Not all dogs are natural swimmers and even if your pup is a pro, they may still get tired and need some assistance when in deep water. You should make sure to pack a life jacket for your dog when you take them along on kayaking or a beach day.
Dog life jackets offer floatation and support to the dog. They also offer peace of mind to their owners, who can know that their dog is safe. You should carefully select a good life jacket that offers all the necessary features like visibility stripes, adjustment straps, and security handles.
While researching some reliable brands for life jackets and vests, we came across some great options. Take a look at our recommendations for the best dog life jackets of 2022.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog Life Jacket
You will need to keep the following considerations in mind:
Dogs come in a variety of sizes, built types, and coats. You should properly measure your pup around the neck and chest area to make sure the life jacket isn’t too tight or too loose. A tight jacket will constrict movement while a loose one may slip off your dog in the water.
If your dog has trouble learning to swim, a safety handle can help you pull him out of the water. Even if your dog is a good swimmer, you can use this handle to direct them or guide them out of the water.
Dog life vests and jackets should be in neon hues so they are easier to spot from a distance. They should be equipped with reflective strips to make the dog visible in water to the boats and people around them.
Consider life jackets that surround the underbelly, back, and sides of the dog completely. You should look for a life jacket with neck floatation that supports the dog’s head above water.
Reasons for Getting a Life Jacket for Your Dog
Here are some benefits of dog life jackets:
Dog life jackets keep your fur baby safe in the open waters.
They assist your dog when he/she gets tired from swimming.
Life jackets increase visibility in the water, fewer chances of losing your beloved.
Aids in training the dog to swim.
How To Measure Your Dog for Life Jacket
You should measure the:
Measure the junction between your dog’s body and the neck, that’s where most life jackets are designed to sit. Wrap a measuring tape around the neck near the shoulders and note the reading.
Measure around the chest by wrapping the tape around the rib cage or the widest area of your dog’s chest. Typically, the largest part is right behind the front legs.
The buoyancy of a life jacket depends on the weight of your dog as well. Make sure you match your dog’s weight with the weight guidelines.
Measure your dog’s back length starting from below the neck to the base of the tail.
Safety Tips for Dog Life Jackets
Here are some useful tips to keep your dog safe in the water:
Always make sure all the straps and handles are properly secured and adjusted.
Test the strength of the D-ring and the stitching before going into the water.
Make sure you’re getting the right life jacket for the right activity.
Instill a positive attitude toward wearing a life jacket with rewards and treats.
Dog life jackets are considered by many to be a necessity and they will help your dog in many ways. You need to consider a few important factors before getting one, including the right size, kinds of adjustments, handle, and reflective accents.
This guide covers some of the best dog life jackets in 2021 along with their pros, cons, and tips to getting the right fit.
The Granby Splash life jacket is a great dog floatation device that has been designed by experts. They have thick foam for exceptional buoyancy. They come in bright colors and have reflective stripes for better visibility of your dog underwater. There is also a neck float and chin panel that helps to keep your dog’s head out of the water at all times.
There are two adjustable straps around the chest and belly area to ensure good support and a snug fit. This life jacket has been constructed with a ripstop material for maximum buoyancy. There is a neoprene belly band that supports the belly and chest area under the jacket. There is also a rescue handle at the top to restrain and lift your dog.
This ripstop life jacket is designed with a round neck and extra padding for excellent buoyancy without restricting the dog’s activity. The dog life vest comes with a fastening system around the neck and the belly so the jacket stays secure and close to the dog’s body. The top portion of the jacket features a durable handle/life preserver that can be used to pull your dog out of the water in case of an emergency.
The adjustable straps on each side of the dog life jacket have quick-release buckles for fastening them according to the required fit. Moreover, reflective trims and strips make sure the dog is visible from a distance and underwater.
The ASENKU life jacket is made from a high-grade oxford and nylon polyester material on the outside while the inside is lined with soft mesh fabric. The mesh fabric allows proper drainage and is quick-drying. It is also very durable. There are quick-release buckles and adjustable belts that run all around the chest and belly area of the dog for maximum support.
When necessary, you can use the heavy-duty D-ring hook at the top to restrain, rescue, or guide your dog. The best thing about this life jacket is that it can be used as a simple winter dog coat as well. The ripstop polyester side is windproof and waterproof which makes it ideal for extreme weather conditions.
Reflective accents for better visibility
Round neck style for a better fit
Quick-drying mesh lining
Not buoyant enough for dogs who cannot swim at all
You can count on ZippyPaws life jacket to keep your dog afloat even in the deepest waters. The jacket is filled with dense foam panels that provide reliable floatation to your dog in ocean water, lakes, or rivers. The jacket is available in bright colors and has reflective stripes sewn on both sides so that your pup is visible to boats and people around them in the water.
There are built-in handles on the top of the jacket that allow you to easily retrieve your dog from the water. It’s super easy to put on and take off with simple quick-release buckles at the end of each adjustment belt.
Made from a combination of neoprene and nylon, this life jacket is one of the best water jackets for dogs. The round boat neck design makes sure that the jacket is snuggling the dog’s body for support as they swim. The bright colors and reflective strips around the dog’s body make sure that it’s easy to locate your friend in the water.
The floatation material is designed for supreme buoyancy which also reduces fatigue. There is a rescue handle on top of the jacket for quick and easy access. Moreover, the design incorporates neoprene fabric which is super flexible and adds no bulk to the jacket.
Lightweight and very buoyant
Rescue handle and reflective strips for safety
D-ring for leash at the back
Poor quality webbing attachment
Best Dog Life Jacket FAQ
Q: What does the front flap do?
A: The front flap in a dog life jacket keeps the dog’s head out of water.
Q: Do dogs need life jackets on boats?
A: Yes, you should always have a life vest nearby when going around water.
Destin has experience working with dogs in the most high stress environments on earth. He currently is a canine handler as a security contractor, helping to keep US diplomats safe in some of the most dangerous regions of the world.