Are you looking for the best dog life vests for your dog? We have personally tested 41 of them to find the ideal one for your breed.
Bright and scorching summers call for a swim or outdoor activities. Oh, and especially when it’s with your dog, it has to be fun. But what about having the right safety gear for your canine?
Dog life vests serve as a good swim-wear for your pet. Not just a flotation device for swimming, these life vests can be used while boating, kayaking, hunting, trekking or any other water or ground activity.
You can enjoy any activity with your pet at ease with dog life vests, without having to worry about them drowning or going missing.
For the same reason, we help you choose the Best Dog Life Vest for your dog to float happily with you.
Table of Contents
- The 15 Best Dog Life Vests of 2021 (Reviews)
- 1. Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest
- 2. RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Vest
- 3. Maggift Reflective Dog Vest
- 4. Vivaglory New Sports Style Dog Ripstop Life Vest
- 5. HAOCOO Dog Life Vest Saver Safety Swimsuit
- 6. Hurtta Life Savior Dog Life Vest
- 7. See Spot Zip EV Sport High Visibility Reflective Dog Safety Vest
- 8. Frisco Dog Life Vest
- 9. Camo Pet Life Preserver Camouflage Dog Life Vest
- 10. Paws Aboard Yellow Dog Life Vest
- 11. Hiado Dog Reflective Safety Vest
- 12. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Life Vest
- 13. SwimWays Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest
- 14. Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Vest
- 15. Kurgo Dog Water Life Vest for Dogs
- Why Should You Buy Dog Life Vests?
- Safety Tips for Using Dog Life Vests
- How to Choose The Best Dog Life Vest?
- FAQs About Dog Life Vests
The 15 Best Dog Life Vests of 2021 (Reviews)
The Ruffwear Float Coat is the Best Dog Life Vest because it is good for multipurpose use, be it boating, kayaking, hunting, swimming, etc.
The flotation device has been strategically designed with closed cell foam panels to maintain the neck and body posture in an upright position.
A good Dog life vests provide a high level of protection from water currents while your dog swims in a pool or beach. Not just that, its specific features like reflective strips and bright colors make your dog visible from anywhere at a distance. The adjustable straps and buckles or velcro openings offer a secure fastening.
With so many features to look out for, it can get difficult to choose the best dog life vest for your canine. We help you choose from a range of best dog life vests that we have featured, and why should you consider buying them for your pet.
1. Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest
Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest comes with extra padding and buoyancy for your pooch to have a safe swim. Although available in a range of sizes and colors, it is always advisable to choose a size larger than your dog’s actual size.
The doggy life vest comes with adjustable straps and quick-release buckles to ensure the vest is an ultimate fit for your dog.
There is a D-ring attached in the neck region. The colors are bright with reflective trims to ensure visibility. The fastening system around the belly region ensures a secure fit.
- Material: Fabric not mentioned (extra padding for more buoyancy)
- Size: Small (variants available)
- Color: Pink (variants available)
- Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles
- Durable grab handle
- Bright color with reflective trims
- 90-day replacement guarantee
This life preserver Ripstop Dog Vest by Vivaglory is reliable for keeping your dog afloat in water. The extra padding it offers gives great buoyancy and balance.
The range of colors is excellent, with reflective strips, it is easy to spot your dog, anywhere under the water or outdoors.
The fastening systems around the belly and neck region with adjustable straps and quick-release buckles keep the vest securely in one place, not causing any issues in swimming and floating.
The dog life vest can be slightly heavy for small-sized dog breeds. One needs to be careful about the velcro openings under the belly region as they can rub against your dog’s skin. The size and fitting of the vest can be an issue with large dog breeds.
Conclusively, this life preserver dog vest by Vivaglory is one of the best flotation devices and safety vests for your pooch.
2. RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Vest
Ruffwear believes in making pet clothing, keeping in mind your pet’s outdoor activities and the comfort it demands. Ruffwear helps keep your dog’s explorative instincts alive, so it does not miss out on all fun activities with you.
Ruffwear Float Coat Dog Life Vest can be used for swimming, rafting, kayaking, boating, hunting, and many other fun activities.
The closure at the neck is firm, offering a telescoping pattern, which tapers through the water easily. This facilitates easy swimming. It also keeps your dog’s head afloat.
The life vest has been strategically designed for enhanced swimming. The handle at the top is strong and sturdy to help your dog out of the water easily. It has buckles at the side that are easy to put and take off.
- Material: Foam pads for flotation (fabric not mentioned)
- Size: Medium (variants available)
- Color: Blue Atoll (variants available)
- Easy to clip buckles for attachment
- Multipurpose use
- Reflective trim for visibility
- Durable webbing for water compatibility
- Handle on top
- Closed-cell foam pads
Ruffwear Float Coat life vest for dogs provides them with ultimate safety and enhanced flotation. The closed-cell foam pads with easily fastening buckles offer a great fit and good buoyancy.
The foam pads at the neck region keep your dog’s neck uptight, so its head stays above the water, providing ease in breathing.
The reflective trim design offers low light visibility underwater or even outdoors. The gear comes with an integrated light loop for attaching a beacon light (available separately). The bright color variants add to the visibility altogether.
Certain users complain of the dog life vest being bulky, especially for small dogs. Although, the innovative features it offers make it stand apart from the rest and is definitely recommended for purchase.
3. Maggift Reflective Dog Vest
Maggit Reflective Dog Vest is made of bright colors with reflective paw design and reflective strips.
The life vest is of high-quality 300D Oxford Weave fabric, ensuring comfort and durability. This safety vest has velcro fasteners, meaning it is easy to put on and take off.
Use it under the pool or while boating, hunting, etc. The vest is an all-time apparel for your pet.
- Material: High-quality 300D Oxford Weave fabric
- Size: Large (variants available)
- Color: Orange with reflective paws and reflective strips
- Adjustable velcro fastening
The good features of this life vest for dogs is its bright color and reflective design. The dog life vest also provides ease of fastening due to velcro fasteners. The overall fabric and material is great.
The safety is one of the major issues with this doggy life vest. The velcro fasteners may be easy to use but are not very reliable as they may come off easily.
Maggit Reflective Dog Vest is great as a dog apparel for outdoor use but not very reliable in terms of safety.
4. Vivaglory New Sports Style Dog Ripstop Life Vest
With best in class sporty features that give your canine an athletic look, Vivaglory New Sports Style Dog Ripstop Life Vest gives them a breathable experience outdoors or underwater.
The neck opening has been specifically designed to keep your dog’s head above water.
The life vest has passed CA65 test, so there is no compromise on the quality. Apart from which, the life vest is of Upgraded Ripstop 600D Oxford Cloth promising durability and stability while your dog swims.
The buckle fastening is very easy, especially around the belly and neck region, to keep the vest fastened securely.
- Material: Upgraded Ripstop 600D oxford cloth
- Size: Large (variants available)
- Color: Bright Yellow (variants available)
- Reflective trims for visibility
- Features a D-ring
- Comes with a 90-day warranty
The best thing about Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Life Vest is its sporty design, attractive and durable fabric and availability in multiple designs and sizes.
The reflective trims with bright design enhance your dog’s visibility in low light areas and also under the water, so you don’t lose out on your pet. The D-ring is hidden under the handle, to attach a leash for ease of controlling your pet.
It is always advisable to check your dog’s size first before ordering. Although, the size can be a slight issue in case of certain dog breeds. The dog flotation device offers a ‘not so balanced’ buoyancy.
Looking at the features it offers, the Ripstop Life Vest for Dogs by Vivaglory is a considerable purchase for your canine’s safety and water time.
5. HAOCOO Dog Life Vest Saver Safety Swimsuit
The Haocoo Dog Life Vest Saver Safety Swimsuit Jacket is available in 5 size variants to suit your dog’s preferences. The design is so attractive, your dog would look like a pretty mermaid after wearing this dog life vest by Haocoo.
The material is of Polyester Oxford and Ripstop Nylon Fabric, making it durable in the most extreme weather conditions.
The fitting is very comfortable, as there are adjustable belts and quick-release buckles. There is a handle on the top for you to carry your pet.
The flotation mechanism is such, it helps in keeping your dog’s head above water. The dog life vest is available in bright colors along with reflective stripes on the surface for ease of visibility.
- Material: High-Grade Polyester, Oxford and Nylon Ripstop Fabric. Mesh fiber allows quick drying and drainage
- Size: Large (variants available from S to XXL)
- Color: Pink with reflective stripes
- Heavy-duty D-ring
This life vest for dogs by Haocoo has cool features to offer. The multiple size variants give buyers a choice to purchase as per their dog’s size and comfort.
There are multiple colors to choose from, all of them being bright with reflective strips, offering high visibility underwater or in low light areas.
The adjustable belts and quick release buckles hold your pet firmly while he swims, providing optimum comfort and grip to your dog.
The handle at the top allows access to your pet, so you can directly lift him off the pool or beach when in the water.
The D-ring is strong, for you to attach a leash, or tether your dog near the pool. Alternatively, you can consider buying the best dog swimming pools as it will ensure a great time for your pup.
The life vest offers flotation from the neck region, keeping your dog’s head above the water and offering good buoyancy.
Users complain of size being an issue with the flotation device. The mermaid tail design at the back may cause problems in maintaining balance while swimming. It promises durability but tears off with rough use.
Quite fairly priced for the features it offers, the Haocoo Dog Life Vest Saver Safety Swimsuit is quite a trendsetting dog life vest.
Note: Always buy a size larger than your dog’s usual size. If your dog measures anything between two sizes, choose the larger size. Slight deviations in measurements are possible due to different measuring methods.
6. Hurtta Life Savior Dog Life Vest
This life vest is the ‘perfect safety gear’ and serves multiple purposes of swimming, water training, hunting or boating.
The design is feather-like, your canine will feel like floating in the air. Your pooch can wear the vest for hours feeling light and comfortable. It allows free movement in land and water.
The flotation device has adjustable straps to fit as per your dog’s size and comfort. The assist handle on top is an added feature.
There is a separate nametag to find your dog if he goes missing while swimming at the beach. Just strap your pooch with the Hurtta Life Saviour Dog Life Vest and see your doggy floating in the water with you like a pro.
- Material: Lightweight and Comfortable, made of vinyl waterproof fabric
- Size: 0-10 lbs (variants available)
- Color: Orange with Gray straps, ease of visibility and reflective
- Name Tag for Personalization
- Feather-like, multipurpose dog life vest
- Comes with a handle
- Machine washable
This life vest for dogs being available in multiple size variants, you can choose as per your dog’s comfort and dimensions. The lightweight, feather-like fabric along with ‘easy to strap design’, makes it a great dog flotation device.
The bright color offers great visibility amongst the bushes, under the water, somewhere far on the beach, etc. What’s more, is that it comes with a nametag for personalization, so it is easy to find your dog if he has the vest on.
The handle lets you lift your dog with ease if he’s too tired or too bored to swim midway.
Now, one thing is that the handle is not very sturdy, meaning it may not be suitable to lift heavy dogs. The handle can start wearing off with time.
The sizing can be an issue with certain dog breeds. It does not offer a D-ring to attach a leash unlike other competitive products. Overall, it serves the purpose, with its lightweight and swim-friendly design.
7. See Spot Zip EV Sport High Visibility Reflective Dog Safety Vest
The sporty looks and the reflective straps are features worth looking out for in this dog life vest. The product is available in two, bright color variants and comes with a snag-free zipper.
The life vest for dogs by See Spot can be used while hunting, walking or swimming in the water, during the day or night.
The dog life vest fits snug, meaning your dog can use it as a daily to-go apparel. You can even attach a matching harness or a collar with the life vest.
- Material: Non-rip, lightweight, quality material, fabric not mentioned
- Size: Medium (variants available)
- Color: Fluorescent green (Bright pink also available)
- Large tooth zipper
- Multipurpose dog life vest
- Attachable collar and harness
The vest is lightweight, meaning your dog can keep trending in it all day without feeling uncomfortable. Available in a range of sizes from extra small to extra large, this zipper-like vest by See Spot is surely a head-turner.
The tooth-like zipper design easily opens without a snag. The color with the reflective strips are so bright, they increase your dog’s visibility in the darkest of areas or even underwater.
The snug-fitting life vest can be used with a harness or collar to enhance your dog’s safety.
Users complain of durability and quality being low. It is not machine washable. Cheaply priced, it serves the purpose as a dog apparel but not very reliable in terms of safety underwater. It is more suitable for outdoor use.
8. Frisco Dog Life Vest
This ergonomically designed Frisco Dog Life Vest offers good buoyancy and flotation. The design is quite unique. It has a front panel with a flotation flap along with side panels to help keep the head afloat.
The thickness is great with a neoprene belly band below to provide support while they swim.
There is a grab handle on the top of the flotation device to carry your dog out of the water.
Apart from using it in the water, the dog life vest by Frisco also has outdoor uses. You can attach a leash to the D-ring on the back of the life vest.
Frisco recommends that you weigh your dog before buying the life vest to ensure optimum buoyancy while your dog swims with you.
- Material: 20mm thick foam panels at the sides with neoprene belly bands
- Size: Small (variants available)
- Color: Orange and Gray straps. Four reflective accents and bright color offer increased visibility.
- D-ring for attaching a leash
- 3 adjustable straps with side-release buckles for comfort fit
- Handle on top
Frisco Dog Life Vest has a sleek design and snug fit which allows your pet to move freely and stay comfortable in it for hours.
The flotation flap with side panels offers great buoyancy and helps your dog stay afloat while you and your fur friend enjoy your aqua time.
The D-ring serves good for attaching a leash to control your pet while you are outdoors or in the beach. The handle on the top offers the convenience of carrying your pet along with the vest.
The neoprene belly bands provide good support to your dog from below while they swim.
Dogs come in different breeds and sizes, so the size of the vest may differ in certain dog breeds which can be an issue. The handle of the vest may not be very durable so do not hold your dog with it for long especially if it’s heavy.
9. Camo Pet Life Preserver Camouflage Dog Life Vest
This cool looking preserver dog life vest by Camo Pet Life, not just looks attractive but offers attractive features too.
First, it has multiple sizes and color variants, so you can choose as per your pet’s liking and comfort. This camo print dog life vest can be used for swimming, hunting and for outdoor use.
The Oxford Nylon Fabric is Ripstop, with mesh fiber that allows easy drying with proper drainage. The adjustable straps and buckles allow the vest to fit perfectly on your pet. There are velcro openings for attachment.
Along with the trendy design, the life vest also has reflective accents on the straps. There is a top handle along with a D-ring for attaching a leash.
- Material: Oxford Nylon Ripstop Fabric with mesh fiber, for breathability and durability
- Size: Extra Large (Size Variants available)
- Color: Camo Print Dog Life Vest
- D-ring for attaching a leash
- Reflective straps
- Top handle
- Fast-drying, does not retain moisture
The multipurpose camo print dog life vest offers a combination of style and safety for your pet. The reflective strips offer great visibility under the water outdoors, during the day or night.
Along with a D-ring for attaching a leash, there is a handle at the top to carry your pet easily.
The fast-drying fabric and lightweight mesh fiber keep your dog comfortable in the life vest for hours.
One issue about the vest could be its size and durability. The adjustable buckles are slightly bulky. The vests fit a small dog perfectly, but the sizing can be a concern with large dogs.
Apart from which, the features and the design are great, which makes it a trendy-looking vest for your pet.
10. Paws Aboard Yellow Dog Life Vest
Paws Aboard is a brand which is committed to enhancing pet experience and make pet owners happy. The range of life vests and life jackets they offer are comfortable, fashionable and do not compromise on safety.
Paws Aboard Yellow Dog Life Vest is available in vibrant colors having reflective strips. It is made of quick-dry and breathable nylon fabric.
There is a breathable mesh under the belly to ensure comfort and proper water drainage to your pet. There are velcro openings under the belly with an adjustable collar to provide a custom fit for your pet.
- Material: Quick-Dry and Breathable Nylon Fabric with Mesh openings under the belly for breathability and comfort
- Size: Small (variants available)
- Color: Neon Yellow with white reflective strips (multiple colors and design variants available)
- Velcro openings
- Handle on Top
- D-ring for attaching leash
- Quick Dry and light fabric
The colors are so attractive, any color would look great on your pet. Apart from being attractive, they are bright with reflective strips to offer great visibility in the darkest of conditions.
The handle on top is good to pull your dog out of the water or carry him along with you. The velcro opening with an adjustable collar makes it a comfortable and breathable fabric for underwater or outdoors.
The mesh fabric under the belly is quick-drying and allows proper water drainage, not making it feel damp and unhealthy.
The D-ring is not very durable and comes off if pulled with a slight force. Some users claim that the vest does not provide the expected levels of sturdiness and safety in water.
Then again, with the range of attractive designs and colors, it has to offer along with an adjustable fit, the vest is quite a style statement amongst many dog breeds.
Note: Measure your dog’s body girth from the widest point, behind their front legs before choosing the right size for your pet. If your pet falls between two sizes, choose the larger size of the two.
11. Hiado Dog Reflective Safety Vest
Hiado Dog Reflective Safety Vest looks compact and lightweight with reflective paw print design on the material. The adjustable straps are easy to open and the neck has a D-ring to attach a leash.
There are 3 size variants available for the product. The material is of polyester, which is easy to dry and breathable.
- Material: Polyester (lightweight and quick-drying fabric)
- Size: Extra Large (variants available)
- Color: Orange with gray reflective paw design and reflective stripes
- Visibility from more than 500 feet
- D-ring for attaching a leash
Hiado Dog Reflective Safety Vest offers all the basic features a dog life vest should offer. The colors are bright and reflective to be easily visible from a distance.
The lightweight and quick-dry polyester fabric keep your doggy dry and comfortable for hours in the life vest. The adjustable straps are easy to open and access to ensure a comfortable fit for your pet.
There are questions about how reliable the dog life vest is in terms of safety and durability. It offers no buoyancy in water, hence it cannot help in keeping your dog afloat.
It has a D-ring for attaching a leash which again is not very sturdy and durable. This vest is good as temporary wear for outdoor activities but not reliable as swimwear or for boating.
The visibility and comfort are great, but the safety is an issue with this doggy life vest from Hiado.
12. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Life Vest
EzyDog is a brand that believes in creating innovative designs while also keeping your pet’s comfort in mind.
The doggy flotation device by EzyDog is built from high-performance quality material to keep your pet safe and comfortable underwater or on land.
The vest uses more foam, meaning 50% more flotation, offering more buoyancy and keeping your dog safe and afloat while it swims. The D-ring helps in clipping a leash to the dog vest.
The dog life vest goes through rigorous testing to ensure ultimate levels of safety to your pet. The neoprene adjustable straps are easily accessible and easy to open. The fit is so comforting, your dog’s playfulness and natural movements are not restricted.
- Material: High-Performance quality material with neoprene adjustable straps (fabric not mentioned)
- Size: Large (variants available)
- Color: Yellow (variants available)
- Ergonomically designed grab handle
- D ring for attaching a leash
- 50% more flotation material
- Nylon grab handle
There are multiple features that we admire about the flotation device by EzyDog. First is the strategic design, especially the contouring pattern towards the neck region. This facilitates easy swimming while also keeping your doggy’s head above the water.
The 50% more flotation material offers more buoyancy while swimming, preventing your pet from drowning. The neoprene adjustable straps are easy to operate.
The D-ring which can attach a leash offers easy control of your pet. The high visibility reflective piping along with a combination of dark colors increases your pet’s visibility underwater or even in the dark, outdoors.
The grab handle is made of nylon which can get slippery. Also, the vest is bulky and can restrict your dog’s movements.
The fitting can be an issue in case of certain breeds. There is no compromise in terms of safety and flotation, and the features offered at such a price make it worth the buy.
13. SwimWays Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest
This shark dog vest by SwimWays brings a whole new way to doggie paddle. It offers great flotation to support your dog and maintain buoyancy while swimming.
The shark fin design looks very cute but also supports like a handle. There is a D-ring to attach a leash.
This shark dog vest can be used not just for swimming but for other outdoor activities. The lightweight and ergonomic design, along with cute looks makes it a trend-worthy doggie vest.
- Material: Waterproof vinyl material
- Size: Medium (variants available)
- Color: Sky Blue
- Full flotation support
- Shark fin handle
- Metal D-ring
This doggy vest by SwimWays has a very basic and simple design with a cute fin on top. This fin makes your pet easily visible and also adds to the looks of the vest.
It offers a decent amount of flotation, supporting your dog in swimming. The D-ring is made of metal, meaning it is sturdy and can bear a good amount of force or pull.
There are certain doubts about the durability and overall quality of the dog life vest. The buckles for attachment are not very sturdy. Make sure to check your dog’s size before buying the shark dog vest.
The life vest for dogs be used for small pools and outdoors. Give your doggie a ‘fintastic’ swimming experience with this life vest for dogs by SwimWays.
14. Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Vest
Outward Hound Dog Life Vest looks like quite the perfect flotation device for your hound. Outward Hound understands the safety aspects to consider while your dog floats with you. Therefore, they have made a jacket that offers premium features.
There are top handles for grabbing your pet. The dog life vest by Outward Hound is available in two color variants. The bright colors offer better visibility.
Outward Hound Life Vest also offers a great buoyancy and compliments your dog’s floating activities. There are belly buckles and chest straps to keep your dog’s life vest secure while they swim.
The velcro tabs keep straps from getting caught on unknown obstacles. The dog life vest is available in multiple size variants as per your dog’s comfort.
- Material: Warm material provides insulation, neoprene construction
- Size: Large (variants available)
- Color: Red
- Rescue handles
- Offers high visibility
Outward Hound Dog Life Vest is for every breed and every size, they offer a wide size range. The neoprene construction not just aids in swimming but also keeps your pet insulated.
The foam panels at the side offer the buoyancy required to keep your dog safe and afloat while swimming.
The bright colors don’t let your dog go out of sight. Rescue handles are a great idea when you have to lift your dog if he’s too tired to swim and walk or in case of emergency.
Although Outward Hound Dog Life Vest offers a range of sizes to choose from, the sizing can sometimes be an issue in case of large pets. The vests are not true to size most of the times.
The material is very flimsy and does not support or protect your pooch. Although there are velcro openings, they immediately pull off if your dog expands to the slightest.
Do not rely much on the quality and durability of this dog life vest by Outward Hound, but it is good for short term use.
15. Kurgo Dog Water Life Vest for Dogs
Kurgo is dedicated to creating innovative and safe products that make traveling, hunting or any activity with your pet an unforgettable moment.
No matter how much of an expert your dog may be at swimming, the buoyancy and support Kurgo Dog Water Life Vest offers is reliable and keeps your canine secured while taking a dip.
Use it as a dog coat or a life vest, whether indoors or outdoors, rains or winters, this life vest is best for multipurpose use. It also protects as a raincoat during rains if you remove the flotation layer.
There are two metal D-rings for leash attachment. The life vest by Kurgo also comes with 2 handles and Nifco buckles.
- Material: Rugged Ripstop Material
- Size: Medium (variants available)
- Color: Red
- 2 D-rings with 2 handles
- Can be used as a flotation device and raincoat
- Reflective trim for visibility
- Open chest design
This inflatable dog safety vest is reflective, has multipurpose use, with adjustable straps and offers great buoyancy while swimming. The reflective strip is very bright offering good visibility with bright colors.
There is an attached bottle opener in the neck region, for you to easily open a drink or two while you are tripping with your pet outdoors.
The open area around the neck region allows more range of movement while your dog’s head is above the water.
There are certain glitches to the dog life vest. The material is not light. The vest looks too bulky. The vest is more suitable for larger and taller dogs as the vest restricts movements in the belly region.
Although, they claim the product is of ripstop fabric, the material is not very durable. All in all, the features are good and the multipurpose uses at an amazing price make it a good purchase as a dog flotation device.
Why Should You Buy Dog Life Vests?
Dogs love swimming and boating. Although they don’t specifically have any swimming gear, life vests can be of great help.
Even if your dog is an expert at swimming, it is always better to have them wear a life vest. These floating devices not just aid your dog in swimming but also prevent them from drowning, ensuring optimum safety to your pet.
If you go boating or kayaking, or are just around the pool or beachside, it may so happen that your dog may accidentally fall in the water or may jump into the water and not escape.
Wearing a life vest at such times can help your dog from facing major disasters and preventing accidents.
Dog life vests are also helpful for overweight dogs or small pups who may find it difficult to move their feet in the water. Dog life vests help them stay afloat and have their aqua time with you.
Sometimes, dogs can get distracted by the crowd or boats at the beach which causes them to drift focus off the water. If a big wave or tide takes them along, it can get nearly fatal. A dog life vest can be a ‘lifesaver’ in the true sense at such times.
Having a dog life vest as a safety measure in your boat, kayak, or around the pool is always advisable when you take your pooch along with you.
Moreover, these vests are available in attractive colors and variants, there is no stopping from them being head-turners and style statements.
Safety Tips for Using Dog Life Vests
Your dog may not be accustomed to using a life vest. The life vests also come with safety belts and adjustable straps.
Your dog should feel comfortable while wearing the floating device. We give you a few tips and tricks to make your dog love its outfit and feel safe in the doggy floatation device.
- Get the right size
Take your dog’s measurements before getting the best life vest for your pet. Measure the circumference of their chest and neck and the length of their back.
It is sometimes advisable to consider the weight of the jacket so it offers buoyancy to keep your dog afloat. The weight should approximately match your canine’s weight.
- Prepare them to use the vest
If your dog has to come to swim with you, he has to be fully geared just as you are. After you have chosen the vest as per your dog’s dimensions, make them used to wearing the vest.
Attractive colors usually attract dogs. Show it to them and speak to them about the purpose of using the life vest and how enjoyable the activity would be after wearing it.
Reward them with treats whenever they obey you. You can put the vest on them and look for their response. If at first they seem irritated, try to caress them and remove it immediately.
You can gradually increase the time of keeping the vest on them and once they get comfortable, you and your pooch are good to go for a swim.
Life vests have adjustable straps to fit as per your dog’s comfort. The straps should not be too tight or too loose.
If it is too tight, your dog will find it difficult to move about, feeling restricted. If it is too loose, the vest may slip off the body and not give your dog natural swim range motion.
Certain life vests also come with velcro fastening systems that are easy to wear and remove. But the velcro has to be of good quality and should not give away midway and hurt or rub against your dog’s skin while your canine swims.
- Attaching a leash to the Life Vest
Certain life vests come with a D-ring on the neck region to attach a leash or tether. This helps in controlling your dog’s movements in the pool.
The D ring is usually stitched at the neck region of the life vest. These D rings do not guarantee durability and are intended for a light pull and use.
If you pull your dog with immense force or vice versa, the ring may get detached. Hence, check for good quality before purchasing a vest with a D-ring.
You can attach a tether to the ring and allow your dog to enter the pool. Your dog does not end up going too far in the pool.
If at all your dog goes at a distance in a large pool or lake, and can’t hear you, you can pull him back through the tether or leash. That ways your dog enjoys swimming alone and remains safe too.
Make sure the pull is not too forceful else, the leash may end up choking on your dog’s neck causing discomfort to your pup. Else, having a leash attached to the vest is always a better idea in terms of security.
- Monitor your pet
Monitoring your pet while it swims is very important. Especially in large-sized pools and sea beaches where the water can get too deep.
To prevent your pet from drowning, always stay with them or around them when you go swimming together. Additionally, having a life vest as a safety measure is a great idea.
How to Choose The Best Dog Life Vest?
Dog floatation devices aid your dog in swimming and staying afloat in the water. But which is the ideal life vest for your dog?
There are several features like size, buoyancy, material, straps, durability, etc. Here is an important list of features to consider while choosing the best life vest for your pet.
Always check with your dog’s dimensions before getting the right life vest for your canine. Measuring the chest, neck and the length of the back is a great idea but you can also rely on the girth dimensions.
Dog girth sizes can differ by breed, hence one can see the size chart and select as per breed specifics. Different brands may also have different sizes.
Never choose brands that speak of ‘one size fits all’. Every dog has different dimensions. Go for a brand that offers a size range to choose from.
Measure your dog carefully and always order a size slightly larger so your dog does not feel the life vest is too tight.
Your dog’s movements would get restricted and he may feel suffocated. If it is too loose, the doggy vest may not provide a good grip while swimming.
The material to the life vest for dogs has to be breathable, mesh-like, and comfortable. Your dog should be able to stay in it irrespective of being inside or outside the pool or water.
Mesh fabric is easy to dry and ventilated, making your pet feel at ease in or out of the pool. They can use the dog life vest as a normal to-go outfit.
Vinyl material is also a fantastic choice if you are looking out for the right material for your life vest. It is durable and thick, preventing damage to your pooch inside the pool.
3. Color and Reflective Strips
Choosing a dark color is best. Dog life vests made of reflective material or having reflective strips are an added advantage.
Reflective dog life vests or life vests with reflective strips increase visibility in low light areas and also under the water. It makes it easy for you to spot your dog under the pool.
Vests for dogs, apart from being a water wear or pool wear can be worn as normal apparel. These floatation devices made of reflective strips increase your dog’s visibility to pedestrians or in traffic.
Bright colors like pink, orange are easily visible colors from a distance or in a huge water body. Especially if you are out at night, swimming or boating with your dog, then life vests with reflective strips are an added advantage.
The comfort depends upon the fabric or material you choose, and the size. Dog’s should like what they wear. If they are hesitant to wear the dog vest, don’t force them.
A dog owner has to be careful that the life vest is neither too tight nor too loose for their hound. Else, their dog would remain distracted while swimming or any other activity or may have restricted movements.
The fabric has to be durable, soft, lightweight, and provide your pet optimum comfort. The release buckles and adjustable straps should not pinch or scrap them anywhere and should fit them perfectly.
Waterproof dog life vests are also quite the thing so that they dry off easy even if your dog is wearing it for hours together.
Mesh material is a fantastic choice if you have a large dog as the buckles may hurt their skin and fur. Mesh material can have velcro openings. All in all, life vests for dogs should be comfortable wherever they go.
Life vest for dogs must offer buoyancy to keep your dog floating in the water. Your dog may be an expert or novice at swimming. But a dog life vest helps as a flotation device and helps them stay at the surface.
Some dog life vests offer flotation from the belly while certain life vests for dog offer flotation from the neck region, keeping your dog’s head above the water. They can breathe easily and stay floating on the surface, preventing them from drowning.
The weight of the dog life vest is important to determine buoyancy. It should be approximately close to your dog’s body weight to maintain the balance while they are afloat.
FAQs About Dog Life Vests
With so many brands, types and materials to choose from, it is certain to have several questions while choosing the best dog life vest. We help you get through a few, with our list of FAQs.
1. How to measure your dog for a life vest?
Measure the length, girth and neck region of your dog along with its weight. You can start by measuring from the base of their neck to the base of their tail. Then, measure at the base of your dog’s neck at the widest point.
For the girth, measure your dog’s chest at the widest point. Compare your measurements to the size chart of the life vest brand and choose accordingly.
2. How to fit your dog in a life vest?
Ensure to loosen the straps before putting the life vest on your dog. Slide the vest over your dog’s neck and close the buckles. Buckle the waist and belly straps.
Adjust the straps for a secure and comfortable fit. Check if the buckles and straps have fit well and not too tightly to suffocate your dog.
3. Are dog life vests good for boating?
Dog life vests are good and safe while boating, especially while facing tough currents. If your dog is not used to being in the water and swim well, then life vests can help them stay afloat in the worst of boat accidents.
Life vests can keep them protected from high tides and waves.
4. How much does dog life vests cost?
Dog Life Vests can cost anywhere between $10-$100. If you are looking out for a good, high-quality life preserver vest, then RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Vest is the best.
It costs anywhere between $75-$80. If you want to go for a budget life vest, then you can consider choosing the Maggit Reflective Dog Vest costing anywhere between $10-$15.
5. Which is the best dog life vest?
Looking at the features and safety it offers to your pet, the best flotation device is the RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Vest. It has double foam pads, even in the neck region, to keep your dog’s head above water and provide good buoyancy.
If you are looking for a good life vest in a budget price, you can choose the Maggit Reflective Dog Vest preferable for outdoor use.
Another good brands worth considering are the Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Vest which promises to provide optimum flotation and safety to your pet.
For a more sporty and trendy looking life vest, you can choose the See Spot Zip EV Sport High Visibility Reflective Dog Safety Vest.
Dog flotation devices or dog life vests help your dog have the best swimming experience. These vests can also be used as daily wear, for hunting or any other ground or outdoor activities.
One has to be careful about their dog’s measurements before choosing the right vest.
Dog vests are available in multiple colors with reflective strips to increase your dog’s visibility underwater or on the ground in low light conditions.
Their foaming has to be good to provide enhanced flotation and buoyancy. Lastly, your dog has to be comfortable wearing the dog life vest.
Give your dog the best activity experience by carefully looking at the features and choosing the right dog life vest for your canine.
James Wilkinson joined DogLovesBest as a full-time writer with the objective of offering his insights on how to rear pets better. He shares the information through the experience he has gained over a span of 15 years working as a dog trainer. James also used to contribute regularly to several pet publications during his career as a trainer before joining this website. He also donates a portion of his own personal wealth to shelter abandoned animals in Gainesville, Florida and helps in finding a new home for them.