Dog Life JacketDog Life Jacket

Dog Life Jacket

A dog life jacket is an essential part of safety gear. Whether your summer plans involve boating or splashing around with your four-legged friend, you’ll want to equip them properly. But with dogs coming in different sizes, shapes, and enjoying various water activities, it can be tricky to know which model is best for your specific pup. 

We’ve rounded up our favorite dog life jackets and highlighted their benefits and drawbacks so you can find the safest, most comfortable fit for your experienced water dog, senior splasher, or newbie paddler. Just sinking their toes in the water. 

Why Do Dogs Need Life Jackets? 

A dog might be a great swimmer, but even the best paddlers can tire out, and if an unfortunate mishap occurs while out in the sea, there’s no better opportunity for your dog than having a life jacket. Even dogs who love water should be outfitted with life jackets, especially those with low body fat like Greyhounds, senior dogs, or those with health or mobility issues. 

What to Look for in a Good Dog Life Jacket? 

Bright Colors: It’s always a good idea for your dog to be visible when in water, whether for fellow swimmers and boaters or in case of emergency situations. 

Sturdy Top Handle: This assists you in grabbing and lifting your dog, whether you’re pulling them out of the water or from the boat to shore. 

Strong Buckles or Straps: These allow for extra security when using the jacket, and if your dog happens to get into trouble, they can aid in contacting for help. 

Reflective Strips: These enhance visibility for your dog, especially during early mornings, evenings, or nighttime swims. 

Extra Flotation Material around the Sides and Chest: Different dogs prefer different degrees of buoyancy—but more coverage around the torso is generally safer. 

Best Dog Life Jackets 

1. Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Vest 

The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is the highest-rated dog life jacket on Amazon, boasting a straight 5-star rating and excellent reviews. While it comes at a premium price, it’s worth it because it’s made with top-notch materials. 

  • Available in red or yellow colors. 
  • It comes in sizes ranging from XX-Small to X-Large. 
  • Strategically placed foam panels allow for a natural swimming position. 
  • Extremely durable, with reinforced materials. 
  • Elevated handle for easy lifting your dog out of the water. 
  • Additional visibility with reflective trim. 
  • Additional flotation under the dog’s belly. 
  • Tailored fit with adjustability to ensure a snug and secure fit. 

Pros:  

Many owners appreciate its high-quality materials and the extra buoyancy beneath the dog’s torso (a feature not always found in other dog life jackets). 

Cons:  

At $60-$70, this life jacket is on the higher end of the price spectrum. Nevertheless, with almost exclusively 4 or 5-star ratings, it’s evident that this jacket earns its keep. 

2. Kyjen Outward Dog Life Jacket 

The Kyjen Outward Dog Life Jacket is the most popular choice for a dog’s life on Amazon, with a 4.5-star rating and over 1,400 reviews. Available in sizes from XX-Small to X-Large, it fits a wide range of dogs. 

  • Bright yellow color for visibility against waves. 
  • Superior flotation. 
  • Comfortable and durable neoprene belly band. 
  • Top handles for lifting dogs in and out of boats. 
  • Fully adjustable chest and neck straps. 
  • Quick release buckles 
  • Front flotation feature to keep the dog’s head above water. 

Pros:  

With its large user base and extremely affordable price, we can confidently recommend the Kyjen Outward Dog Life Jacket as a smart pick. 

Cons:  

Some buyers have reported sizing issues, necessitating returns and re-purchases. It’s also worth noting that the model showcased here is a newer model with better quality, so some older reviews about the Kyjen Outward Dog Life Jacket might not be accurate. 

3. Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket: 

When it comes to your pup’s safety, Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket comes in various sizes. With a stellar 4.5-star rating from over 200 Amazon reviewers, it’s a solid choice at an affordable price point. 

  • Vibrant yellow color (though some have reported a brighter green shade) and reflective straps for visibility. 
  • Top handle for easy lifting your dog out of the water. 
  • Side straps for your dog’s movement. 
  • Adjustable Dog harness straps 
  • Heavy-duty Velcro fastening system for secure fit around your dog’s belly and neck. 
  • Easy and smooth exchanges of materials (in case you get the wrong size). 

Pros:  

Customers love that this jacket is lightweight, easy to put on and take off, and dries quickly. It’s a valid option at an economical price. 

Cons:  

While many users feel satisfied with the product, some have mentioned strap tearing with larger, heavier dogs. Velcro straps may not be ideal for breeds with lots of fur, as fur can get caught in Velcro. 

4. Kurgo Surf n Turf Dog Life Jacket 

Kurgo Surf n Turf Coat is an all-in-one jacket that doubles as a 3-season shell jacket. It can be removed to double the flotation of a waterproof jacket. 

Available on Amazon and PetSmart, it boasts compatibility with other dog life jackets (though not as many reviews as other options). 

  • 3-in-1 jacket: can be used as a life jacket, rain jacket, or lightweight coat. 
  • Dual handles for lifting your dog. 
  • Dual metal D-rings for leash attachment. 
  • Bright colors and reflective trim for visibility. 
  • All Kurgo products come with a lifetime guarantee. 

Pros:  

Highly versatile, functioning as a water-based life jacket, a rain jacket, or a lightweight coat. Offers a sleek fit and ease of adjustment compared to other dog life jackets. 

Cons: 

Some reviewers note that this dog PFD doesn’t provide as much buoyancy and support as other offerings, as it only supports the dog’s underside with nylon straps (without flotation). While it might be suitable for calm waters, other life vests might be recommended for heavier seas. 

5. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device (DFD): 

EzyDog DFD comes with top-notch ratings, boasting a stellar 5-star rating and over 100 accolades on Amazon! What’s the most fun thing about this dog life jacket? It comes in 4 different playful colors! 

  • 4 colors available: Green Camo, Pink Camo, Yellow, and Red. 
  • Designed with an extra amount of super comfy materials to keep your dog in a natural swimming position. 
  • Nylon D-ring for leash attachment. 
  • Adjustable neoprene straps for ergonomic, secure fit. 
  • Detailed stitching for better visibility. 
  • Easy-to-grab handles for lifting your dog. 

Pros: 

This highly rated dog flotation device provides quality and peace of mind for water activities. 

Cons: 

Some users wish the design was more tapered towards the back instead of lifting the dog horizontally (while other designs let the dog sink lower, making it easier for their head to stay above water). Also, it doesn’t come in XXS size. 

Conclusion 

A dog life jacket is crucial for making sure your pet’s safety during water activities. With many different options available, study factors like visibility, durability, and buoyancy to find the perfect fit for your lovely friend. Whether they’re a seasoned swimmer or a beginner, a well-fitted life jacket can make all the difference in their entertainment and safety in the water.