Best Dog Life Vests
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Overall Best Dog Life Jacket
Amazon
Ruffwear Float Coat Dog Life Jacket, Swimming Safety Vest with Handle, Red Sumac, Small
What Dogs Love:
  • KEEPS DOGS UPRIGHT
  • PROVIDES GOOD BUOYANCY
What Humans Love:
  • GREAT QUALITY
  • EASY TO GET ON AND OFF
  • GOOD SECURITY
Reviewers Say:

The Ruffwear Float Coat is the best of its kind. It comes in four easy-to-see bright colors with reflective stripes for enhanced visibility. It also features closed-cell foam panels that allow your dog to swim and float naturally while remaining in an upright position. It also features a strong handle to aid you in getting the dog in and out of the water.

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The Ruffwear Float Coat is the best of its kind. It comes in four easy-to-see bright colors with reflective stripes for enhanced visibility. It also features closed-cell foam panels that allow your dog to swim and float naturally while remaining in an upright position. It also features a strong handle to aid you in getting the dog in and out of the water.

Ruffwear suggests measuring the widest part of your dog's rib cage to choose a size. From more than 1,500 reviewers, this life jacket has a 4.8-star rating.
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What Humans Love:
  • GREAT QUALITY
  • EASY TO GET ON AND OFF
  • GOOD SECURITY
What Dogs Love:
  • KEEPS DOGS UPRIGHT
  • PROVIDES GOOD BUOYANCY
Reviewers Say:

The Ruffwear Float Coat is the best of its kind. It comes in four easy-to-see bright colors with reflective stripes for ...

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The Ruffwear Float Coat is the best of its kind. It comes in four easy-to-see bright colors with reflective stripes for enhanced visibility. It also features closed-cell foam panels that allow your dog to swim and float naturally while remaining in an upright position. It also features a strong handle to aid you in getting the dog in and out of the water.

Ruffwear suggests measuring the widest part of your dog's rib cage to choose a size. From more than 1,500 reviewers, this life jacket has a 4.8-star rating.
Best Budget Dog Life Jacket
Chewy
ZippyPaws Adventure Dog Life Jacket, Small
What Dogs Love:
  • Simple
  • Secure
  • Adjustable
What Humans Love:
  • Affordable
  • Reflective
  • Effective
Reviewers Say:

This straightforward dog life jacket is made with dense foam panels to help dogs stay afloat, making it a good choice for less-than-strong swimmers. It features reflective strips for added visibility and adjustable straps for a secure fit. This life jacket comes in a range of sizes from XX-Small to X-Large.

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This straightforward dog life jacket is made with dense foam panels to help dogs stay afloat, making it a good choice for less-than-strong swimmers. It features reflective strips for added visibility and adjustable straps for a secure fit. This life jacket comes in a range of sizes from XX-Small to X-Large.
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What Dogs Love:

Dense foam panels provide easy and comfortable flotation for dogs.

What Humans Love:

This sturdy life jacket keeps dogs safe in the water without breaking the bank.

Reviewers Say:

This straightforward dog life jacket is made with dense foam panels to help dogs stay afloat, making it a good choice fo...

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This straightforward dog life jacket is made with dense foam panels to help dogs stay afloat, making it a good choice for less-than-strong swimmers. It features reflective strips for added visibility and adjustable straps for a secure fit. This life jacket comes in a range of sizes from XX-Small to X-Large.
Most Durable Dog Life Jacket
Chewy
Outward Hound Granby RipStop Dog Life Jacket, Small Bright Orange
What Dogs Love:
  • Comfortable
  • Secure
  • Safe
What Humans Love:
  • Durable
  • Adjustable
  • Well-Fitting
Reviewers Say:

One of the Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket's best features is a front neck float that helps keep your dog's head above water while he is swimming. This jacket also has dual handles to help you get your dog out of the water faster and easier. It's adjustable on the sides, so you can make this jacket tighter or looser depending on fit.

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One of the Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket's best features is a front neck float that helps keep your dog's head above water while he is swimming. This jacket also has dual handles to help you get your dog out of the water faster and easier. It's adjustable on the sides, so you can make this jacket tighter or looser depending on fit.
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What Dogs Love:

The neck float keeps dogs' heads above the water, which can be a lifesaver in emergencies.

What Humans Love:

Thanks to the dual handle design, it's easy to lift your dog out of the water.

Reviewers Say:

One of the Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket's best features is a front neck float that helps keep your dog's ...

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One of the Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket's best features is a front neck float that helps keep your dog's head above water while he is swimming. This jacket also has dual handles to help you get your dog out of the water faster and easier. It's adjustable on the sides, so you can make this jacket tighter or looser depending on fit.
Our Other Favorites
Chewy
Outward Hound Neoprene Dawson Swimmer Dog Life Jacket, X-Small
What Dogs Love:
  • Insulated
  • Safe
What Humans Love:
  • Secure
  • Reliable
Reviewers Say:

Designed with novice swimmers in mind, this dog life jacket features extra-buoyant foam neoprene side panels for maximum flotation. It includes thermal insulation to keep dogs warm in cool water, and features quick-release snaps and adjustable straps, making it easy to take on and off.

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Designed with novice swimmers in mind, this dog life jacket features extra-buoyant foam neoprene side panels for maximum flotation. It includes thermal insulation to keep dogs warm in cool water, and features quick-release snaps and adjustable straps, making it easy to take on and off.
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What Humans Love:
  • Secure
  • Reliable
What Dogs Love:
  • Insulated
  • Safe
Reviewers Say:

Designed with novice swimmers in mind, this dog life jacket features extra-buoyant foam neoprene side panels for maximum...

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Designed with novice swimmers in mind, this dog life jacket features extra-buoyant foam neoprene side panels for maximum flotation. It includes thermal insulation to keep dogs warm in cool water, and features quick-release snaps and adjustable straps, making it easy to take on and off.
Chewy
Frisco Neoprene Dog Life Jacket, Small
What Dogs Love:
  • Well-Fitting
  • Secure
What Humans Love:
  • Feature-Filled
  • Reflective
Reviewers Say:

This dog life jacket is full of features to optimize dog safety and comfortability in the water. It includes a front panel with a flotation flap to keep dogs' heads above water, and features three adjustable straps with side release buckles. Also included are reflective strips for visibility and a D-ring for a leash attachment on land.

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This dog life jacket is full of features to optimize dog safety and comfortability in the water. It includes a front panel with a flotation flap to keep dogs' heads above water, and features three adjustable straps with side release buckles. Also included are reflective strips for visibility and a D-ring for a leash attachment on land.
More Info
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What Humans Love:
  • Feature-Filled
  • Reflective
What Dogs Love:
  • Well-Fitting
  • Secure
Reviewers Say:

This dog life jacket is full of features to optimize dog safety and comfortability in the water. It includes a front pan...

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This dog life jacket is full of features to optimize dog safety and comfortability in the water. It includes a front panel with a flotation flap to keep dogs' heads above water, and features three adjustable straps with side release buckles. Also included are reflective strips for visibility and a D-ring for a leash attachment on land.
Amazon
Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket, Fashionable Dog Life Vest for Swimming and Boating – Nautical Dog
What Dogs Love:
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Will dry quickly
What Humans Love:
  • Great price
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to get on and off
Reviewers Say:

The Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket comes in playful prints to add a little flair to this PFD. One of the key features is a mesh underbelly that allows for water drainage, air flow, and easy/quick drying. Reviewers note that taking accurate measurements is key to making sure you get the right size out of six options for your dog, although the collar and mesh und...

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The Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket comes in playful prints to add a little flair to this PFD. One of the key features is a mesh underbelly that allows for water drainage, air flow, and easy/quick drying. Reviewers note that taking accurate measurements is key to making sure you get the right size out of six options for your dog, although the collar and mesh underbelly are adjustable.
There are some reviews that suggest the Paws Aboard life jacket is not as buoyant as other jackets, although it still gets a respectable 4.4-star rating.
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What Humans Love:
  • Great price
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to get on and off
What Dogs Love:
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Will dry quickly
Reviewers Say:

The Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket comes in playful prints to add a little flair to this PFD. One of the key features is a ...

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The Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket comes in playful prints to add a little flair to this PFD. One of the key features is a mesh underbelly that allows for water drainage, air flow, and easy/quick drying. Reviewers note that taking accurate measurements is key to making sure you get the right size out of six options for your dog, although the collar and mesh underbelly are adjustable.
There are some reviews that suggest the Paws Aboard life jacket is not as buoyant as other jackets, although it still gets a respectable 4.4-star rating.
Amazon
VIVAGLORY Life Jacket for Dogs of Sports Style, Water Vest Jacket for Dog, Heavy Duty Pet Safety Vest, Comfortable Neoprene Lifejackets with Hook & Loop Closure, Pink, Small
What Dogs Love:
  • Makes them feel safe in the water
  • Comfortable
What Humans Love:
  • Several great features
  • Lightweight
  • Low price
Reviewers Say:

The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket with extra padding has a patented design that makes it very durable, thanks to the ripstop 600-denier oxford cloth. Built with extra padding, it gives your pup up to 50 percent more buoyancy. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps will have nothing on your dog. The removable front float assists in relieving neck pressure.

...

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The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket with extra padding has a patented design that makes it very durable, thanks to the ripstop 600-denier oxford cloth. Built with extra padding, it gives your pup up to 50 percent more buoyancy. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps will have nothing on your dog. The removable front float assists in relieving neck pressure.

Reviewers rave about this product with several claiming that it helped their dogs enjoy the water even more. However, Vivaglory reminds owners never to leave dogs alone in the water, with or without the vest.
More Info
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What Humans Love:
  • Several great features
  • Lightweight
  • Low price
What Dogs Love:
  • Makes them feel safe in the water
  • Comfortable
Reviewers Say:

The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket with extra padding has a patented design that makes it very durable, thanks to the ripstop...

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The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket with extra padding has a patented design that makes it very durable, thanks to the ripstop 600-denier oxford cloth. Built with extra padding, it gives your pup up to 50 percent more buoyancy. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps will have nothing on your dog. The removable front float assists in relieving neck pressure.

Reviewers rave about this product with several claiming that it helped their dogs enjoy the water even more. However, Vivaglory reminds owners never to leave dogs alone in the water, with or without the vest.
Chewy
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Life Jacket, Red, Small
What Dogs Love:
  • Comfortable
  • Safe
What Humans Love:
  • Sturdy
  • Extra Buoyant
Reviewers Say:

The EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device boasts that it is made with 50 percent more flotation material than most other pet life jackets. This extra buoyant material promises to keep your dog in an upright swimming position. It has a contoured neck and reflective piping for nighttime visibility. You won't have to dig deep to find reviews that say this is a great qu...

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The EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device boasts that it is made with 50 percent more flotation material than most other pet life jackets. This extra buoyant material promises to keep your dog in an upright swimming position. It has a contoured neck and reflective piping for nighttime visibility. You won't have to dig deep to find reviews that say this is a great quality vest. One reviewer said it saved his German Shepherd Dog’s life -- when she fell off the pier and panicked, the vest enabled her to dog paddle over to the pier steps.
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What Humans Love:
  • Sturdy
  • Extra Buoyant
What Dogs Love:
  • Comfortable
  • Safe
Reviewers Say:

The EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device boasts that it is made with 50 percent more flotation material than most other pet lif...

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The EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device boasts that it is made with 50 percent more flotation material than most other pet life jackets. This extra buoyant material promises to keep your dog in an upright swimming position. It has a contoured neck and reflective piping for nighttime visibility. You won't have to dig deep to find reviews that say this is a great quality vest. One reviewer said it saved his German Shepherd Dog’s life -- when she fell off the pier and panicked, the vest enabled her to dog paddle over to the pier steps.
Amazon
Queenmore Ripstop Dog Life Jacket Fish Style Floatation Vest with Adjustable Soft Rubber Handle Grey Shark,XL
What Dogs Love:
  • Comfortable
  • Fits well
  • Helps them swim
What Humans Love:
  • Easy to find perfect fit
  • Great price
  • Sturdy
Reviewers Say:

The Queenmore Dog Life Jacket is made of quality oxford cloth with polyethylene foam and a mesh underbelly. It features all of the bells and whistles in a quality dog life jacket — quick-release buckles, adjustable straps, durable grab handle, and reflective strips for visibility. The vest comes in six sizes, and Queenmore provides a detailed sizing chart ...

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The Queenmore Dog Life Jacket is made of quality oxford cloth with polyethylene foam and a mesh underbelly. It features all of the bells and whistles in a quality dog life jacket — quick-release buckles, adjustable straps, durable grab handle, and reflective strips for visibility. The vest comes in six sizes, and Queenmore provides a detailed sizing chart to help dog owners find the right size for their pup.

The design choices are unique: gray shark, pink shark, and pink fish. There’s a durable D-ring on the back. This vest gets a 4.4-star rating.
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What Humans Love:
  • Easy to find perfect fit
  • Great price
  • Sturdy
What Dogs Love:
  • Comfortable
  • Fits well
  • Helps them swim
Reviewers Say:

The Queenmore Dog Life Jacket is made of quality oxford cloth with polyethylene foam and a mesh underbelly. It features ...

Read More
+
The Queenmore Dog Life Jacket is made of quality oxford cloth with polyethylene foam and a mesh underbelly. It features all of the bells and whistles in a quality dog life jacket — quick-release buckles, adjustable straps, durable grab handle, and reflective strips for visibility. The vest comes in six sizes, and Queenmore provides a detailed sizing chart to help dog owners find the right size for their pup.

The design choices are unique: gray shark, pink shark, and pink fish. There’s a durable D-ring on the back. This vest gets a 4.4-star rating.
Amazon
Outward Hound Standley Sport Green Performance Dog Life Jacket, Medium
What Dogs Love:
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to wear
What Humans Love:
  • Durable
  • Great for multiple use
Reviewers Say:

The Outward Hound Standley Sport Experienced Swimmer Life Jacket is made of extra rugged ripstop nylon, making it super durable and perfect for repeated use. Your pup will appreciate the lightweight construction of this vest and how easy it is to move around while wearing it. Outward Hound and several reviewers note that this vest is best for a skilled swimm...

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The Outward Hound Standley Sport Experienced Swimmer Life Jacket is made of extra rugged ripstop nylon, making it super durable and perfect for repeated use. Your pup will appreciate the lightweight construction of this vest and how easy it is to move around while wearing it. Outward Hound and several reviewers note that this vest is best for a skilled swimmer because it's not as buoyant as other options.

The vest comes in five sizes, all with double handles and leash attachment.
More Info
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What Humans Love:
  • Durable
  • Great for multiple use
What Dogs Love:
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to wear
Reviewers Say:

The Outward Hound Standley Sport Experienced Swimmer Life Jacket is made of extra rugged ripstop nylon, making it super ...

Read More
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The Outward Hound Standley Sport Experienced Swimmer Life Jacket is made of extra rugged ripstop nylon, making it super durable and perfect for repeated use. Your pup will appreciate the lightweight construction of this vest and how easy it is to move around while wearing it. Outward Hound and several reviewers note that this vest is best for a skilled swimmer because it's not as buoyant as other options.

The vest comes in five sizes, all with double handles and leash attachment.

What Is a Dog Life Jacket?

A dog life jacket is a personal flotation device for a dog that is equipped with special features such as a grab handle, D-ring, and reflective accents. Some jackets aid in keeping your dog buoyant and are ideal for nonswimmers, while others are made for stronger swimmers. However, you should never leave your dog unsupervised in the water, even when he’s wearing a life jacket.

Dog Life Jackets: A Buying Guide
Whether your dog is an Olympic swimmer, first mate on the boat, or is putting his paw in the pool for the very first time, a dog life preserver is a smart safety precaution.
Dogs who are just learning to swim tend to paddle only with their front legs, while their rear legs try to find solid ground. A life vest keeps them afloat and horizontal on the surface as they learn to paddle with all four legs.
But even expert swimmers should wear a flotation device. They can tire while out in open water; rough currents or cold water can quickly exhaust your dog. Senior dogs, especially, can tire easily, or they may suffer from hip or joint problems that make it difficult to swim. A life jacket keeps your dog buoyant until you can get him to safety, and it makes it easier to handle him during a water rescue.
Key Features of Life Jackets for Dogs
Vest or jacket: If your dog is primarily a pool dog, a vest should be sufficient. Life vests are lighter weight than life jackets and cover less of the dog's body. These are also a good choice for first-time swimmers and swimming lessons, since they may feel less restrictive to a newbie. If you’re taking your dog on a boat on open water, however, a life jacket is the safest option.
Fit: Regardless of where and how your dog swims, a life jacket should fit snugly around your dog's body, without restricting the movement of his legs and neck and without any chafing. Most have buckles, which makes them easily adjustable to get just the right fit.
Handle: The jacket should have a handle on the top that is easy for you to grab and that's sturdy enough should you need to pull or lift your dog out of the water.
D-ring: You may not need this if your dog mainly hangs out in the backyard pool, but it's handy in open water and on the boat. It's not hard to imagine a dog slipping overboard in rough water or getting caught in an ocean current. If you can quickly clip on a leash, you'll be able to keep him within range until you can safely rescue him.
Reflective strips and bright colors: For boating and open water, choose a brightly colored life jacket. It makes the dog visible to boats and people in the water and helps you locate him quickly in an emergency. Reflective strips are an added precaution.
Headrest flotation pad: Some life jackets are constructed with extra flotation material that sits under the dog's neck. This keeps your dog's head above water should he become exhausted, injured, or incapacitated. It's a smart choice for dogs that spend a lot of time on boats or in open water, since even the best swimmer can get in trouble. You can also find life jackets that come with a detachable front flotation pad.
Abdominal flotation padding: Some dogs need more help floating than others. Life jackets that have flotation material instead of straps under the belly provide extra buoyancy.
Quick Tips About Buying a Life Jacket
Look for a life jacket that provides buoyancy, flotation, visibility, a snug fit, and a strong top handle.
Measure your dog carefully before buying. A life jacket only works well if it fits well.
Spend some time getting your dog used to his new flotation device, even before he hits the water.
Never, ever leave your dog unattended in the water.
Practice your dog’s recall on land before you try it in the water.

Frequently Asked Questions
Should dogs wear life jackets?

You should put a life jacket on your dog if she will be near a body of water and is a puppy or an inexperienced swimmer. Some dog owners put life jackets on strong swimmers, too, because they can tire out in large bodies of water. All dogs should wear life jackets on a boat.

Do dog life jackets work?

Dog life jackets work when fitted properly. Imagine you take your dog out for a ride on your motorboat, sailboat, or kayak. Suddenly, he’s overboard, and you have to get him safely back onboard. A quality life jacket that fits him properly will keep him afloat, make it easier to spot him, and provide a solid handle you can use to haul him to safety.

How should a life jacket fit a dog?

To provide proper flotation assistance, the vest should be form fitting but not restrict breathing, the same as a flotation vest on a human. The jacket fits close to the base of the dog’s neck, and straps should be adjusted properly with ends secured. It shouldn't be so snug the dog can't paddle. You should also be able to easily grab the handle at the top of the jacket.

Can all dogs swim without life jackets?

No, there are also some breeds such as Bulldogs who have a weight distribution that would not make it possible for them to swim very well without a life vest. Short-legged, long-bodied breeds like Dachshunds can also struggle in the water.

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