Life Jackets for Dogs


Life jackets for dogs have become popular for many different reasons. Firstly, Dog life jackets are a great way to help your dog to learn to swim and give your dog confidence in the water. Secondly, if you take your dog on a boat of any kind then you will know that they have a habit of jumping into the water and, contrary to popular belief, most dogs are not good swimmers.

That is why many owners like to kit their dog out with a dog life vest as it ensures they are safe when they are in the water and it also helps with getting them back on board as they have built in grab handles.

Many dog owners have hobbies which involve being in or around water and they want to make sure their dog is safe. No need to worry if your dog isn’t the Michael Phelps of the canine world as there is a great selection of life vests for dogs available to keep them safe. Let’s have a look at your options and which are some of the best life jackets for dogs.

Life Jackets for Dogs

Why Does Your Dog Need a Life Jacket?

People often think of dogs as loving water and being excellent swimmers as they believe that dogs are born with a natural ability to swim. Many dog owners know that in reality this is simply not the case. When it comes to swimming, dogs can be split into 3 categories. Dogs that can naturally swim, dogs that can be taught to swim and dogs that just won’t swim no matter how much you try to encourage them.

For the dogs which do actually love water and are happy to swim, there are still limits to their ability. There are conditions and circumstances which can make it difficult for even the best of swimmers to be safe in the water.

Bad weather conditions, rough water, fatigue and distractions can soon mean that your dog can find itself in danger. Safer locations such as lakes and pools can still pose a danger to your dog so you should consider giving yourself peace of mind by giving your dog a life vest.

What Do You Need to Look for in Dog Life Vest?

A Nice Bright Color – this is more important than you might think. You will want your dog to be seen by you, other people and other boats and bright colors will ensure that happens. For me, it's a no brainer to get a bright colored life vest. After all, if you are going to buy on then you may as well buy a color which will help your dog be more visible. Good choices for bright colors include flame orange, bright red, neon green and yellow.

Reflective Material – Reflective material is used in human life vests because it adds another level of safety and helps you be seen when it is dark. It therefore makes sense that you will want the same for your dog's vest. There will undoubtedly be times when you are around water after the sun goes down. When you are the reflective material will help you keep an eye on your dog.

Handles – You will need handles on your dog’s life vest as these are used for pulling your dog out of the water should the need arise. Dog life vests will have either 1 or 2 handles. Generally speaking smaller sized vests will have 1 handle and larger size vests will have 2 handles.

If it has 1 handle then this is located in the centre of the jacket. If it has 2 handles then one will be near the dog’s shoulders and one will be near the dog’s hind legs.

Straps and Buckles – this is about what you don’t want, you do not want any exposed buckles and you do not want any long straps. Exposed buckles and long straps can get caught on rocks or other obstacles and can get caught up on the legs of the dog.
Buoyancy – All life jackets are not created equally. You will need one with enough flotation material to keep your dog afloat. This will require flotation material under the belly and under their head – this will ensure their head is kept above water.

Material – You will want your dog life vest to last so you will want to buy one made from a durable material and one that is made from a rip resistant material. This doesn’t always mean you need to buy the most expensive but you should consider buying the one which is the best value. A great way to help with this is to read customer reviews as this lets you know how the life vest performs in the real world.

Dog Life Jacket Sizing

Dog life jacket sizing ranges from XXS to XL with each size relating to specific measurements of length, girth and weight. It is these 3 factors which will dictate which size life jacket you will need for our dog.

Be aware that different manufacturers have different sizing charts so you will need to pay attention to each manufacturers criteria. Also not all manufacturers offer all sizes so you may need to shop around, depending on the size of your dog.

life jackets for dogs size chart

How to Measure Your Dog for a Life Jacket

There are 3 key measurements you may need to ensure you get the correct size jacket for your dog. Length, Girth (Chest) and Neck. Take your time when taking these measurements and a top tip is to measure them twice as this will ensure you don’t make any mistakes. Not all manufacturers require all these sizes to get the correct jacket but these are the most you will need.

Length – The length of a dog is measured from their shoulder blades to the base of their tail.

Girth (Chest) – This measurement is taken up close to the dog’s front legs and going around their body in a circle at the widest part of their chest

Neck – for this you can either measure the size of its collar, if your dog wears one, or use a tape to measure around the neck.



Best Life Jackets for Dogs


The Outward Hound Granby Splash Life Jacket (formerly known as Ripstop) provides a comfortable and secure fit for tons of fun in the water. It is constructed with extra durable ripstop material that provides comfortable buoyancy in the water but doesn’t restrict their movement on land. A front neck float helps keep their head and neck above the water while a neoprene belly band securely supports their chest and stomach.

The Granby Splash is available in high visibility colors with multiple reflective strips. Easy-grab handles, quick release buckles & outstanding flotation make this one of the most popular dog life jackets. The unique, multi-handle design is constructed to add strength and durability for pulling your dog out of the water.

The SCT PupSaver Life Jacket is available in high visibility colors with reflective strips. Easy-grab handles make it easy to lift your dog out of the water. The quick release buckles & outstanding flotation combine to make this a top choice for dog owners.

The top handle design is constructed to add strength and durability for pulling dogs out of the water. Fully adjustable chest and neck flaps with a comfortable neoprene belly band. Made from Ripstop 100% polyester with 15mm foam padding to make it light and easy to wear which reduces stress for your dog.

The Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat is the ultimate in canine flotation and water safety. For dogs that love to join their humans rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing and paddle boarding, this life jacket is designed for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

This is a premium, fully-featured life jacket that includes thoughtful details like a strong handle, optimally positioned to lift dogs out of the water, and reflective trim for enhanced visibility in or out of the water.

The K-9 Float Coat is available in 6 sizes - XX-Small, X-Small, Small,  Medium, Large, X-Large

The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket is built with up to 50% flotation to keep your dog safer in the water. Reflective detailing provides better night time visability and safety in & out of the water.

It has extra velcro to prevent the dogs hair from being stuck. The strong grab handle makes it easy to guide your don into and out of the water.

Available in 5 sizes, ranging from XS to XL.

The Outward Hound Dawson Swim Life Jacket is inspired by Colorado’s Dawson Reservoir, this life jacket is ideal for novice swimmers. It has foam neoprene side panels which offers maximum buoyancy while naturally insulating dogs and keeping them warm while they swim.

High visibility red coloring with reflective piping and emergency lifting handles to help ensure your dog has a safe and fun time in the water.  Designed for maximum functionality and safety, the new vest offers you the key benefits of buoyancy, comfort and ease-of-use. It allows dogs to maintain unparalleled flexibility, mobility and visibility while in the water.

The Paws Aboard Neoprene Dog Life Jacket Preserver is one of the safest dog life jackets which will fit your dog perfectly. It comes with adjustable nylon straps, quick-release buckles, and heavy-duty velcro around the neck and belly of this life preserver.

Available in Sizes XXS to XL.

The EzyDog Doggy Life Vest (DFD) lives and breathes innovative design. It is built from high performance materials to play just as hard as your pooch, keeping them safe and comfortable wherever they roam.

EzyDog Doggy Flotation Vest boasts up to 50% more ultra-buoyant material, strategically placed to keep your dog in a natural, easy swimming position at all times. A sturdy nylon D-ring means you can clip a leash to the vest.

This has been rigorously tested to ensure that they give your dog the most ergonomic and comfortable fit possible while the easy to adjust neoprene straps means you can put this life vest on in a matter of seconds. EzyDog life vests won’t hinder or restrict your pooch’s natural movement, so you can play on lake or land.

The Paws Aboard Fido Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket offers ultimate safety for your pet while they are out in the water. Believe it or not, dogs also get tired while in the water. Your pet can be in and out of the water all day, while staying safe and comfortable- allowing you piece of mind while you're hanging out at the water.

Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jackets provide the ultimate buoyancy with a cozy secure fit and provides high visibility to keep pets safe. It features an advanced breathable mesh underbelly for proper draining and drying, which provides your dog more comfort and healthier conditions than traditional pet life jackets, which can cause exhaustion and chafing.

Sizes Available - XXS to XL

The HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket is made from high grade Polyester Oxford & Nylon Fabric, Mesh Fabric and Pearl Cotton Foam. The oxford nylon fabric is ripstop wjile the mesh fiber allow for quick drying and proper drainage.

It comes with an adjustable belt and quick-release buckles to make it a comfortable fit and easy to put on and take off. The handle on top allows for quick and easy grabbing and the heavy-duty D-ring Hook allows for a dog leash to be attached.

The front float assists in keeping dog's head above water. Reflective stripes and bright colors to enhance maximum visibility.

Available in 7 sizes -  XXS to XXL