Top 10 Best Dog Life Jackets – Finding Fido’s Flotation Device

Dog Life Jackets Feature

Whilst most dogs love to paddle or swim, we need to ensure they have the right gear for the job, this is where a dog life jacket comes in.

Some dog’s have much more endurance than others, but, just like humans, dogs can tire too.

If you spend time around water, canoeing, kayaking, boating or simply paddling and enjoying the water’s edge, then a dog life vest should be top of your list for Fido.

The best dog life jacket will keep their head above water (if they get into trouble) and provides us with something to grab should the need arise.

The Verdict: Best Dog Life Jackets

Dog Life Jackets Our Rating Price Range
Best Premium Vest Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket
5 star $$$
Multi-purpose Life Jacket Kurgo Durable Dog Life Jacket 4.5 star $$
Best for Novice Swimmers Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket 5 star $

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket

Perfect premium life jacket for those avid swimmers

5 star

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket

Pros:
  • Sturdy rescue handle
  • Secure buckles
  • Durable webbing provides stability even when wet
Cons:
  • Expensive price tag

One of the most well known brands, the Ruffwear Float Coat lives up to expectations.

Perfect for those dogs who are avid swimmers, or those pooches joining their human boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding or rafting.

It has a strong handle for lifting and reflective trims for improved visibility in the water. The added feature, if a dog flips over accidentally, the float coat will return your pooch to his natural swimming position.

The straps and buckles can be tucked away to reduce the chance they get stuck or snagged on anything in the water.

A very good quality dog life jacket which is great for larger breeds as it has added underbelly flotation and is made from abrasion-resistant and durable material.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in three bright colors which improve visibility
  • Machine washable
  • Added loop to attach a light beacon
  • Available in 6 sizes (XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL)

EzyDog Adjustable Dog Flotation Device

Good quality premium dog floatation device

4 star

EzyDog Adjustable Dog Flotation Device

Pros:
  • Durable construction
  • Ergonomic design with a comfortable fit
  • Great for those avid swimmers
Cons:
  • Can be bulky for some dogs
  • Its square design can bring the rear of the dog higher in the water, which automatically pushes his head down

Comparable in price with the Ruffwear, the EzyDog is made from heavy duty polyester.

Coming in a range of bright colors, it boasts high visibility (with added reflective strips).

The EzyDog best has a durable grip handle, for getting your dog out of the water, and a high-strength D ring for leash attachment.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in three bright designs (green camo, red and yellow) which improve visibility
  • Adjustable design to suit all sizes
  • Available in 5 sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL)

Kurgo Durable Dog Life Jacket

Great mid-range life jacket with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty

4.5 star

Kurgo Durable Dog Life Jacket

Pros:
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • Two durable control handles
  • Doubles up as a raincoat
Cons:
  • Fit for smaller dogs can be loose

Doubling up as a rain coat, the Kurgo jacket is a good all-rounder. By simply removing the flotation layer, your pooch can rock a light rain coat.

Boasting two rescue handles, you can be sure you will always be able to get a hold of Fido if needed.

With a bright red finish, you can also be sure you will be able to keep an eye on him in his water adventures. Kurgo have even added a bottle opener to their design for humans to enjoy.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Multi-use (life jacket and rain coat)
  • Reflective trim and adjustable straps for comfortable fit
  • D ring for leash attachment
  • Available in 5 sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL)

BOCHO Dog Life Vest

Another great mid-range life jacket with a fun design

4.5 star

BOCHO Dog Life Vest

Pros:
  • Quick dry fabric
  • Soft but strong rescue handle
  • Neoprene neck support
Cons:
  • No underbelly flotation
  • Not suitable for toy dogs due to size

Not only is the name BOCHO Wave Rider pretty cool, but, so is the life jacket.

The wave rider is a simple and streamlined vest, it also has concealed buckles and straps.

It has a strong rescue handle with added loops for lights if needed. It also has a D ring to attach a leash when necessary.

The range of bright colors improves visibility along with its added reflective strip which are important safety features for dog life jackets.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in 5 sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL)
  • High flotation yet streamline design
  • Available in 8 colors

He&Ha Pet Dog Life Jacket

A good mid-range life jacket

3.5 star

He&Ha Pet Dog Life Vest

Pros:
  • Orange color aids visibility along with reflective strips
  • Solid grab handle for rescue
  • Design aids weaker swimmers or those in rough conditions
Cons:
  • Velcro fastening can make some dogs skittish
  • Not suitable for large or giant dog breeds

Boasting underbelly and neck flotation, it is similar in design to the popular Ruffwear jacket.

The He&Ha can be helpful for those dogs swimming in rough conditions or those who aren’t particularly strong swimmers.

Having a mesh underbelly, drainage and drying occurs quickly, improving comfort for longer wear.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in 4 sizes (XS, S, M, L)
  • High flotation device with breathable underbelly mesh
  • Neck and underbelly float
  • Rescue handle and D ring

Queenmore Flotation Vest For Dogs

Fun design, but at the mid-range price point, other life jacket’s represent better value for money

3 star

Queenmore Flotation Vest For Dogs

Pros:
  • Lots of safety features: rescue handle, leash D ring and quick release buckles
  • Reflective accents for improved visibility
  • Neck, belly and back floats
Cons:
  • Grey design impedes visibility
  • Shark/fish design adds extra material to get trapped/stuck

A flotation vest for dogs boasting a shark or fish fin.

Whilst the design can add a little style to your pup’s safety vest, it can easily get trapped and cause difficulty whilst swimming.

This jacket has a mesh underbelly, you’ll be thankful for its quick drying and its adjustable nylon straps mean you can get just the right fit for your pooch.

An added neck float will keep his head above water with ease.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in 5 sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL)
  • Available in two designs – grey shark and pink fish
  • Velcro and buckle closure

Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

Best budget dog life jacket for novice swimmers

5 star

Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket

Pros:
  • Rescue handles
  • Bright color for enhanced visibility
  • Warming insulation
Cons:
  • Not made from ripstop material
  • No D ring clip to attach leash
  • Not suitable for experienced swimmers

Perfect for novice swimmers, this dog life jacket isn’t too bulky which can be a great starting point for dogs who have never worn a life jacket before.

Boasting a front neck float, it makes it even easier for your pooch to keep his head above water and its quick release buckles make it very easy to put on and off.

This flotation vest also has a warming insulation which will keep dogs warm on cold swims (perfect for those short-coated breeds).

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in 5 sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL)
  • Available in 2 colors (Orange and Red)
  • High visibility with reflective piping
  • Adjustable straps for comfort and fit

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket

A good budget vest for first-time swimmers

4.5 star

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket

Pros:
  • Adjustable nylon straps for comfort
  • Reflective strips aid visibility
  • Durable rescue handle
Cons:
  • Neoprene can be affected by UV radiation and heat
  • Longer haired breeds can get their fur trapped in the velcro
  • Some dogs can be skittish with velcro fastenings

A flexible neoprene design, this dog life jacket is perfect for those dogs who have never worn one before, adding buoyancy without the bulk.

Available in a wide range of designs and colors, you can add some style whilst keeping dog safe.

It has a breathable underbelly mesh which aids drying, reducing the time your pup spends with a soaked vest.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Available in a range of designs
  • Buckle and velcro fastenings
  • Six different sizes available (XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL)

L.D Dog Floatation Life Vest

A good budget dog life jacket for first-time swimmers

3 star

Dog Floatation Life Vest

Pros:
  • Durable rescue handles
  • D ring for attaching leash
Cons:
  • Grey and blue colors aren’t as visible in the water
  • Shark design has the potential get stuck somewhere

Coming in shark or mermaid designs, you can add a little style to your dog’s wardrobe with this life vest.

The L.D. dog life jacket is abrasion resistant and dirt-proof.

It also comes with quick release buckles should your pooch ever get stuck on something.

More suited for those days frolicking at the lake as opposed to swimming in open seas, the L.D dog buoyancy jacket is an affordable option.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Range of four designs (Blue shark, green mermaid, grey shark, pink mermaid)
  • Adjustable belt and quick release buckles with top grab handle
  • Five different sizes available (S, M, L, XL, XXL)

Neoprene Life Jacket for Dogs

A budget life jacket for dogs

3 star

Neoprene Life Jacket for Dogs

Pros:
  • Adjustable straps for added comfort
  • D ring for attaching leash
Cons:
  • Neoprene can break down in UV radiation and heat

Another neoprene design, the Vivaglory provides excellent flotation without the bulk which is included with more premium life jackets for dogs

Coming in a range of bright colors, the Vivaglory ensures your dog is easy to see.

Its snug fit can be helpful for those more nervous pets as it gives them a sense of security.

Extra neck support will ensure your dog’s head stays above water at all costs, a great purchase for those more wary dogs.

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Range of five designs (Blue, lemon yellow, orange, pink and red)
  • Neck support
  • Five different sizes available (XS, S, M, L, XL, XL)

Features To Look For In a Life Jacket

Dog Life Jacket Features

Buoyancy
You really want a jacket with the right amount of buoyancy for your dog.

It should be suitable for his size and weight. Some devices have under belly flotation, some along the back and around the sides, some even have some in the neck to help keep Fido’s head up.

Ideally you will want belly flotation.

Color
Most life jackets are brightly colored to aid visibility.

If you lose your pooch as it’s dusk, you’ll be thankful for that bright color or even reflective strips.

The best colors are vivid yellow, orange and red.

Size
It should have a snug fit, but, still allow movement of all four limbs.

He should be able to sit and lie down comfortably in the jacket.

Handles
The best dog life jackets will have handles for you to pull Fido out of the water where necessary.

This could be where access isn’t brilliant (Fido can’t walk in and out of the water) or even if he gets into some trouble and you need to quickly get him out.

How To Put a Dog Life Jacket on a Dog

Fitting a Dog Life Jacket

Fitting a dog life jacket starts with having the correct jacket.

Firstly, you need to ensure you buy the right size jacket for your dog. Fido should easily be able to sit, lie down, walk, run and swim in it.

Like anything new you introduce to your pooch, it needs to be done slowly.

1. Start with Sniffing
Once you have purchased the correct jacket, let Fido sniff and explore it. Just leave it around the house so he can get used to it.

2. Use treats for positive association
If you choose a jacket with a solid neck band, hold the jacket in one hand with a treat in the other. Lure his muzzle through with the treat and then place the jacket on his back.

3. Fasten the jacket
With the straps fastened you should still be able to squeeze your fingers between the straps and his body:

  • Too tight and it will restrict his movement
  • Too loose, the jacket could come off or it could just cause him to barrel roll

Whilst he is in the jacket, give him a chew if you need to distract him.

He needs to associate the life jacket with good things.

4. Use the jacket near water
When Fido is comfortable in the jacket, take him near water and again fit the jacket using treats.

Encourage him into the water with treats again.

The first time he experiences the buoyancy may throw him slightly, so be patient and use plenty of praise and reward.

Throw a floating toy or ball to distract him from the odd sensation.

Only allow Fido to spend significant amounts of time around water when he is comfortable in the jacket. Before you have to use it in an emergency, try out the rescue handle on the jacket.

Conclusion

Best Premium Vest Multi-purpose Life Jacket Best for Novice Swimmers
Best Premium Vest Multi-purpose Life Jacket Best for Novice Swimmers
Buoyancy Side & Under Belly Single Flotation Layer Side Panels
Our Rating 5 star 4.5 star 5 star
Safety Handle One Two Two
Price See on Amazon See on Amazon See on Amazon

A dog life jacket could be one of the most important things you buy for your dog.

Whether you are an avid swimmer, watersport enthusiasts, or merely a paddler who likes to spend time relaxing at the lake there will be a life jacket suitable for your four-legged friend.

Look for the key features that will keep Fido safe, and consider what you will need it for.

Be mindful of your dog’s temperament and how well he will tolerate the different types of jacket.

Enjoy your adventures with your faithful friend, but, remember a life jacket is not a substitute for supervision.

John Woods Autho Bio Picture
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*