Which is the best dog life jacket? With so many makes and models on the market, just how do you choose between them.
In this dog life jacket reviews article we will be taking a look a three of the best dog life jacket models, listing their features and giving you the pros and cons of each one.
We chose these three dog life jackets due to the fact they have excellent reviews on multiple sites, range in price from low to high and offer the best features within those price ranges.
Below the reviews are some handy tips on choosing the best dog life jacket for your pet.
Outward Hound Ripstop Dog Life Jacket
The Outward Hound Ripstop Dog Life Jacket is a highly visible and well-designed product that will keep your pet safe in any type of water
The two handle design is a very welcome addition, especially for larger dogs, where lifting them in and out of the water would be difficult with one handle.
Three quick release, adjustable straps and one Velcro strap keep the dog very secure and the neoprene belly band ensures your pet will be comfortable when wearing the life jacket.
A top float provides adequate buoyancy, while the front float keeps the dog’s head out of the water, which is especially important is you have one of the brachycephalic breeds such as a Pug or English bulldog.
The sizes as listed on Amazon can be very confusing, with some reviews mentioning that the sizing chart is not accurate. So, we have listed below all of the measurements to check before ordering.
X-Small: Weight = 5 – 15 lbs. | Length = 8.5+ inches | Neck = 6-8 inches | Chest = 11-15 inches
Small: Weight = 15 – 30 lbs. | Length = 10.5+ inches | Neck = 8-10 inches | Chest = 16-20 inches
Medium: Weight = 30 – 55 lbs. | Length = 12.5+ inches | Neck = 12-14 inches | Chest = 21-27 inches
Large: Weight = 55 – 85 lbs. | Length = 14.5+ inches | Neck = 14-18 inches | Chest = 28-32 inches
X-Large: Weight = 85 – 100 lbs. | Length = 19.5+ inches | Neck = 13.5+ inches | Chest = 33-44 inches
Two Lifting Handles
Stitching Could Be Improved
Confusing Size Chart
With its high visibility, adjustable quick release straps, twin handles and excellent buoyancy, the Outward Hound is a good product that does the job.
Although we wouldn’t consider it to be the best dog life jacket on the market, if you on a tight budget, the Ripstop dog life jacket could be just what you are looking for.
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket
Available in Green Camo, Red and Yellow, the EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device (DFD), at first glance, does appear to be just another dog life jacket, however, when you take a look at the Amazon reviews, it quickly becomes apparent that the EzyDog is a very well made product with some innovative design features.
A nice feature is the heavy duty Leash attachment ring, which is great if you need to keep a leash on your pet either in or out of the water.
The vest and straps are well padded, strong and durable. The lifting handle between the straps is well stitched and should enable even the heaviest of dogs to be hauled out of the water.
Buoyancy is provided by the flotation panels around the top, sides and in the adjustable neck strap. This ensures the pets head will be held out of the water and provides a natural and level swimming position.
The EzyDog Life Jacket also has a highly reflective trim for improved visibility and two back pockets.
XS: 15-25lbs – Girth 19-32″ – Length 10-13″
S: 20-45lbs – Girth 21-35″ – Length 13-16″
M: 40-60lbs – Girth 25-39″ – Length 15-20″
L: 60-90lbs – Girth 27-44″ – Length 17-24″
XL: 90+lbs – Girth 30-48″ – Length 20-26″
Also available is a Micro Doggy Life Vest:
XXXS (3 Extra Small) size fits dogs with a body length of 7 to 9-1/2 inches long, and a girth of 8 to 14 inches
XXS (2 Extra Small) size fits dogs with a body length of 8-1/2 to 12 inches, and a girth of 10 to 16-1/2 inches
XS (1 Extra Small) size fits dogs with a body length of 10 to 13-1/2 inches long and a girth of 12 to 19-1/2 inches
Heavy Duty Straps and Connectors
Excellent Customer Support
Handle Could Have Been a Bit Longer
The EzyDog doggy flotation device is the best dog life jacket within the middle price range. It has everything you would expect from a much more expensive product; good stitching, excellent design features and plenty of buoyancy.
Another bonus is the excellent customer support that EzyDog provides, something that is sadly lacking with many of today’s manufacturers.
Overall, the EzyDog doggy flotation device is a good product that should stand some serious punishment, and at this price, it is a real bargain.
Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat
The Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat is a very high quality product that has been designed to fit all breeds of dogs, regardless of shape and size.
The quick attach and release buckles under the belly are manufactured from thick, water tolerant webbing, they are easily adjustable and very secure, and unlike most of the other dog life jackets that use Velcro, the chest strap has a buckle adjuster. Once adjusted to your dog’s size, it is simply a case of putting the pets head through the jacket and attaching the straps under the belly.
As for buoyancy, the K-9 Float Coat is outstanding. Instead of having a lot of buoyancy under the belly, which tends to lift the rear end, the Ruffwear has its flotation panels in the sides and the chest piece, which keeps the dog’s head out of the water and also allows for a stable and natural swimming position.
Measurement around the widest part of pet’s rib cage (Girth)
XXS – 13-17 in (33-43 cm)
XS – 17-22 in (43-56 cm)
S – 22-27 in (56-69 cm)
M – 27-32 in (69-81 cm)
L – 32-36 in (81-91 cm)
XL – 36-42 in (91-107 cm)
If your pet is In between sizes or a unique shape, consider the coat length and neck opening size.
XXS – Length (A) 7.25 in (18.5 cm) – Neck (B) 10-12.75 in (27-32.5 cm)
XS – Length (A) 10.25 in (26 cm) – Neck (B) 12.25-16.25 in (31-41 cm)
S – Length (A) 11.75 in (30 cm) – Neck (B) 15-19.75 in (38-50 cm)
M – Length (A) 15 in (38 cm) – Neck (B) 17.75-23.25 in (45-59 cm)
L – Length (A) 16.25 in (41.5 cm) – Neck (B) 20.75-26.75 in (53-68 cm)
XL – Length (A) 19.25 in (49 cm) – Neck (B) 22.75-29.5 in (58-75 cm)
Strong and Durable
Designed for Optimal Buoyancy
Snag Free Finish
Light Loop for Beacon
With a very high quality finish, reflective strips, bright colors and an optimally positioned lifting handle, the K-9 Float Coat is probably the best dog life jacket we have reviewed.
Although it is quite expensive, if you want a top quality product, you do have to pay for it. Overall, the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat is very highly recommended.
Choosing the Best Dog Life Jacket for your pet
The quickest and easiest way to choose the best life jacket for your pet is to scan the Amazon reviews . Pay particular attention to those products that have at least twenty reviews and a review rating of over four stars. This will enable you to scan the reviews to determine if there are any problems with the product.
Also, take a look at the questions and answers section, it has some great information and can answer many queries.
If you can’t find the answer to any questions you may have, type your query in the search box, if none of the answers are relevant, click on the “Ask the Community” button to post your query and wait for the responses to roll in.
Points to consider when narrowing down your choices:
Price – As with most things, you do get what you pay for. Although, in the above reviews we have chosen the best dog life jacket from three different price ranges. If you are on a budget, the Outward Hound Ripstop is a great choice. In the middle price range, the EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device is highly recommended. In the higher price range the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat is the best dog life jacket.
Size – Check the size carefully, don’t just go by weight, also take into account the girth, length and neck diameter.
Color – A camouflage life jacket may look cool, but it is also difficult to see in an emergency situation. Where life jackets are concerned, brighter is always better.
Buoyancy – Will the jacket support your dog’s weight and keep its head out of the water? Once again, read the reviews to find out.
So, why do you need a life jacket for your pet?
Well, there are many reasons for fitting your furry friend with a flotation device, some of the main ones are;
- If your pet is not a natural swimmer
- For Canine Hydrotherapy rehabilitation after surgery or injury
- To enable elderly and disabled pets to enjoy the water
- For safety reasons when on a Boat or Kayak etc.
- As a safety precaution in the ocean, lake or river
One common misconception is that all dogs are natural swimmers, when in fact there are certain breeds and anatomy types that find it very difficult to do so.
Brachycephalic Breeds have a wide, flat skull with a very small and flat nose. Some of the more common breeds in the Brachycephalic category that can have trouble swimming are; Pug, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, and Pekinese.
Also, there are anatomy characteristics that prevent a dog from being a good swimmer; dogs that are top heavy, have large heads in proportion to their bodies, dogs with very short legs and those that have a dense muscle mass can all find it difficult in the water.
Even if your dog can swim like a champion, it is always wise for them to wear a life jacket when going anywhere near water. Better safe than sorry.