Our gigantic bundle of joy is a fantastic companion, no doubt. A Great Dane is a very sensible and intelligent breed of dogs.
You can take them anywhere from a casual stroll to a family vacation. However, it can be challenging to get them to swim with you.
After all, these dogs are afraid of drowning due to their large frames. It does not help that they can’t swim very well. But you’d really love your pet to play with you in the water and swim alongside.
Maybe even train them to join you occasionally from time to time and get rid of their fears. How can you possibly achieve all of this?
The answer is life jackets! That’s right; life jackets are available for your furry friend. In fact, they are available for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Your Great Dane is no exception. You will find that there are several different types of life jackets available for them.
Therefore, it can get rather daunting to decide which one to pick. Brace yourself, because this article holds key to answer all of your questions.
You will even learn some of the wisest advice that will allow you to have a safer swimming trip with your bundle of joy.
5. Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket
Looking for a dog vest that provides extra protection? Then your search ends here as this vest from Outward Hound puts special emphasis on keeping your Dane safe in the water.
The side foam panels provide maximum buoyancy to the body while the front float offers extra buoyancy for the face and keep it above water. So, they no longer will sink like a rock instead swim smoothly and peacefully.
Not only will it boost their confidence but also make them comfortable in and around water, so from next time, it will be easier to get them in the pool. And don’t worry about the water temperature as the neoprene material provides natural insulation and keeps them warm on cold swims.
On the top, we have two rescue handles, unlike other vests that can be used for quick rescue during an emergency. Having multiple handles is excellent since if in case one breaks, the other one is there for the rescue.
Two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap keep your pooch safe inside while they are splashing around, unleashing the swimmer in them. And since its adjustable, you can tweak the straps to get a perfect fit in mere seconds.
Its two highly visible color options ensure you never lose sight of your Dane even on a crowded beach or ambiguous water, which can be helpful for quickly spotting them.
Currently, it’s available in 5 sizes, and XL is the one that will fit your buddy right with some room to grow up, so if you have a pup, then don’t worry as they will grow into it. Always, you can use the straps for a good fit.
The only complaint I have is that its neck-straps tend to loosen with use, which means you have to tighten it prior to every use to ensure it fits snug around the chest and doesn’t slip down their back.
- High buoyancy, an extra one for face
- Provides warmth in cold water
- Multiple handles and highly visible colors
- Neck strap loosen with use
- No D-ring
4. EzyDog Doggy Life Vest (DFD)
With a heavy-duty design, upmost safety, and great buoyancy, this dog life jacket will be loved by your Dane. From the picture itself, you must have noticed its great built that is good enough to hold your buddy.
Made from heavy-duty polyester material, its sturdy exterior withstands huge pressure and ensures it doesn’t rip-off easily. If taken properly, it can last for seasons.
Unlike other vests, it has 50% more flotation material to provide extra buoyancy, which is perfect for a Great Dane. Not only will it keep them afloat but also provide the comfort they need.
The two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap gives a perfect fit and ensure the safety inside. These straps are clipped by quick-release buckles, which makes it easy to put it on or off. Its contour neck design provides mobility and lets them swim in their natural pattern.
On the top, we have a sturdy grab handle that gives a secure way to get your dog in/out of the water. It can be immensely helpful for a quick rescue in case of an emergency.
To lessen the chance of any mishap, you can attach a leash to the D-ring (under the handle) to get more control of your dog. This ensures they don’t roam around in, let’s say a boat in the middle of the water when they shouldn’t.
Its highly visible colors, along with reflective trim, enhance visibility, especially during low light, which helps in quick-spotting. It’s a plus point for those who love going out swimming or camping at night.
Currently, it’s available in three colors and six size options.
- Sturdy and Comfortable
- 50% more flotation
- Adjustable and highly visible
- Grab handle and D-ring for good control
- A little bulky, but it’s not an issue for a Dane
- Design tapered in the back
3. Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket
Want to make your boi stylish? Then this modern-design vest from Paws aboard has something for you. With a stylish silhouette, premium material, and great patterns, this vest is the perfect mix of fashion and safety.
Not only does it looks good, but it also is sturdy thanks to neoprene material. Also, neoprene makes it flexible and comfortable, so your buddy can enjoy swimming to the fullest.
To ensure safety, we have two adjustable belly strap and a neck strap that securely keeps your Dane inside. Since the straps are adjustable, you can customize the fit according to your dog’s body.
On both these straps is a reflective trim that increases visibility, especially during low light, so quickly spotting your Dane during the night is not an issue.
The mesh belly not only ventilates the air out but also resists water from collecting inside, thus making it breathable and lightweight.
The grab handle on-top gives a nice grip to get your dog in and out of the water, which can be really helpful in case of an emergency. So, for instance, if they slipped off the boat, then you can use the handle to pull them out.
In front of the handle, we have a D-ring where you can attach a leash to take control of your pup, like, when you are on a beach or boat. This lessens the chance of mishap and ensures you have a great time.
Since there are six size options, getting the right one is not a problem. You can get the size from a pup to an adult one. And eight different designs give plenty of options to look stylish.
The only complaint I have is that it’s not very buoyant, unlike other vests, which means it may not give the buoyancy your Dane needs. The buoyancy is OK, but if you want complete support, then this might not be the best option.
- Modern-design with premium material
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Modern-design and great colors
- Breathable and highly visible
- Not very buoyant
2. Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
When it comes to getting a perfect dog life jacket in-budget, nothing can beat this vest from Outward Hound. With all its safety features, high visibility colors, and great design, its irresistible at such a price.
Being a ripstop construction, its sturdy exterior easily withstands huge pressure and doesn’t rip up easily. The ripstop, along with the neoprene belly bands keep your Dane comfy in the water.
Also, its design allows mobility and doesn’t constrain the movement in/outside the water. The foam panels inside provide buoyancy and keep your buddy afloat even when they aren’t putting in enough effort.
The best part is the front neck float that gives extra support to the neck and keeps it above the waterline, thus ensuring their safety. To further enhance the safety, there are two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap that securely keep them inside.
Since the straps are adjustable, you can easily customize them for the perfect fit. Unlike other vests, there isn’t any extra dangling strap that may hinder movement, which is great. Also, the velcro tabs resist the straps from getting caught on some obstacle, thus lessening the chance of a mishap.
On-top, we have two sturdy handles that give an easy grip for handling your Dane, especially during an emergency. Like, if they fell off-boat, then you can pull them out using the handles. And since there are two of them you get peace of mind as in case one broke, you have the other one.
Personally, I found that even with two handles, it can be hard to get a good grim since they are placed horizontally, which, if you think practically, is at the wrong angle. So, you may have a problem while pulling.
The mesh belly makes it breathable and lightweight since it drains the water while also ventilating the air. Currently, its available in two colors and seven size options.
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Breathable and Allows mobility
- Great design and Adjustable
- Two grab handles and mesh belly
- Velcro tab for controlling straps
- No D-ring or Reflective Trim
- Handles are Horizontal
1. Ruffwear – K-9 Float Coat for Dogs
Seriously, the only word I have for this dog life jacket is “Amazing.” Why? Well, wait a minute, and you will know.
With a modern design, great buoyancy, high visibility colors, unbelievable comfort, you name it, this life jacket has “everything” you Dane needs.
But as somebody said, “Everything has a cost,” and since we are talking about “the best” vest you can’t expect something very cheap.
So, it’s the costliest life jacket on the list, but believe me guys, this is worth every penny(personal experience), and will withstand years of use even if your buddy loves to swim every then and now.
Made from ripstop material, its durable exterior withstands heavy wear and tear while the soft interior provides unparalleled comfort to your pup while he/she is being Michael Phelps in the water.
The strategically placed closed-cell foam panels not only provide comfort but also let your pooch swim in their natural pattern while being upright. Being low profile its very lightweight and doesn’t feel like a burden, unlike other vests.
It has a durable webbing that maintains stability in a wet environment. And all that makes it perfect for almost any water sport like kayaking, boating, surfing, paddleboarding, rafting, and swimming, so wherever you go, your Dane can accompany while being safe.
On top, we have a sturdy grab handle that can be used for a quick-rescue during an emergency, and believe me, it’s a real lifesaver. Beneath the handle is a D-ring for attaching a leash and at-rear is a light loop where you can attach a Beacon light.
Two adjustable belly straps and a neck strap ensures your pooch is safe inside and won’t slip-out. Being adjustable, you can customize the fit according to your Dane, so no problem of the fit.
If you look closer, there are several reflective trims that enhance visibility, especially during low-light, which is great if you love going out during dusk/ dawn/ night.
The best thing about this dog life jacket is that all the buckles are covered in a material unlike any other vest to ensure it doesn’t dig into the skin even when you pull your buddy using the handle. So, comfort at the peak.
Currently, it’s available in four colors and six size options.
- Modern design and highly visible
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Promotes natural swim and keeps the Dane upright
- Maintain stability and is best for most water sports
- Sturdy grab handle and leash for proper control
- Buckles are covered with material
- Plenty of colors and size to choose from
- Nothing I could find except it’s costly, but since its worth every penny, it isn’t a real con.
How ‘great’ swimmers are Great Dane?
Well, they are not natural swimmers like the water dogs, but they have muscular legs that they can use to paddle their way around a pool. You can use a life jacket just to be extra safe while enjoying the water with your dog.
There is nothing like an afternoon swim to cool yourself off during the summer. The dogs feel the same way. They, too, want to enjoy a nice dip in the water and the refreshing sensation that comes from the water evaporating from the skin.
Great Danes are not natural-born swimmers, which simply means that they need an extra bit of assistance to get them in the water. But once they’re in, they love to splash around. This breed has a lot of muscles which they use to propel themselves through the water. With a little practice, they can become masters of swimming.
Due to their herculean physique, they need a lot of exercises to burn off all that energy. Swimming makes use of all the muscle groups in the body, making it one of the most preferred energy-burning methods. Can you think of a better way to work out than swimming around with this gentle giant under the sun?
Why do Great Danes require a life vest?
Great Danes can become great swimmers with practice. But at the initial stages, you might have to look for ways to encourage and reassure them of the safety of being in the water. These dogs have a very top-heavy body which may disbalance them while swimming.
Your dog may have to wear a life jacket until they get accustomed to moving in the water. Once your dog becomes an expert, they may get exhausted from the exercise, which may cause them to be unable to stay afloat. So get your dog the best life vest.
An adrenaline-inducing adventure might be a perfect fit for a well-built Great Dane. White water rafting is one such activity. But due to the dangerous conditions, all attendees are required to keep life jackets on so that in the event of an emergency, the jacket can keep you afloat. If your dog were to join you for the activity, he too would have to put on some safety gear.
Factors to look before buying a life jacket for a Great Dane
A life vest can be the difference between life or death for your pet. Such a crucial item needs to be of good quality and safe. Make sure you get the best for your companion. So while choosing the jacket, keep the following factors in mind:
- Buoyancy: It is the ability to stay afloat. The buoyancy is the most important factor that should be taken into account when looking for the perfect floatation device for your pet. Due to the muscular build of the Great Danes, the life jacket must be able to provide them with the proper support. Although, due to the large size of the breed, there is more surface area available, making the life jacket more balanced.
- Size and Fit: life jackets must be properly secured around the body of your dog to prevent any unwanted slippage. But on the other hand, it must not be too tight so as to inhibit their breathing or restrict their movement in any way. It is essential to take proper measurements – height, length, and width – of your dog to get the correct equipment. Adjustable life jackets are also a viable option if you are unsure of the accurate measurements. These are one-size-fits-all jackets and can be strapped on to your dog on different levels to find the most suitable point.
- Visibility: The function of a life jacket is to keep the wearer afloat until help arrives, but it is meaningless if the jacket blends in with its surroundings and can not be found amongst the environment. The equipment must be brightly colored and should be visible from quite a distance.
- Durability: The vest must be designed to be sturdy. If the vest is damaged while in use, it can put the wearer in terrible danger, the material used must be able to withstand extreme conditions, like sharp rocks, tree branches, and harsh waters. These jackets require regular cleaning, so they must also be unaffected by the cleansing agent.
- Flexible: Hindering movement while wearing the life jacket can cause quicker exhaustion and can lead to fatigue. Your dog may become unable to move in an inaccessible location. The very thing that was meant to keep your dog safe would then become the object that would be harming your dog.
- Foam stuffing: Life jackets come in 2 types, inflatable and stuffed. Inflatable life jackets require inflation to function properly and may lose air if not sealed properly. The best option for a dog is to use stuffed life jackets as safety gear.
- Appropriate Securing: No matter how buoyant, fitting, bright or durable the vest might be, if the straps come off with the slightest pressure, then all the effort of getting the vest will get wasted. The jacket must be geared with proper securing methods and adjustable locks to best fit your pet for proper safety.
- Handles: If your pet is rendered unable to move while in the water, it may start drowning. In this case, the only way to help it is to drag it out of the water. This may be a difficult task for a dog of this size and build. Life jackets must come equipped with at least one handle to pull your pet out of danger.
- Comfort: Swimming is an enjoyable activity. When you swim, you want to be as relaxed as possible. So if there’s something constantly scraping against your body, it can be quite annoying. The same goes for your pets. Find the material that best suits your dog. If your dog isn’t able to cherish the experience because of the confining life jacket, then he would be missing out.
Regular maintenance of the life jacket, or any other safety equipment, for both you and your dog is recommended to prevent fatal mistakes during times of danger.
Whether your dog is a trained swimmer or a beginner, it is always a good idea to invest in the most suited life jacket just in case of any unforeseen emergencies that may occur.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. For how long can my Great Dane dog float with a life jacket?
This is highly dependent on the life jacket that you have chosen. The material, flexibility, and fitting of the jacket will determine how long your Dane can stay afloat.
But generally, any mid-range to high-grade life jackets will keep them afloat for many days. Search and rescue should reach your pet at that time, and you will once again be reunited with your partner.
2. Is it mandatory for my Great Dane dog to wear a life jacket?
Some dogs are natural swimmers, water dogs, and water spaniels are breeds that are naturally good at swimming. But Great Danes aren’t as well adapted to swimming and need practice and encouragement to learn to swim.
Life jackets are, therefore, essential for them. With practice, Great Danes can get used to feeling the weight of the jackets on their bodies when they swim. Therefore, not swimming without them might become uncomfortable.
3. What are the cons of wearing a life jacket?
Life jackets have many great advantages, but there are times it can be harmful. Some cons of wearing vests are:
- The buoyancy of stuffed life jackets is affected by staying in water for long periods at a time
- Without proper sealing, inflatable vests can deflate and become hazardous
- Tight-fitted life jackets can hinder movement and constrain breathing
- Loose-fitted life jackets can come off at the time of need
4. What are the safety measures for making my dog wear a life jacket?
Putting on the best fitting life jacket is the most important for the safety of your dog. Without this, the life jacket will not stay on and will become unsafe for the dog.
The material must be comfortable so that the dog isn’t bothered by wearing the jacket. It must come with decent wear and tear to prevent the damaging of the product during emergencies.
Life jackets need to be audited regularly and replaced once every few years.
5. How do I know the right fit for a life jacket?
Take all your dog’s measurements, his height from paw to shoulder, length from neck to hip, and width from shoulder to shoulder. These are the measurements you should use while choosing the life jacket for your dog.
Once you have these, go talk to experts, and you can have them build a custom jacket or take their advice on choosing the most suitable one. If you still are unsure, then you can opt for an adjustable life jacket. These will accommodate any size (within a given range).
6. Where do I find dog life jackets?
Dog life jackets can be purchased from pet stores or directly from the manufacturers. But for this, you will have to travel to these specialty stores.
Instead, online shopping gives you the privilege of sitting at home and getting your dog’s life vest delivered to you.
There are various websites that allow you to purchase this safety equipment with the correct specifications. Online purchasing also gives you a wide range of equipment and sizes to choose from.
7. What is the best life jacket for my dog?
So many great life jackets are available on the market, but the best one among them is the Ruffwear – K-9 Float Coat. The flotation device is loaded with a handle in case of emergency removal of your dog from the dangers of the water.
It has multiple secure adjustment points for comfortable fitting for any size. This feature also allows the life jacket to be properly strapped on to your pet so that the vest does not come off easily.
It is painted a bright yellow-ish orange color along with reflective strips making it visible from long distances. The jacket is made with material that will be both comfortable for your dog and not hamper mobility.
In this article, I talked about the best life jackets for Great Dane that you can currently get. If you like this article, please take a minute to share it with your friends and family. Happy Swimming.