Everyone knows that life vests can save people’s lives during dangerous situations. But do you know about life vest for dogs? Keep reading to find out more.

Although some dog breeds, such as retrievers and spaniels, are natural swimmers, some are less. A dog life jacket is a sensible investment if you and your dog plan to spend time in or on the water. Even the best swimmers can become fatigued, lose buoyancy, and battle to keep their heads above the water.

Some types, such as Bulldogs, have body shapes that are unsuitable for swimming and will require assistance to keep afloat. A personal flotation device (PFD) is required if your dog is accompanying you on a boat.

What is a life vest?

Life vest for dogs

Life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are essential for all boaters, whether in a propelled boat or a canoe. Ninety percent of boating-related drownings may be prevented by wearing a lifejacket or a PFD. To avoid hypothermia, you should wear a wetsuit that decreases the first jolt from the water upon your muscles when you fall into the sea.

Why do dogs need a life vest?

A dog life jacket is essential safety equipment. If swimming or spending out on the water with your pet companion is part of your summer plans, ensure they’re appropriately attired. However, dogs have varying degrees of safety in the water and diverse body shapes and play and swim techniques, making it difficult to determine which type is ideal for your puppy.

Do you prefer to take your dog on boat cruises or other aquatic activities with you? Safety is paramount once it comes to your dog, and they require additional protection when playing in the water. This entails equipping them with a canine life jacket to keep them afloat as they roam and enjoy the water.

Having a dog life jacket to ensure canine swimming safety may make swimming a serene environment every time. Are you unsure if your dog requires a life jacket? The following are ten reasons why dogs need life jackets.

1. Accidents occur

It is always a great reminder to be always equipped while you’re out on the water. Accidents and crises may happen at any moment, and they’re even more deadly when there’s deep water present. Fortunately, a high-quality life jacket will keep your dog’s head afloat. They have neck-closing fastenings for a snug fit.

A trustworthy life preserver will safeguard your puppy even if something happens, whether they’re kicking it on the beach or a boat.

2. There might be hidden dangers in the water

Although it appears like swimming is safe for your dog, there could be hidden dangers in the water. While swimming pools are generally considered safe, lakes may have submerged debris such as branches and leaves that your dog might become entangled.

Swimming against the stream in a stream or river, on the other hand, may rapidly weary you. Once your dog is swimming in the water, he may be pulled out to sea by powerful currents. A life jacket may keep your dog’s head above water in any scenario, perhaps saving their life.

3. Some dogs are not built to swim

You could believe that almost all dogs are born swimmers. However, whether huge, tiny, or medium-sized, certain dogs have difficulty remaining afloat and require some flotation support. It boils down to health issues and how buoyant a dog’s body is when determining whether or not it can swim.

Greyhounds, for example, have a low body fat content, making them less buoyant and prone to float. Bulldogs and Pugs, for example, have a massive, girthy chest that makes them top-heavy inside water. Furthermore, exceptionally tiny dog breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus start as good swimmers but wear out quickly.

4. Your dog will stay warm in a life jacket

In frigid water, even thick-coated dogs can get hypothermic. The typical body temperature of your dog is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to VCA Hospitals’ DVMs Malcolm Weir and Lynn Buzhardt (38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). Bodily functioning will be affected, and hypothermia may develop if their body temperature drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 degrees Celsius).

Life jackets are perfect to keep your dog warm and safe on frigid swims. They have a neoprene belly strap and foam layers that provide optimal buoyancy while keeping your dog warm naturally.

5. Even the most skilled canine swimmers grow fatigued

Some dog breeds, like the Portuguese Water Dog with its webbed feet and the Labrador Retriever, which had been evolved to be a powerful swimmer, are better suited to water and water activities.

However, let’s face it, many dogs have no idea when it’s time to rest. If your dog isn’t wearing a canine life jacket with supporting belly straps, even the finest swimmers can tire rapidly in the water and get into trouble.

6. Life jackets include easy-to-grasp grips

As demonstrated here, a grab hold on the top of a canine life jacket makes it far easier to carry your dog to safety. The canine personal flotation device (PFD) is excellent for supporting your dog when swimming and maybe a lifesaver if he gets into difficulty.

When your dog falls overboard while on a boat, grasp the handle and hold him tight to the boat till you can raise him to rescue.

7. Make it easier to find your dog in the water

Although some dogs never leave your side, others like to go off their own. As an outcome, you could lose sight of them while going in the water.

Because some dogs swim with a low profile, it’s easy to lose track of your dog in the water. However, if they’re wearing a bright life jacket with luminous strips, this isn’t the case.

The finest dog life jackets are brightly coloured for a reason: they help you spot your dog immediately, even from a distance. If your dog stumbles into the water or is washed away by large waves due to an accident, you’ll be delighted he’s carrying a float coat with bright trim so you can readily find him.

8. Mindfulness

A day on the lake should be enjoyable for the entire family, but it’s impossible to relax and unwind if you’re concerned about your dog’s wellbeing.

If your dog wears a life jacket, you may be confident that he will stay afloat even if he gets into difficulties swimming. A dog swim gear with top grips might save your dog’s life. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that your family pet member is safe within the water.

9. A dog life vest makes swimming lessons much simpler

A life vest can assist dogs in learning to swim, gain confidence, and have more joy inside the water.

When dogs feel hesitant in the water, they frequently utilize just their front legs to swim, which causes them to exhaust quickly. Life vests keep dogs afloat on the water’s surface and teach them to swim using all four legs.

10. Improves the swimming skill of the dog

A life jacket will undoubtedly improve your dog’s swimming skills, regardless of how excellent a swimmer he is. A better body posture can be achieved with support beneath the chest and trunk. Swimming with proper technique will also result in more muscular work training effectiveness.

5 Tips for choosing a good life vest for a dog

1. Colour

Although the color or design of a life vest may not appear relevant, if a dog goes into the water, the owner will want this to be visible. If the dog spends some time close to the water at night, reflective material is a beautiful alternative to the life vest.

2. Buckles

A dog’s life vest must have buckled to maintain it on. Buckles are preferable to snaps, hooks and loop closures, or other connection techniques since they keep the life vest in place and prevent it from falling off the dog. They’re usually adjustable as well to ensure a good fit.

3. Size

The dog’s weight is usually the most crucial consideration when selecting an appropriate life vest size, but chest dimensions should also be done to guarantee a correct fit. Manufacturers of life vests frequently include measurement recommendations to assist dog owners in selecting the proper size vest for their particular dog.

Tape measures help collect accurate measurements, but the best approach to ensuring the fit is putting on a life vest. Life jackets should be tight, but a dog must be capable of walking, running, leaping, and, most essential, breathing freely. A dog may slide out of a life vest if it is too big or have difficulties swimming and remaining afloat if it is too small.

4. Handles

Any perfect life vest should include durable and very well-grab hooks in case a dog goes into the water and has to be dragged out.

5. Neck Float

A neck float is a portion of a life vest that offers stability and comfort to the head. It’s an easily overlooked yet crucial feature to see in a life vest. It is worn around the dog’s neck and is required to keep the dog’s head above the water.

Does my health dog need a life vest to swim?

If you’re heading boating or planning to spend hours in or around water, it’s advisable to wear your dog a life jacket.

Even the most energetic, water-loving breeds might fatigue, get stuck, or struggle in rushing water, which is mainly required for some pets whose bodies aren’t natively adapted to swimming, such as dachshunds corgis, pugs, and French bulldogs.

Whenever you hit the waves, like with any bit of dog gear, you must want them to get acclimated to the life vest. This is where treats and prizes may assist.

Isn’t it normal for dogs to know how to swim?

Most dog breeds are competent swimmers, but even the most confident swimmers might tire out, become terrified, or become entangled in a strong current. Suppose a dog slips into the water suddenly.

It may require assistance to keep its head above the water, particularly if startled or terrified, and high waves can drag a dog below water and lead them to exhaust more rapidly. If some of these conditions occur, life vests can assist save a dog’s life.

A life jacket is an excellent item if a dog spends some time on a yacht, boat dock, around deep water, near the water with tides, or is a breed that is not a strong swimmer. Ideally, a dog will never require it, but if it does, the owner will be grateful they had it and were capable of keeping their dog safe.

10 best life jackets to purchase for your dog

1. Kurgo Surf N Turf

Are you looking to get your dog a life jacket? Below are ten of the most recommended life jackets to purchase for your dog.

This jacket has two handles and an installed D-ring, with three adjustable bands for the optimum fit, making it a top-rated favourite among water-loving puppies and their owners.

It’s composed of rigid materials that will withstand all of your activities, is brightly coloured so you can identify your dog in the water, and is lighter so that they can move about freely in the waves and on land. Based on our testing, we suggest it for better swimmers who need a little help and dogs with a form that demands a unique fit.


  • Maximum agility on land and sea
  • It fits puppies of all shapes and sizes


  • Inexperienced swimmers who require additional stability.
  • Minimum command of the leash

2. Hurtta Life Savior

The Hurtta Life Savior jacket is built for athletic usage and endurance, with lots of thick padding and additional buoyant all-around belly and chest materials.

The vivid colour options—yellow, orange, and purple—as much as the extra thick top handle and additional stitching around the straps are very appealing. Despite the higher price level, this is a wonderful alternative for anybody wishing to get a lot of usage and durability out of the dog life jacket.

3. LandShark Nylon Life Vest

The shark fins on such otherwise functional life jackets are a big hit with us. This LandShark model comes in four sizes to accommodate sharks of different shapes and sizes.

The Land Shark also offers most of the qualities we’re searching for, like a heavy-duty zipper, nylon handle, front clasp, and rigid straps. The only thing we wish this jacket had was a front flotation cushion for tiny swimmers.

4. Outward Hound Granby

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket is more affordable. Two handles on top make carrying a heavy or rambunctious dog simpler.

A floating cushion at the front keeps your dog’s head above the water without limiting mobility. It’s colourful. It lacks a D-ring, but it’s an acceptable option for infrequent life jacket users for the price.

5. Ruffwear Float Coat

Ruffwear Float Coat It’s built of rigid materials and includes thick foam for optimal buoyancy. We enjoy the all-around covering for increased comfort and the plush handle that makes lifting your dog out of the water simple (or more accessible).

A concealed D-ring may connect a leash, and a fabric loop can be used to attach a clip-on light. The Float Coat is ideal for dogs who cannot swim or for dogs who are exploring harsher waters.

Perfect for:

  • New and inexperienced swimmers
  • More choppy water
  • Control the leash and the situation

Not recommended for:

  • Maximum flexibility
  • Creating a custom fit

6. Paws Aboard Life Jacket

This life jacket’s colourful fabric selections and adjustable fit are our favourites. It has additional cloth below the belly belts for ease, a leash clasp, and front head cushioning. It has a top grip but is narrow, so it’s best for little dogs and casual swimmers, not bigger dogs or heavy use.

7. Outward Hound Dawson Jacket

Outward Hound’s colourful life jacket is an excellent option for dogs that aren’t natural swimmers. It’s particularly suitable for long dogs like Dachshunds and Corgis, who will love the extra under-chin float. It has insulating layers to preserve your dog warmer, a dual-grab top grip, and extra-thick foam sheets on the sides to boost buoyancy.

8. EzyDog Premium Flotation Device

It’s an all-good pick for a life jacket, with a D-ring for fastening a collar, 50% more flotation components than other vests, and enough fluorescent stripes to boost a pup’s visibility in the water. It’s particularly suitable for larger dogs because of the well-attached grip and greater buoyancy.

9. Backcountry x Petco the Flotation Dog Vest

A plastic-covered sports grip is included, and a metal D-ring for attaching a leash. It’s only available in one colour, an orange-and-black. Still, it’s a fantastic alternative to the usual vest—and an intelligent option whether other life jackets bury your dog’s back end and leave them floating like a pen.

10. Arcadia Trail Dog Life Jacket

You can take water safety very seriously for this robust, water-repellent canine life jacket from Arcadia Trail. Fluorescent material, bright trim and webbing, a rescue grip for raising your dog out from the water, and other safety measures are included. This dog life jacket is accessible in red or yellow and comes in sizes XS to XXL.

Watch My experience with a dog life jacket | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to life vest for dogs

Below are five frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding life vest for dogs, followed by appropriate answers.

What is the purpose of a dog life vest?

Like life vests for humans, life vests for dogs are materials worn out over the chest that gives buoyancy in the water. Life jackets are composed of buoyant, padding material that helps keep a dog afloat if they get into trouble in the water. They also come with a grab handle and a D-ring for attaching a leash.

Is a life jacket essential for my healthy dog to swim?

No. Certain dogs are native-born swimmers, while others struggle with swimming methods, but all pets can swim without using a life jacket. A life jacket is not an essential piece of equipment to have, exceptionally if you will be on the water for shorter and will mostly be playing in the shallow water.

Is it possible for a life jacket to improve the swimming comfort and training outcome?

Yes. Especially if you wish to invest additional time with your dog in the water. A life jacket may assist any dog, regardless of how proficient a swimmer they are.

How do I choose the correct dog life jacket size?

To begin, weigh your dog to ensure that they are within the weight range given on the life jacket. Then, from the base of the tail to the back of the throat, measure your dog’s length. Next, around the broadest area of the neck and the widest part of the chest, assess your dog’s girth.

What exactly is a D-ring?

A life vest with a D-ring firmly connected is a fantastic comfort to seek. This ring allows a dog owner to link a leash to a life vest, eliminating the need to take the jacket off and on while using a collar.


This article explained the requirements of a life vest for dogs. Further, some of the best life vests were recommended for your dog. Frequently asked questions related to life vest for dogs are also answered.

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