5 Best Dog Life Jackets

A life jacket for your dog? You bet! Dogs can swim but like people some are better swimmers than others. If you want to ensure that your dog is safe in and around water they should have on a life jacket.

Most dogs love to go for a swim but it can be a real danger for your dog to be in any body of water without a life jacket on. Of course the ocean is the most dangerous place for your dog to be swimming without a life jacket but even in the family swimming pool anything can go wrong and without a life jacket ruling out drowning is not possible.

Having on a life jacket means you can grab your dog and pull them to safety without having to struggle. Of course life jackets keep them afloat as well. It is an easy way to have peace of mind whenever your dog is around a body of water.

Some Common Misgivings

A lot of people think that dogs naturally know what to do when they go into the water. Just like people some dogs are prepared to swim without fear while other dogs have literally no clue what to do in water. Some dogs actually seriously dislike being in the water. If a dog dislikes the water it can be an issue because a dog that is in the water, that are not happy in the water are at risk of panicking and drowning.  It does not take much for a dogs lungs to fill with water when they are thrashing around in a panic. The water does not even have to be very deep. Most pet owners would never put their dog knowingly in jeopardy. Once you have this information it is hard to recognize the fact that a life jacket is a must.

Some breeds like Labradors are genetically predisposed to be good swimmers. They have thick waterproof undercoats and they even have webbing between their toes. Other dogs do not. Even a dog that is made for swimming should wear a life jacket in certain situations.


Dogs are like children. They need constant supervision and they need to be protected in all situations. As a responsible pet parent you have to make sure that your dog is fully equipped to be okay in any body of water. In the interest of helping your dog to feel safe and secure you want to make sure that you take the steps to help them feel like they will be safe.

Swimming is not a natural sport for some dogs and helping them to see that there is nothing to be afraid of can mean giving them the support that they need to survive a spill into the water.  Life jackets can help even a dog that is adverse to getting in the water some courage and confidence.  They can be a great learning tool so that your dog can get used to the idea that they are safe in the water. Building that feeling of trust for your pet is a great way to gradually get them used to the water.

Of course if your dog is afraid of the water it is even more important to have them wear a safety vest. Dogs that accidental fall into the water can actually drown.

We listed some of the best life jackets for dogs that are proven performers with great reviews from consumers. The best life jackets are made of high quality materials and made with the safety features that matter.

Of course to be listed in the top 5 life jackets the life jacket also has to be designed for comfort. The top 5 life jackets for dogs are listed below. Protect your dog by choosing a lifejacket that fits well and is made for their size. One of the biggest errors a good intentioned owner can make is to buy a life jacket that is uncomfortable for their dog. The dog will be miserable and will not want to wear it and in some case an ill-fitting life jacket can be worse than no life jacket at all. A life jacket that is too large can cause water to get between the jacket and your dog and cause panic.

Here are some great options to ensure your fur baby is always safe!

Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket

This life jacket offers a reflective shell to make keeping your eye on your fur baby easy. It has an easy grab handle on the top so that you know you will always be able to fish your dog out of any water if you need to.

It has a quick release closure system which makes getting out of the wet life jacket easier. It is constructed to be comfortable so that your dog won’t complain too much about wearing it.

Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket

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Outward Hound Pup Saver

This life jacket has a flotation device that keeps the dogs head up and out of the water. A lot of dogs do not like going in the water because they get nervous when their face and ears come in contact with the water.

This life jacket can keep their head out of the water and make the entire experience more enjoyable for them. It offers a multi handle design that ensures a quick grab out of the water if needed regardless of the dogs weight. It also offers a quick release system that makes taking the jacket off when it is wet easier.Outward Hound PupSaver Ripstop Dog Life Jacket Quick Release Easy-Fit Adjustable Dog Life Preserver

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Ruffwear K9 Float Jacket

If one life jacket had to be deemed best this would be it. This is a rugged well-built life jacket that is built of abrasion resistant material for optimum comfort. It offers a telescoping neck closure to be adjusted for a full range of neck sizes that gives a custom fit. This is a perfect option for a “hard to fit” dog that needs some custom options to ensure they can have a life jacket as well.

This jacket is shaped to NOT get in the way with the dogs natural swimming posture. It is an ergonomic design that is meant to make the dog feel comfortable in the water so that they can enjoy their time swimming without having to struggle against the life jacket. This life jacket is the absolute Cadillac of life jackets.Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket

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Outward Hound Neoprene Life Jacket

Another great option from Outward Hound is their neoprene life jacket. Neoprene adds to the buoyancy of the jacket. This life jacket has the handle on the top to make grabbing your dog easier. It offers reflective detailing so that you can locate your dog in the lowest light. This can be a great benefit when you are out at dusk, or even if you have a pool in the yard.

The neoprene material is lightweight so if your dog is bothered by the heavy weight of other jackets this may be the ideal solution. Don’t let the lightweight fool you, it is well-made and durable.Outward Hound Pup Saver Neoprene Dog Life Jacket

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MTI Underdog Canine Life Jacket

This jacket is ergonomically designed so that the rear legs are able to sink lower than the front legs which aids the dog with their swimming capabilities.

This lightweight jacket is designed so that 90% of the flotation is located under the chest and body of the dog. Other life jackets do not distribute the flotation the same way.

Other life jackets have the flotation around the entire vest which may prevent the dog from being able to naturally paddle. This jacket is made from 100% nylon including the handles on the top of the jacket.

This is the most expensive on the list but this is a jacket that will get used all the time with very little complaint. It feels more like a harness than a life jacket which can keep some dogs form complaining.MTI Adventurewear UnderDog Canine Life Jacket by MTI Adventurewear

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com 

Final thoughts

It does not matter what life jacket you choose as long as you choose one and use it. Your dog needs to be protected and you need the peace of mind knowing that your dog is safe. A life jacket is a relatively small investment that will pay off by protecting your dog for years to come. Purchasing a life jacket is one of the best choices you can make to help keep your dog safe. Whether you have a pool in the backyard.

Of course there is also the benefit of having the ability to take your dog with you wherever you go out on the water. You will not have to leave your dog behind anymore when you head out on the water, you will be able to bring them along and really enjoy your time outdoors!