A life jacket is an essential accessory to obtain if you ever bring your dog on a boat, out to a lake or pond, or even to a dock or riverwalk. A life jacket can increase the survivability of all dogs, not just those who are not adept at swimming. Even if a good swimmer goes overboard, a life jacket can be the difference between rescuing a dog that’s tired but still able to stay above water, and the alternative.
In our guide, we’ll break down the differences in the leading life jackets available. We’ll also take a look at the various features and limitations of each. Our buyer’s guide will empower you to take this information and make a sound decision of which of these life-saving items is right for your dog.
Best Dog Life Jackets
Here are our dog life jacket reviews.
The Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket from Outward Hound is a great option for a canine floatation device. It has high visibility coloring with reflective piping. This jacket is available in five sizes that are based on the girth of your dog.
- Foam panels for the highest buoyancy
- Extra neck panel to keep your dogs head above water
- Ripstop material for easy restraint or recovery
The Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket is made from a quick-drying and breathable nylon. It comes in 5 sizes, with adjustable collar strap and velcro belly for additional adjustments. Several colors and patterns available to suit your tastes.
- Breathable mesh inner layer to promote drainage and prevent chafing and heat issues
- Several colors available, each with wide reflective stripes for low light visibility
- Single rescue handle on the back
The Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jacket is built with extra padding for super-strong buoyancy. It is available in 5 sizes from XS through XL based on girth, with adjustable straps and buckles for further adjustability. It comes in ten bright colors with reflective trim for easy visibility and optimal safety.
- Grab handle on the back to remove your dog from emergency situations
- D ring on the back for easy leash attachment
- Designed to provide strong buoyancy without restricting movement
The Float Coat from RUFFWEAR is designed to keep dogs safe during any water activity. The closed-cell foam panels are cut and placed to allow natural dog paddling. The inner webbing maintains stability when wet so the jacket doesn’t shift.
- Reflective elements and integrated light loop for attaching The Beacon light
- Telescoping neck closure to fit various body shapes
- Floatation design keeps dog upright while in the water
The Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket from Vivaglory has a more open design than their original style and gives even more freedom of movement. It is available in extra small, small, and medium sizes, and many colors. The strategic neck design keeps your dog in a more natural swimming position and reduces panic and anxiety.
- 600D oxford cloth for durability
- Bright colors and reflective trims so your dog is always visible in and out of water
- Constructed from materials that have passed CA65 safety standards
The Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket is designed for novice canine swimmers. The foam neoprene side panels provide maximum buoyancy and help keep dogs warm while swimming. It comes in 5 girth-based sizes from XS to XL.
- High visibility red or orange color comes with reflective piping
- Emergency lifting handles to make sure you can remove the dog from any situations needed
- Warming insulation makes an ideal jacket for cool or cold water use
The HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket is made from high-quality polyester oxford and nylon ripstop fabric. It has a mesh fabric for proper drainage and quick drying. Seven sizes ranging from XXS to XXL, fitting dogs from 5 pounds to over 77 pounds.
- Front float band helps keep your dogs head above water
- Heavy-duty D ring and rescue handle
- Pearl cotton foam provides great buoyancy
Dog Life Jacket Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right life jacket comes down to your dog’s girth measurements, their ability as a swimmer, and whether you’ll be in warm or cold water.
Sizing Your Dog Life Jacket
When measuring your dog for a life jacket, nearly all of them are dependent on the girth measurement, rather than weight. Make sure your dog is standing up and holding still, and measure them around the largest part of their ribcage, just behind the shoulders. Also, make sure to not pull the measuring tape too tightly. The “measure twice” adage comes in handy here, particularly if you have a dog that’s a little more energetic, and a little less likely to hold perfectly still. Take the measurement two or three times, and use the average. If the measurement puts the dog right on the upper cusp of a size bracket, always choose the next size up.
Another factor to consider is your dog’s present swimming ability. Some jackets are designed for novice or inexperienced swimmers and are much more buoyant. Others are tailored for experienced swimmers, and while still having buoyancy, they are cut to have less material in the way for increased freedom of movement.
The final thing you will need to take into account is the water temperature of where you’ll be using the jacket. This is a simple determination of warm or cold. Most jackets are designed for your standard summer weather, meaning warm water, sun exposure, and breathability. On the other hand, there is a subset of jackets that are designed to be used in cool or cold water. They still offer life-saving buoyancy, but they also feature insulation qualities and do not absorb as much water, so your dog stays warmer while swimming or in an overboard situation.
Dog Life Jacket Review Conclusion
We hope that the information in our guide has helped you to choose a life jacket for your canine companion. As long as you take into account your dog’s current swimming ability, where they’ll be using it, and get them sized up properly, you will be well equipped to choose the best life jacket for your furry friend.