Best Dog Lifejackets

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When it comes to dogs, safety is always our #1 priority.

Every dog owner knows how important it is to put their pet’s life before their own. That’s why it is crucial for all dog owners to make sure their pets are wearing a reliable and effective safety device such as a lifejacket. These are designed to keep your dog afloat until rescue workers can arrive. In fact, many dogs who are properly equipped with a lifejacket will be able to tread water for up to three hours. By then, help will almost certainly be on the way.

 If you’re ever in a situation where you have to rescue your dog, you’ll need the life jacket to keep him calm and secure until you’re able to get him back home. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of dog life jackets available and how to decide which one is right for you and your pet.

A lot of people end up buying the cheapest product they can find, but that doesn’t always mean it is the best option for your dog. In fact, it probably isn’t. There are many cheap products out there, but very few of them actually protect your dog at all.

Finding the right life jacket for your dog can be tricky. When it comes to your dog’s safety, there is simply no substitute for prevention. However, if you do happen to get into a situation where your dog needs a life jacket, you’ll want the best one you can buy. That’s why we have done an extensive review of the top-rated products on the market and identified which ones worth their asking price.

There are many things to consider when buying a dog life jacket, such as price, style, quality, and features. Our goal here is to help you find the best dog life jacket available so you can enjoy your time together even more! 

Best Dog Lifejackets

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Outward Hound Granby Splash Orange Dog Life Jacket

Outward Hound Granby Splash Orange Dog Life Jacket

9.7
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Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket, Ripstop & Reflective Dog Life Preserver

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket, Ripstop & Reflective Dog Life Preserver

9.5
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Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

9.1
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Malier Dog Life Jacket, Ripstop Dog Life Vest

Malier Dog Life Jacket, Ripstop Dog Life Vest

8.8
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ASENKU Dog Life Jacket Ripstop Pet Floatation Vest

ASENKU Dog Life Jacket Ripstop Pet Floatation Vest

8.6
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MIGOHI Dog Life Jacket, Reflective & Adjustable Preserver

MIGOHI Dog Life Jacket, Reflective & Adjustable Preserver

8.2
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RUFFWEAR, Float Coat Dog Life Jacket, Swimming Safety Vest

RUFFWEAR, Float Coat Dog Life Jacket, Swimming Safety Vest

8
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ZARYIEEO Reflective Dog Life Jacket

ZARYIEEO Reflective Dog Life Jacket

7.7
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Doglay Dog Life Jacket, Dog Life Vest with Reflective Stripes,

Doglay Dog Life Jacket, Dog Life Vest with Reflective Stripes

7.4
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ZippyPaws - Adventure Life Jacket for Dogs

ZippyPaws – Adventure Life Jacket for Dogs

7.2
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Last update on 15th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Should I Use a Dog Life Jacket?

Many pet parents never think about their pets when they are taking them on a boat trip or other water related activity. But accidents can happen even with the best intentions. Severe weather, accidental falls overboard, or just plain old carelessness can result in your pet becoming lost at sea. And even if he doesn’t, being out in the water for an extended period of time can be fatal for many animals. That’s why I feel it is important for every pet parent to wear a dog lifejacket while their pet is in the water.

Dog life jackets are designed to keep dogs safe in or near water. They help reduce the chance of a dog drowning in a number of ways. They are very affordable. And, you can find them at just about any pet store. Not only can they save your pet’s life if he falls into water, they can also prevent serious injury (or even death) if your dog is involved in a boat accident.

However, many people don’t bother to buy dog life jackets because they are so bulky and uncomfortable. This is a horrible mistake. You need to get a jacket that is both comfortable and protective. And, most of all, you need to make sure the jacket fits your dog properly.

Do you have to worry about what your pooch is going to do when they go boating?

When Do I Need a Dog Life Jacket?

They are required by law to be worn by all dogs that are in or near water over six inches deep. Some people wear them just because they feel safer with their dog wearing one… even though there is no real benefit to doing so. However, there are several real benefits to using a dog lifejacket!

For starters, wearing one will make your dog much more tolerant of the water. He will learn very quickly that being in the water is not so bad when he has something to hold onto. If your dog is afraid of the water, then wearing a lifejacket will allow him to gradually get more comfortable being in it.

Another great benefit of using dog life jackets is that they help keep your pet safe when you are boating. Boats are dangerous for animals because if something does happen, your pet won’t be able to climb back on board by himself. A dog life jacket can help keep your pet afloat and in a position where he might be able to grab onto the boat when it is right above him.

If your dog is old, then you should seriously consider getting a dog life jacket. Even though dogs don’t seem to get old, they age very quickly. And when your pet is older, his muscles can become weaker in the water. This makes swimming much more difficult and a lifejacket will provide that extra bit of safety in an emergency.

Moreover, just about any water-based activity will put your dog at risk for drowning. Even a short encounter with water can leave your dog exhausted and hypothermic. Most dogs do fine with just a quick dip in a pond or lake. But, if you like to take your dog on overnight or longer hikes, you will need to make sure he is properly equipped to handle an emergency situation.

Having a swimming pool at home is also a good reason to get your dog such a flotation device. Even the a strong swimmer can find danger in a pool filled with large objects (such as air mattresses, floats, etc.) And even if you just take your pet out on the deck every day for some fun, he will still need to wear one.

It’s also important to note that you should never leave your dog unattended while he is wearing a lifejacket. Even if your pet doesn’t like the jacket, he still needs to wear it until you are ready for him to get out of the water. Leaving your pet unattended even for just a few minutes could be enough time for him to get into some trouble.

Protect your dog with a Dog Lifejacket. Keep them safe on the boat, in the water or at home.

How to Measure Your Dog for a Life Jacket

One of the biggest problems that pet owners have is getting their pets to wear the life jackets they have purchased for them. Often, the pet will resist wearing the life jacket. The reasons for this are many. But one of the main ones is the pet does not understand the need for the life jacket. Another is the pet is uncomfortable with the fact he is being “forced” to wear the life jacket.

Fortunately, the majority of dog life jackets are incredibly comfortable while they are being worn. The main problem with them is that many dogs refuse to wear them at all because they are so bulky and annoying. This is often the result of poor fitting life jackets. A dog life jacket that fits poorly can cause serious problems for an animal, especially if it prevents him from being able to move freely in the water.

The best way to get your dog used to wearing a lifejacket is having him wear one while he is still young. Once it becomes an accustomed part of his life, he will likely wear it without complaint.

The way to ensure you have the best fitting lifejacket for your pet is to measure him properly. Getting a small dog life jacket for a big dog or vice versa will only cause your pet discomfort and could even injure him if he falls into the water unexpectedly.

Before purchasing a lifejacket, you need to determine what size your dog will wear. This is very simple to do as long as you have the right equipment and are not in a rush. If you are using a tape measure make sure it can get to the tip of the dog’s nose before you take any measurements.

Pull out enough tape to reach from your dog’s shoulder, around his girth or rib cage, back up to his second front leg. Once you have this measurement, add about ½ an inch. This is the size lifejacket your dog will wear. The most important part of getting the right life jacket is ensuring the dog will be able to move freely.

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Dog Life Jackets?

Size and Fit

There are several things to consider when purchasing a dog lifejacket. The first is the size and fit. As mentioned, getting a lifejacket that’s too small will not protect your pet in an emergency situation. It can also make him uncomfortable because it will be too tight around his body or restrict the movement of his legs. This will only cause your dog to become agitated or try to remove the lifejacket.

Getting a lifejacket that is too big for your pet is not necessarily dangerous, but it can be extremely uncomfortable. If you have purchased a lifejacket that has straps around the neck and one around the stomach, this type of jacket should come with a small pocket located in the back to help it stay afloat. When a lifejacket is too big, it can prevent this from happening. This will make your pet hotter and also uncomfortable because he cannot get out of the water as easily.

Another thing you should consider when looking for a life jacket for your dog is whether or not the jacket will interfere with your pet’s vision or movement. Before buying one, try it out to make sure your dog can walk and swim freely. Try walking around the store to make sure he does not turn to the side too much as this can cause discomfort as well as safety issues if your pet falls off a pier or boat.

Making sure your pet can swim freely is also advisable. Before finalizing the fit of the life jacket, take it for a test swim to make sure he can still move his legs and tail normally.

Comfort

The second most important consideration when looking for the best lifejacket for your pet is comfort. There are many factors to consider in terms of keeping your dog comfortable, such as adjustable straps and lining that makes it easier for him to stay afloat.

An adjustable neck and chest strap ensures that you can get a customized fit. This will keep the lifejacket from moving too much as your dog walks or swims. It will also allow you to tighten the jacket so it does not come loose if your pet jumps off of a ledge unexpectedly.

It is important for the life jacket you choose to have smooth seams on either side of the straps. This will keep the straps from rubbing against your dog’s side and causing irritation. The material should also be soft and comfortable for your pet to wear.

Buoyancy

You’ll also need a dog life jacket that has enough buoyancy to keep your pet afloat in the water. The buoyancy levels for jackets differ depending on the type and way they utilize foam panels. Flotation sections are usually included under the belly, as well as the back and sides, in top-of-the-line dog life vests.

The most common type of life jacket is one that uses closed-cell foam to create buoyancy around the dog’s body. Buoyant material is essential for keeping your pet afloat in an emergency situation where you are not able to help him. It is also important to make sure the material does not absorb water.

Floating jackets will also help keep your pet safe and calm as he waits for rescue. Since anxious dogs can struggle in the water, they will usually require more flotation. There are also heavier dogs who, due on their size, will require additional flotation too.

Make sure you get the right Dog Lifejacket so they're safe on land or water adventures when not at home with their humans.

Color and Visibility

The best way to ensure visibility is by choosing a bright, vibrant color that contrasts with the water. A bright blue, orange, red or yellow jacket should do the trick.

This is crucial so as your dog remains visible and easy to locate in an emergency. If you like to have a life vest with a reflective trim, you can also go this way, as this reflective accent is ideal for night boating trips.

Keep in mind that in the case of a rescue mission, these small things can make a huge difference when you need to locate your dog. 

Material and Durability

Life jackets for dogs can be made from a variety of strong materials. One of the most popular material types is ballistic nylon, which is also found in human life vests. Ballistic nylon will keep your pet afloat and help him stay comfortable in a smooth, cool material. Another strong material is polypropylene, which has the advantage of keeping your dog cool in the water while also keeping him afloat.

The key here is to make sure the material is durable and easy to get on and off your pet. Once again, it is important to consider the type of activity you plan on using the life jacket for. This will help you get a strong, comfortable material that is appropriate for the occasion.

Depending on the type of activity, you may also need to choose a life jacket that is lighter in weight. For example, if you plan on using your dog’s life vest for boating trips, then it will be necessary to find a lightweight option that does not put too much strain on him. Keep in mind that even strong materials can become too much to handle if they are not lightweight enough for the occasion.

Rescue Handles and D-Rings

Many life jackets for dogs also come with a number of handles and D-rings. This is so pet owners can have an easier time getting their dog out of the water if the need ever arises.

A sturdy handle on the top of the life jacket will make it easier to pull your pet into a boat or kayak. You can also use this handle if you plan to go tubing and need to get ashore quickly. There are plenty of occasions that you will need to carry your dog, especially on a boat, so try to avoid units that don’t have a strong handle.

Another D-ring is usually included on the back end of the life vest, which makes it easy for people who are not wearing a life vest to tow you and your pet into shore. Several people can also use the D-ring attached to the back of the jacket if they find themselves in a situation where they need to pull multiple people out of the water at once.

This is an important consideration for dog owners who like to participate in different types of boating activities or who enjoy hanging out with their furry friend at the beach. If you decide to go swimming with your dog, it is much easier if the life jacket features quick-release straps that will allow you to easily remove the life vest in case of an emergency.

Our Recommended Dog Life Vests:

Outward Hound Granby Splash Orange Dog Life Jacket

Editor’s Choice
9.7/10 Our Score
  • SIZING BASED ON GIRTH: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your dog is short and stout or long and lanky, there’s a dog life jacket fit for them. Available in sizes XS-XL and featuring adjustable straps, we’ve made it easy for you to choose a size that supports them based on their girth measurement. We recommend sizing up if the dog’s girth size is on the higher end of this size.
  • SPLASH WITH SAFETY: The Outward Hound Granby Splash life jacket for dogs is designed with bright colors and reflective accents to provide better visibility while swimming. A front neck float helps keep your dog’s head above water whether they are a novice or experienced swimmer.
  • NOVICE & EXPERIENCED SWIMMER-FRIENDLY: The Granby Splash dog life jacket is constructed with ripstop material that provides maximum buoyancy in the water without restricting movement on land. Adjustable straps and side release buckles provide a secure fit and neoprene belly band supports their chest and belly while getting their float on!
  • SINGLE RESCUE HANDLE DESIGN: A top grab handle makes it easy to restrain and lift your dog out of the water and provides easy access for a rescue should they get into trouble.
  • PLAY IT SAFE: No pet accessory is indestructible. Do not leave with unsupervised pets. Remove and replace if damaged.

Last update on 15th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is quite a popular option when it comes to dog life vests. Thanks to its reasonable price, this is also a great budget-friendly option to consider. The Outward Hound features reflective strips and two handles on top, while most competitors only have one handle. It is quite lightweight and made from durable ripstop material.

It is quite easy and straightforward to use, and its straps allow for comfortable movement while wearing it. You will find it in two colors to choose from and five sizes to pick the one that fits your dog. Overall a great and affordable option that you should have a closer look at while researching. 

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket, Ripstop & Reflective Dog Life Preserver

Runner-up
9.5/10 Our Score
  • MEASURE BEFORE PURCHASE: before choosing a size, please measure your dog’s ribcage at the DEEPEST part; do NOT judge your dog’s size from weight or other brands’ standard; if your dog’s measurement is between sizes, please choose the next size up
  • FOR DOG’S SAFETY: Vivaglory dog PFD is constructed with extra padding to enable strong buoyance in the water without restricting your dog’s movement. Fastening system around belly and neck will keep the flotation vest securely on your dog
  • CONVENIENCE & FIT: durable grab handle of the dog life preserver makes it easy to pull your dog out of any emergency. D-ring is for attaching dog leash. Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles ensure perfect fit for your dog
  • HIGH VISIBILITY: comes with bright colors and reflective trims, this dog water vest enhances your dog’s visibility in and out of the water, allow you to identify your dog quickly
  • KINDLY REMINDER: this dog life jacket gives your dog additional safety and endurance in the water. For your pet’s health, please do not leave dog unattended while using a lifejacket. And we recommend you to give your dog some time to get used to wearing this dog life jacket before using it in water

Last update on 15th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I wanted to include this life vest from Vivaglory in the list since this is a great option to find a life vest in plenty of colors to choose from. The company provides ten colors to choose from and five sizes to find the one that suits your dog. You can find this model at a very attractive price, so this is a great budget option to consider.

It has reflective material for great visibility after dark and is made from lightweight and durable material. An affordable life jacket that is straightforward to use, so if you like any color variations, this is your best bet for this price range. 

Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

Value For Money
9.1/10 Our Score
  • MEASURE BEFORE PURCHASE: before choosing a size, please measure your dog’s ribcage at the DEEPEST part; do NOT judge your dog’s size from weight or other brands’ standard; if your dog’s measurement is between sizes, please choose the next size up for more comfortable fit
  • New Sports Style Design: Sports-style design gives your beloved dog a new look and does not hinder his/her natural movement. Thoughtful strategically positioned neck design not only provides more space but also keeps your dog in a natural swimming position, making them feel more comfortable and eased
  • Safe Material: The materials of Vivaglory dog life jacket have passed CA65 test, keeping your dog safe wherever he/she roams. Upgraded ripstop 600D cloth makes our safety vest quite durable. Heavy-duty yet more comfortable fastening system around the belly and neck to keep securely fastened
  • High Visibility: Designed with bright colors and Reflective trims, our pet life jackets can enhance visibility in and out of water or low-light conditions; No worry about your dog disappearing from your sight
  • Kindly Reminder: this dog life jacket gives your dog additional safety and endurance in the water. For your dog’s safety, please do not leave dog unattended while using a lifejacket. And we recommend you to give your dog some time to get used to wearing this dog life jacket before using it in water

Last update on 15th October 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a variation of the above-mentioned product from the same company. It shares the same principle, yet comes with a more modern design. You can find this in ten different colors to choose from among five sizes. Made from durable yet lightweight material, featuring reflective trims and easy to use quick release buckle. Another great option from Vivaglory, if it is within your budget, I would highly suggest you get a closer look at this one.

Safety Tips

1) Make the Vest a Positive Experience for the Dog

Your dog should get used to wearing the life vest before you take him out on an actual boat or water activity. This will be useful so he can become familiar with his new accessory and stop being afraid of it.

The life vest should fit your dog well, but it should also be easy enough for you to take on and off. The best-fitting life jacket will be the one that does not tangle around your dog but makes it easy for you to take off in case of an emergency.

You will be able to get a good fit if you get a life vest that features adjustable straps. The straps should hug your pet snuggly, but there should also be some extra space for him to move around comfortably. If your dog is still hesitant to put on the life vest, consider using treats or another type of reward system.

2) Always Double-Check That the Straps Are Correctly Fastened and Secured.

This is important because you do not want the life vest to come loose when you are in the water. If anything should happen to the quick release buckles, it would be nearly impossible for your pet to stay afloat if he was not properly buckled into his new accessory.

Whether you are buying a simple dog life jacket or investing in an advanced model designed for large breeds, make sure it is made from strong material that will float your pet if he falls into water. If possible, look for models with handles and D-rings that will make it easier for you to pull your dog back into a boat or onto shore.

3) Never, Under Any Circumstances, Allow Your Dog to Swim Alone.

Once your pet gets used to the life vest, it is important not to leave him unattended while he has it on. Make sure he can’t get his head caught or stuck in something if you are not around to supervise.

If your dog begins to act nervous around the life vest, consider taking him to a professional trainer who can help him overcome his fears of water. If you are exhausted with trying different techniques and methods on your own, you can always ask for help from a pet training center.

FAQ

Do Dog Life Jackets Really Provide the Protection They Promise?

You should always remember that your pet will not have the same buoyancy as a fully-grown adult human. This is why a dog life jackets is needed in order to provide the necessary protection for your pet. While it is not possible to guarantee any type of safety in all situations, choosing a quality PFD will greatly improve your chances if something happens.


What Is the Most Popular Life Jacket Color?

Generally, brighter colors are more visible from a long distance. People who want to make sure that they can see the dog from far away tend to go for bright red or orange life jackets because these colors offer the greatest contrast compared to most bodies of water. You should also look for models that feature a reflective trim for improved visibility.


Is It Possible to Make a Life Jacket From Scratch?

If you know a little bit about sewing, you can always make a life jacket for your pet on your own. There are many tutorials available online that will teach you how to sew one from scratch. To be honest, buying a dog life vest is probably the easiest solution, but it is possible to make one on your own.


What Activities Should a Dog Do in a Life Jacket?

Swimming and boating are the two most popular ideas for pet owners who want to take their dogs out on adventures in deep water. Depending on how well your pet tolerates it, there can also be kayaking, canoeing and rafting trips.


Do Dog Life Jackets Need to Be Worn on Boats?

You should definitely put your dog life jacket on if you are taking him out on a boat. In general, you should never leave your dog unattended in a boat even if he has a life vest on. This accessory is meant to help your pet get back into the craft after falling out of it – not to stay afloat while you are away.


Is It Safe for My Dog to Wear a Life Jacket Around the Pool?

In most cases, yes. If your dog is familiar with the life vest from regular trips to the pool or lake, then there should be no problem if you took it off for a splash around the shallow water end of the pool.


Is It Possible for a Dog to Drown While Wearing a Life Jacket?

As long as your dog’s life jacket is fitted properly and the animal can’t get his head stuck in it, he should be perfectly safe. Some animals tend to try and remove their jackets by shaking vigorously. This could lead to trouble if they fall into a pond or stream with low depth. Try to make sure your pet cannot get the jacket off by itself.


What Is the Correct Size for a Dog Life Jacket?

It is very important that a dog life jacket fits correctly. Make sure that there are no gaps between the chest and the strap area, both behind and in front of your pet. This will prevent it from moving around too much when he starts to swim or jump into the water.


How Much Do Dog Life Vests Cost?

As with any type of pet accessory, the prices range from very affordable to ridiculously expensive. Of course, you can usually find a decent deal if you look hard enough. If you have a tight budget and cannot afford anything more than a cheap piece of equipment, then try to avoid going for brands that are too unknown. They may not offer good quality compared to the mainstream options.


What Is the Average Lifespan of a Dog Life Jacket?

On average, the life expectancy of a dog life jacket is about 5 years. It all depends on how you use it and for what purposes. If you are taking your pet out on adventures where there are water obstacles every other day, then it will wear out faster than if you only take it to the pond for occasional walks.


How Do I Make My Dog Comfortable Wearing a Life Jacket?

Most dogs get used to wearing a life jacket after a few trips out on the water. If your dog is not yet accustomed to its accessory, you should work with it over time. Do not expect him to swim around calmly during his first shot wearing it.

You can try training your pet to get used to wearing his life jacket on dry land before taking him out into the water. Start by putting it on for short periods of time and slowly increase both the amount of time and the distance you take him with it on.

If your dog is having trouble with it, you may want to try and distract him by keeping him engaged in some other activity – especially if you are trying to work on his swimming skills.


What Is the Best Way to Clean and Maintain My Dog’s Life Jacket? 

It is important to clean your pet’s life jacket often. A machine washable option will make your life way easier. Depending on how big it is, you can wash it on a gentle cycle in cold water with regular laundry detergent. If the model has fleece padding on the inside of the fabric, you should use another type of soap to avoid damaging it.

At the same time, you should also try to maintain the jacket in good condition. Check for any holes or tears on a regular basis and sew them up if necessary. Also, make sure that it is not too loose or too tight by checking the chest measurements every so often.