The 11 Best Dog Life Vest [Jackets] in 2019

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Bringing your dog to the beach may be one of the most fun activities so far. Some of them don’t like water, but they’ll adore the sand nonetheless.

However, if your dog does love the water and is eager to enter every time, you might want to consider getting a life jacket to keep him or her safe.

There are many different models and types of jackets, so it’s important you take some and do your research. Of course, the most critical factor, when sifting through the various products the market, is the size of your pup.

French bulldog in life jacketI did some research and found some of the best life vests for dogs. Some are suitable for large and medium breeds, while others are for smaller breeds.

The following products provide safety in water and all the freedom your canine needs when swimming and splashing.

Take a look at the comparison table and detailed reviews below to choose the right one for your pet.

Best Dog Life-vests Comparison Table

Product:

Size:Color:

Material:

Ruffwear K9 Float CoatXX small, x small, small, medium, large, x largeBlue, yellow, red, orangeAbrasion-resistant webbing, foam panels
EzyDog Doggy Flotation JacketX small, small, medium, large, x large,Green camo, yellow, redFloatation materials
Vivaglory Safety JacketX small, small, medium, large, x largeGreen, blueWater resistant, and durable materials
PawsAboard Neoprene JacketXX small, x small, small, medium, large, x largeRedNylon
HE&HA Secure Life VestX small, small, medium, large, x largeBlack/orangeClosed-cell foam

Dog Life Jacket Reviews – Best by Brand

Ruffwear K9 Float Coat

The Ruffwear K9 float coat is a life jacket that is extremely water-friendly, since it’s made of foam panels and abrasion resistant webbing. This life jacket’s panels are strategically placed to follow a natural swimming position. This means your pet can swim, jump around, and play for a long time.

This product features a telescopic neck closure that you can adjust to fit your canine’s neck.

Also, this life vest’s side straps are adjustable, which will help provide the best fit for your best friend. What’s interesting is that the product features a built-in handle that’s positioned for you to grab-on, which helps your pup out of the water.

This life vest’s covered buckles hold the straps in place, which limits the number of adjustments you will have to do while your canine is having fun in the water.

The life jacket comes in a variety of sizes from extra small to extra-large, so all you have to do is measure your canine correctly to pick the right size life jacket. You also get to choose the color of the jacket, in which they come in red, yellow, orange, and blue.

Pros:

  • Comes in many sizes and colors
  • Durable
  • Features a built-in handle
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Difficult to adjust the size

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EzyDog Flotation Jacket

Another great product comes in a wide range of sizes, is the EzyDog flotation vest. It’s made of the highest performance materials and advanced technologies, which ensures the quality of these life jackets.

In addition, the company puts every product through a series of tests to make sure each one lives up to expectations.

The vest features the most comfortable and ergonomic fit no matter what size you go for. The EzyDog Doggy Flotation has up to 50% more flotation material than most life jackets on the market.

Golden Retriever in life vest

Its construction and ergonomic design deliver comfort and superior performance. The life vest features a grab handle that allows you to handle your pooch at all times. Also, you’ll be able to guide your pet in and out the water whenever you want.

This life vest’s reflective detailing makes it easy for you to spot your canine from afar even during the night. As I said, there are a few sizes to choose from, as well as the colors red, yellow, and green camouflage.

Pros:

  • Comes in different sizes and colors
  • Adjustable and ergonomic fit
  • Features a grab handle
  • Visible in the dark

Cons:

  • Not recommended for large breeds

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Vivaglory

This one is best suited for smaller breeds. The life jacket does come in 5 different sizes, but according to customer reviews, large breeds don’t find it as comfortable. Nonetheless, if you have a smaller breed, they’re definitely going to enjoy the Vivaglory.

These life jackets have extra padding that enables strong buoyancy as well as safety. The fastening system is heavy-duty and provides support and comfort around your canine’s neck and belly.

It features a grab handle that helps you control your canine and allows you to help it in and out the water.  Also, this product features a D-ring for a leash. Overall, the perfect fit is achieved by the quick-release buckles and nylon straps.

Another awesome feature of this product is that they’re reflective and come in extra-bright colors, to provide ultimate visibility of your pet. However, prior to purchasing this vest, make sure to measure your pet correctly in order to avoid any wrong sizing or possibly a bad fit.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty fastening system
  • Made of durable and water-resistant materials
  • Features a D-ring and a handle
  • Comes in five sizes and seven colors

Cons:

  • Not for breeds over 20 lbs.

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PawsAboard Neoprene Jacket

If you’re looking for a basic but practical life vest for your pet, then this is it. The jacket comes in different sizes from extra-small to extra-large. The PawsAboard Neoprene has reflective strips that make it much more visible, even at nighttime. Its nylon straps are adjustable, and the buckles are easy to release.

The velcro on the belly and neck of the life jacket are also adjustable. This product features a cloth handle on the back, which makes it easier to pull your pet out of the water.

Although this product comes in many sizes, make sure to measure your canine well before you choose a size. Overall, the life jacket may feel a bit cumbersome for smaller breeds, so it’s best suited for larger breeds.

Pros:

  • Features reflective strips
  • Adjustable
  • Features a cloth handle
  • Comes in many sizes

Cons:

  • Feels bulky

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HE&HA Secure Life Vest

This life jacket has high buoyancy and floatation abilities, so it’s perfectly safe for pets who like swimming and playing in the water. The HE&HA product has two layers of closed-cell foam placed on the belly and under the chin of your canine.

These provide floatation and helps the canine keep its head above water. Its rescue handle helps you pull your canine out of the water in case of an emergency.

The HE&HA has multi-reflective trim and vibrant colors. These features on the life vest help you spot your pooch from afar and in any conditions. Plus, its D-ring allows you to attach a leash so you have control of your pup.

Also, it’s important to mention that the life jacket is made with breathable mesh on the underbelly, which allows the hound to dry quickly. It comes in different sizes to fit from extra-small to extra-large breeds. However, make sure to measure your canine correctly and then go a size down.

Pros:

  • Dries easily
  • Can be attached to a leash
  • Features a handle
  • Comes in different sizes

Cons:

  • Runs a bit big

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Non-stop Dogwear Safe Life Flotation

This high-quality flotation device is made with professional grade material. It’s designed to ensure your canine’s natural paddling motion is not restricted under any circumstances. It is reliable, and the buoyant material is strategically placed throughout the vest to guarantee your dog’s head stays above water. Also, its material will not cause discomfort for your pup while it swims.

It comes equipped with a heavy-duty “rescue” handle, so if your dog was to need help or rescuing, it could be easily retrieved to safety.  The product comes in red and comes with reflectors embedded throughout the sides and handle to make it easier to spot your dog in a crowd. The padding around the neck, as well as its adjustability, allows for a more tailored fit for your pet. For convenience, this product has an integrated leash pocket.

This flotation vest is perfect for all breeds and sizes, as it is available in all sizes from extra-small (55 lbs) to X-Large (110 lbs). Customers that have purchased this item love that it is comfortable and built to last.

Pros:

  • Made of premium, human-grade material
  • heavy duty “rescue” handle
  • rub resistant material (no discomfort)
  • same flotation material as human life vests
  • integrated leash pocket

Cons:

  • high price point

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Hurtta Life Savior PFD

The Hurtta Life Savior flotation device comes in yellow, purple, and orange. It is also perfect for all dog sizes, from 0 to 160 lbs. This life jacket is ideal for swimming, water rescue, rehabilitation, boating, and hunting. The placement of padding along the back and across the chest guarantees safety, keeping your dog upright and its head out of the water, so there’s no reason to worry about your dog sinking.

The Life Savior is light in weight and has a functional design that will not restrict your pup’s movement while walking or swimming. This flotation vest comes equipped with a sturdy handle which makes it easier to control your dog in emergencies.

Customers have nothing but great things to say about this item. They love that the jacket conforms to their dog’s body but does not restrict. Previous customers love that this product performs exactly as advertised, keeping their dog safe in the water.

Pros:

  • lightweight
  • doesn’t restrict movement
  • great for active dogs into watersports
  • solid support around belly
  • sturdy handle with leash ring

Cons:

  • high price point

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RC Pet Products Canine Friendly Lifejacket

This life jacket has an ergonomic fit and is fully adjustable to fit any size dog.  It utilizes an ultra-buoyant, non-PVC foam that will keep your dog in a natural swimming position.

This flotation device is constructed with bright, safety orange ripstop fabric and reflective material to increase the visibility of your pet.  It has a padded handle, which makes it easy for you to assist, control, and lift your dog when needed. This product is available from sizes small to x-large.

To make sure you buy the right size, you will need to know your pet’s chest girth, neck circumference, and weight.

This product has received mixed reviews. Customers love that it dries quickly and has the high quality of a human safety vest. It fits nicely, secure, and some have raved about the top-side handle, which makes easy for loading and unloading their dog into a boat.

Previous buyers claim this vest is ideal for large dogs as well. However, some customers feel that the product is too thin to be considered a good life vest.

Pros:

  • ultra-buoyant non PVC
  • Highly visible safety orange ripstop fabric with reflective piping
  • ergonomic fit
  • Low profile padded handle
  • dries quickly

Cons:

  • Too thin

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Astral – BirdDog Life Jacket PFD for Dogs

This life jacket is perfect for all types of dogs, especially the athletic and active kinds. It features 3 heavy duty buckles, one that wraps around the neck and 2 that secure around the pup’s belly. The BirdDog flotation device has a sleek appearance and features nylon webbing and uses PE foam inserts for buoyancy.

Other features include a handle to lift or assist your dog conveniently, and a metal D-ring to connect hook your leash up. It also features reflective material to help keep your pet visible and all times.

This product comes in 4 different colors and runs from size XS to XL. Before purchasing, you will need to know the weight and chest measurements of your pup.

Overall, this item has also received mixed reviews from previous customers. Some claimed the flotation vest did its job and had no complaints. .

Pros:

  • 500 denier Cordura nylon shell
  • 200 denier high-tenacity nylon liner
  • Grab handle and a D-ring for the leash

Cons:

  • sometimes difficult to loop straps under belly

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Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket

The Kurgo life vest is the ideal life vest for canines that love being in the water. Just the name, “Surf N Turf,” is a giveaway that this product is perfect for dogs that surf. Best of all, this item can serve as a raincoat for your pup by merely removing the foam layer. The flotation device is heavy-duty, constructed with rugged ripstop material.

Unlike the other life jackets for canines mentioned, this one features 2 handles on its back so you can quickly grab and control your dog in case of an emergency. An incentive for pet owners is that this life jacket comes with a bottle opener so you can enjoy beverages and drinks while out on the boat or at the beach.

This flotation jacket is bright red and has reflective trim all around the product for visibility. Its sizes run from XS to XL. To pick the correct size, you will need three measurements, the length of your pup’s back, chest girth, and neck circumference. Best of all, this product comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Pros:

  • excellent for active dogs
  • remove padding to convert to raincoat
  • 2 sturdy handles
  • reflective trim for visibility
  • lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • does not fit well on some small breeds

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SILD Pet Life Jacket

This high-performance flotation device is lightweight, constructed with dacron. This adjustable life jacket for dogs is not bulky, fits comfortably, and will not restrict your dog’s movements while it swims and walks.  Its ergonomic design features extra security and safety with the use of heavy-duty nylon straps and its velcro design around the belly and neck.

The buckles are simple and easy to operate. To enhance visibility, this flotation vest for dogs comes in bright orange and yellow, and its straps are lined with reflective material. Just like all the other vests mentioned on this list, it has a heavy duty nylon handle to help carry your pet when needed.

Pros:

  • high performance flotation device
  • durable
  • adjustable
  • ergonomic and comfortable fit

Cons:

  • N/A

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Why Do Dogs Need a Good Life Vest?

dog in neon green life jacketContrary to popular belief, not all dogs are naturally strong at swimming. Dogs that are top heavy, such as bulldogs, fatigue quickly and have difficulty treading water. Also, smaller breeds, such as Shih Tzus, struggle to swim for long periods because of fatigue. A life jacket for your dog gives you the peace of mind knowing that your dog is safe, whether you’re at the beach, pool, or even out on a boat in the middle of the ocean.

In the case your canine is unconscious or unable to swim to safety, life jackets keep your pet’s head above water, so they can breathe at all times. Also, quality life jackets on the market usually come with some type of reflective material, like 3M. A reflective material is great for visibility during an emergency. Doggy life jackets also come equipped with some kind of handle, which makes it very convenient to rescue or pull your dog to safety.

The pool should be a place where you and your pup can relax and have fun, and not a time filled with worry and stress about your dog possibly drowning. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. So, get a floating device for your canine before you head to the pool or out on a boat.

Tips for Choosing The Best Life Jacket

Comfort

big dog in neon pink life vestDepending on the situation, your dog may have to wear the life vest for maybe a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure the flotation device is comfortable. So make sure the vest’s material does not cause discomfort or is not too bulky. Pay attention to any growling, grumblings, or attempts to take off the vest by your dog.

Sturdy Handle

dog swimming in poolThe handle is a vital part of your dog’s flotation vest. It comes in handy if you need to lift your dog onto the deck, or quickly rescue the dog from the water. Therefore, you want to make sure the handle is heavy duty and sturdy. You want to make it won’t rip or slip out of your hand when you grab it. Also, make sure there’s some type of loop or D-ring to attach a dog leash.

Bright Color

black dog swimming with life jacketAnother essential feature of a canine life vest is that it has a bright color. Imagine if your dog was to fall overboard while on a family boating trip. A bright colored flotation vest makes it easier to see a canine. , Most jackets come lined with reflectors to help with visibility when it is dark.

Size

Fit and sizing are essential when searching for the best life vest for your pup. You don’t want it too tight to where you’re restricting your dog’s movement. But at the same time, you don’t want the life vest to be too loose, or else your pup may slip right out of it.

dog jumping into poolMost vests on the market today are adjustable and come in a full-size range, so it should not be hard to find the perfect size for your pet. Always make sure all buckles and straps are securely fastened and tight before sending your dog into the water.

Does Your Pet Enjoy It?

If it looks miserable or uncomfortable, then maybe search for other brands. Remember, what works for one dog may not be the case for others.

How to Properly Measure Your Dog

Depending on the make and model of your dog’s life jacket, you may need either all or a combination of some of the measurements below.

Weight

Some brands use a canine’s weight (in pounds) when sizing their vests.

Neck Measurement

Measure the circumference of the widest part of your pup’s neck. Make sure the pet life jacket is form fitting but does not restrict your canine’s breathing.

Chest Girth

Measure the widest part of your dog’s ribcage, right behind its front legs.  For proper flotation, ensure the life vest is form fitting like a human life jacket.

Back Length

Measure the length between the base of the neck to the base of the canine’s tail. Remember, some flotation devices may be too short for a dog with a long body. But don’t worry, as long as the main girth of the dog is supported, the flotation vest will suffice.

Safety Life Vest Tips

Stay calm

For some dogs, wearing a life vest is easy to get used to. However, some other dogs will fight you tooth and nail before submitting to wearing a vest. The main thing you want to do before attempting to put the jacket on your canine is to be positive and calm.

A dog can sense its owner’s energy and will react accordingly. If you’re anxious and nervous, so will your pup. Also, as an incentive, try rewarding your canine with treats whenever it wears the vest without throwing a fit.

Everything is Secured

Before letting your dog loose in the water, make sure the life vest is secured around your pup. Check that the buckles are fastened and the straps are secure. Like we said earlier, make sure the vest fits comfortably without choking your pet or doesn’t restrict its movement.

Always Keep an Eye on Them

Although life vests lower the risk of your canine’s chances of drowning, we strongly advise not to leave your dog unsupervised. A flotation device is not a replacement for pet supervision, but a way to keep it safe in case you do lose sight of your dog for a quick moment.

Survey the area for potential dangers such as rough water conditions if you’re at the beach. Or, if there’s a pool, check to see if there’s easy access to get in and out by your pup.

FAQ

Are there Funny Looking (Dog) Life Jackets Available?

There are many different types of funny and creative doggy life vests available out there. A favorite item among dog owners is the PETLOFT Dog Life Jacket. They have a grey shark and a pink mermaid flotation device available.

Each one is made of a premium rugged oxford and nylon fabric and uses pearl cotton foam for a comfortable fit and maximum buoyancy.

Which Life Vest is Best for a Bull Dog?

The life jacket from Japeeo has received positive reviews by owners of English and French bulldogs. It can adjust to fit a wide range of body types, which is perfect for bulldogs and their awkward shape. The product is extra buoyant and will surely help your bulldog stay afloat.

Do They Sell Some at Petsmart?

Petsmart is a great place to start your search for a canine life vest. They have a plethora of different makes and models to choose from, available in-store and online.

If you’re the type that needs to see it in person or try it on before purchasing, then go to a local Petsmart to see all of your options.

Which One is Best for a Hunting Dog?

This life vest is perfect for hunting. It has a solid camouflage pattern to help your dog blend in with its surroundings while out hunting in the woods.

It uses pearl cotton foam for buoyancy and is constructed with a high-grade polyester oxford and nylon fabric. For quick drying, it is lined with mesh fiber.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m sure you can spot similarities as well as differences in the aforementioned life vests for canines. Of course, they all offer the same thing, and that is safety for your pup when it is in the water.

However, they range in sizes, colors, additional features, and materials. So, all you have to do is read the reviews carefully and see which life vest would fit your pooch the best.

Whichever product you choose for your canine, make sure you know how to put the vest on your canine correctly.  Not doing so may cause discomfort for your pet.

For 2018, the consensus for the best life vest for dogs, is the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat for Dogs. Dog owners mostly like it because the sizing is right and it’s easy to get the one that will fit your pet the best. Plus, this life vest fits both small and large breeds, and it comes in different colors.

With the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat, your canine will enjoy its time in the water, while you relax knowing that your furry friend is safer than ever. We hope that you enjoyed reading our top reviews.

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About the author

John Myers

When I'm not working, you can find me spending all my time with my dogs.My dogs mean the world to me, and I do my best to give them the world. I'll do anything for them. I hope that my love for dogs can spread with everyone else that visits my site.

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