Constructed with dual grab handles for easy rescue and restraint. Bright orange coloring and reflective piping ensure high visibility. Foam panels provide extra flotation. A secure neck float helps keep your dog's head above water. Available in multiple sizes.
Front cushion is very bulky. Stitching may tear over time.
Includes a convenient handle on top for quick and easy grabbing. Boasts reflective accents and bright colors, guaranteeing that you will have no trouble seeing the life jacket on your dog. Provides adjustable nylon straps and quick-release buckles to ensure the life jacket fits your dog perfectly.
May be too wide or too long for some dogs. Life jacket is very heavy.
Consists of CA65 standard-approved materials, guaranteeing the life jacket is constructed to last. Uses up to 50% more flotation material than most other brands. Sold in sizes that range from extra-small to extra-large to fit dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Much heavier than many comparable dog life jackets.
Features an adjustable belt and quick-release buckles that make it easy to put the life jacket on or take it off. Includes a front float for added safety. Offers reflective stripes and bright colors to guarantee maximum visibility. Sold in seven different sizes.
Tends to provide a tight fit. Hook connection for leash may break over time.
Bright coloring and reflective strips provide outstanding visibility. Includes easy-to-use adjustable nylon straps. Has quick-release buckles and Velcro on the neck and belly of the life jacket. Comes with a cloth handle on the back of the life jacket that you can use to instantly grab your dog.
Offers limited range of motion for some dogs. Seams tend to rip after extended use.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Whether you take your pooch out on a boat or just enjoy playing with him in your backyard pool, water activities can be great exercise for your dog. But if your pet falls in the water unexpectedly, he’s at risk for drowning, just like a human — which is why investing in a dog life jacket is so important.
A life jacket for a dog is similar to a life jacket for a human. It’s a wearable vest-like item that helps your dog stay afloat. Most are designed to make it easier for you to grab your pet if he needs help. In addition, a dog life jacket can help make your dog more visible in the water.
Because it’s such an important safety device, choosing the right life jacket for your dog is crucial. Size, buoyancy, and the type of material with which the jacket is made are all important considerations. Our shopping guide has you covered with all the information and tips you need to choose the best dog life jacket for your pooch.
Getting a life jacket of the right size is crucial for your dog’s safety. It should fit snugly, so he can’t shimmy or twist out of it. However, it shouldn’t be too small, or it won’t be buoyant enough to keep him afloat.
The jacket should fit comfortably enough that your dog’s head and necks have full range of motion. He should be able to sit and lie down without any issues. He should also be able to urinate or defecate without you having to remove the jacket first.
Generally speaking, you should avoid dog life jackets that are “one size fits all,” as there’s a good chance that a jacket like this would be too large or too small for your pal. Instead, opt for a product that comes in multiple sizes, and choose the size that best adheres to his measurements. The sizing chart provided by the manufacturer should include a weight range for each size as well as specific measurements for length, height, and girth.
To keep your dog afloat, a life jacket needs the right amount of buoyancy. Most dog life jackets have foam padding for this purpose. The padding may be located along the back and sides of the jacket as well as under the belly. You can find life jackets with extra padding in the neck area to help keep your dog’s head above water.
If your dog is particularly heavy or an extremely poor swimmer, it’s especially important to choose a life jacket with as much floatation padding as possible.
Dog life jackets are made from materials similar to those of human life jackets. The material should be lightweight so it doesn’t weigh your dog down when it gets wet, but it should also be durable and sturdy enough to help him float. Ripstop nylon is an ideal option, but polyester and neoprene can be good, too.
When training your dog to get used to a life jacket, reward him with treats after each session to provide positive reinforcement.
The color of your dog’s life jacket may seem like a minor point, but it can actually be extremely important. Bright colors like yellow, orange, and hot pink are easier to spot if your dog falls into the water than darker colors.
In addition to a bright color, it’s wise to choose a dog life jacket with reflective strips. If your dog is in or around the water after dark, the strips reflect light so you can spot him even in poor lighting conditions.
A dog life jacket with adjustable straps is easier to put on and take off than a solid piece of fabric. The straps usually feature Velcro or buckle closures so you can tighten the jacket for a precise fit.
If your dog falls in the water and panics, you want to get him out as quickly as possible so he doesn’t tire himself out. Many life jackets have handles at the top that are easy to grab if your dog is struggling or under water. You can also use the handles to help older dogs who might have mobility issues.
Be sure to choose a life jacket with sturdy, heavy-duty handles that are strong enough to support your dog’s weight.
If your dog is particularly heavy or swimming in rough water, it may be difficult to use the handles to lift him. Some life jackets have a loop at the top where you can attach a leash. Using this attachment, you can hold onto your dog until help comes along to assist you.
Dogs often have a difficult time adjusting to the temperature of their environment. If your pooch is swimming in cold water, it may be an unpleasant experience for him. Some life jackets are insulated to keep your dog warm, even if the water is chilly. Consider this feature especially if you tend to take your dog out at night when the water is colder.
Even if you’re using a life jacket, never allow your dog to swim without supervision.
Dog life jackets vary in price based on size, material, and features. Most dog life jackets in a medium size cost between $12 and $67. Between $12 and $47, you’ll find the most affordable models. These may be made of polyester with just a few special features, such as a safety handle or reflective strips.
From $27 to $42, you’ll find mid-range dog life jackets made of neoprene or a neoprene and polyester combination. These jackets may have a few special features, such as safety handles, reflective strips, and/or extra floatation padding.
The most expensive dog life jackets cost between $42 and $67. These are typically made of ripstop nylon and have a variety of special features, such as safety handles, reflective strips, extra floatation padding, insulation, and/or a leash attachment.
The prices above are general estimates for dogs who wear a medium life jacket. Bear in mind that a larger dog may require a slightly higher investment.
The straps on a dog life jacket should be snug enough that you can only fit two fingers between them and your dog’s body.
The EzyDog Premium Doggy Floatation Device is another good choice, especially if buoyancy is one of your number-one concerns. It features up to 50% more padding than other jackets, a nylon D-ring for attachment of a leash, and a center-weighted grab handle to make it easy to pull your dog out of the water.
We also like the SCENEREAL Dog Life Jacket because it’s made of durable, lightweight polyester and features extra padding for buoyancy. It also features a Velcro closure and quick-release buckle, making it easy to put on and take off your dog.
Q. Are dog life jackets regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard like human life jackets are?
A. No. Dog life jackets aren’t regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard, so there aren’t any specific safety guidelines that they must meet. If you’re concerned about choosing a safe jacket, talk to other dog owners to get their opinion. You may even want to consult your veterinarian.
Q. How can I get my dog used to wearing a life jacket?
A. To get your dog comfortable with his jacket, allow him to wear it around the house for brief periods. Once he grows accustomed to the feel of it, you can start training sessions in a pool or calm body of water. Wait until your dog is comfortable wearing it in the water before letting him swim or boat in rough conditions.
Q. What’s the best way to wash a dog life jacket?
A. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to learn the best cleaning procedure for your dog’s life jacket. Some models are machine washable, while others should be washed by hand with warm water and mild detergent.
BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.