Plenty of canines crave the water. Whether you take your dog on boating adventures, kayak trips, or just excursions to the beach, it’s important to keep them safe! Investing in a life jacket for your nautical dog could be the life-saving step you take towards protecting them from drowning. No matter how strong of a swimmer you believe your pooch to be, unpredictable events do occur so equipping them with the proper gear will give you the peace of mind needed to enjoy yourself on the water too! To help you help your pet, we’ve got the scoop on the best life jackets for your dog and what to consider before making your purchase.
Does My Dog Really Need A Life Jacket?
It might seem like all dogs are inherently good swimmers, but this is far from the truth. There are plenty of reasons for why your dog could be at risk in the water. Consider getting your furry friend a flotation device if any of the following apply:
- The body type of your dog inhibits buoyancy - Certain breeds, such a bulldogs, pit bulls, basset hounds, and pugs, just aren’t built for the water.
- Your dog displays health or mobility issues - Typically most applicable in older dogs, dogs with low body fat, or breeds prone to hip dysplasia.
- You allow your dog to participate in water activities - Even if your dog is just hanging out around the RV park pool, any body of water poses a potential drowning risk to your dog.
Before tossing down cash for your canine’s life jacket, make sure the product you’re purchasing is going to satisfy your needs. Consider these factors when browsing the extensive selection of safety jackets available for your precious pup!
- Buoyancy - Pay attention to how the floatation padding is distributed around the vest. Does it wrap around the belly or is it just at the sides? If the jacket doesn’t pack in enough support to keep your pet above water, the jacket won’t do much good.
- Color - You’ll want to make sure the life jacket you get has a brightly colored design to enhance the visibility of your dog while they’re in the water. Reflective material or neon coloring both contribute to boater’s ability to see your pet so they can be cautious to avoid them.
- Size & Fit - Measure your dog to get their exact dimensions and use these numbers in correspondence with the specified measurements of the vest to ensure you get the right size. When fastened, you want the life jacket to have a secure and ergonomic fit.
- Features - Specialty features are something you’re also going to want to pay attention to. Are there durable handles included? What about zippered pockets or 3-in-1 designs? Consider what features are important to you before making your final decision.
Top Options Available
With such a large selection of doggy life jackets available to you, it can be hard to differentiate between each design to decide which one is the right choice. To help, we’ve done some of the legwork and narrowed down a few stand-out options, as well as some other great alternatives too! Ruffler K9 Float Coat If durability and comfort is what you’re after, you won’t be disappointed with the Ruffler K9 Float Coat. This life jacket is designed for active water dogs and it’s made out of abrasion-resistant materials with a low-profile handle so you can easily grab and lift your dog out of the water. At close to $80, this is one of the more expensive options out there. Kyjen Outward Hound Life Jacket As the unattested number one selling dog life jacket available, the Kyjen Outward Hound Life Jacket is another great alternative! Boasting the same sturdy and durable design as more expensive models, you can find this life jacket for a fraction of the price at just under $25. This life jacket also comes in an orange and white striped design made to make your pooch resemble an adorable clown fish! Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket With a nylon strap and velcro-fastening system, the Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket is extremely easy to use, although it is usually recommended for short-haired dogs. Reflective strips maximize visibility and the easy-to-clean material makes washing off the life jacket easier than ever. You can find this life jacket for just around $25, making it affordable too. Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Vest The unique design of this life jacket qualifies it for a spot on our top list. With unmatched versatility, this 3-in-1 product can be used as a life vest, a rain jacket, or a three-season coat. The removable floatation liner might not offer the best support in terms of buoyancy, but this is still a quality product to consider. And to top it off, it even comes with a hassle-free lifetime warranty! Salus Skippy Dog Life Jacket Specializing in water-related innovation, Salus designed The Skippy to offer unparalleled buoyancy. Floatation support is included under the belly and chest, and tummy-saver padding helps to protect your pup. Cordura® nylon is used for an ultra-durable design, although this is reflected in the price tag, which comes in at around $80. Swimways Sea Squirt Dog Jacket Although it might not offer the most buoyancy or comfort, the Swimways Sea Squirt Dog Jacket makes our list for its simply adorable design that’s both fun and funny! A flexible dorsal fin along the back gives the illusion of a shark fin, and functionality is provided with full-body floatation supports and heavy-duty fabric. Sizing is limited to smaller dogs, and this comical life jacket can be purchased for around $45.
Don’t let a doggy-overboard situation spoil your fun day on the water and properly gear up your pet so they are protected. Whether you choose from our list of best life jackets for your dog or whether you go with another alternative that wasn’t included, we hope that both you and your aquatically-inclined animals stay safe this summer! For more insights into floatation devices, check out this post! Do you use a canine floatation device for your furry friend? Tell us about it in the comments section! Or share a pic with us on Instagram!