Best Dog Life Jackets In 2022

10 Best Dog Life Jackets In 2022

I know what you’re thinking, “Dogs are great swimmers. Why do they need life jackets?” The answer is simple. Just because you are a great swimmer, that doesn’t mean you are immune to natural disasters or just simply fatigue from swimming after a lengthy period.

Dogs are in the same boat and need life jackets for the same reasons the average person would. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but fear not – we’ve done the research for you and found the best one there is on the market!

Doggie life jackets can be the difference between your pooch coming home from the water or being lost at sea. If you’re the type of person who enjoys boat trips or ventures to the lake with your furry friend, then a good life jacket for your dog is a smart investment.

How We Chose The Top Dog Life Vests

Picking the right safety gear that does its job well can be tough because usually when we’re thinking of safety, as much as possible, we want to cover all the bases. And as a fur parent, there’s nothing more important than keeping our fur babies safe and comfortable at the same time. Good news for you, we’re here to make sure you and your lovely pooch’s needs are on top of our priority.

So to give you peace of mind, here are the factors we considered in looking for the best dog life jackets.

  • Buoyancy

Buoyancy is very important in floatation devices because it gives your dog the ability to stay afloat or rise when submerged in water. Having a high buoyancy like this Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket is one of the things you need to look for in dog life jackets. You want something that can keep your dog’s head above the water (even if they can swim well) to avoid drowning accidents, especially in tough waves.

  • Size

Of course, before buying a dog life jacket for your dog, you need to ensure that you have the right measurement of your dog’s girth. The only problem is sometimes, the size chart indicated on the product page is inaccurate. One solution is opting for a size-up or doing the necessary adjustments yourself, so you can ensure it’s the perfect fit for your dog. Finding the correct size and fit is important because this determines the comfortability and security of the life jacket on your dog.

  • Reflective and Bright Colors

When talking about safety, reflective trims and bright colors on dog life jackets or dog life vests can add value. These reflective and bright colors allow you to spot your dog easily, whether it’s in broad daylight or nighttime. Our #1 on the list, Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket Safety Vest, has the reflective trims you’re looking for. It’s also available in various fun and bright colors for enhanced visibility.

  • Grab Handle

Top handles are a necessary addition to dog life jackets. In case of any emergency, you’ll be able to easily carry or lift your dog to avoid accidents. Dogs falling or slipping can be a problem, and with a sturdy handle, you can help your dog prevent this kind of accident by grabbing onto them. This Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat for Dogs has a strong, low-profile handle so you can keep your dog out of the water when it’s too tough to handle for them. Better to be safe than sorry!

  • Dog Life Jacket or Dog Life Vest

Before anything else, you should know your purpose in buying a life floatation device for your pooch. Are you using it to take your dog out for watersports like boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding, or is it more for casual swimming?

Dog life jackets are made for outdoor water sports or activities because they provide greater buoyancy which is more beneficial in extreme water activities. Meanwhile, dog life vests are more for indoor water activities like swimming in indoor pools. Typically, vests are lighter and more suitable for calm waters, and life jackets have more padding to withstand tough waters.

Related: Pool Floats for Dogs.

Vet Approved Content
  • Sara Redding Ochoa DVM
  • Certified content. This article has been fact checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.

    Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa: “Life jackets are a must-have if your pet spends any time on the lake or in the water. These jackets help make sure dogs stay safe when swimming.”

View The Best Dog Life Jackets Below

1. Vivaglory Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

Vivaglory Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: Vivaglory
  • Size: Available in 5 sizes
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Closure Type: Velcro closures
  • Color: Available in 20 colors

Our Review

The Vivaglory Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket is made with materials that have passed the CA65 standard (which certifies its material safety). With this feature and the sports-style design, this life vest takes the fit, comfort, and safety of your canine companion into top consideration. Coming in standard sizes that range from XS to XL, it is made to fit dogs of all shapes and sizes.

This style comes with a smart neck design that is strategically placed, so it doesn’t hinder your dog’s movements while giving them enough comfort. To further enhance the safety side of things, this floatation vest comes with reflective trim, so your dog is visible at all times under any level of light. A center-weighted handle lies vertically on your dog’s back, making it easier for you to lift or grab your dog in case of an emergency.

Pros:

+ Doesn’t restrict movement
+ Great floatation
+ Extra security with adjustable straps
+ D ring for easy leash attachment
+ Made with durable ripstop 600D cloth
+ Reflective trim for enhanced visibility

Cons:

– The velcro catches on fabrics
– Sizing chart may be inaccurate; make sure to order a double size up

Why We Like It – This product choice offers superior comfort and mobility for your dog and the best security at an extremely affordable price. With the reflective detailing, bright fun colors, and 50% more floatation material, it not only guarantees increased safety but also dominates with style!


2. RUFFWEAR – K-9 Float Coat for Dogs

RUFFWEAR – K-9 Float Coat for Dogs

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: Ruffwear
  • Size: Available in 6 sizes
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Closure Type: Buckle closures
  • Available in 3 Colors: Blue Atoll, Sockeye Red, Wave Orange

Our Review

What are the important characteristics of a good life jacket? Well, one that has good buoyancy to ensure a proper float, bright color so you can spot your pup while out in large bodies of water, handles just in case, and a good size and fit for your dog. The RuffWear-K9 Float Coat has all of these must-haves plus a bonus, the reflective material! This top-rated, 5-star float coat is very durable and well made.

It comes in various sizes ranging from XX-small to extra large and has buckles underneath for an even more secure fit. There are cutouts at the shoulders for added mobility, and the submarine-style neck opening allows the pup’s head to stay above water while swimming.

Pros:

+ Adjusts to fit different breed sizes
+ Good buoyancy
+ Reflective trim for increased visibility
+ Allows for good mobility
+ Ideal for kayaking, boating, surfing, paddleboarding, and swimming

Cons:

– Higher price point
– Chest straps need checking periodically

Why We Like It – The RuffWear-K9 Float Coat is a popular dog life vest that covers all the bases and then some. While disasters are something a pet parent never wants to think about, it is important to be prepared for anything and everything. It is our duty as dog owners to protect our fur babies, and this is one of the ways we can do that


3.  Outward Hound Life Jacket

Outward Hound Life Jacket

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Outward Hound
  • Size: Available in 5 sizes
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Closure Type: Velcro and Clasp closures
  • Available in 5 Colors: Orange, Camo, Green, Pink, Yellow

Our Review

The Outward Dog Life Jacket is one of the top-rated dog life vests on Amazon. It comes in five sizes guaranteed to fit (XS-XL). The jacket itself is quite easy to manage, with three standard buckles under the dog’s belly. The bright reflective colors of the jacket design help your dog stay visible while they paddle around in the water.

The handles at the top of the jacket allow for emergency rescue to keep your pooches safe! This amazing dog life vest for your best bud is designed with dual rescue handles, high-quality reflective material, and a front neck float to keep your dog’s head afloat. Its adjustable straps with a neoprene belly band are made for a comfortable and reliable fit.

Pros:

+ Doesn’t restrict movement
+ Highly reflective material
+ Front neck float
+ With ripstop material for maximum buoyancy
+ Two-handle design for easy lifting

Cons:

– Sizing chart featured seems to be inaccurate; size up if your dog’s girth is on the larger scale
– Large or strong dogs may damage the handle if they pull a lot

Why We Like It – Next time you’re heading out to the water and your best bud wants to come along, you won’t have to worry about their safety when they’re suited up in the Outward Hound Life Jacket. Simply adjust the straps, click the three buckles, and send him off to play with a kiss on the head!


4. WOpet Shark Fin Dog Life Jacket

WOpet Shark Fin Dog Life Jacket

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: WOPET
  • Size: Small Size
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Closure Type: Velcro
  • Available in Gray

Our Review

We’ve seen ergonomic designs and brightly colored jackets above to ensure safety. Now we have one that might strike fear into the hearts of nearby swimmers. Introducing the WOpet Shark Fin Dog Life Jacket! The shark fin is an adorable extra touch added for uniqueness. It has reflective trim and accents for safety measures and comes in a pink mermaid design if you want a girlier one for your girl fur baby.

The top handle allows you to take control in case of an emergency. Adjustable nylon straps on the side that wrap under your dog’s belly and the quick-release buckles guarantee a snug fit for your dog.

Pros:

+ Easy grab sturdy safe handle
+ 2 quick-release buckles for easy on and off
+ Adjustable chest velcro to attain the perfect fit
+ Reflective strips for visibility
+ Comes in cute shark fin or mermaid tail design

Cons:

– Connectors are made from low-quality plastic, which is brittle and seems fragile
– May be too heavy for small dogs

Why We Liked It – Watch out! There’s a shark in the water! Oh wait, it’s just my pup! The cute shark design adds a little bit of character to the safe design. There is also a D-ring for easy leash attachment when your pups are out of the water.


5. Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket

Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: Paws Aboard
  • Size: XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large
  • Color: Red, Blue & Yellow, Grey Camo, Neon Yellow, Pink, Racing Flames, Red, Nautical Dog, Pink Polka Dot
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Closure Type: Velcro

Our Review

The Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket uses synthetic rubber material called neoprene that’s quick-dry and fade-resistant. This is the material used to make divers’ suits. It’s durable, light, and sun-resistant. As an added bonus, it has reflector tape on all sides and comes in a variety of fun colors so you can spot your dog even at a distance.

A strong and conveniently located handle makes struggling to get your dog back on land a thing of the past. The Velcro straps at the waist and neck allow for an exact fit for your particular dog. Make sure you choose the right size when ordering for your dog; the life jacket should fit snuggly and not loosely.

Pros:

+ Made from quick-dry and fade-resistant neoprene material
+ High buoyancy and flexible neoprene fabric
+ Advanced breathable mesh
+ Heavy duty hook and loop fastening system
+ Reflective strips for maximum visibility

Cons:

– It may not offer enough buoyancy for large dogs
– The handle may not be sturdy enough for heavy dogs

Why We Like It – Paws Aboard Double Designer Life Jacket is a great life jacket for any size or shape of a dog. We like it for its durability and comfort features, and it’s easy to use with the Velcro straps, quick-release buckles, and easily located handle.


6. HAOCOO Mermaid Dog Life Jacket

HAOCOO Mermaid Dog Life Jacket

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: HAOCOO
  • Size: XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, and XX-Large
  • Pattern: Striped
  • Closure Type: Velcro
  • Material: Polyester
  • Available in 10 Colors: Blue Bone, Blue Polka Dot, Camouflage 1, Orange, Pink Bone, Pink Polka Dot, Yellow, Mermaid, Shark

Our Review

Another cute design? Yes, please! The materials used on this HAOCOO Mermaid Dog Life Jacket are very durable, and the mesh fiber allows for quick drying. From XXS to XXL, it covers all sizes and can fit any dog of any breed. Aside from the standard D ring leash hook, reflective trim, and top handle, the front float design assists in keeping your dog upright.

This is great for the less than amazing swimmers. This option also comes in a cute lobster and fish design. Measure your dog right, and if they are between sizes, opt for a larger size for a more comfortable fit.

Pros:

+ Quick-dry and drain mesh fiber
+ Ripstop Oxford nylon fabric
+ Reflective trim for enhanced visbility
+ Adjustable belt and quck-release buckles
+ With heavy-duty D-ring to hook your dog’s leash

Cons:

– Velcro sticks on dog’s hair
– Sizing chart is inaccurate; better to opt for a size up

Why We Like It – With the HAOCOO life jacket for dogs, you never have to worry about your dog’s safety again! Feel free to attach a leash at all times if you don’t want your fur baby wandering off too far. It’s also an affordable life jacket but made from high-grade materials that ensure durability and sturdiness.


7. Vivaglory Camo Dog Life Jacket

Vivaglory Camo Dog Life Jacket

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: Vivaglory
  • Size: XS:14-17 inch(Ribcage Girth), S:17-21 inch (Ribcage Girth), M:21-25 inch (Ribcage Girth), L: 25-31 inch (Ribcage Girth), XL:31-38 inch(Ribcage Girth)
  • Pattern: Camouflage
  • Closure Type: Velcro
  • Material: Ribcage Girth Range
  • Available in 10 Colors: Blue, Camo Blue, Camo Pink, Extra Reflective Green, Extra Reflective Orange, Extra Reflective Pink, Extra Reflective Yellow, Pink, Sakura Pink, Yellow

Our Review

Another affordable option for a canine life jacket, this Vivaglory Camo Dog Life Jacket has an upgraded ripstop 600D oxford cloth, making it more durable. The extra padding equipped in this canine life vest has 50% more floatation, keeping your dog safe in the water. There is no wiggling out of this float coat with a Velcro fastening system around the belly and neck.

It also comes with the front float padding design that is removable if it starts getting in your dog’s way. The reflective detailing and strong top grab handle make it easy to spot your dog and guide them out of the water.

Pros:

+ Strong grab handle for easy handling
+ Durable material with ripstop 600D cloth
+ Extra padding allows 50% more floatation
+ Heavvy-duty and comfortable fastening system
+ Removable front float design

Cons:

– Sizes run too small, and the large size seemed smaller for some dogs
– The adjustable straps tend to loosen and require retightening

Why We Like It – The best dog life jacket needs to not only be securely fastened on your pup but also help your dog stay afloat! The more floatation a jacket offers, the less stress it is on your dog to keep moving in the water.


8. SCENEREAL Fluro Dog Life Jacket

SCENEREAL Fluro Dog Life Jacket

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: SCENEREAL
  • Size: Available in Small, Medium, and X-Large
  • Closure Type: Hook And Loop, Buckle
  • Material: Polyester
  • Available in: Pink and Green Colors

Our Review

Having a life jacket just makes the day more enjoyable for adventurous and active water dogs. It allows them to not need to tread water constantly. The SCENEREAL Fluro Dog Life Jacket comes in bright colors, making finding your pet in the water easier than ever. Being made of a solid polyester blend, the jacket is lightweight, durable, and highly buoyant, which leads to years of possible use.

This dog life vest is easily adjustable and comes with Velcro tech to secure your little dog’s body, making it safe and easy to put on. Your dog will quickly get used to, and come to enjoy, their new fashion statement, and you will have the peace of mind that comes with proper preparation.

Pros:

+ Made from premium polyester fabric
+ Lightweight, safe, and durable
+ Two metal D-rings and handle for easy control
+ Easy on and off with velcro and quick-release buckle
+ Extra padding for greater buoyancy

Cons:

– Sizing chart is not accurate

Why We Like It – If these points aren’t enough to sell you, I encourage you to read the product reviews on Amazon. Boasting a 4.5-star rating, this canine life jacket is accompanied by a plethora of great stories related to its use, along with testaments to the quality and usefulness of the jacket.


9. Avanigo Shark Dog Swimming Vest

Avanigo Shark Dog Swimming Vest

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Product Specifications

  • Brand: Avanigo
  • Size: Available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large
  • Closure Type: Velcro
  • Material: Polyester
  • Available in: Grey, Orange, and Pink

Our Review

This float coat is more than a floatation device, giving your dog the freedom to roam around in the water with minimal effort. They have added a double layer of foam, making this Avanigo Shark Dog Swimming Vest 20% thicker than before but without the added bulk.

For smaller dogs, this dog life vest has a nylon handle. For larger dogs, size L to XL Avanigo has added plastic handles to support your dog’s weight. There are reinforced stitches on both ends to strengthen the hold. Coming in different fun colors and a shark fin detail, your beloved pals, will look like colorful sharks in the water.

Pros:

+ With D-ring for leash attachment
+ Double-layer foam dog life jacket
+ Higher buoyancy to keep your dog afloat
+ Great for boating, kayaking, surfing or just swimming in the pool.
+ Secure neck and belly straps

Cons:

– Only for extra small pets
– Components are not as sturdy

Why We Like It – Having a good buoyant life jacket is a must for your dog. Rest assured that even with the added padding, your dog can maneuver easily in the water. With this dog life vest, your dog will be safe because of the secure float foam that keeps your dog afloat while having fun in swimming pools.


10. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket (DFD)

EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket (DFD)

Product Specifications

  • Brand: EzyDog
  • Size: Available in X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large
  • Closure Type: Belly Straps
  • Material: Nylon, Neoprene
  • Available In: Red, Yellow

Our Review

Ezy Dog gives dogs and their dog parents the satisfaction they deserve with one of the top-performing canine life jackets, the EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket. Most dogs that love water adventures will also love this amazing floatation device. With its ergonomic design and durable neoprene material, your pooch will have a heck of a time swimming while being safe.

It offers 50% more buoyancy to keep your dog upright and their head above the water at all times. This dog life vest also has an integrated grab handle that allows easy handling, along with the D-ring attachment if you want to keep your dog on a leash. Even better, it has custom-fit sizes that are available for all breed sizes.

Pros:

+ Ergonomic and comfortable fit
+ 50% more floatation compared to other life vests
+ Heavy-duty polyester durable construction
+ With grab handle for easy and secure handling
+ Highly reflective detailing for improved visibility
+ D-ring for leash attachment

Cons:

– Might not cover giant breeds enough
– Some pet parents complain about the neck strap being poorly designed

Why We Like It – Fur parents found this EzyDog Life Jacket impressive and excellent! The 50% more buoyancy adds to its charms and makes for an amazing swimming experience for your beloved dog. It’s a high-performance dog’s life jacket made from the highest quality materials that provide safety and security.


Dog Life Jackets Buyer’s Guide

Dogs can be great swimmers, but they can only swim so long before getting exhausted, similar to their dog owners. That’s why it’s always good to be prepared for anything and having safety gear for precaution won’t hurt anyone, in fact, it might just save a life. Out of all the best dog life jackets available, you need to make sure that you get high-quality with durable parts that prioritize pet safety.

What to Look for When Buying a Dog Life Jacket?

Safety

A top handle may not seem to be necessary, but it could be the very thing that rescues your dog if it gets hurt. It allows you to grab, lift and steer your pup in case of emergency. Make sure the handle is durable enough to sustain your dog’s full weight.

A leash attachment loop is also important when your dog is out of the water. For some of us with giant breeds, if your pup is too heavy to lift, a leash loop is necessary to keep your pooch close to you before help reaches you.

Bright colors and reflective strips add more visibility and safety. If you’re planning on going on night adventures, choose eye-catching colors and bright prints that will give you a better view of your pup.

Floatation and buoyancy are two other qualities to look for. A floatation pad located in front of its neck helps to keep your dog’s head above water. This is especially important if, by any chance, your fur baby becomes incapacitated.

Comfort

The right size and fit are of vital importance. A jacket that’s too loose might be easy for your dog to get out of or accidentally pop out of when a wave crashes down. A fit that’s too tight will hinder movement and cause chafing. You want a good range of motion, and that comes with a perfectly snug fit. Having adjustable straps will give you more leeway when your pup grows or gains any weight.

Material

The material should be 100% waterproof, so it doesn’t soak any water up and weigh down your pup. Lightweight and durable material that insulates and dries quickly is also something to look for. Our best suggestion is neoprene, the material used for scuba diving suits.

Neoprene is a high-quality material commonly used in life vests because of the comfort and fits it provides. Most importantly, it’s specially designed for active dogs who are into watersports or similarly for dogs who love an occasional swim.

Does My Dog Need a Dog Life Vest?

It is quite a common misconception to think all dogs naturally know how to swim. In fact, many dogs don’t like or are scared of water. For pets such as these, a life jacket can help their confidence in the water. Through fierce and deep waters, or if you plan to be in the middle of the ocean for a lengthy time, no matter how good of a swimmer your pup is, a life jacket is necessary.

Think of them the same way you would of a human swimmer. No matter how good a swimmer you are, you are still limited by physical abilities and Mother Nature’s wrath. Why not pop one of these cute designs on your pup just for added safety?

Which Dog Breeds Require Life Jackets?

Usually, dogs bred for a specific purpose, like retrievers, poodles, spaniels, and setters, excel in the water. However, not all dogs are natural or suited for swimming. For example, breeds with a larger chest, like Pugs and Bulldogs, tend to have a hard time in the water. Dogs with shorter legs, longer spines, and short muzzles are also not natural swimmers.

These breeds include the Bulldogs mentioned above and Pugs, Dachshunds, the Basset Hound, the Corgi, and the Boxer. While life jackets can benefit any dog, make sure you never take them off if you have the breeds just mentioned!

What is the best life jacket for small dogs?

Outward Hound Life Jacket

If you ask us, the best dog life jacket for a small dog is the Outward Hound Life Jacket. It caters to all breed sizes, from extra small to extra large, so your small fur baby will fit perfectly on this remarkable life jacket. The bright colors with reflective accents improve visibility so your dog will be safe day and night. What we love most about this is that it’s suitable for beginners and experienced dog swimmers. No matter what your dog’s skill level is, this will be perfect for them!

Conclusion

The bottom line is, every dog owner needs to have a dog life jacket for their pet. How much it is used depends on how often you go outdoors, how well your dog can swim, and the length of time spent in nature. A life jacket can even come in handy at the doggy pool! We have included many affordable choices and ones that might be slightly on the expensive side. Spare no expense when it comes to the safety of your fur child.

Whichever vest you end up picking, remember that there is always an adjustment period for your dog. Take the time to help them get used to wearing it. As we always say, if your dog rejects the jacket or associates it to discomfort, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even the strongest and the best doggy swimmers will get tired and are subject to the dangers of the outdoors. Do not take the chance, get your dog a great life jacket today.

Expert Tip

Try not to force a child’s life jacket onto your pet. Doggy life jackets are made specifically for dogs and catered to their unique needs and specifications. A child’s life vest will not provide the same functions.

Choose bright eye-catching colors with the most amount of reflective trim. Any sort of identifying detailing like a mermaid tail or shark fin can make it easier to make out your dog in a group.

Did You Know?

Dogs with low body fat or with age or health issues will definitely need a life vest. Make sure the life vest is balanced and keeps your pooch in a horizontal and natural swimming position.

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