What is the Best Dog Life Jacket?

For loving dog owners, their pet dogs are not just pets; they are also part of the family.

dog wearing a life jacket

So if you and your dog spend any time around water, you want to know that they are safe from getting into trouble.

Yes, most dogs are excellent swimmers, but even still, dogs can and sadly do drown due to not wearing a canine life jacket.

If there is any chance at all of your dog drowning, we think buying and using a life vest for your dog makes perfect sense. It is better to be safe than sorry!

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Why Would a Dog need to Wear a Life Vest?

Not all dog owners are convinced that their dog needs to wear a personal flotation device (aka PFD), but that could be a short-sighted way of seeing it.

Here are some reasons why I think it is an excellent idea for some dog owners to buy a life-saving vest for their dogs:

If You are Taking the Dog on a Boat

If you are taking your dog on a boat of any kind, we think a dog flotation vest is a great idea.

Even in a calm lake, your dog can easily get in trouble if they fall off the boat, especially if the boast is moving fast.

So giving them a life preserver vest for extra buoyancy makes a lot of sense.

If You Are Taking the Dog Swimming

Most dogs can swim perfectly well without a life preserver vest, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear one.

There are all sorts of situations where they might get in trouble; they could get tired, injured, or get caught up in something while swimming.

So if this happens to your dog, you will be delighted that you bought him or her a canine life jacket!

Another great benefit of the dog swimming with a life vest is that it stops them from getting tired out quickly, allowing them to spend more time in the water having fun safely.

If You Are Taking the Dog Near Water

If you take your dogs for walks along the seafront, near a river, or around boats, even if the dog isn’t swimming, it might be a good idea to make them wear a life vest.

Dogs can easily fall in, and then if the tide or current is strong or the weather is bad, your pet could easily and very quickly get into serious trouble.

If the Dog is Having Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is a great way of treating dogs that have joint issues. The water supports the dog’s body weight and allows them to move more easily.

Putting a flotation jacket on your dog will increase its buoyancy and allow it to get the most benefit from the therapy.

Some Dogs are Negative Buoyant When Wet

While being strong swimmers, some dogs might have negative buoyancy when their coat gets soaked with water.

best dog life jacket

Factor to Consider When Buying a Life Vest for Dogs

Size and Fit

The size and fit of the doggy life vest is essential for both comfort and safety.

If your dog is going to wear the jacket for any length of time, it needs to be comfortable so the dog can forget that they are wearing it.

But the life jacket also needs to be a good fit so that it does its job of keeping your dog floating the right way up!


Quality matters for two reasons: firstly, it lasts a long time, and you get good value for money.

But most importantly, you can get a jacket that will actually save your dog’s life if the worst happens, and there is a risk of drowning.


You need to see your dog, so bright colors and reflective strips are essential, especially if your dog will be in or near the water at night.

Ease of Swimming

The life vest should be designed so that it allows your dog to swim easily.

This is important when the dog is just having fun but even more important in a life or death situation.

You want the dog to be able to swim easily so that it can get back to safety as easily as possible.

Ease of Putting the Vest On and Off

Just for you on ease of use, the life jacket should be as easily as possible to get on and off the dog.

Video of a Doggy Life Jacket in Action

This video shows a gorgeous dog out for a swim with her day.

You can really see how the life vest helps the dog to stay safe and aids her swimming.

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