In fact, most of our ideas about animal behavior and habits are very stereotyped. As a general rule, many people think that dogs are great at swimming, that cats can’t swim at all, and they will never cohabit with each other peacefully. However, in real life, these views are easily contested.
Therefore, if you know that your dog is worried near water, you need to ensure its safety with the lightweight dog life jacket. In this guide, we made an overview of the best models, and also answered the most popular questions of water recreation enthusiasts and dog owners.
Top 5 Dog Life Jackets
he modern market for dog products is no worse than the market for children’s products. Of course, it is very easy to get lost amid such abundance. That is why, we have compiled this top based on dog life jacket reviews, their functionality, and price. In general, you can make a choice by limiting yourself to even these five models.
Best overall – Outward Hound Granby RipStop
This is really the best dog life jacket because it has all the advantages at once so that your dog has fun in the water and in nature, and you are calm for its safety. The vest is made in bright orange, equipped with two buckles under the belly and under the chest, plus this model has a special protective edge under the dog’s chin so that the dog does not swallow water. A convenient handle on the back of the dog allows you to quickly pull it out of the water and put it back in the boat. This model comes in all sizes – from minimum to x large dog life jacket. The vest is made of breathable and unsinkable material that does not hinder the movement and breath of the dog, of course, provided that the right size is selected. And by the way, the price is amazingly pleasant for such functionality and comfort!
Runner-up – AOFITEE Dog Life Jacket Pet Safety Vest
This is a reliable, functional, and even funny dog life jacket with a fin. This model comes in five different sizes and in three different colors – gray so that your dog looks like a shark, orange for excellent visibility in the water, and glamorous pink. The latter is equipped with a mermaid tail and a scaly pattern on the back. So, if the classic dog shark life jacket seems boring to you, you can easily turn your dog into a pink mermaid. And by the way, these designer refinements do not affect the functionality of the vest. The inner part of the vest is made of floating and unsinkable material, the top layer is covered with nylon. A double fastener and a reliable lock under the chest will allow you not to worry about the fact that the vest is unfastened by itself and the dog will be defenseless at depth.
Best Budget Buy – Frisco Dog Life Jacket
This is really a very budget option, but the affordable price does not affect the functionality of the product. This neoprene dog life jacket has safety fasteners, an additional side under the dog’s head so that the head is always above the water, plus a handle on the back, as well as a hole for the collar and leash. In addition, the model is slightly modified if you need an extra-large dog life jacket. In this case, the vest will be equipped with two additional handles on the back so you can easily grab your big dog.
Best Small Dog Life Jacket – Paws Aboard Pink Polka Dot
This is a sweet and even glamorous model of a life vest, made in pink and decorated with a pattern of white peas. The vest is easily removed and worn even on a very mobile dog thanks to simple but reliable fastenings under the belly and under the neck. Plus, the vest is equipped with a special tag so that you can write the name of the dog, your name and phone number directly on the fabric and be sure that it is possible to contact you if the dog is lost.
Best Large Dog Life Jacket – Paws Aboard Blue & Yellow
Despite the fact that this model comes in different sizes and can suit dogs of different breeds, this is one of the best big dog life jackets. The vest is made of neoprene (waterproof, breathable and elastic material), it fits tightly on the dog thanks to two belts under the belly, plus a fastener on the chest. Also, the model is equipped with an additional handle on the back of the dog, so that the owner can hold it during boarding and exiting the boat. The vest is made in bright blue for excellent visibility and is also equipped with a reflective strip in case you travel on the water at night.
Features to Consider When Buying a Dog Life Jacket
- The set of functions. The main function of this device, regardless of whether you need the best small dog life jacket or xl dog life jacket, is keeping the dog on the water. Basically, all models are equipped with two adjustable buckles under the belly, one fastener on the chest, and a handle on the back so that the owner can easily get the dog out of the water. This is the minimum set of functions that should be in the model that you choose for your dog.
- Material. As for the material, most vests are made of neoprene. Some are also equipped with additional unsinkable inserts made of lightweight foam, as well as a breathable layer of mesh fabric on top. As for the material of the fasteners, for the most part, these are plastic toothed fasteners that snap in one motion.
- Color. We recommend choosing the brightest colors so you can always see your dog on the beach or in the water. Ideal options are yellow or red, as they contrast beautifully with the natural landscape. Small dogs also look very cute in a pink dog life jacket or shark fin dog life jacket. In addition, most vests are also equipped with reflective strips for dog safety in the dark.
- The size. Be very careful when choosing your size. Most brands produce XXS dog life jacket models, dog life jacket medium models, as well as solutions for huge dogs. Further, we will tell you how to measure your dog in order to choose the right size. Plus, each manufacturer always gives his instructions.
- Additional functions. For example, a vest can be equipped with a special hole for a collar and leash or an address tag. There are also cool solutions like dog life jacket shark fin. Many vests also have an interesting pattern, for example, dog life jacket pink with white polka dots, which we have already talked about.
- Reviews from other customers. Do not forget to read the reviews of those who have already bought a particular model. Or, if in doubt whether you need additional design features, watch video reviews of standard lifejackets and compare them with shark dog life jacket models, for example.
- Price. The cost of vests starts at $10 and reaches $100 or more. If the price is a fundamental criterion for you, once again pay attention to the model we ranked as the best budget choice. This is just the case when quality and functionality exceed their price several times.
- Delivery and the opportunity to return the goods. Of course, it is always nice when delivery is free or costs a penny. However, the opportunity to return the goods must necessarily be provided in the case of a life jacket for dogs. Minimal inaccuracy in measuring the parameters of the dog can lead to the fact that your, for example, xs dog life jacket will interfere with the free-breathing of the pet. In this case, this means more danger than good, which means you will need to return such a product and choose a larger model.
Guide (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are a few questions that dog owners ask most often before buying a life jacket.
Why do dogs need a life jacket?
And why do your kids need it? We bet you will never allow them to swim without a life jacket, even in the calmest water. Even if you are absolutely sure that your dog is a strong swimmer, a life jacket is the best defense against an emergency, both for dogs and people. This is the cost of your peace of mind and confidence that the vest will keep the dog on the water in case of strong currents or if the boat suddenly rolls over.
How do I get my dog accustomed to his life jacket?
It is not as difficult as you think. Universal dog training rules apply in this case as well. Start by trying on your vest at home and let the dog get used to it for a few minutes. If the dog resists, distract her with a treat and praise. Repeat this operation for several days, until a strong association is formed between the vest and the treat. You can easily do the same directly during water training so that the dog at the same time gets used to the vest and carries out your commands.
How to measure a dog on a life jacket?
Each manufacturer gives instructions about what parameters you need to measure. Typically, this is the length of the dog’s body from the withers to the tailbone, girth under the stomach, and chest girth. The size of the vest is selected based on these parameters.
How should a dog life jacket fit?
The lifejacket for the dog should not tighten or squeeze the body, but should not hang freely on the dog either. It is important to choose the right parameters of the vest itself and adjust it with the help of fasteners. The vest must be adjusted so that your finger fits freely between it and the dog’s body. Pay attention to the dog’s breath in the vest. In no case should the vest squeeze the chest, otherwise, the dog will not be able to breathe easily and correctly in the water. If you are going to buy a vest in a store, take your dog with you and try on several options to find the best fit.
Which dogs need a life jacket?
In fact, all dogs need a life jacket. This is the most basic insurance against an emergency – for example, high waves or strong currents when even the best swimming skills are not a guarantee of safety. In addition, as you already understood, not all dogs love and know how to swim. For some dogs, this is a difficult task due to the special constitution of the body.
- For example, pugs and bulldogs are hard to swim because of the special structure of the respiratory system. For these dogs, you need to choose life vests with a special side under the chin so that water does not get into the nose and mouth.
- It is also difficult for dachshunds to swim due to short paws and a long body. Although, being extremely persistent, these dogs will never show fatigue and will swim after the owner to the point of exhaustion.
- Miniature dogs like Chihuahuas and Toy Terriers are very shy. Any harsh sound can cause them to panic and lose their orientation in the water.
- Corgi dogs just do not like to swim, although they know how to do it. These dogs will happily splash around in shallow water and watch the owner.
Other Dog Life Jackets
If you did not find a suitable model in the previous top, then here are a few more life jacket options from an extra small dog life jacket to a large breed dog life jacket.
Paws Aboard Lifeguard Neoprene Dog Life Jacket
This is a simple life jacket with standard functionality, sewn in bright red. The peculiarity of the model is that it is provided for either very small or large dogs. All other functions are standard – a neoprene layer, reliable fasteners, an extra handle on the back plus a tag for the name and phone number.
Paws Aboard Yellow Dog Life Jacket
This is a great medium-sized dog life jacket, although other sizes are also provided. It is very easy to take off and put on this model, as all fasteners are adjustable. The vest is made in bright yellow so that you can quickly find the dog both in the water and on the shore. The vest is also equipped with two reflective tapes for safe alloys in the dark.
KONG Sport AquaPro Dog Flotation Vest
This is a fairly expensive life jacket for dogs, but in return for the high cost, you get improved safety and the natural position of the dog in the water. Designers provided the nylon vest with additional unsinkable layers to make the dog’s body even more weightless in the water. Perhaps the only drawback is the gray color, which will be poorly visible in the background of water or sand.
Paws Aboard Nautical Dog Life Jacket
Pay attention to this model if you are looking for a dog life jacket small. Despite the fact that the model comes in different sizes, the designers still focused more on small breed dogs. Marine coloring will look especially cute. As for the functionality, everything is standard here. Reliable fasteners, a reflective strip, and a handle on the back are provided.
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Life Jacket
This is one of the top-performing and top-rated dog life jackets. Designers claim that it provides twice the best buoyancy and retention on water. This will be a great solution if your dog feels a little uneasy in the water, as this vest is designed to provide maximum safety. The model is designed in two different colors – yellow and red for excellent visibility in the water, and also comes in several sizes – from the smallest to the XXL dog life jacket.
Kurgo Surf-n-Turf Dog Life Jacket
This is a fairly popular brand in the middle price segment. In general, choosing this model you can be sure of reliability and safety. The model comes in four sizes and a bright crimson color so that you do not lose sight of the dog. A distinctive feature of the model is that it is equipped with two handles at once for controlling the dog – along the back and across the tailbone. Thus, you can always grab even the most mobile dog and easily pull it out of the water with one or two hands.
As you can see, a big or small dog life jacket is an indispensable thing if you are planning an active water holiday with your dog. Get this item regardless of your dog’s swimming skills, as water emergencies can happen at any time. In addition, a large selection of models, colors, sizes, and prices will easily allow you to make the right choice. Use this guide to simplify this task even further.