Kudos to you for being a safety oriented dog owner!

Ahead we take a look at why they’re important, what to keep in mind, and at the top choices.

Why do dogs need life jackets?

Most dog owners are baffled by the notion of a life jacket, and they do not understand why they need to put one on their dogs, especially if they are well trained and are great swimmers.

As people, however, it is important we appreciate the fact that life is unpredictable; and mother nature should never be taken for granted. If an unfortunate event was to take place in the waters, the probability of your puppy swimming to safety is just the same as yours, not good.

Dogs aren’t super beings, they get tired in the water just as humans do.

Any event filled with fear and unpredictability can spell disaster for both of you, plus, even strongest dog that is a pro swimmer can get fatigued.

Safety first, looking cool second!

For these and many other reasons, safety must never be ignored. Even the most seasoned human swimmers always wear life jackets, so, why not your precious canine friend?

The truth is that, with a life jacket for your dog, you should be able to have peace of mind whenever your dog is in the waters.

Choosing a good one for your dog

Most dog users make the mistake of just picking any life jacket they assume “looks right” off the shelves, and as a result, they often find they purchased one that’s too big, or too small. This is an important purchase, so do not take it for granted, but, take the time to choose the best fit.

The most important aspect of a life jacket is the measurement. Ensure you have the right numbers before purchasing a life jacket for your dog.

Take time to measure your dog’s:

  • body length
  • the base of the neck up to where the body slops on to the rump
  • also measure your dog’s girth, which is behind the front legs, and further back into the legs.
  • take measurements around the neck too.

When trying out the different jackets, ensure to loosen all of the straps and buckles and put it on easily. Let your finger slip under the straps smoothly.

When you get home, do a test run, see if she can walk comfortably with the life jacket on. Give it a try on a small pool before going out into the ocean, so you can test to see if your dog will be able to paddle and float stress-free.

Reviewing the best life vests for dogs

We covered the why your dog needs a life jacket, and how to choose the right one for your pup; but now let’s take a look at the top choices for your consideration.

#1 – RUFFWEAR’s K-9 Float Coat for Dogs

When it comes to life jackets, the RUFFWEAR K-9 is one of the best on the market. This flotation device has been described as an “excellent piece of gear” by most people who have used it on their dogs.

It comes in many different sizes, and you can get one that should fit any dog, regardless of breed. Whether you have a dachshund or a German Shepherd, or a Labrador Retriever, or a Bulldog, you name it, you shall find a life jacket to fit your precious puppy in the RUFFWEAR collection.

It is a very well-made life vest for dogs with a beautiful design; it’s a one-piece unit and therefore should not allow a playful dog to wiggle out of it easily. It also doesn’t have any dangling buckles or straps which can be dangerous when snagged.

The body is simple, and the collar is easily adjustable and permanently attached. The straps for attachment are tucked away neatly into a pocket which is attached to the coat. This life jacket is bulky, but it gives your dog significant support.

It will also let your pup swim naturally in the right position to avoid fatigue. The grab handle at the back allows you to haul your dog back, or hold on to it. It has a reflective trim which makes it highly visible in any condition, and you can stay out longer.


  • Comes in many different sizes that fit most dogs.
  • Has a beautiful and modern design.
  • The straps are hidden to avoid accidents.
  • Comes with reflective trims to see your dog better.


  • It is a little costly compared to the other life jackets.

Customers feedback

Overwhelming majority of customers gave this product positive reviews earning it a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating. A super pleased customer stated that it was worth every penny! It was beautiful, high quality material, perfectly fit their puppy, and could be used even at night when it’s too hot. It comes highly recommended.

See it on Amazon

#2 – Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket

This is ideal for the experienced and devoted dog swimmers and comes in many different sizes which can fit almost any dog.

The outward hound life jacket has rescue handles, which make it easy for you to pull your dog out of the water. The number of handles depends on the size of the jacket. From the medium size and above, you can find two handles, while the smaller jackets have only one handle.

The dual handles make it easy to pull up a larger dog, while the one handle is ideal for lighter dogs. This will allow your dog to swim freely, and also gives you peace of mind that in case of anything, you can simply pull them out.

This dog vest is designed well and offers dogs a good fit. Both the chest straps and belly buckles make it highly adjustable. You can also choose from a variety of colors and it has a reflective piping to increase visibility at night.


  • Has a sturdy design.
  • Comes in a variety of colors to choose from.
  • Has reflective piping to increase visibility.
  • The cost is reasonable.


  • The top handle is a little far off.

Customers feedback

A healthy majority of verified customers that gave feedback gave it a collective 4.7 out of 5 stars rating. They were happy with the size and fit, plus the top handle was a big win for most dog owners. One customer actually stated that he could be able to easily lift their 35 lb dog out of the water securely.

See it on Amazon

#3 – Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket

A good option for the active and water-loving dogs. Comes with strategic neck floats that should help keep your dog above water, even when she is very tired.

The Vivaglory dog life vest has passed the CA65 standard, and this means that you can rest easy knowing it has been thoroughly tested to ensure it meets all the required material standards for a quality life jacket.

It also has 50% more buoyant materials compared to other life vests, which could provide much more comfort and optimal protection for your pooch.

With eight different color choices, three of which are bright, you won’t lack ability to choose and express your style. The bright colors should help locate your dog easily when it gets dark because they have reflective details on them.


  • Easy to fasten and remove.
  • The materials are comfortable.
  • Has different color choices.
  • Has passed the CA65 standards making it safe.


  • Has a few size issues, so ensure to find the perfect fit.

Customers feedback

This product has received excellent reviews from a high majority of customers who gave it an outstanding 4.6 out of 5 stars rating. The design, comfort level, and reflective details were the winning features that made it one of the most liked dog life jackets on the market.

See it on Amazon

#4 – Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Red Life Jacket

This neoprene life jacket comes in a variety of colors, and is reliable for regular use. It also has reflective strips that make your puppy visible even at night, plus the convenient grab handle allows you to retrieve it from the water easily.

The most unique feature on the Paws Abroad dog life jacket is its breathable underside mesh which makes for reliable draining and improves airflow. Your four-legged friend will be energized and comfortable during any aquatic adventures.

The nylon straps are adjustable and allow for quick release when needed. It also comes with a heavy-duty, comfortable Velcro fastening system for around the neck and belly, which should secure your dog tightly.


  • Has breathable mesh for improved airflow
  • Has adjustable straps for pulling the dog back in.
  • Comes in a variety of beautiful colors.
  • Has reflective strips for easy visibility.


  • It has buoyancy issues.

Customers feedback

It comes with excellent customer feedback and a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from a high majority of customers, who gave it a big thumbs up for being well designed, a perfect fit and the breathable wire mesh was also a big winner, allowing dog coats to breathe easily even under water.

See it on Amazon

#5 – EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device

This is a heavy-duty, polyester flotation device that has been proven to perform well while a dog is swimming. It comes with a zipper pocket, and easily adjustable straps that make it convenient and easy to grab ahold of your dog.

Comes in 2 distinct colors of yellow and red, but offers an array of different sizes that should fit just about any dog breed. It is a secure fit and should be a good choice for small dogs. It also has a reflective detail to increase visibility.


  • Strong construction
  • Reflective detail for visibility
  • Ideal for even the extra small dogs.


  • Not the best for large dogs.

See it in action

Customers feedback

The EzyDog Doggy life jacket has great feedback from customers and a whopping 4.5 out of 5 stars rating from a significant majority of customers, who commended the solid design, excellent features and the ability to keep their pooches afloat. It was however best suited for small dogs.

See it on Amazon

Final say on keeping your dog safe in the water

As mentioned earlier, safety is extremely important. If people require life jackets to go into the waters, so should our dogs. You never know when disaster will strike, and you definitely don’t want to catch yourself thinking of the preventative measures you could have taken

Since you love your furry animal just like a child, do not compromise on their safety; a good life jacket for your dog will be a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. Happy swimming!