As much as you would like to take your dogs out for swimming or boating, one question that pops up is, do they know how to swim?
Dog life jackets are meant to keep your dogs afloat and safe in water regardless of their swimming prowess.
We don’t want you to buy just any jacket out there and get disappointed later on. The reason we’ve selected for you the best dog life jackets on the market.
Best Dog Life Jacket: Comprehensive Review
Do you have a canine with an insatiable taste for the high waters and are probably wondering how to keep it safe. Then we’ve singled out for you the factors to look for in a dog life vest.
What Determines the Efficiency of a Dog Life Vest?
The following 3 factors are the key measures to getting a good and efficient dog life jacket from the many available market options.
Adjustability & Comfort
This is an excellent point to focus on…indeed, a life jacket with adjustable straps is good. Also, a life jacket that’s available in small, medium, large, extra-large varieties is even more ideal for dogs of different sizes.
Small dogs like Pugs get life jackets while big ones like Doberman get the XL ones. Most life jackets are equipped with adjustable straps under the neck or chest, this allows your pet to grow with the jacket. This saves you the costs of buying a new jacket with any slight increase in the dog’s growth or weight.
Dog comfort isn’t always a priority when it comes to life jackets. However, the jacket should be made in such a way that it fits snuggly on the dog’s body without restricting its movement.
You can’t assume that you will have a smooth ride while on the water and have your dog close by. Emergencies like the boat capsizing or the dog jumping out from the boat are bound to happen.
Such situations require critical measures like your dog wearing a jacket with a bright yet visible color for easy rescue. Luckily, some manufacturers improve the visibility of their life jackets with reflective material.
This is an essential feature that can keep your dog’s head afloat in case of an emergency. In some jackets, the floatation pad is positioned just below the dog’s neck, while in others, they are evenly placed around the body.
Detailed Reviews of Quality Dog Life Jackets
Here are the in-depth reviews of the top 9 dog life vests as compiled by our able group of unbiased editors.
1. RUFFWEAR Adjustable Dog Swimming Life Jacket
This RuffWear dog float jacket is available in different sizes from XX-Small to X Large for easy selection according to your dog’s girth.
Comfort isn’t an issue as the jacket features an adjustable telescoping neck closure and easy-to-clip buckles for convenient adjustment of chest straps for a comfortable fit.
The jacket is also available in 4 color options giving you lots of choice. What’s more, the jacket’s sides and top feature reflective trims for increased low-light visibility.
Additionally, the life vest is ergonomically designed with closed cell foam panels to help your dog attain a natural swimming upright position. However, it does not have a floatation pad and, therefore, might not be a safe bet if your dog is a rookie in water sports.
- Available in 6 different sizes
- Allows easy swimming
- Adjustable fit
- Bright colored for extra visibility
- No floatation pad
2. EzyDog Dog Life Doggy Flotation Device (DFD)
EzyDog believes in variety, this is why it has designed this dog life float in different sizes, namely; X Small, Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-large. Each Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) features neoprene belly straps for a comfortable fit.
Unfortunately, this DFD is only available in 2 colors, thereby limiting your freedom of choice. Despite that, all the colors are bright and have a well-lined reflective trim for added nighttime safety plus visibility.
The absence of a floatation pad doesn’t limit the vest’s ability to keep the dog afloat as it swims since it has uniquely positioned buoyant foam. But this can prove hard for a beginner dog to use since it’s bound to get tired when swimming due to the little floatation material used.
- Highly visible
- Multiple sizes available
- Adjustable belly straps
- Well-contoured polyester neck webbing
- Minimal neoprene padding
- Seems bulky
3. Outward Hound Splash Granby Dog Life Jacket
Outward Hound ensures you get unforgettable days on the water with your dog by providing this lifesaver jacket in different sizes from Small to Extra Large.
The Granby jacket is fitted with easily adjustable chest and belly straps to keep your dog secure yet comfortable on the water.
Moreover, this life vest has a chest flotation pad, which makes it extra safe in case of an emergency especially if your dog isn’t a skilled swimmer. On the other hand, the neoprene belly band adds buoyancy to the stomach plus chest areas.
The bright orange color with the reflective trims helps increase visibility. However, the jacket is only available in this single color i.e. orange.
- Different shapes and sizes to pick from
- Neck float keeps your dog’s head above water
- Bright-colored for enhanced visibility
- Highly buoyant ripstop material construction
- Not available in multiple colors
4. Vivaglory Ripstop Enhanced Buoyancy Dog Life Jacket
By correctly measuring your dog’s chest girth and comparing the results with the VIVAGLORY size chart, you will get a convenient fit. But be careful to add some few extra inches as there are some complaints of the jackets coming undersized.
What’s more, the jacket’s neckpiece is not only adjustable but is fully detachable for comfortable wearing. The belly straps and side buckles allow for comfortable fitting of the vest on your dog’s body
This jacket is offered in 10 bright colors and is reinforced with reflective trims for further visibility necessary for quick dog identification in or out of water.
While the jacket lacks a flotation pad, it features extra padding to increase its buoyancy in water.
- Obtainable in 5 different sizes
- Built-in padding for comfort and buoyancy
- Offers more visibility
- Offered in 10 multiple reflective colors
- Lacks front float pad
- Comes undersized
5. Vivaglory Ripstop Style Dog Safety Life Jacket
If you do frequent lakes, rivers, or coastal areas with your pet, then a life jacket like this Vivaglory will be of great help. The vest is available as XS, S, M, L, and XL sizes.
What’s more, for a snug fit, this jacket comes with belly and chest straps that are easily adjustable through the included buckles.
And on top of that, the life jacket comes in 10 different bright colors to choose from. Those include pink, blue, green, orange, camo, and yellow.
The jacket has foam padding that extends all the way down the sides to help keep the dog afloat as it swims. But the absence of a floatation pad on the chest area can be a limitation for novice dogs who might be unable to keep their heads above water for long.
- Offers great flotation
- Adjustable straps for added security
- Multiple colors and sizes
- Unique Ripstop design
- Has no float pad
6. HAOCOO Dog Lifesaver Jacket
Getting the proper jacket sizing if you are an owner of multiple dogs isn’t easy. Luckily, HAOCOO has your back by providing this dog vest in various sizes.
You’ll also love the fact that each one of these vests has adjustable chest and belly straps for convenient putting on/off as well as comfortability.
That isn’t enough, HAOCOO has also designed this jacket in 8 color options to give you freedom of choice while the reflective strips enhance visibility.
In conclusion, the vest is made with a ripstop nylon fabric material which is filled with pearl cotton foam for increased buoyancy. Unfortunately, it lacks a chest float pad and, therefore, is not great for inexperienced dog swimmers.
- 7 different sizes as from XXS to XXXL
- Visible colors
- Adjustable straps
- Compact design
- Might be too bulky for small doggies
- Plastic buckles seem cheaply made
7. ASENKU Ripstop Dog Flotation Life Jacket
This ASENKU life jacket enhances your pet’s safety at the beach, pool, or when boating. The vest is obtainable in different sizes from X Small to X large to ensure you get a comfortable fit for your dog.
Above all, the fully removable and adjustable neck pad, as well as the adjustable belly straps, allow for accurate fitting.
For added visibility, the jacket is designed in 4 different bright colors and is enhanced with reflective accents for exceptional dog safety in poorly-lit conditions.
Lastly, even though this ripstop polyester vest lacks a floating pad, it has a shark tail that helps balance the dog’s weight while still elevating its head.
- Awesome shark fin design
- Features quick-release buckles
- Ideal for dogs at all life stages
- Highly visible
- Complaints about the jacket being undersized
8. Paws Aboard Life Jacket for Dog Boating and Swimming
Paws Aboard has this life jacket in various sizes from XX small to XL to suit different sizes of dogs. The sizes can be arrived at by taking measurements of your dog’s body girth (the part behind the front legs).
Should your dog fall in between sizes, it’s recommended that you take the larger one. Additionally, the vest has 2 areas of adjustment on the belly area and one on the chest for a quick fit.
The reflective strip and the vibrant color options give your pooch the much-needed visibility while on water.
Finally, the vest is made from breathable nylon materials that enhance the dog’s buoyancy even in the absence of a flotation pad.
- Breathable mesh underbelly
- Many size options
- Made with visible colors
- Detachable chest pad
- Easily adjustable
- Needs more floatation foam on its underbelly
9. King Pup Rainbow Design Dog Life Jacket
To sum our list up is this King Pup life jacket available in sizes XS, S, M, and XL to give a secure fit. This can simply be done by taking measurements of the dog’s weight and chest girth.
While putting the vest on the dog, make sure it fits comfortably by adjusting the chest and belly straps.
If multiple colors in one vest do amaze you, then this rainbow designed vest will do just that. Also, the 2 back overlapping straps feature reflective stitching for additional safety by increasing visibility.
Instead of having a floatation pad, the jacket is made with ultra-buoyant material that keeps your dog afloat for long.
- Beautiful rainbow design
- Offers a comfortable fit
- Multiple sizes
- Buoyant vest
- Isn’t available for XXL or heavy dogs
Frequently Asked questions
Do you have questions on this topic? Below is our response to some popular queries among pet parents.
How does a dog life jacket work?
A life jacket is equipped with lightweight and buoyant foam that keeps the dog afloat.
Is it safe to use life jackets for dogs?
While a life vest is the safest item for your dog to wear on water, some dogs like Bulldogs aren’t able to swim. For safety purposes, you should ensure the life jacket is fitted appropriately so as not to hinder the pet’s movement.
Does my pooch need a life jacket when on water?
Yes, it doesn’t matter if the dog is accustomed to large water bodies or not, it will need a life jacket to take care of unplanned natural occurrences.
Which One Is The Best?
We’ve not only described the above dog life vests but have individually tested them out. Therefore, we can easily conclude that product #1 RUFFWEAR Adjustable Dog Swimming Life Jacket is our >best pick<. This is because it enables comfortable swimming, is offered in multiple colors, and has an adjustable fit with the easy-clip buckles.
Dogs have since time immemorial been man’s best loyal friends and also like to be pampered like little kids. And outdoor water activities is one of the ways to repay their kindness.
While dogs are known to be naturally buoyant (have an instinct to paddle themselves) when on water, they tend to panic or get tired and begin to sink.
This is why you can’t overlook the dog’s safety at the expense of having fun. That why it’s always important for a dog to wear a life vest whenever it accompanies you on all water activities.