help him/her to swim with the jacket safely. It ensures that your fido doesn’t slip outside while swimming.
A foam-like material is present above the neck strap that helps the neck to float, thus keeping the mouth above water even when your pooch is not putting enough effort (when exhausted).
A neoprene belly band is present on this vest that makes it more comfortable and adjustable than most other jackets. Neoprene has extra stretch to it, which makes it comfortable, adjustable, and durable.
On the top, there are dual rescue handles that let you easily control your pet in or out of the water. You can use it to quickly rescue your fido from the water in case of an emergency.
Foam Panels present in this vest add buoyancy and helps your boi to stay afloat even when they are not putting in enough effort. It also makes this vest more comfortable and safe.
Currently, it is available in two different colors and four different size option, the measurement of which is given below.
- Duel Rescue Handles
- Highly Visible Color
- Neoprene Belly Band
- Foam Panels
- Straps not Elastic
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes! It is one of the best life jackets that you can get for your dog right now, so it’s a worthy investment.
It is one of the best life jackets for dogs and probably would have secured the first position if the straps are made elastic.
The design of this vest is fantastic, exterior on the outside and comfortable on the inside. I liked the Neoprene Belly band that gives a little stretch, so if your pooch has a big or small tummy, then it can be adjusted thanks to neoprene.
Some dogs are not good swimmers, and so it’s hard for them to always keep their face above the water, but by wearing this jacket, your fido will get an extra neck floating support that will keep the face above water while swimming.
This vest is available in high visibility Orange and Pink color that enables you to quickly spot your pooch from far away. It makes it easy for you to spot your boi in a crowded area.
Overall, I love the design, comfort, visibility, and this vest, but if this vest has adjustable straps, then it would have scored the first position.
#1 Ruffwear k9 Float Coat
Made from durable ripstop material, it is the best life jacket for dogs. Ripstop material prevents most of the tears and punctures that otherwise may have occurred while your pooch is freely enjoying the water.
The design is fantastic, for instance, if your dog slips over the boat or accidentally fell in the water upside down, then this vest will automatically flip him up, thus ensuring his safety.
Two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap properly fit your boi inside and ensure that he doesn’t slip out while enjoying. Quick-release buckles are used to clip belly straps, whereas telescoping neck closure is used to adjust the neck strap for the perfect fit.
A thin design-like Reflective Trim is present on the vest that increases visibility in low light conditions like in the dusk and night. It means that you can take your boi on night trips without any tension.
To make it more comfortable, strategically placed, closed-cell foam panels are present in this jacket that allows your fido to swim in their natural swimming pattern. It supports the upright position and ensures that the mouth always stays above the water.
On the top, there is a strong, durable, low-profile handle that you can use to quickly control your dog in and out of the water. It can be used to quickly rescue your pooch in the case of an emergency.
A durable webbing is present on this vest to maintain stability in wet environments.
Currently, you can get it in four high visibility colors and six different sizes, the measurement of which is shown below.
- Durable and Comfortable
- Closed-cell foam panels
- Strong and reliable handle
- Reflective Trim
- Durable Webbing
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Value for Money?
Simple Answer – Yes! It is a fantastic life jacket for a dog, and there is no better vest than this one — a Highly recommended investment.
Earlier I had a cheap PFD for my dog and decided to upgrade to this life jacket, and the experience is fantastic.
I have to say that it is the best Dog vest I have ever tested.
The fabric material is thick and can easily resist most of the tears and snags from the mangroves(and other things) that you may explore in your journey, which makes it durable.
It is also very comfortable and adjustable thanks to the buckles, material, and foam.
One of the things I loved is that all the straps and buckles are over the material and do not irritate the skin(so it doesn’t chafe).
Also, the dog doesn’t feel any discomfort when I hold from the handle as the buckles do not dig into the skin.
I completely loved it and has not found anything bad, so this is the winner.
How to choose a life jacket for Dog?
Want to choose a life jacket for your dog by yourself? Or are you curious to know what a good life vest must-have?
Then below are certain criteria by which you can determine whether a vest is good or not.
Of course, there are many other things that can be included, but then it would be too complex, so below are the most important things to check while selecting a dog vest.
The first thing you must ask yourself is – why you are buying a vest for your dog?
The answer is to make them float easily, even if they are not good swimmers or hate water.
And to do that you need a life vest which provides more Buoyancy to make and keep them afloat on the water even when they are tired and are not putting in enough effort.
Buoyancy also helps in keeping the head above water, which makes your pooch safe.
So whenever you are thinking of a dog vest, always consider the level of Buoyancy it provides, which can determine the quality of the vest.
If the level of Buoyancy is not clearly mentioned, then check whether there is a foam or not.
A foam usually adds buoyancy to the vest and keeps it afloat, so having one ensures sure that you are getting the right jacket.
The color is another important thing to consider while choosing a life vest.
Now you may think – Why?
Well, if your dog mistakenly slips over the boat or however, falls in the water, then it is very difficult to quickly spot them and rescue.
The reason can be that water may not be clean, so quickly spotting is difficult.
And even if the water is clean, then also it’s hard to quickly spot due to reflection that will cause a delay in rescue and can even cause disaster.
So to quickly protect your fido in case of an emergency, you must wear them a highly visible color vest like Neon Yellow, Neon Red, and so on.
These colors can be easily spotted in the water, and so can be your boi who is wearing it.
So always consider the color before buying a vest.
As I already said that your fido could slip over the boat or canoe(or any other thing) and fall into the water.
Now, if the boat is very close to the shore, then you can easily direct them to a safer place, but what if the water is shallow?
In shallow water, you have only one option, and that is to quickly extract your dog and put him back inside the boat/canoe or any other safe place.
But how will you do that when your pooch is continuously paddling and moving?
Well, the best option is by using the handle provided at the top of most of the dog life vests by using that you can quickly rescue your dog in an emergency.
So whenever looking for a good vest, always check whether there is any on top or not.
We all know that all dogs are not the same, even if they are from the same breed.
Some love water, while others hate it, some like to swim while others are afraid of it, some are excited to jump in while others are comfortable in keeping a distance with it.
Now, because your pooch can’t see the danger in the water, therefore, it is important to get control over them until you reach the desired location.
And to do that, you need a D-ring! Why?
Well, you can attach your leash to a D-ring and can use it as a normal vest, thus getting control over your boi.
So it’s important to have a D-ring on the dog vest as it can be very helpful.
Now, you need to see two things – the location and material of the D-ring.
You have to ensure that the location of the D-ring is at the top as such that it does not irritate or chafe the skin; otherwise, it will irritate your dog and make him/her uncomfortable.
And for the material, I mean checking whether it’s plastic or Metal as of course metal is stronger and thus durable as compared to plastic.
So getting a Metal D-ring is preferred over plastic or other material D-ring.
Size and Fit
Of course, you don’t need a specific detailed explanation as to why size and fit are important while selecting a vest or any other wearable.
But then also I will talk about it so as to fully complete my points.
Now, when you are selecting a dog life jacket, it is crucial to take the measurement of your dog initially.
The measurement must be properly taken by measuring three things – Neck girth, Chest Girth, and Back.
Once you take all the proper measurements, you can check the best fit for your fido according to the size chart given under the vest.
A Perfect size supports mobility, i.e., it supports an unrestricted movement and thus helps in proper swimming.
A large vest restricts movement and thus hinders the movement of your dog, thus increasing the change of drowning.
Whereas a small jacket can irritate and make your pup uncomfortable since all the buckles will be digging in the belly and chafing the skin.
So whenever looking for a good life jacket, always consider the size and fitting.
Now, this one is crucial if you are planning to go in the water during low light conditions like dusk or night with your fido.
In the night, it is very difficult to find and rescue your boi if incase he slip out or fall in the water, which can be a threat to his/her life.
So to remain protected at night, a Reflective Trim or Strip must be present on the vest that will reflect light like a mirror, thus increasing the visibility.
Not only during the night, but it can also be useful during day time.
Since these strips reflect light like a mirror, therefore, they increase the visibility even during the day that can help in things like quickly spotting your dog in a crowded area.
So if you are planning to go out in the dark, then check whether the jacket has a reflective strip, trim, tape, etc. or not.
Till now you must have known that before getting a life vest for your dog, it is crucial to get the right size; otherwise, it will be uncomfortable and can even become a threat in the water.
But how do you ensure that you are getting the right size?
Well, to ensure that you need to take some measurements that will determine the correct size, your boi needs for the vest.
But what are those measurements?
There can be many measurements that you can take, but it all sums up in four macro measurements that you need to take with a measuring tape.
1. Neck Girth
Neck girth, also known as the circumference of the neck, is crucial to measure as this will ensure that you are getting the proper size for the neck.
Put the measuring tape around the lower portion of the neck and wrap it up near the shoulders.
2. Chest Girth
Chest Girth or the circumference of the chest is crucial since that will ensure that you are getting the right vest fit for your fido.
Remember that a short of large chest vest can be uncomfortable and a threat to your pooch, so make sure that you are taking the measurements correctly.
To take the measurement, wrap the measuring tape around the most substantial part of the rib cage, i.e., behind the front legs as it will give you the maximum chest size you must get.
3. Back Length
Back length means the length of your boi from the neck to 3 inches ahead of the tail base, which gives the length of vest you need. It is the area where the jacket must cover the body.
To measure that, hold the measuring tape in one hand near the neck and with the other hand open it till 3 inches ahead of the tail to get the proper measurement.
Weight is also a crucial thing to measure when getting the right life jacket. It is done to determine whether the handle is able to pick that weight or not.
Also, it is done for the right size and the level of buoyancy needed to make it afloat.
Even though some jackets don’t specifically have weight in their measurement criteria, it is still important to measure the weight.
Getting the vest according to the weight can be helpful when in the water, so don’t miss it.
Q. What Size Life Jacket Does My Dog Need?
To know what is the perfect size of the life jacket for your dog, you need to measure four things as I mentioned earlier in the sizing guide(see above), those are – Neck Girth, Chest Girth, Weight and Back length.
Once you take all the respective measurements, you then have to check the size chart for all the vests(provided) and choose the one which is close to your measurement.
Q. How Do I Measure My Dog’s Chest Girth?
To measure your dog’s chest girth, you need to wrap the measuring tape around the most significant part of the rib cage, i.e., behind the front legs. That measurement will give you the perfect chest size you need.
Q. How do I clean and Maintain my dog’s life jacket?
The material of the vest determines how you must clean the vest, so for water-resistant material, you can quickly clean it with a cloth and some warm water, but for other material, you may need to wash it by hand.
To properly maintain the vest for ensuring that it lasts longer, you must wash it after every use. Then properly keep it in a safe place either in a bag or something where it doesn’t get tears.
Q. Why does my dog need a life jacket?
Even though it’s said that dogs are born swimmers who can protect themselves when thrown in the water, they still need a life jacket. Yes, most of the dogs can swim, but only for a considerable time, after which they will begin exhausting and finally stop moving their legs, thus resulting in drowning.
So to protect them from the worst situation you must wear them a life vest whenever going in the water.
Q. Why won’t my dog move with a life jacket on?
Some dogs act weird after wearing a life vest, which is a sign that they are uncomfortable or confused as to why this thing is around their body. It will take some time for them to realize that it is helping them to float, and once they realize it, they will stop acting weird.
So the first thing is you can take them in the water and allow them to swim for some time after which they most probably will start moving. Also, you can try to loosen the buckle as they may be too tight for them and are digging in their belly, thus causing them pain.
Many people think that since dogs are born swimmers, and they also have worn them a life jacket for added safety, so they are safe.
But the truth is they are not!
Even though you have all the arrangements for safety, there are some things that should always be done or maintained to ensure that your pooch is safe.
So what are they?
1. Ensure that Straps are properly Closed
In a dog life vest, there are three straps, two for the belly and one for the neck.
The primary purpose of having these straps are to ensure that your pup is securely placed inside the vest and don’t slip out even in the worst case.
But that is only efficient is the straps are properly closed.
What if the straps are not properly closed?
If the straps are not properly closed, then the vest can slip out while your boi is paddling in the water, thus putting a threat on their life.
So before going in the water, always ensure that the straps are correctly adjusted and closed. Check it twice, thrice that buckles are properly clipped.
Don’t close them too tight, also don’t let them be too open, make it for the proper fit.
2. Make sure that the Life Jacket is made for Intended Use
A life vest can be classified into two categories – Low Quality and High Quality.
High quality is made from durable material and can be used in water sports activities like Canoeing, Kayaking, etc.
Whereas Low quality is made for use in calm and inland water like boating in a local river, going in the pool, etc.
So whenever you are getting a vest, always ensure that it is made for the intended use, i.e., if you want your pooch to join canoeing with you, then make sure that the vest you are getting is made for canoeing.
Don’t make them wear a low-quality jacket for high-quality usage as it will not be able to withstand the pressure and may rip off, thus being a threat to safety.
So always ensure that the jacket is made for the intended use.
3. Always have Supervision
Last but not least, always have supervision on your dog even when you think they can easily swim.
As I mentioned earlier that dogs too get exhausted after a considerable period, after which their legs movements begin to slow off, which ultimately can put a threat on their life if a rescue doesn’t happen quickly.
So even if you think that they can easily swim in a pool, river, etc. always have supervision on them.
Because even the best swimmer in the world can drown and lost his/her life if they get exhausted and don’t get a rescue at the right time.
In today’s article, I talked about the Best Life Jackets For dogs that you can currently buy for your pooch in the market. If you like this article, then do share it with your friends and family. Remember, even after wearing a life jacket, your dog is not entirely safe, so don’t leave them alone and have supervision.