The Best Life Jacket for Your Dog


Canine Life Preservers Help Protect Your Dog – Not All Dogs Can Swim

It is a common myth that dogs don’t drown, but is is also an extremely dangerous one. The cold hard fact is that dogs do drown, and it is very common. This could easily be averted if these dogs had simply been wearing a life jacket. This is why it is imperative that you find the best life jacket for your dog. It should be very easy for you to find the best life jacket for your dog, because almost all pet specialty stores carry them. There is also a variety of styles and sizes which will further increase the chances of you finding the perfect one.

Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs can swim. It is natural for a dog to attempt to swim as soon as they hit water, however some dogs are just not built properly for swimming. Dogs that are short and muscular can not keep themselves up. Their short legs can not push through enough water to keep their bodies afloat. Some of these short, yet powerful breeds that have trouble swimming are the English Bulldog, The Basset Hound and the Pug. These dogs will try to swim, and actually may enjoy swimming, but they are going to need a little help in the buoyancy department. This is where the dog life jacket will come in handy. Your dog can wear a life jacket to help keep them afloat while they paddle around. They will be able to enjoy swimming in the pool, ocean, lake or pond with you.

A dog’s age and sickness can expedite the fatigue that will start to set in after the dog has been in the water for a period of time. Some dogs have a physique that makes it difficult for them to keep their head above water. Some people are unaware of this fact.

Some breeds are wonderful swimmers, but they need extra protection while they are in or around water. There have been a multitude of reported drowning’s that have taken place with dogs around water at beaches and swimming pools. Taking extra precautions for your dog will help minimize the chances of your beloved pet succumbing to a drowning accident.

Some dogs like to jump into the water from a boat and they may not be able to swim long distances. With a life jacket you are able to easily see where your dog is located in the water. This is great for dog’s that like to run out in the ocean or swim in your swimming pool as well.

Don’t Take a Chance That Your Dog Can Swim

Why is a life jacket for a dog so important? A life jacket can help your dog float if he or she reaches a point where it becomes difficult to stay above water. Each life jacket is equipped with a handle. The handle makes it easy for someone to grab the dog and pull it out of the water with ease.

If you spend a lot of time either on the water on your boat, or near the water at the beach, you will want a life jacket for your pet. This goes for pets that are good swimmers, as well as those that aren’t. You don’t want to take the chance on your pet suddenly being unable to keep themselves up, then you would have to jump in to save them. That would be traumatic for your dog and for you. Any dog around water should be wearing a life jacket, especially on a boat. A person is required to wear a life jacket when in water over a certain depth. The same should go for your pet… just in case.

Dog life jackets, also called Pet Flotation Devices (PFDs), will keep your pet safe on the boat or in the water. They work just like a life jacket does for a human. They will provide buoyancy and high visibility until the dog can be retrieved from the water. Most will have a handle on top of the vest for quick grabbing out of the water. You can also use a boat hook, inserted into the handle, to lead the dog to safety while he is still in the water, and then hoist the dog out of the water when he is within reach.

But do dogs really need a dog life jacket and are they a help or a hindrance? You may think that all dogs can swim but that is not necessarily true. Many dogs don’t take well to the water. Older dogs may have health issues that cause them to have trouble swimming. Breeds with low body fat, such as boxers or doberman pinschers, can be at threat for hypothermia when exposed to cold water. Just as with humans, no matter how well they may swim, they can quickly become tired, panicked, or disoriented, especially in rough waters.

As is often the case with clothing for humans, manufacturer’s of dog life jackets can, and do have varying size guidelines, so be sure to try it on your pet for proper fit before purchasing, if possible. If not, be aware of the companies return or exchange policies. Also, pay attention to your dog’s behavior in the device. If he is trying to scratch at or chew the straps then it may be too tight, cutting off circulation, and just plain making the dog miserable.

What to Look for in a Dog Life Jacket

Many dog life jackets come with an easy grab strap that can make it very simple to grab your floundering dog as soon as you see them flounder. This strap could be the difference between life and death. If this strap was not there you may have to waste precious time finding a handhold, and in that time your dog could have already drowned. The fact is that this simple little handle could save your dog’s life.

It is also suggested that you stay away from life jackets made of neoprene. Neoprene can give your dog a rash during swim time by chaffing, and could cause your dog considerable irritation. It can also cause your dog to overheat which could fatigue your dog and add to its exhaustion. This exhaustion could be too much for your dog, and it could drown.

Do you know how to find a life jacket for your dog? Finding a life jacket for your dog is not as difficult as some people think.


Here are several tips that can help you find a life jacket for your dog:


Ask your dog’s vet where you can find a good dog life jacket at a reasonable price. Veterinarians are usually targeted by dog life jacket marketers. These marketers often allow veterinarians to offer their customers a chance to get a life jacket for their dog at a good price.

Pet Stores

You will not have any problem in find a dog life jacket at your local pet store. Just go to the yellow pages and give a couple of pet stores a call. This will help you find out who has the best prices

Online Pet Stores

There are tons of online pet stores that carry life jackets for dogs. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in, “Find life jackets for dogs” when you get there.

Life Jackets for Dogs and Canines

Life jackets for dogs come in all shapes and sizes. For very small dogs such as toy poodles you should get an extra small. For a slightly larger dog, such as a welsh terrier, a small should be purchased. The basic idea when finding the right size life jacket for your dog is to see how big they are and get a life jacket according to their individual size.

Doggie Life Jackets

It’s also a common belief that all dogs like water but this is not the case. Many dogs may not have the body fat to keep them warm in the water, and therefore do not like water. It is important to know whether or not your dog even likes water before you buy it a life jacket.

Many water based dog accidents can be avoided with a dog life jacket and are a very good thing to have if you live near water. Your dog should always have on it’s life jacket when near water so that there is next to no possibility of it drowning. Think of it this way, if your kids all wear life jackets so should your dog. The dog is a member of the family and should be treated as such. When it comes to water safety everyone in your family should wear a life jacket, even the family dog.

Find the Best Dog Life Jacket

Now that you know your dog should have a life jacket you just need to find the best dog life jacket for your favorite furry friend. You will want to be sure the life jacket fits, just like with a human. The life jacket should be snug around the dog’s chest however not so tight it is uncomfortable for them. For this you will want it to fit similar to their collar. If you can slide a couple of fingers in under the life jacket comfortably then the life jacket should fit just fine. Dog life jackets come in sizes ranging from 0-6 pounds for the very small dog or puppy up to over 90 pounds for the large dog. The life jackets have a handle on the back so you can easily rescue your pet if need be. They are also typically a bright color like red or orange, just like the human version.

To find the best size for your dog, you will need to take two measurements: length and girth. To measure his length, start at the from the base of the neck and go to the base of the tail, keeping the tape measure along the spine. Then measure his girth at the widest point of the rib cage, which is usually a bit behind the front legs.

Most dog life jackets will wrap around the dog’s back and will fasten below the chest and belly. They will have a collar that fastens below the neck with a heavy duty Velcro. Be sure that the straps on the life jacket are not too long, as they could potentially snag on something and trap the dog. If they are too long, simply trim off the excess.

Give your favorite animal the ability to swim in the water with you without having to overly exert themselves. After all, they can’t exactly turn onto their back’s and float like we do. Find the best dog life jacket for them so you will both have the peace of mind while in and around water this summer. Relaxing on the water is a terrific way to spend a hot summer day, just remember to take safety precautions for you and your pet.

There’s even a do it yourself option, which is worth taking a look at but for the best fit, get one specifically made for a dog.

How to Choose a Dog Life Jacket

Water activities with your dog can be a fun and rewarding activity. Whether it be boating, swimming at the beach, or even water skiing with the pupster. However, it’s a myth that all dogs can swim. It’s never a good idea to find out the hard way that Buster doesn’t have the coordination to keep himself upright and propel himself in the water. Other factors such as age, physical condition and weight can play in to a dog’s ability to swim. Picking a life jacket for your dog can make enjoying swimming easier on both.

An important criteria to look into is fit. If possible, take the dog to the store and make sure the life jacket fits. You don’t want your dog to be choked by an improper fit, or have the jacket come off in the water. In the case of ordering off of a website, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for sizing. Measure and weigh your dog to find the best match to the sizing guides. Give your dog a chance to get used to its’ new clothes so there are no problems down the road.

When fitting the vest to your dog, check where the buckles and straps lie. Carrying straps are a must have on a dog’s life jacket in case the dog needs to be picked up out of the water for any reason. These items can potentially cause discomfort for the dog if they lie in pressure sensitive areas, such as the throat and belly. An improper fit may cause the dog to not want to wear the vest at all, or try to chew it off. Wider straps, such as those over an inch wide, distribute the pressure of being picked up and is more comfortable.

Pick a color of vest that you will easily see in the water. If for some reason you and your dog get separated from each other, the vest will make it that much easier for you to find your pet in the water. As goofy as neon pink camouflage for a dog life vest may seem, it can save the dog’s life in an emergency. Visibility is key.

Be sure to get a life jacket that fits your dog. Just like a life jacket for humans you need it the right size so it is not too tight to cut off circulation. One that is too loose can slip off in the water and it will not serve its purpose. Reflective strips on the dog’s life jacket and bright colors help make for high visibility. If you are boating at night you can attach a waterproof flashing safety light to the dog’s collar, this is similar to the type used by bicyclists.

A mesh underbelly allows for proper drainage of water and allows your dog to dry out. Neoprene life jackets without mes underbelly can cause heat exhaustion and chafing for your dog. Some jackets even have handles to help you pull man’s best friend out of the water.

If you want to get a life jacket that fits properly you can take your dog to a pet store that sells dog life jackets and have a salesperson fit your dog to one. Pay attention to your dog when trying them on, they will let you know if it is too tight or uncomfortable. They have to wear it so be sure they like it. Get a jacket that is easy to put on your dog. Check for broken buckles and be sure it is in good conditions before you put it on your dog to prevent injury.

Features of Dog Life Jackets:

  • A handle on top makes it easy for you to pick up your dog in the water, which can be slippery. This handle is not only convenient but could also help you save your dog’s life.
  • Like we said, make sure it’s brightly colored so that it’s easy to see your dog in the water.
  • Make sure the doggie life jacket has enough straps and adjustments so that it fits your dog comfortably. It should be tight enough to hold him or her but not too tight. The life vest should not impede them as they want to run and move around.
  • Buy a good one that can take the abuse that your dog will put it through. It’s not their money going into it, so a cheap dog vest will end up in shreds with the way some active dogs play.

Dog life jackets come in all different colors, prints, patterns, and even camouflage for those pets who love hunting. The camouflage patterns are especially popular with duck hunters, whose dogs frequently go into and out of the water. Additional safety and comfort features may include: reflective straps for maximum visibility, bright neon colors, quick-release buckles, adjustable nylon straps, and a breathable mesh underbelly which allows for proper draining and drying.

When It’s Time to Bring Your Dog on Your Boat


There are no regulations for dog life jackets as there are with human life jackets. The US Coast Guard, which regulates human vests, does not test animal vests. Talk with other pet owners to find what has worked for them and their dog.

Never leave your pet unattended while in a vest. It is an object that can potentially get caught on a protruding object. The dog can overheat while wearing the vest, so use common sense on a hot day to keep her from a case of heatstroke.

Chose wisely and enjoy the summer on the rivers or lakes with your dog safely in their vest.


Dog life jackets are not that expensive. It is a reasonable priced item to keep man’s best friend safe. You could get a color that matches your life vest or one that makes your dog comfortable and fashionable. When the life jackets color starts to fade or it begins to fall apart it is a good idea to replace it.

Life jackets for dogs come in various styles and sizes. There is life jacket that is suitable for your dog. There are large sizes for dogs of enormous sizes and there are small sizes for dogs that you can carry in your arms. There will be no problem for you to find a life jacket for your dog. so you are sure to find a dog life vest or jacket that is perfect for your pet.

I hope that you now understand the importance of your dog wearing a life jacket around water. It is now time for you to find an appropriate jacket for your prized possession. Using the three sources listed above will help you find a dog life jacket with ease.

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