Enjoying your day out on the water and keeping your pet safe. While some dog breeds are natural swimmers — like Golden Retrievers and Labradors — other breeds are less natural swimmers and water lovers. Either way, if you and your family companion dog plan to spend time in or on the water, a dog life jacket is a very wise purchase. Even good swimmers can get tired or struggle with unseen currents, have trouble staying buoyant, and struggle to keep their heads above water on rough days or big waves from passing boats.
Some breeds, such as Bulldogs, have body types less suited to swimming and will need help staying afloat. If your dog accompanies you on a boat, a personal flotation device (PFD) is essential. To help you and your dog stay safe in the water, we’ve compiled a list of four of the best dog life jackets. Here are some of the picks:
Tips for Choosing a Dog Life Jacket
Before we get into the top picks, let’s quickly break down what you should be looking for when choosing a dog life jacket. Although there are no standards for dog life jackets, there are some features you should look for:
- Handle: A handle on the dog life jacket will make it easier for you to grab hold of your dog if necessary. It also makes it easier to teach your dog to swim. You can guide him in the water until he feels confident swimming on his own.
- D-ring: The dog life jacket or vest should have a D-ring so you can attach a leash.
- Dog life jacket vs. dog life vest: Decide whether you need a dog life jacket or a vest. Dog life jackets cover more of your dog and provide both buoyancy and visibility. They’re recommended for boating and other water activities. If your dog swims primarily in a pool, on the other hand, you might be OK with a life vest. A life vest is typically lighter, covers less of your dog, and is easier for casual swimming.
- Color: Although dog life jackets come in all sorts of colors and prints, bright colors, or life jackets with a reflective strip, will make it easier to spot him in the water.
Best Overall Dog Life Jacket for All Breed Sizes
The Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket is a high-performance dog flotation device for boating, water sports, the beach, the pool, and other water adventures with dogs. A front neck float adds extra support to help them keep their head above water. Top grab handles provide an easy way to retrieve your dog in an emergency. Adjustable straps keep them secure both in and out of water. For small dogs, sizes XS and small come with one top handle, and for larger dogs, sizes medium – XL come with dual rescue handles. The Granby dog life vest is available in multiple colors to fit your dog’s personality!
- 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!
- rescue handle design: A single or dual 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 while swimming.
Best Dog Life Jacket
ZippyPaws Adventure Life Jackets help keep dogs safe in or around water. Dense foam panels help dogs stay afloat and reflective stripes keep dogs visible on the water. Built-in padded handles on the back of the jacket allow for easy assistance back onto the boat or shore. The vest features reflective strips for added visibility and adjustable straps so it has a great fit. This life jacket comes in sizes from XX-Small 6 inch girth up to X-Large 40 inch girth.
Top-Rated Budget Life Jacket for Dogs
Although all of our dog life jackets are highly rated, the Vivaglory dog life jacket has one of the highest ratings, and lowest price point. This jacket is available in five sizes, from extra-small 17 in girth to extra-large 33 inch girth. The jacket comes in five bright and fun colors, varying from pink to blue to yellow. Vivaglory constructs their jacket with extra padding and a fastening system around the dog’s belly and neck to keep him secure and buoyant without restricting motion. This dog life jacket also has a durable grab handle, a D-ring for leash attachment, and adjustable straps and quick-release buckles.
- Be A SPORTY & ATTRACTIVE DOG: New Neoprene Sports-style design gives your beloved dog a stylish look and does not hinder his/her natural movement; VIVAGLORY Dog Life Jackets fuse safety and comfort to make you pet dive into the fun in any water adventures
- REFLECTIVE & BRIGHT COLOR: Top side reflective trims like a lamp add safety in low-light conditions; this dog life jacket comes in five bright colors, which make it easier to spot in any cases
- SAFETY IS BUILT IN：Designed with three adjustable straps and side-release buckles for easy to get on and off; Heavy-duty yet more comfortable fastening system around the belly to keep securely fastened; Extra built-in flotation layers to enable strong buoyancy, Triple protection provide a snug and secure fit for your dogs
- AFTER-SALE GUARANTEE: VIVAGLORY provide 24/7 customer service and 90 DAYS WARRANTY; If you got any issue about this dog life vest, please feel free to contact VIVAGLORY Team to get fast and hassle-free help
Cutest Dog Life Jacket
Not only will this dog life jacket keep your pup safe, but he’ll look adorable as he swims. The Frisco Shark Dog Life Jacket helps your dog stay afloat with double-layer foam for extra buoyancy. This fun life jacket comes in five sizes: extra-small ideal for 15 lbs through x-large, 100 lbs, There is a secure handle with reinforced stitches attached to the top of the jacket, as well as a D-ring to secure a leash. Furthermore, the life jacket has a shark fin on the back, adding a “cute” element to this floatation device. This jacket also has reflective buckle straps that help keep your dog seen, but don’t restrict his motion while swimming.
- Fun shark design features an optional fin attached with button snaps and hook-and-loop fasteners. Reflective accents offer increased visibility so you can always spot your pet in and out of the water.
- Designed with 20mm foam panels for buoyancy. Front panel has a flotation flap that helps support your dog’s head and keep it above water.
- Three adjustable straps—two belly straps and one neck strap—with side-release buckles help you get the perfect fit for comfort and safety.
- Grab handle on top lets you quickly and easily pull your pet out of the water in the case of an emergency. A D-ring on the back allows you to attach a leash when necessary.
This fun life jacket isn’t just your pet’s new favorite outfit, it’s the buoyancy boost they need for on-the-water fun. It’s got cuteness covered with a shark fin on top, attached with button snaps and hook-and-loop fasteners so it’s easy to take off. Designed for flexible movement with safety in mind, this life jacket has a front panel with a flotation flap and thick 20mm foam side panels to help keep their head above water. A durable 3.4mm thick neoprene belly band and three adjustable straps with side-release buckles will help you get the best, snug fit to help ensure comfort and safety for your pup. There is also a grab handle on the top of the life jacket—larger sizes come with dual handles—to help you pull your dog out of the water quickly in case of emergency. When traveling on dry land, there is a D-ring for leash attachment on the back of the life jacket.