Updated - Aug 11th, 2022
Whether you’re hanging at a beach, lake, or kiddie pool in your backyard, many dogs love to splash around in the water. Some will even hop on a kayak, paddle board, or boat with you! But before they do, they should be sporting a dog life jacket. These float coats help keep your dog safe whether they’re in the backyard pool or sailing the seven seas.
Whether you have a natural-born swimmer at home or you’re just starting to teach your dog how to swim, regardless of skill level, accidents can happen. To help your dog enjoy the water safely, read on for what makes a great dog life jacket and some of our favorite picks.
What dog owners should look for in a dog life jacket
Whether you’re looking for a dog life vest for large dogs or small dogs, there are a few important features to look out for:
- Heavy-duty D-ring leash attachment
- Belly straps
- Chest strap
- Foam panels
- Adjustable straps
- Grab handle
- Reflective strips
- Quick-release buckles
- Velcro fastening
- Bright colors for visibility
Regardless of which dog life jacket or vest you choose, be sure you’re buying the right fit to keep your dog safe – many brands will offer a size chart to help you!
1. Best Dog Life Jacket Overall: Outward Hound Granby Ripstop Dog Life Jacket on Chewy
The Outward Hound Granby Ripstop Dog Life Jacket received a 4.6 out of 5 stars on Chewy with a 96% recommendation rating from customers. This dog life jacket is made from nylon and synthetic fabric, with adjustable, quick-release buckles to ensure that the jacket fits your dog comfortably. The front float support is secured with Velcro and will keep your dog’s head above water while they are swimming. Plus, its reflective strips and bright colors promote visibility in darker or less visible areas.
This dog life vest comes with dual grab handles, so you can lift your dog in a pinch in the event of an emergency. There is no leash attachment on this dog life vest, but it does have a belly strap for extra support as well as an extra adjustable point.
2. Best Dog Life Jacket for Active Dogs: Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket by Ruffwear
The Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket, aka the “Float Coat” by Ruffwear, prides itself on its buoyancy and security. This dog life jacket comes in three bright colors, six different sizes, and has 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 360 reviews. Ruffwear is known for selling quality active dog gear, which is why dog owners’ love for this jacket comes as no surprise. Not only is it great for swimming, but also for trips out on the kayak, boat, or paddleboard.
The Float Coat is made with soft, buoyant foam panels that are PVC-free, and help your dog feel comfortable with plenty of maneuverability. This dog life jacket has adjustable, quick-release buckles across the belly and chest to keep your dog strapped in while feeling comfortable. Plus, it has a heavy-duty top handle that you can quickly grab onto to pick your pup up, as well as a leash attachment point.
3. Best Budget Dog Life Jacket: Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jacket on Amazon
This dog life jacket is great for dog swimming because of its heavy-duty grab handle to ensure your dog’s safety. It also comes in numerous bright colors, as well as six different sizes.
The Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jacket has a D-ring leash attachment, adjustable quick-release buckles, and reflective strips. Plus, its belly strap and chest strap both have Velcro and adjustable buckles for a proper fit. And don’t worry, this doggy flotation device also comes with a size chart that will ask you to measure your dog’s girth to make sure the jacket fits.
4. Best Dog Life Jacket for Small Dogs: Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket on Chewy
The Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket is perfect for the little guys! It has thick foam panels to keep your dog’s head above water as well as adjustable, quick-release buckles on the belly and chest straps, to keep your pooch comfy. The Frisco Ripstop jacket comes in a variety of bright colors with reflective strips for added visibility, plus, it has a top handle and D-ring leash attachment to keep things under control.
5. Best Dog Life Jacket for Large Dogs: EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Life Vest Jacket on Chewy
This dog life jacket is made from heavy-duty polyester material to support the bigger pups of the pack. With a grab handle, D-ring leash attachment, adjustable neoprene straps, multiple quick-release buckles, high visibility reflective strips, two belly straps, and a chest strap with an ultra buoyant foam panel, this dog life jacket really has the works. EzyDog claims that their flotation device provides up to 50% more buoyancy than other dog life vests, and many reviewers tend to agree, stating that the stitching and padding hold their 85+ lb dogs in tight!
6. Best Multi-purpose Dog Life Jacket: Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket on Chewy
The Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket is not only great for keeping your dog afloat, but can also be an excellent harness for walks, or even transform into a doggy raincoat by removing the flotation layer. It has a steel D-ring for secure leash attachment, reflective strips, and three points of adjustable quick-release buckles for a proper fit. This dog life vest also comes with grab handles on top, a heavy-duty material on the exterior that also happens to be completely machine washable.
This dog life jacket is only $41.40, and comes in sizes X-Small to X-Large, with two different bright colors to choose from. It has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Chewy with a 96% recommendation rating.
7. Best Dog Life Jacket for Style Variety: Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket on Amazon
Last, but not least, the Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket offers eight different design options that come in various bright colors. This dog life jacket is only $26.50, and received 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 6,000 people on Amazon. It is lightweight, heavy-duty, and durable. Plus, they offer sizes from XX-Small all the way up to X-Large.
This dog life vest is made from breathable Nylon materials for ultimate buoyancy, offers a size chart based on girth, and has reflective strips for high visibility. You will also find a top handle, adjustable quick-release buckles, a belly strap, and a chest strap with velcro.
Just like using a dog life vest, getting pet insurance for your dog can help keep them safe when the unexpected happens. Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans can help pay back 90% of your eligible vet bills if your dog gets sick or injured. Enrolling in a pet insurance plan can help you enjoy the adventures of life with your dog, while having peace of mind about their health and wellbeing.
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