Best Dog Life Jacket For Large & Small Dogs – 2018 Picks

Does your dog take every opportunity to jump into the pool and take a dip? Or are you a fan of swimming and water sports and wouldn’t like for your dog to miss on all the fun?

Although dogs know how to swim taking a dog to an open water without a safety vest on can result in a terrible accident. Swimming is a grueling activity and even seasoned swimmers don’t go to the open waters without a life jacket. Hence, instead of compromising the safety of your dog get the best dog life jacket and rest assured that he is safe paddling alongside you.

Listed below are seven dog life vest that will keep your dog safe in the water and ensure that he can paddle with ease.

Picking The Best Dog Life Jacket

When it comes to having a dog life vest most people ask but can’t dogs swim. The answer is, of course, they can, but so can humans and we sometimes wear life jackets too. The best dog life vest can work great in a case of emergency and also provide your dog with a swimming aid.

Even dogs that are excellent swimmers can tire easily and drown if no one is near to pull them out of the water. Furthermore, dogs have a thinner fat layer and are especially prone to hypothermia if left in water for hours.

If you are looking for a durable and high-end doggy west than Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Life Jacket might be the right choice. This vest is appropriate for active dogs that spend a lot of time in the water. It sports strategically placed foam panels that increase its buoyancy power.

However, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option the Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket is the highest rated Amazon dog life vest. It features two handles and a front float that keeps a dog’s head out of the water. This vest is made of durable materials, reflective piping and bright color improves visibility.

Reviews Of The Best Dog Life Jacket

Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket

The Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket keeps a dog afloat and fits snuggly around his body. This vest can work great if you take your pup occasionally to the beach or on a boat ride.

The neoprene dog life vest by Paws Abroad features velcro fastening system around the belly and neck. Due to adjustable nylon straps, this vest fits snuggly and doesn’t disrupt the dog’s normal movement.

Quick release buckles are located under the belly and neck area and allow to easy fit the vest on or off your dog. Furthermore, the top located gripping handle is strong enough and will allow you to pull your dog from the water at any time.

Featuring a breathable underbelly mesh this vest is easy to drain and dry. To provide better visibility the Paws Aboard included reflective stripes and this vest has excellent buoyancy power. Furthermore, you can find this dog life jacket in Walmart also and it is available in all sizes. Hence, you won’t have troubles finding the right one for your dog.

In the dog life jacket reviews owners state that they like how this vest fits snuggly on their dogs. They are especially pleased with the velcro system that prevents the vest from slipping off the dog. However, some owners state that the seams are too weak and that the handles broke.

Pros

  • Reflective stripes for better visibility.
  • Breathable underbelly mesh.
  • Supports normal movement.
  • Easy to fit and take off.

Cons

  • Can tear on the seams.
  • The handle isn’t sturdy enough.
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket

The Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket is made to last and ensures buoyancy for your dog. This product can work for poor swimmers or flimsy dogs since it has a front flap.

The Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket is constructed of neoprene and features adjustable straps. Furthermore, it sports a neoprene belly band that ensures a snug and secure fit.

Hence, this vest can be a great choice if you are looking for a neoprene dog life jacket. This vest also has foam panels and a front flap which ensure excellent buoyancy. Furthermore, the flap will keep your dog’s head above water at all times.

This vest is made in a way that supports normal body movement and its lightweight design ensures that your dog will be comfortable wearing it the whole day. To ensure visibility the Outward Hound included reflecting piping and the vest’s orange color is clearly visible.

Dual top grab handles are easy to grip and ensure that you can pull your dog from the water at any moment. If you don’t think that your dog will fit in a large size this model comes also as xl dog life jacket for big pups.

Most owners like this vest because it fits snuggly and doesn’t interfere with a dog’s movement. They also state that this product is made to last and that their dogs enjoy wearing it. Some owners state that the material around the handles isn’t reinforced and can’t sustain pulling out a large dog.

Pros

  • Made of durable neoprene material.
  • Lightweight and snug.
  • Front flap for extra safety.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes.

Cons

  • Handle seam can tear.
  • Sizing can be tricky for some dogs.
Ruffwear K9 Float Coat For Dogs

The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat can be a great product if you are looking for a vest with excellent buoyant properties. This jacket is made to last and can be used regularly on dogs who like to swim.

The Ruffwear K9 life jacket is made of durable abrasion-resistant materials. The strategically placed foam panels support a natural swimming position and give your dog more floating power.

The Ruffwear dog life jacket is also equipped with an optimally positioned built-in handle. Hence, you can easily grab the vest at any time and pull your dog out of the water.

The vests telescopic neck closure is adjustable and supports a natural and comfortable movement. For extra protection Ruffwear also included additional flotation under your dog’s belly to help him stay afloat.

This jacket is also fitted with reflective trim that will allow you to see your dog in limited light conditions. Unfortunately, this product does not support an XXL dog life jacket, but all other sizes are available.

Dog owners love that this vest provides excellent buoyancy and even keeps fat and fearful pups afloat. Many buyers are also pleased that there are no exposed buckles or straps that can get snagged on foreign objects. On the other hand, some owners had troubles finding the right size for their dogs.

Pros

  • Better buoyancy.
  • Underbelly floatation.
  • Durable handle.
  • No exposed straps or buckles.

Cons

  • Sizes aren’t suitable for all dogs.
Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket

If you are looking to get your dog in life jacket, the Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket might be a great choice. It’s versatile and can serve as a raincoat and to keep your dog afloat.

The Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket is made of durable ripstop material that can withstand rough use. By removing flotation layer this vest can be transformed into a doggy raincoat. Hence, the Kurgo dog life fest is a versatile product that can save you some money.

This jacket comes with two transverse handles that make pulling your dog out of the water so much easier. It also features two metal D rings for leash connection.

The Kurgo vest comes in a variety of sizes and its bright red color is even more visible due to reflective trim. The adjustable buckles are included to make sure that the vest fits snuggly. Its lightweight design ensures that your dog will have a complete range of motions and move normally.

Dog owners state that this vest keeps their dogs afloat and ensure that they are safe in the water. Furthermore, many buyers like that the manufacturer provides a lifetime guarantee. Some owners had problems fitting their dogs in this vest and weren’t able to find the right size for their dogs.

Pros

  • Vest and the raincoat in one.
  • Two durable handles.
  • Lightweight and fits nicely.
  • Comes with leash rings.

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit nicely to all dogs.
Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest

The Swimways Sea Squirt Dog Life Vest will keep your dog floating in a stylish way. The vest sports a shark fin, leash rings, and a handle that is sturdy and easy to grip.

The cute Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest is made of heavy-duty materials that ensure durability. Your pup will stand out on the beach wearing this shark fin dog life jacket due to its cute design.

The shark vest comes with a chest and two belly straps that feature quick release buckles. Thus, this jacket can envelop your dog nicely and be fitted or removed easily. This vest comes in small and medium size and is perfect for tiny pooches who are used to a stylish look.

The Swimways also included a metal D-ring to which you can slip your dog’s leash. The handle on the back of the dog life vest shark fin is easy to grip and will ensure a perfect balance while lifting a dog from the water.

According to reviews dog owners love the cute design of this vest and state that their dogs like being mini sharks. They also state that the vest fits snuggly and that is easy to put on or take off. On the other hand, some state that the fin made their dogs lose balance.

Pros

  • Adorable design.
  • Easy to put on and take off.
  • Fits snugly around the body.
  • Can be hooked on a leash.

Cons

  • The fin can create balance issues.
  • Hard to use on long-haired dogs.
Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket

The Camo Life Preserver Jacket features adjustable buckles that make it easy to put on and take off. This vest comes in a variety of sizes and its camo print might be a great fit for your dog.

The Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket features three velcro straps and adjustable buckles. The belly portion of the vest is made of breathable mesh to ensure that your dog is comfortable while wearing it.

A handle is stitched to the back of the camo dog life jacket, making it easy to get your dog out of the water. Furthermore, D-ring is located on the back and gives you an option to hook your dog to a leash.

This vest also features reflective straps that keep your dog visible during night, dusk, and dawn. This feature and camo print make this vest a great choice for hunting dogs.

This product comes in five different sizes and in two shark designs. Despite its camo print, you can fit your dog with this vest and take him to a local pool to burn off extra energy.

Some owners state that this vest works great as a bulldog life jacket and that it fits their pups snuggly. Other owners state that the vest helps their dogs stay afloat and that it very easy to put it on. However, some owners state that the leash ring rips off easily and that the vest has a smell.

Pros

  • Camo print.
  • Comes with leash ring.
  • Velcro straps and adjustable buckles.
  • Breathable mesh on the belly.

Cons

  • The size doesn’t always fit.
  • The leash ring can be pulled off.
PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Jacket

The PETCEE Dog Life Preserver can be a great choice if you are looking for a vest for a small dog. This model features a front flap and three straps for extra safety and a snug fit.

The PEETCEE Dog Life Vest is designed to be durable while being comfortable for a dog to wear it. It features three straps, two of which wrap around the belly and one wraps around the chest.

Each strap features a quick release buckle that keeps the vest in place and makes it easy to put on and take off. This jacket features a front float that will keep your dog’s head out of the water and ensure that he is comfortable while paddling.

This product comes in five different versions and the pink dog life jacket in small size is perfect for small girly pooches who like to take a dip. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come as xxs dog life jacket, but you can check your dog’s measurements against xs size.

The reflective trim is also included and combined with a bright pink color will make your dog clearly visible in any conditions. Furthermore, a D-ring is located on the back of the vest giving you an option to attach your dog on a leash.

Most owners are pleased with the quality of this vest and the fact that it fits snuggly around their small dogs. Furthermore, they state that the life jacket keeps their pups afloat and the dogs love it too. Some owners had troubles finding the perfect size and their dogs outgrow this west quickly.

Pros

  • Front float as head support.
  • Snuggly fitted.
  • Easy to put on and take off.
  • Durable and well made.

Cons

  • Some dogs didn’t like the chin float.

What To Look For In the Best Dog Life Jacket?

Choosing the right dog life vest for your pup requires some research on your part. There are certain handling and safety features you need to take into consideration. This way you will find a vest that will truly keep your pups safe while in water. These are things you should look for:

 

  • High-quality material: Look for dog life vests that are made of resilient high-density materials that will hold up well in all weather conditions.
  • Easy to put on and take off: The life jackets should be easy to put on or off if you have to get them on or off your dog in a hurry. Furthermore, before taking your dog for a swim practice getting the vest on and off him so you are familiar with all buckles.
  • Right size: Getting a dog life jacket that fits is of big importance. Not all dogs are built the same and it can be hard finding the exact fit for some breeds. In these cases, adjustable straps can help, and make a vest fit more snugly around your dog.
  • Handles: Every doggy life jacket needs to have at least one sturdy handle. This is an important feature to look for since you will use the handle to pull your dog out of the water. Furthermore, if a dog gets scared he can try to escape and wriggle around making it hard for you to control him. Thus, look for a vest that have more handles that are made of durable materials and able to sustain your dog’s weight.
  • Interior buckles and straps: While this isn’t a necessary feature to look for, interior buckles and straps provide extra security. This way, your dog can’t get hung up on a dock, on the side of the boat, or any branches or rocks that are in the water.
  • Buoyancy: Look for a life vest with a proper amount of buoyancy to keep your dog afloat in the water. Some vest have added floatation under the belly as well on the sides and the back. Furthermore, some vests have a flotation in the neck area to keep a dog’s head above the water.

 

Why Do Dogs Need Life Vests?

Dogs are just like people and their physical condition and temperament varies from one dog to the other. Even if you own a dog like Labrador Retriever, he might be older or overweight and have troubles swimming. On the other hand, with the life vest, you can rest assured that your dog will stay on the surface regardless of his fitness level. Here are the reasons why dogs need life jackets:

 

  • Lower fat levels: Due to a smaller amount of body fat dogs don’t float well. Hence, they will spend a lot of energy paddling to stay afloat.
  • Puppies: Younger dogs are especially impressionable and easily distracted by people, other boats, and new noises. That can cause a puppy to jump into the water and start to swim frantically when he realizes that he is in an unfamiliar situation.
  • Older dogs: Senior dogs can be overweight and suffer from health issues that can make hard for them to stay afloat.
  • Physically grueling: Even if your dog is in excellent shape he won’t be able to swim for a long time. Just like people wear life jackets even if they know how to swim they are also necessary for dogs.

 

Conclusion

Every owner who plans on taking his dog near water should own a dog life vest. Even if you only plan to take your dog to a pool, the best dog life jacket will ensure that he is safe while swimming. It may seem like an unnecessary cost, but remember, swimming is a high-intensity activity and that even seasoned swimmers wear life jackets.

 

With so many different doggy life vests available on the market there is no excuse for not having one. By fitting your pup with a life jacket, you can rest assured that he will be safe and have a great time while jumping and paddling in the water.

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