Best Dog Life Jackets: Reviews, & Top Rated List

 

If your dog is going to be spending some time in the water, you wouldn’t be wrong to be a cautious pet parent and get them some help staying afloat and above the water.

This is where finding a good doggy life jacket or life vest can be important.

In this guide we list the best dog life jackets and life vests, and link you to individual reviews where you can see their main features and potential drawbacks.

We also provide some information on how you might go about picking a size of life jacket for your dog, no matter if they are small or larger in body size and breed.

Let’s get into the guide!

 

(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

 

Best Dog Life Jacket/Vest: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Our top picks for the best dog life jacket/vest are:

 

Best Dog Life Jacket/Vest: Reviews

Paws Aboard Designer Dog Life Jacket

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Features

A doggy life jacket to provide buoyancy for dogs in the water

Come at an affordable price

Comes in a range of sizes from XXS to XL. For dogs roughly 5 to 90lbs in weight

Paws Aboard provide a sizing chart to fit your dog

Comes in a range of colors including neon yellow, polka dot and nautical

Has a grab handle ontop of the life jacket to control your dog and pull them out the water

Has a leash attachment D ring ontop of the life jacket

Has 2 belly clips and a front neck clip with velcro to secure your dog into the life jacket

Nylon straps are adjustable to fit to the body size of the dog

 

Drawbacks

The neck of the life vest can be a bit tight for dogs with wider chests

The nylon straps could be a bit higher quality and slightly more durable

 

Overall

Overall, a good lifejacket in terms of quality and performance for the price. Some people find the neck part of it to have a few issues with fitting their dog’s body, but that’s more the minority.

Make sure you measure your dog properly before ordering.

 

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Kyjen Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

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Features

A dog life jacket intended for use on a conscious dog in calm waters

Comes at an affordable price

Available in 5 different sizes from XS to XL – fits dogs with girth from 11 to 44 inches, and dogs from 5lbs up to 100lbs

Outward Hound provides a sizing chart where you can measure the girth and weight of your dog and match it to a size of life jacket

There’s several different colors of this jacket available – dark pink, fun fish, orange, and pink

Has two grab handles on the top of the jacket

Has adjustable straps on the side and front of the jacket

Has a leash attachment

 

Drawbacks

Seems to run a size big – so you may want to order a size smaller than you think you need

Could do with a single strap running from the neck piece to the belly piece just as extra support throughout the front part of the jacket – but without this suggested strap the life jacket fits and works fine any way

 

Overall

Probably the most popular dog life jacket on the market.

Comes as a good price with no major design flaws or quality concerns. Pay attention to the sizing when ordering on this one

 

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EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) Dog Life Jacket

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Features

A dog life jacket to keep your dog floating above water

Made of a heavy duty polyester

Has 50% more flotation material than some other brands

Designed to give your dog free movement of their front and back legs

Comes in a few different colors – yellow, red and green camo

Comes in different sizes from XS through to XL

Has a D buckle point on top of the jacket for attaching a leash

Has a zipper pocket to store small items

There’s a grab handle on top of the jacket 

Has reflective material on the jacket to help you see it better

Has adjustable neoprene straps

EzyDog provides a sizing chart that gives you the size of jacket to pick based on your dog’s girth and back length

 

Drawbacks

Could use some more padding on the belly of the life jacket

Could do with a single strap running from the neck piece to the belly piece just as extra support throughout the front part of the jacket – but without this suggested strap, the life jacket fits and works fine any way

 

Overall

The drawbacks we list above are more so design improvement suggestions rather than major drawbacks.

Overall, the EzyDog DFD is one of the best dog life jackets on the market for small through to large dogs of most breeds.

The materials are quality and the design is good to allow floating but also free movement of your dog in the water.

 

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Kurgo Surf N’ Turf Dog Life Jacket

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Features

A life jacket to help your dog float and stay above the water and safe

You can also remove the flotation liner in the vest to make the vest into a rain coat

Can be used for swimming, boating, daily walks, excursions, and winter wear

Comes in different sizes from small to large

Comes in 2 colors – red, and red and grey

Kurgo has a measurement chart that tells you which size of life jacket to pick based on your dog’s neck, chest and back

There’s 2 handles on the back of the life jacket for control and to pull your dog out of the water with

Has reflective trim on the jacket and has rugged rip-stop material

Has two metal D-rings for leash connections and also includes a bottle opener

Comes with a Kurgo lifetime warranty (check warranty at time of purchase)

 

Drawbacks

Could use more padding on the bottom of the life jacket where the stomach/belly is

Could do with a single strap running from the neck piece to the belly piece just as extra support throughout the front part of the jacket – but without this suggested strap, the life jacket fits and works fine any way

 

Overall

Overall, the drawbacks are not major drawbacks. Kurgo makes a good quality life jacket with the Surf N Turf, and it works well for most dogs. One of the better dog life jackets on the market

 

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Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat

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Features & Pros

A ‘float coat’ for dogs designed to keep your dog safe in water and floating

For swimming or rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing and paddle boarding

Comes in a range of sizes from extra small through to extra large

Fits most body sizes of dogs

Comes in several different colors

Made from abrasion resistant material

The securing buckles on the coat are sheltered/concealed to prevent them being knocked while your dog is moving

The coat has closed cell foam panels that are intended to help you dog feel more comfortable and swim normally without them feeling restricted

There’s a handle on the top of the jacket that you can grab to pull your dog out the water

Jacket has reflective trim

Jacket neck opening is adjustable

There’s a loop on the jacket in case you want to attach a beacon light

 

Overall

What stands out about the K-9 Float Coat mainly is it is well made, fits almost any dog body type, doesn’t appear to impede dog body movement at all and let’s your dog swim with their head above the water without floating too high and awkwardly with their whole body above the water.

Worth the money if fit, versatility and quality are important to you.

You might be able to get cheaper life jackets, but they almost certainly won’t fit as well

 

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Paws Aboard Red Neoprene Dog Life Jacket

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Features

A doggy life jacket to provide buoyancy for dogs in the water

Comes in a range of sizes from XXS to XL. For dogs roughly 5 to 90lbs in weight

This life jacket is designed with a Lifeguard type design, and fits small through to larger dogs.

Paws Aboard provide a sizing chart to fit your dog

Comes in a ‘LifeSaver’ red type color that has a LifeSaver theme to the jacket as well. The color and design definitely stands out and is cute

Has a grab handle ontop of the life jacket to control your dog and pull them out the water

Has a leash attachment D ring ontop of the life jacket

Has 2 belly clips with velcro, and a front neck velcro closure to secure your dog into the life jacket

Nylon straps are adjustable to fit to the body size of the dog

 

Drawbacks

Runs a bit bigger and longer than the measurements provided for sizing. Consider that when ordering

Jacket is neoprene, so it may be warmer for dogs than some other life jackets

The jacket feels thinner than some other life jackets – feels like there may be less flotation material in it that some other life jackets

Questions over the long term durability of the life jacket past say a year of use

 

Overall

Overall, the life jacket is decent quality and fits well and works well for most dogs.

However, there is some question of it’s long term durability, particularly the straps and buckles, past a year’s work of use if your dog is going to be using it regularly.

The Kyjen Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket is a popular dog life jacket option

 

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Best Dog Life Jacket/Vest: Buyer’s Guide

How To Pick A Size Of Dog Life Jacket?

The manufacturer should give you a sizing chart where you can measure the neck, chest and back of your dog, and pick a size of dog life jacket based on that.

For example, a medium sized life jacket might fit pets with a 25 inch chest girth, 25 inch neck girth and 15 inch long back. Dogs like this might on average weigh around 45 lbs. 

It’s generally not as accurate to pick a life jacket size based on your dog’s weight – so stick to body measurements.

Also note whether a life jacket seems to run bigger or smaller than the measurements the manufacturer gives you.

To find this out, check out what other buyers who have already bought the jacket are saying about it.

 

Dog Life Jacket Features To Be Aware Of When Buying

What sized dogs is the life jacket suitable for

Does the life jacket run to size, or bigger or smaller than the measurements given by the manufacturer

What colors does the life jacket come in?

Does the life jacket come with one or two grab handles on the back?

Does the life jacket come with a D ring attachment on the back for a leash?

What are the neck and belly securing attachments made of? Are they clips or velcro or both?

Are the fastening straps of the life jacket adjustable?

Is there are small storage pocket on the life jacket to store small pet items?

Does the life jacket have reflective material on it for added visibility?

Can you remove the flotation material from the life jacket and use it as a normal jacket?

Is there a warranty on the life jacket – if so, how long does it last?

 

Best Life Jackets For Large Dogs

We’ve specifically put together a guide for the best life jackets for German Shepherds here.

 

 

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