What To Consider When Buying A Life Jacket For Your Dog

(Image Credit: Colleen Gara/Getty Images)

It might be an odd thing to consider. Why does my dog need a life jacket? Can’t dogs swim?

We like to think that our pets have retained all of their wild instincts, but the fact is that that’s simply not true. In fact, many dogs would have no better means to swim to safety in the event of a water-based emergency than we would. Therefore, it’s imperative that your dog is as well-equipped as they can be when venturing out into the great blue sea. Or just the nearby lake, even.

If you’re looking to play it safe while boating, sailing, swimming, or playing near the water with your pooch, you should invest in a dog life jacket. Here’s what you should know if you want to buy a life vest for your dog.

The Most Important Factors Of A Life Vest For Your Dog

There are four things that are critical in a good doggy life vest. The first is buoyancy. This is the jacket’s natural ability to float, which is obviously a pretty important aspect of the life vest. You’ll want to make sure that the vest can withhold your dog’s weight to ensure its success. Dog life jackets are rated for weight, so check before you buy.

The next thing to consider is the color. You’ll want the vest to be a very bright color. In the event your pup is knocked overboard or lost in the water, this will make them easier to spot. Some even have reflective trim to catch the light better and make your dog more visible.

Strong handles will be the third important detail. If you have to haul your pet out of the water, ensuring that the handles can withhold the dog’s weight is a must. Test the handles before you bring your dog to the water. Make sure they can hold your pup’s full weight.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the vest fits properly. This is as crucial with a dog as it is with a human child. An improperly fitting vest can be almost as dangerous as no vest at all. If you can, bring your dog into the store to make sure it fits both safely and comfortably. Check that your dog can sit and lie down while in their vest. If your pup is a bit on the heavy side, make sure that nothing is being pinched or pulled, too.

Does My Dog Really Need A Life Jacket?

(Image Credit: Getty Images/Max Bailen)

Is a doggy life vest really necessary? Yes! Your dog should wear a life jacket on or near the water–as should you, and everyone on your boat.

While every dog should be properly equipped for safety, it is especially important that certain dogs are given life vests. Dogs with low body fat such as the Greyhound, senior animals, and dogs with health or mobility issues should always be properly secured when going out onto the water. They are our family members, after all!

Do you have a life jacket for your dog? Do you have any recommendations for life jackets? Let us know in the comments below!

Related Articles:

7 Safety Tips For Boating With Your Dog

Sunscreen For Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

DogTime is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.