Ask any dog owner and they will tell you that one of the biggest worries with a canine on board is not that they can’t swim, but the thought of trying to wrestle a slippery, wet and frightened hound back aboard. That's where a dog lifejacket comes in
Not only does a dog lifejacket provide extra floatation, but they are also fluorescent, to aid location in low light, and also have grab handles to make it easy to recover an animal from the water. But which dog lifejacket should you choose?
There are many out there. Most are sized on the basis of weight, and this is a useful guide to make sure you have the correct size dog lifejacket. But, just like lifejackets for human crew, the best way is to try one on your dog before you buy. Make sure that when the lifejacket is on, it can’t rotate, or slide off, and that it’s a snug fit to avoid the dog being able to get a paw inside.
And most importantly of all, try out the lifting handles to make sure you can successfully pluck the dog from the water if the worst should happen. While many dog lifejackets are designed for weight ranges (e.g. up to 5kg), there are others available for specific breeds, so it’s worth doing some research before you buy.
Best dog lifejackets available right now
Baltic Pet Float dog lifejacket
Baltic have an enviable reputation for quality for their human lifejackets and their Pet Buoyancy Aid is one you’ll see around a lot as it’s stocked by most chandleries. This dog lifejacket is designed to be comfortable for the dog to wear while on a walk as well as on the water, meaning you’ll spend less time wresting it on and off the animal.
Manufactured from durable orange and black nylon material, this dog lifejacket features a lifting handle with glow in the dark retroreflective tape. It has comfortable webbing fixing straps and D-ring for attaching a lead. Sizing is available for dogs from 3 to 40+ kg (Small to XXL).
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K9 Pursuits Float Coat dog lifejacket
These well-reviewed dog lifejackets have adjustable straps and a neoprene chest band for comfort. There are two useful grab handles on top and it’s bright in colour for easy spotting.
It’s good quality and very well priced. It’s available in sizes from XS through to XL (2 to 45 kg) and a sizing guide is readily available.
WestCoast K9 Aquafloat dog lifejacket
These premium dog lifejackets wrap completely around the dog’s torso to provide a snug fit. They come in a range of bright colours and have reflective strips and large padded lifting handles on the back to make sure you can locate and retrieve a dog from the water if necessary.
Another Dog Lifejacket you’ll see a lot of on the water is Crewsaver’s Petfloat. It’s available in sizes from XS to XL and has a decent lifting handle and reflective tape.
It’s designed with a pocket for lead and bag storage, is easy to adjust, and the lifting point spreads the load over a number of straps to ensure comfort for your dog.
COVVY dog lifejacket
Available in three sizes (S, M, L) for dogs up to 77lbs, the COVVY dog life jacket is made from polyester and with polyethylene foam for buoyancy. And it’s got a shark fin for maximum style points.
There’s a large grab handle on top and quick release buckles for a speedy fitting.
Outward Hound Kyjen 22020
Available in sizes from XS to XL (dogs up to 100lbs), the Outward Hound has Velcro to secure it at each end of the dog, and quick-release clips under the torso.
It has two padded handles for easy retrieval and a front float support to keep the dog’s head above water – good for inexperienced swimmers. There are also reflective accents, although these aren’t as visible as on some of the other jackets.