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.