Should my dog wear a life jacket? Simple and Effective Tips

There may be unseen hazards in the water

Even though it may seem safe for your dog to go swimming, there could be unseen hazards in the water. While swimming pools are relatively safe, lakes may contain underwater debris like branches and foliage that your dog can get caught up in. Plus, swimming against the current in a stream or river can quickly lead to exhaustion. If your dog is swimming in the ocean, strong currents can cause him to be pushed out to sea.

In all these situations, a life jacket can keep your dog’s head above water and potentially save their life.

Life jackets have convenient handles

Should my dog wear a life jacket?

Should my dog wear a life jacket?

Dog life vests come equipped with a grab handle on top that makes it much easier to haul your dog to safety as shown here. This doggie personal flotation device (PFD) feature is great for assisting your dog when swimming and can be a real lifesaver if he gets into trouble.

If you’re on a boat and your dog slips overboard, grab the handle and keep him close to the boat until you’re able to lift him to safety.

Tips for Choosing a Dog Life Jacket

Before we share our picks, let’s quickly break down what you should be looking for when choosing a dog life jacket. Although there are no standards for dog life jackets, there are some features you should look for:

  • Handle: A handle on the dog life jacket will make it easier for you to grab hold of your dog if necessary. It also makes it easier to teach your dog to swim. You can guide him in the water until he feels confident swimming on his own.
  • D-ring: The dog life jacket or vest should have a D-ring so you can attach a leash.
  • Dog life jacket vs. dog life vest: Decide whether you need a dog life jacket or a vest. Dog life jackets cover more of your dog and provide both buoyancy and visibility. They’re recommended for boating and other water activities. If your dog swims primarily in a pool, on the other hand, you might be OK with a life vest. A life vest is typically lighter, covers less of your dog, and is easier for casual swimming.
  • Color: Although dog life jackets come in all sorts of colors and prints, bright colors, or life jackets with a reflective strip, will make it easier to spot him in the water.
  • Keeping these tips in mind, here are five of our favorite dog life jacket picks.

    Tips For Choosing The Right Dog Life Jacket

    If your dog adventures start or end with water, a dog life preserver may be a necessary piece of equipment. However, many pet owners find themselves asking the question, “Does my dog need a life jacket?” The answer is not black and white and really is determined by many factors, including your dog’s breed, size, swimming abilities, and water conditions. The following information is to help guide your decision in determining if your dog needs a life jacket.