After the incident where my dog nearly drowned if not for the dog life jacket, I now strongly believe in buying this product for your pet if you are allowing it to swim in the open seas. As my incident shows, it is not that dogs don’t know how to swim but when it is in the open sea, there are many possible things that disable his swimming ability. When that happens, the dog life jacket will be the only thing keeping the dog alive and that is why I encourage every dog own to have one.
Dog life jackets are useful even when in non life threatening situations. For example, it is great for a dog that is recovering from a physical injury that had caused to have problems swimming. Alternatively, it is also a must have item for dogs who can’t float well and tend to sink after a few minutes of swimming. In all these situations, a dog life jacket can be really useful.
Kyjen outward hound life jacket review
This was the dog life vest that saved my dog’s life. The most important thing it had was the floatation and the solid stitching which means the product will not fall apart at the critical moment. My dog was able to stay float for hours until we managed to rescue him. If not for his vest, I would have lost my beloved pet.
In fact, one of my favorite Amazon reviews about this product had this to say:
“Flipped canoe three times last trip in fast moving water. Dog still alive, and willing to get back in. Enough said”
I think that conveys the point well. This product simply works. If saving your pet’s life doesn’t convince you to buy this product, nothing will.
Paws Aboard doggy life jacket review
Another great option is the Paws Aboard series of dog life jackets. Available in bright colors, these jackets are comfortable but secure. They are also easy to strap on and clean up. Most importantly, their floatation is solid and will be keep your dog a float.
One good thing about Paws Aboard is their sizing chart. It is more accurate than Kyjen’s. A extra small means it is really small enough to fit a 6 week old Chihuahuas while a XL can hold even a dog that is over 100 pounds.
I have both both Paws Aboard and Kyjen. If you want to know my thoughts, check out the link below.
Ruffwear dog life jacket review
This is the only brand on this list that I didn’t try personally. However, from the Amazon reviews, it is also another solid product that is worth your buying consideration.
Like the other brands, this vest is well made and is expected to last for years. Its main strength lies in the fact that the vest wraps the whole dog around (compare the picture with the 2 brands above and you will see what I mean).
This seeming minor differences brings with it 3 benefits.
- It makes carrying the dog out of water easier as the wrap around distribute the water evenly
- The extra material at the base adds more floatation to the life vest
- Your dog’s fur will never be caught in the buckle
However, the price for this dog life vest is the highest among the three so do take this into consideration.
Dog life jacket buying guide
If you are buying a dog life jacket for the first time, here are a few things you might want to take note of:
- Floatation: Most important feature of a life jacket. It must float and be able to support the weight of your dog.
- Secure: Make sure the dog life jacket can fit your dog well such that it is not able to get out of it.
- Easy to handle: If you have never lifted a wet dog out of water before, you need to know that it can weigh a lot due to their fur soaking in the water. Hence, make sure you choose a life vest that has solid handles for you to easily grab and lift. Also make sure the jacket has some cushioning at the bottom to ensure your dog will be hurt by the straps when you are lifting it out of the water.
- Comfortable: Your dog must feel comfortable in it or he wouldn’t wear
- Visible colors: This can help others to spot the dog if it is lost in the open seas. Usually, most of the dog life jackets will come in bright orange, red or yellow color.
- Portable: Look out for life jackets that have handles to make it easier to carry the jacket or your dog around when it is wearing it.
Best dog life jacket according to breeds
In this section, we will see which of the jackets mentioned above are great for specific breeds.
Dog life jacket for great dane
When we talk great dane, we need something that is strong enough for this magnificent dog. Paws Aboard is suitable and you will want a XL sizing to make sure it fits it correctly. I picked this brand as a fellow Amazon reviewer had a great dane and he said that this brand fitted him perfectly. Hence, I was thinking: why take a risk on other brands when someone with a great dane has a already confirmed its usefulness. Ruff wear is also another possibility in which you need to get either a large or a XL, depending on big your dog is.
Dog life jacket for boxers
Boxers natural instinct is not to swim which means they will not paddle for their life even if they are in danger of drowning. Unlike other dogs with webbed feet which can help them to move in water, boxers do not have such webbed feet unless they were specially breed. This makes a boxer life jacket even more important.
For boxers, the right size to get for Outward bound will be a large as a medium tend to be small. However, it will mean the jacket can be loose for your boxer. Just tighten the straps around the dog and it should be fine.
The picture on the right shows you how a Outward bound life jacket will look on your boxer. Pretty nice isn’t it?
If you like this brand, keep an eye out at Winners. They will sometimes have offers which you can get a really cheap one. My friend bought hers at Winners for only $15! I wish I had her luck….
Best dog life jacket for Jack Russell
Jack russell is a smallish dog so getting a small dog life jacket will be suitable. Paws Aboard has a small sized life jacket that is strong but fits small dogs really well. It is comfortable to wear but is strong enough to lift the dog out in case the dog falls into the river. Paws Aboard also has plenty of colors for the dog owner to choose from if you can pick one that best suits dog personalty. I personally love the yellow ones!
When trying on the life jacket for Jack Russell, make sure the neck portion doesn’t choke the dog. The good thing is that Paws Aboard’s jacket has an adjustable chest area (see image on the right) that can allow you to loosen or tighten the straps until the right fit is achieved.
Dog life jacket for corgi
Corgi is a pretty active dog. Its short legs mean they are not great swimmers and need help especially when they tired without knowing it. However, Corgi has a longish body so finding a dog life jacket that fits is not as easy as others. The good news is that all three brands mentioned here have the right sizes for Corgi. As mentioned, all of them have received good reviews for their durability and comfort. Just make sure you pick the medium size if you are buying one for a full size Corgi.
A dog life jacket might seem like an unnecessary dog product to buy. However, if you are an active person who likes to bring your pet to areas with water, it is an insurance policy that makes sure your dog is safe.