Amused is the word that best describes my reaction when I first heard of dog life jackets. All along, my conviction was that all dogs can swim. However, it soon dawned on me that not all canines are good swimmers.
Besides, after years of fascination with and sailing on different water bodies, I know that even the strongest swimmers can get into trouble when sailing. It, therefore, makes sense for a dog owner to invest in canine life preservers.
The Best life jackets for dogs guarantee that you and your four-legged friend safely enjoy each other’s company when chartering, boating or water skiing.
Even though there are many good quality dog life jackets, the following are my favorites due to their durability, comfort features, ease of handling as well as aesthetic appeal.
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Kyjen’s Outward Hound
The Outward Hound is one of the leading brands when it comes to dog life jackets. Other than the fact the jacket manufacturer is Kyjen, the leader in dog’s outdoor and travel gear, I love this jacket for many other reasons.
For starters, it comes in a variety of colors, sizes, and patterns. It is also fairly priced and available from both online and offline stores.
A good jacket should offer both protection and safety to the dog. The Outward Hound’s light weight, easy to fit, and useful features make it the perfect sheath for your mutt.
The top grab handles, as well as the side, handles, conveniently facilitate smooth rescue while the colorful reflective accents increase visibility.
It has a fully adjustable neck and chest flaps with front float to help keep the dog’s head above the water.
The jacket comes in varied sizes ranging from Medium, Large, and X-Large.
A pet owner whose dog is between sizes should go with the larger of the two jacket sizes to prevent straining of the seams and increase the jacket’s durability.
The Ruffwear’s K-9 Float Coat
I find this an ideal pet floatation device as it provides through a sleek high fashion package, all the safety a dog needs while in the water. In fact, due to its creative, practical floating features, efficiency, and design, the jacket boasts of getting the most reviews from pet owners.
It was a challenge for me to decide which between the vibrant dandelion yellow and the Red Current K-9 Float Coat to buy. Both are appealing, reflective and made from abrasion resistant materials. Eventually, I made my choice based on the color I thought my mutt loved.
The PFD has several features that guarantee safety and comfort of the dog. For instance, instead of the traditional one thick layer found in most coats, the K-9 Float Coat features several layers of closed cell foam. The foam improves buoyancy by allowing natural swimming postures.
It comfortably sculpts the dog’s body without impeding its natural body movements. Secondly, the coat’s belly panel foam supports underside floatation while the broad telescoping neck collar keeps the dog’s head above water. Even though the K-9 Float is pricey, that cost is well worth it in comparison to the overall value.
EzyDog’s Doggy Flotation Vest
One review humorously describes this vest as the Cadillac of canine outdoor equipment products’. It offers superior floatation features, which does not surprise me considering the manufacturer is EZY DOG, a trailblazer in agility harnesses.
A look at the customer reviews and ratings of the product confirms that it is indeed a popular product among pet owners.
Consistently, the ratings range between 4 and five stars while the reviews are enviable. The heavy-duty polyester material gives the coat up to 50% more flotation while the neoprene adjustable straps offer an ergonomic and protected fit.
The coat also has a reflective detailing for enhancing nighttime safety and a grab handle that supports the safe lifting of the dog.
One thing I found reassuring about the vest is that it comes in varied sizes ranging from the micro coat series’ of X-Small and XXX-Small to the extra-large vests. The EzyDog’s Doggy Flotation Vest comes in four-color options of Red, Yellow, Camo Pink and Camo Green.
Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket
The Paw Aboard series model adds a twist of fun to dogs’ life jackets by making them cute, sturdy and affordable. In addition to the typically desirable floatation and safety features, it comes with a delightful lifeguard design.
It also features two reflective strips and bright day-glow designer colors to give maximum visibility, a sturdy on top handle for easy grabbing and lifting, and flexible nylon bands with quick to release buckles.
To guarantee the comfort of the dog, this PFD has a wider neck and chest robust Velcro clasp system, and an advanced breathable mesh underbelly.
To me, the breathable mesh is a novel feature that helps to drain and dry water, as well as prevent exhaustion and chafing. Since the vests offer more room at the neck, it is ideal for thick-necked and bulky-shouldered hounds.
Average Rank 4.3 out of 5
Henry and Clemmies
For a pet owner wishing for extra buoyancy for the mutt’s head and chest, this life jacket will suffice. It has unique features that support the head and torso thereby guaranteeing superior floatation.
Such features include the flap designed open neck or chest strap, which considerately comes below the pet’s chin keeping its head up to prevent water from entering the mouth.
The PVC and toxic free life jacket consist of water-resistant, 600d Ripstop polyester material. As a result, it becomes highly resistant to tearing or ripping.
Besides, it has reinforced stitching, buckles, and straps for ensuring a firm and comfy fit for the dog, as well as a super bright reflective piping for visibility.
Last but by no means the least, I found the sturdy sewn-in grip handle impressive in that it makes rescue efforts smooth and efficient. The Henry and Clemmies are blue and red in color
Whatever type of pet flotation device you opt for, make sure it matches your dog’s measurements. Most if not all companies selling dog life jackets have sizing charts.
Use them to get your furry four-legged friend a comfortable, cozy fit. Not only will the dog stay safe, and less fatigued, but it will give you extended play sessions where both you and the dog get to enjoy your favorite water activities.
Do you use a life jacket for your dog? If so, feel free to share your experience in the comment below.
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Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.
Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.