Best Life Jackets for Dogs

Just like with humans, dogs should also wear a life jacket when playing near the water. Now, you are probably thinking that’s crazy since dogs are born to swim, but on the contrary, they know how to swim when they need to, but that doesn’t mean they are all good at it, and some are even afraid of the water. Even if your dog is an excellent swimmer, he can get in distress or become exhausted, just the same as people who are excellent swimmers. People who know how to swim still wear a personal flotation device in certain situations, so you should keep that in mind where your dog is concerned. Don’t forget that your dog can’t talk, so you won’t know if he is in trouble when he’s in the water, and if you’re not watching him anything could happen. If you are planning a family outing in the boat with Pooch, you should consider fitting him for one. Just like your children, he might put up a fight when it’s time to wear the jacket, but he needs to wear it, and with repetition, he will get used to it.

Ruffwear-K-9
  • Ruffwear-K-9
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Extremely buoyant
  • Adjustable straps
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Swim Ways
  • Swim Ways
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Secure straps
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
Ezy Dog Doggy
  • Ezy Dog Doggy
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reflective trim
  • Secure straps
  • Price: See Here

Introduce him to the jacket before you leave the house, so he has time to get used to wearing it. Offer him a treat when you put it on him the first few times and play with him inside and outside of the house, getting him used to running and playing while wearing the jacket. It’s especially important you teach your dog to wear a life jacket if you own a pool because you don’t want him to accidentally fall in the pool if he is unsure of the water. Even if you never go to the water, but if you are in an area that is prone to hurricanes and other natural disasters that cause flooding, you should consider having a one handy for your dog. Be sure you choose a jacket that fits properly and provides a grab handle in case he falls in the water or gets caught up in a current. Remember that the whole reason for the PFD is to keep your dog above the water in the event of an emergency. If you have never thought about a getting one for your dog, now is the time to consider the investment. In the long run, it could save the life of your best friend.

A good vest will prevent fatigue and allow him to play longer when he isn’t ready to get back on land. In reality, your pooch is the same as your child and he wants to play too. You might want to get in the water with your pooch and enjoy a game of fetch with him. Make it a family event where everyone can enjoy time in the pool together with Pooch. No matter where you plan to spend water time with your companion, you will want to purchase one of the best options for dogs that you can find. The following guide will help you choose the one that best suits the needs of you and your furry pal. We have done the research for you and narrowed it down to our top ten favorites. The features of each of our top picks are highlighted as well as the ease of use, sizing, and safety. Of course, we always like to point out the value, so you will be confident you are getting the best product for your money.

10 Best Life Jackets For Dogs

 

 

Ruffwear-K-9

From the smallest to the largest of dogs, this life jacket will keep Fido above the water during stress or leisure.
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Features
Offered in various sizes and five- bright colors for easy visibility, this doggie life jacket will keep your best friend safe during the good and the bad times on the water. It is constructed with high-quality materials and the top grab strap is durable enough to stay in place without the fear of it ripping away from the surface. The adjustable straps will help to secure the life jacket and keep it from slipping off your pooch. Play fetch with him and his head will stay above the water while he never loses his balance.

Ease of Use
Just like a doggie jacket or sweater, your pooch can put his feet through the front holes fitting the life jacket around his neck and covering the top and bottom of his body. The adjustable straps fasten under him with clip style buckles. The handle on the top is easy and convenient to grip in a hurry.

Sizing
It is available from xx-small to x-large, and the adjustable buckles will also help to secure the jacket to size. It is true to the size, so make sure you have the appropriate weight and measurement for your dog before you make your purchase.

Safety
For the sake of safety, be sure the life jacket is the correct size for your pooch. The bright colors are highly visible for added security and the grab handle on the top is provided for to quickly grab and guide your pooch back to safety. It is extremely buoyant with floatation on the sides and the underside of the jacket.

Value
You can look at this life jacket and see the value with the high-quality materials and the safety features. The price is well worth the quality of this jacket.
Pros
  • It is extremely buoyant
  • It provides adjustable straps and a top strap handle
  • It will keep your dog’s head above the water
Cons
  • It only provides one grab handle

Swim Ways Sea Squirts

This adorable vest will make your pooch look like a little shark in the water while keeping him above the water.
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Features
This vest is well-made with a lightweight nylon type material on the top and a breathable mesh underbelly. It features secure straps that close with Velcro and snap style buckles on the neck and underbelly. The fin sits on top of the back replicating a shark. The design of the life jacket makes it easy for your pooch to enjoy a day on the boat with his people or he can swim in the lake for cooling off.

Ease of Use
It’s simple to put on and take off through the top of the neck. The buckles on the straps are easy to open and close, and the Velcro sticks in place with ease.

Sizing
It is only available in small and medium, but it seems that these two sizes fit perfectly on many breeds.

Safety
The additional straps with the buckle and Velcro mechanism assure added safety that the jacket will stay in place. There is a grab strap on the top near the neck and the fin can always be used for picking up the pooch. It is only available in a blue color, but the fin serves as a visual when your pal is in the water. It provides great buoyancy and your pooch will keep his head above the water.

Value
It’s made with quality that will last a long time. The price is great for what you get with this great life jacket.
Pros
  • It provides plenty of secure straps
  • It provides a grab strap and a fin for grabbing
  • The mesh underside will assure your pooch won’t overheat
Cons
  • The Velcro tends to stick to the straps and might stick to your dog’s fur

Ezy Dog Doggy

Your pup will be sporting in fashion with one of the three color choices you can pick with this vest, and it will work with dogs of all breeds and sizes.
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Features
This doggy life jacket fits like a harness and features a leash attachment on the top, so you don’t need to take it off to attach the leash to the collar. It provides two adjustable straps with clips that buckle on the top of the jacket. It’s durable, well-made, and sporty looking, so your pooch will match his humans. This doggy life jacket is ideal for pool and lake swimming.

Ease of Use
It’s easy, just loosen the strap at the neck, undo the buckles and fit it on like a harness. Secure the neck and the girth with the clip buckles and when you’re finished using the jacket just reverse the procedure. It’s as easy as one, two, three.

Sizing
Available from extra-small to extra-large, this jacket will fit dogs of all breeds, sizes, and shapes. The straps will adjust to the perfect size when secured together properly.

Safety
Although the floatation is only on one side of this jacket, it provides sufficient buoyancy to keep your pooch upright and his head above the water. It is available in two bright colors and one camouflage color for easy visibility. For additional security, the trim is reflective and there is a handy grab handle on the top.

Value
The price is right, and the safety features are remarkable on this life jacket. You won’t regret the money you spend on this pick.
Pros
  • There is a size for all dog breeds, sizes, and shapes
  • The trim is reflective for added visibility and security
Cons
  • The floatation is only on one side of this life jacket

Queenmore Ripstop

Queenmore Ripstop
Your pup will be the center of attention wearing one of these two styles while floating down the river or swimming with his humans in the family pool.
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Features
This life jacket is available in a pink fish or grey shark style. Either one you choose will provide two adjustable straps that go around the body and secure at the side with Velcro and snap buckles. It provides a leash attachment on the top for added security if you want to leash your pal on the boat with you. It’s very well made with high-quality materials and there is plenty of room in the neck for your pooch to breathe.

Ease of Use
It’s simple to put on and easily snaps around the neck making it easier to slip on. When you’re finished, simply loosen the buckles and slide it off.

Sizing
This one is available in three sizes from small to large and seems to fit well with most breeds. The adjustable straps will help make a perfect fit.

Safety
There is a lot of buoyancy around this vest assuring your pal will stay above the water. The grab handle and fins serve as an added safety feature in the event of an emergency.

Value
This one is priced lower than some and offers more than most, it can’t get any more valuable than this.
Pros
  • It is available in two different styles
  • It provides a leash attachment on the top
  • There are snap buckles and Velcro for added security on this jacket
Cons
  • The shark jacket might seem bulky for some smaller breeds

Woo Woo Pets

Woo Woo Pets
If you have an extremely large dog that’s hard to fit, you will want to try this life jacket on for size, because it’s one of the best fittings for larger dogs.
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Features
This doggy life jacket is covered with thick nylon and snaps closed with two large straps. It features a good-sized handle and a leash clip on the top. It provides plenty of functionality and your pup won’t mind wearing it. It’s available in many bright colors and designs that can be spotted from afar.

Ease of Use
This one might be the easiest yet on our list when it comes to putting this one on and off. Simply lay it out on your pup’s back like a blanket. Fold it down and under your pup’s body securing it tightly with the large straps and easy to use clips. It’s just as easy to remove with reverse action.

Sizing
Although it’s available in every size from xx-small to xx-large, it has the best design for larger dogs. It is designed equally well to fit any dog, but a tiny dog might appear to be a bit too small for the life jacket.

Safety
With the bright colors and designs, this life jacket provides high visibility from a distance. The grab handle is larger than some, making it simple to grab in an emergency.

Value
Don’t let its low price scare you away, this life jacket is full of value with the high-quality, ease of use, and features, it has a lot to offer.
Pros
  • It offers the best fit for larger dogs
  • It’s one of the easiest to put on
  • It is available in every size and a variety of colors
Cons
  • The fit might be a bit big for tiny dogs

He & Ha Pet

He & Ha Pet
If your pups enjoy spending more time in the water than you can handle, consider this durable vest, so they can swim while you relax on the boat without worry.
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Features
This life jacket features high-quality nylon material on the top part of the jacket while the belly stays cool with lighter mesh. It provides large straps with strong buckles and Velcro for added security, along with an additional chest flap to help support your pup’s neck.

Ease of Use
It goes on smoothly like a harness and attaches around the neck and underbelly. The buckles are easy to clip open and closed and when you’re finished it’s just as easy to take it off.

Sizing
This life jacket is offered in every size from extra-small to extra-large, but you need to be aware that the sizes run a little big. Be sure you know your pup’s size before choosing the jacket you want.

Safety
Although it is only available in a bright orange color, keep in mind that has always been the standard safety color for a life vest, so you know it Is highly visible. The large straps are reflective to add to the visibility under low-light conditions and the grab handle is larger than some to offer a better grip.

Value
This jacket comes with a price tag that’s easy to bear, especially when you think about the quality and value attached to it.
Pros
  • It features large reflective straps
  • It offers a large grab handle
  • It provides an additional chest flap for extra neck support
Cons
  • The sizes run a little big

Outward Hound

Outward Hound
This doggy life jacket will assure your pooch he will be safe when he feels insecure about the water. He will have the freedom to swim longer when he would generally get tired faster.
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Features
This one features great durability and quality materials. There are two straps that wrap around from the top to under the belly securing with the snap clips on the side. There is an additional strap that secures around the neck and the additional neck flap will help to keep your pal’s head above the water. It’s available in three bright stylish colors and one fun fish design. There is no leash clip on this jacket, but the neck seems wide enough that you could attach a leash to your pup’s collar.

Ease of Use
It can be put on and taken off within a matter of minutes, just lay this jacket on your dog’s back and strap the neck and body with the easy-to-use buckle clips. It will come off just as easy in a short amount of time.

Sizing
From extra-small to extra-large, this jacket will fit most breeds, but the sizes do run small so use caution when choosing the size that will best fit your pooch.

Safety
The colors are bright for easy visibility and this one features double grab straps on the top for extra safety.

Value
Most of the time you get what you pay for, but that isn’t true with the low price of this high-quality life jacket. The extra safety features and great performance in this one prove that you can buy high quality at a low price.
Pros
  • It offers two grab handles on the top
  • It provides a chest flap for added security to the head
  • The colors are bright and current
Cons
  • The sizes run small
  • There is no leash clip on this one

Kurgo Srf N Turf

Kurgo Srf N Turf
If your dog is high-strung with energy that never quits even when he gets tired, this life jacket is just what you need to safely keep him safely above the water.
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Features
This doggy life jacket is made of high-quality ripstop nylon on the outside and it’s lined with mesh to keep your pooch cool. The opening is larger allowing your pal extra mobility when out of the water. It’s available in two different color choices, and in the place of a leash clip, is a bottle opener instead.

Ease of Use
It easily fits over pooch’s neck and fastens with the easy to clasp clips. When you’re ready to remove the jacket from your pooch, easily unclasp the clips and slide it off.

Sizing
It’s available in every size to fit a variety of breeds, shapes, and sizes, but heed caution because the sizes are not accurate and tend to run larger on some and smaller on others.

Safety
This incredible life jacket provides two grab handles in horizontal and vertical positions to offer a better grip when you need to pull your pooch from the water in a hurry. The colors are bright enough to be seen from a distance and with the shiny material, the sun will bounce off the jacket for added visibility.

Value
This one is offered at a higher price than most, but the quality and endurance fill this jacket with long-lasting value.
Pros
  • It provides a horizontal and vertical grab handle on the top.
  • It has a wider opening that doesn’t hinder your dog’s playtime
  • A bottle opener replaces the leash clip
Cons
  • The sizes are not accurate

Vivaglory

Vivaglory
If you want to assure your dog’s safety while floating down the river in the kayak, this life jacket would be a great choice.
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Features
This one is different from the rest because it looks like your dog is sitting inside a box, but that doesn’t make it any less durable than the others. It’s a high-quality jacket with strong stitching, solid buckles, and reliable Velcro. It offers a large, sturdy chin flap for keeping your dog’s face out of the water, and it can be removed when you don’t want to use it. The lightweight material on the top won’t weigh your dog down when it’s wet, and the mesh on the belly will keep your dog cool. Two straps go around the back and under the belly while the third strap secures at the neck. It’s available in a variety of vibrant colors that are not only visible, but they are sporty and stylish too.

Ease of Use
The jacket is easy to put on and take off and the buckles are easy to clip. The Velcro sticks with ease and the chin flap can be removed in a cinch.

Sizing
This jacket is available from extra-small to extra-large and will pair well with any size or shape. The sizes do tend to run a bit small, so it would be wise to prepare ahead and get the next size up.

Safety
The colors are bright and visible, and the reflective trim is easy to see when the day turns to night. The strong grab handle on the top is sturdy enough to grab quickly in an emergency.

Value
For such a small price, this life jacket has a lot to offer. The style, colors, and safety pair equally with the quality of this one adding to the extra value it holds.
Pros
  • It provides high-quality materials and strong stitching
  • It provides snap buckles and Velcro for added security
  • It provides a removable chin flap to keep your dog’s face out of the water
Cons
  • It looks boxier than the others
  • The sizes run small

Paws Aboard Double Designer

Paws Aboard Double Designer
If you have a puppy learning to swim, you might want to consider the aid of this doggy life jacket for keeping your pup afloat and his head above the water.
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Features
This one features high-quality materials on the top with mesh material on the belly. There are two heavy-duty straps with strong buckle clips that wrap around the body and the neck. It will work perfectly for the boat or a swim in the pool. The colors are bright and attractive and will catch the attention of others far away.

Ease of Use
Just lay this one on your dog’s back and wrap it around his body to easily clip it into place. It’s just as easy to unclip it and take it off.

Sizing
Although the sizing isn’t perfect, there is a size to fit all breeds, sizes, and shapes. Be sure and measure your pup before you purchase the life jacket.

Safety
Not only do the colors stand out amongst the crowd, but the reflective straps will be sure to attract some attention too. The large, sturdy grab strap on the top provides an easy grip for grabbing your pooch out of the water in the case of an emergency.

Value
This one is filled with great quality and features for the money. You won’t be disappointed with the money you spend on this doggy life jacket.
Pros
  • It provides sizes for all shapes, breeds, and sizes
  • It provides reflective straps for added safety
  • It is available in bright colors and styles
Cons
  • It looks a bit boxy
  • The sizes are not perfect

 

Here The Main Points We Looked At

Features

Features are important for your dog’s comfort and security. Since your pooch can’t talk, you will have no true way of knowing his comfort level, so you need to use common sense and put yourself in his place. Think about what would make you comfortable if you had to wear the jacket. Know that your pooch can overheat, and you won’t know it, so think about a mesh bottom that will allow air to flow through freely. A bigger opening means easier mobility and the lighter the material the cooler it will be, not to mention the added weight from the water when the material is not as light. The more straps, the more stable the jacket will be, and it will add convenience having a leash clip on the upper part of the vest. The most important of these features are lightweight, durability, and comfort. With all that in mind, you should please your dog’s comfort levels.

Ease of Use

Be sure the product you choose is easy to use. It might be hard enough getting your pooch to wear the jacket, let alone getting him to stand still while you put it on him. So, for those reasons, make sure it’s easy to use and know how to use it before making him stand patiently waiting for you to figure it out.

Sizing

This factor is important to keep in mind when choosing the one that is right for your furry companion. If the jacket is not sized properly it will not only cause a safety hazard, but it will also cause discomfort on your pooch. In doing the research, we have found that most of these doggy life jackets are not true to size; some run smaller and some are larger, so be sure and get the right fit for your pooch’s comfort and safety.

Safety

All the criteria are important to the safety of the life jacket. The features can be factored in here along with the ease of use and the sizing. When it comes to the features, you want to be sure they won’t hinder your dog’s performance while in the water and on the dry ground. If they can’t move around or see properly, it could cause an unnecessary injury. Consider your dog’s safety when it comes to the ease of use. If you have a difficult time clipping a buckle or putting it on properly, that could cause an injury as well. If it isn’t put on properly, that could cause a safety hazard. The jacket must be sized correctly for it to work appropriately. If it’s too big, it could move around or shift, and if it’s too small it could hinder mobility, all this causing more safety hazards. Remember that the whole reason you have chosen a life jacket for your dog is for his safety in the event of an emergency, so it’s important to be sure it is working the way it should.

Value

All the features play an important part in the value of your dog’s life jacket. The more features that are added to the jacket the higher the value. Quality and durability along with the safety features also play an important part in the value. The more the life jacket offers, the higher the value.

 

Something Else To Think About

Treat your dog’s safety on the water the same as you would your children’s safety. You would never allow your child to go on a boat without a float vest of some sort, and you would never let them swim without a floatation device, so treat your dog the same. You might think that a dog can automatically swim and that they can’t drown, but that’s far from the truth. Although dogs are born with an instinct that allows them to swim, they might only know enough to stay above the water, and just like humans, they can also get tired of swimming. Always be sure they are protected and safe in the water.

Also, keep in mind that your dog, just like your infant, can’t tell you if they’re uncomfortable, so when you choose the personal flotation device that will best suit your dog, think about how you would feel if you were wearing the jacket instead of him. Don’t forget to take into consideration the grab handles and other safety features that are there for you to use. When you think about it, most of the features on the life jacket are there for your use rather than for your pooch, so knowing that you need to remember it has to be comfortable for you too.

 

FAQs

Q: What to look for in a life jacket for dogs?

The most important thing to remember when choosing your dog’s life jacket is that you are using it for his safety and your peace of mind. Look for grip handles that are easy to grab when needed in a hurry, they are usually placed at the top of the jacket. You want to be sure it provides a good fit so that it doesn’t shift or hinder your dog’s movement. Buckles and straps are important; the more you have, the more secure the jacket will be. Look for high-quality materials and strong seams so it won’t rip or tear when in distress. The ease of use is important because if it isn’t put on your dog correctly, it could cause a safety hazard, and of course, the most important reason for the jacket is the added safety features.

Q: How do I get my dog to wear the life jacket?

If you have never put a life jacket on your dog, it might be hard to get him to sit still or to leave it on. Be sure you know how to use the jacket before attempting to fit it on your pooch, then get him to sit down in front of you. Show it to him so it doesn’t scare him and then gently put it on him. The first few times you put the jacket on your pooch, offer him a treat rewarding him for his patience and good behavior. A good rule of thumb would be to put the jacket on your pooch at home before allowing him to wear it near the water. Teach him to run and play with it on, getting him used to wearing it. Throw the ball, allow him to eat, and you might even want to try it out in the bath before going into the water. All these things will familiarize him and make him feel comfortable with the jacket on.

Q: My dog is afraid to go in the water; will a life jacket help her get over the fear?

Surprisingly enough, dogs can also be afraid of water, especially smaller breeds. Some people have taught their dogs to swim by using a life jacket as a tool. You can try using this method for teaching your girl how to swim, but don’t force her in the water, and you will want to be sure you get her used to the jacket before submerging her in the water. Just like with a human, you might want to get in the water with your girl the first couple times she wears the jacket. Show her how safe she is and allow her a chance to get comfortable and learn her boundaries. This might just be the solution to the problem and after she gets used to it, she might take off on her own. Don’t be disappointed though if it goes the other way, there are some dogs that prefer land over water.

Q: How do I measure my dog for a life jacket?

First, you will want to measure your dog’s neck size. Next, you will want to measure your dog’s girth starting an inch or two behind his front legs. Measure around his rib cage and chest. Knowing your dog’s current weight can also be helpful when it comes to the proper measurement. Keep in mind that most of the sizes are not accurate and they will either run too small or too big, causing you to size down smaller or a size up larger.

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