These Are the Best 9 Life Jackets for Dogs

There is nothing better than taking your dog for a swim on a warm summer day. Whether your dog swims for leisure or is a more athletic swimmer, a quality life jacket is a must. 

If you need a life jacket for your pup, keep reading to see our top 9 choices! 

Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket 

This life jacket is made for the more active dog and is a higher end life jacket. Ruffwear is known for the quality and endurance of their products, and this life jacket is one of the best quality options available and extremely reliable, which is shown through its higher price tag. 

The anatomy of the vest is unique and helps keep the dog in a position that feels natural for them to swim in. The neck is created in a telescope shape and allows the dog to move comfortably in the water. It is also equipped with extra flotation beneath the dog’s stomach which ensures it stays afloat. 

Some other notable features of this jacket are:

  • It is made from an abrasion-resistant material that has an added reflective trim for safety. 
  • There are no exposed straps or buckles which helps your pup avoid dangerous snagging in the water. 
  • It comes in a huge range of sizes from xx-small all the way up to x-large. 
  • You can choose from several colors including yellow, two shades of red, and a blue version with extra detailing 

The Ruffwear jacket is more expensive than some other options on our list, but it is an extremely high quality life jacket that works well for a variety of dogs. 

Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket 

If your budget is a concern but you still want a safe life jacket, this is a great option. It is made by a trustworthy and popular brand that many pet owners trust. The vest has an added front float feature that helps your dog stay afloat and keeps their head above water. There are some older models out there being sold second hand, but the newest model is the best quality. 

While this life jacket does not have all the detail of the previous option, it is great for a dog that enjoys the water at leisure. It will help keep your pup safe but may not be the absolute best choice for an extremely sporty pup. However, some additional things to keep in mind about this lower priced option are:

  • It has adjustability on both the belly band, chest, and neck bands.
  • The life jacket has two handles that help you grab your dog in the water and pull them back into the boat. 
  • It has easy quick-release buckles which make it very easy to put on and take back off your dog. 
  • It comes in several sizes to fit most dogs (xx-small to x-large) 

The Outward Hound fit is a great choice for those who take their swimming more leisurely and do not want to spend a lot while still getting a quality vest. 

HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket 

If you are wanting your dog to swim in style, these unique and even funny designs from HAOCOO are a great option. While the main attraction to this brand is the variety of colors and designs, they are actually really great life jackets as well. They range from simple colors to silly options that are sure to draw attention at your next lake outing. 

Their life jackets are made from a high-grade polyester and nylon blend that will hold up well even with regular use. Some other basics to keep in mind about this life jacket are:

  • You can choose from over 15 different colors and patterns. From standard blue to pink mermaid, this brand has some of the most versatile life jackets available. It also fits most dogs, with sizes ranging from double XX small to extra-large.
  • The jacket features two belly straps and a chest strap that are equipped with a quick release clip. 
  • There are added reflective strips that ensure your dog can be easily seen while in the water. 
  • This jacket has a handle included on the back to help you get your puppy out of the water and a D-ring for attaching a leash. 

While this is a fun life jacket it is still very safe for your pet and is a great option if you want something a bit more fun. 

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket

The Vivaglory life jacket has almost a perfect score on most charts. The jacket has extra padding that many do not along with a fastening system that holds this jacket in place. This fastening system helps hold the jacket in place and remains secure during your pup’s swim. 

This jacket is durable and comfortable on most dogs. You will want to measure your dog to ensure you are getting the accurate size, but there is a size chart available on the company’s site for additional help. Some other basics to keep in mind about this life jacket are:

  • There is a grab handle available on the back of the vest and an attachment point for a leash. 
  • You can purchase this life jacket in a variety of sizes from x-small to x-large. There are eight colors to choose from and some patterns. 
  • The straps are highly adjustable and there are quick-release buckles. This makes it easy to fit the jacket to your dog. 

Overall, this is a good life that many pet owners love and that will keep your pup afloat and safe. 

Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket 

This is another quality budget-friendly option that that has several amazing features but a lower price tag than others on our list. This life jacket is equipped with a heavy-duty Velcro fastening system that is a bit more unique. This allows you to adjust the fit on your dog’s belly and neck, while also keeping them completely snug and safe. 

While the life jacket comes in a variety of sizes, this is one of the best brands for returns. Should you get the life jacket, and it does not fit as you had hoped or is just not the right choice for your dog, returns should be a breeze. Some other notable features of this jacket are:

  • Features a loop on top for lifting your dog to help them up
  • Comes in sizes from extra-extra small to large. You can also choose from eight color combinations that are ideal for a variety of dogs.
  • The Velcro closure system is very easy to use and makes it simple to put on and off the dog. However, some owners with fluffier dogs did say they had trouble with fur getting stuck in the Velcro. 

This jacket is easy to clean and very easy to use, making it a great option for the lower price tag. 

Kurgo Surf n Turf Dog Life Vest

Plenty of dog owners rave about the Surf n Turf life vest. You can use it safely as a life vest, but it also works well as a three-season shell jacket for other seasons. If you frequent the outdoors with your pup this is a great option, simply remove the floatation layer and the life vest is a waterproof jacket for your pup. 

From an outdoor hike to a day at the beach, this jacket will work for practically every season. If versatility is what you are looking for, this is a great jacket. For the price, you are practically getting two jackets and the ease between waterproof land use to floatation device is simple for any owner. 

Some other features to keep in mind when it comes to this life jacket are:

  • The vest comes with an added reflective trim. This is great for water use but also works wonderfully for those who want to take their pups on hikes or walks in the jacket.
  • You can rest easy knowing that your life jacket will last for years to come, since Kurgo gives a lifetime warranty.
  • This life jacket is best for leisure swimming and more shallow waters. It is more a dual-purpose vest and not ideal for intense swimming in more rocky waters. 
  • You will find this jacket in sizes x-small up to large. Unfortunately, at this time it only comes in red. 

If you want something that is versatile and extremely high quality, this is the life vest for you! 

Hurtta Dog Life Savior Jacket

If your dog is spending a large amount of time in the water, this is a great option. The life jacket is designed to offer the utmost level of safety for a variety of dogs. It has strong buckles that are a bit thicker than the standard and provide even more durability. 

The vest is slightly different than others on our list as it was created to withstand a variety of water conditions. It is snug enough to remain safe but comfortable enough to offer freedom of movement for your pet. You should also keep in mind:

  • This jacket is designed for safety, working well for dogs that are active in the water and in a variety of water types. 
  • The jacket has a snug fit, which is designed to distribute the dog’s weight more evenly. 
  • This vest comes at a bit of a higher price tag than others on our list, but it is very durable and long lasting. For many, it is well worth the price.
  • You can find this life jacket in a huge range of sizes from x-small to x-large and in three colors.

If you have a more active dog, this is a great choice of life jacket and comes with tons of positive reviews. 

PetCee Quick Release Life Jacket for Dogs

Add this life jacket to our list of cute, affordable, and high-quality options for dogs. The life jacket is one that many pet owners love as it helps to better support poor swimmers. If you find that your dog struggles staying afloat, the added chin float on this life jacket will be a great option. 

This life jacket features three different straps that you will use to ensure your dog has a safe, secure fit. Two straps go around the dog’s stomach and one goes around its chest. This ensures that the vest stays in place and that your dog remains safe while in the water.

In addition to these safety precautions, some other features to look for are:

  • This vest is rugged but durable, making it a great choice for regular use by your pup. 
  • The three-strap system has an easy release buckle that makes putting the life jacket on and off simple. 
  • There is a reflective trim on all color options, which adds safety while in the water. There is also a D-ring on the back of the life jacket for attaching the leash. 
  • You can purchase the jacket in sixes x-small to x-large. There are pink and blue options that are plain life vests. However, you can make things a bit more interesting by getting a life jacket with a shark fin or mermaid tail!

This is a great vest for lesser experienced dogs that need a safe and affordable life jacket option. 

Onemore Choice Camo Pet Life Preserver 

This life jacket is designed for the working dog as it is ideal for those that are hunting bird. The life jacket has a unique camouflage print that makes it blend well into the hunting environment. If you have a bird dog that is retrieving fowl, this is a great choice. 

While this life jacket is mainly designed for hunting purposes, it is a comfortable and safe life vest option. When your pup is retrieving the duck you just harvested or if you simply want the vest for routine swims, they will be guaranteed safe. Some other important things to note are:

  • This jacket has two stomach straps and one for the chest area 
  • There is a quick-release buckle which makes removing the life jacket and snapping it in place simple. 
  • The stomach of the vest is made of a mesh that is breathable and comfortable for your pup. 
  • There is a handle on the back jacket to help you pull your pup out of rough waters. There is also a D-ring on the back for a lease to be attached to. 
  • The dog vest has a reflective trim to make it easier to view in the water.
  • You can find the life jacket in extra-small to extra-large. Unfortunately, you can only get it in a camouflage pattern, so if that’s not your thing then keep looking!

Overall, this is a great vest for those who have hunting dogs along with those who simply want to take their pups out for a safe swim. 

How to Fit Your Dog’s Life Jacket

Now that you have a better idea of some quality brands and life jackets, it is important to know exactly how to fit your dog’s life vest. The brands featured on our list will all have size charts available that you should reference before purchasing. You should use the manufacturer’s chart and your dog’s measurements to find the ideal life jacket size. 

To ensure that your dog is getting the best size life jacket, you will want to follow these steps:

  • Weigh your dog and ensure that it is within the weight range of the size you are considering. 
  • Measure your dog’s length from the base of the neck to the base of their tail (not the tip—just to where it meets their torso).
  • Measure the girth of your dog. This will be done at the widest part around the neck and the widest part around the chest. 

You will want to choose a life jacket size that is well within your dog’s measurements. You never want to size too far down, and it is often easier to tighten the buckles than loosen them. 

Fitting Your Dog’s Jacket Upon Arrival 

Once you have your dog’s life jacket in hand, you will want to fit it to your dog’s exact shape. Rarely will the life jacket fit perfectly upon purchasing and some adjusting is a must. There are a few steps you must follow when doing this. 

  • Unclip all buckles and loosen the straps on the life jacket. 
  • Put the life jacket onto your dog and ensure they feel comfortable. 
  • Connect the neck clip that is provided and tighten the strap until it is tighter. You want to have it tight when pulled but still have room to move freely.
  • Connect all other straps, tightening them into place. You want all straps to remain snug but ensure your dog can breathe easily and seems comfortable. 

Once the life jacket is on and ready to use, you will want to allow your dog to walk around some. Ensure they can move freely and that the jacket stays in place. Make any final adjustments before allowing your dog to enter the water. 

Keep Your Dog Safe with a Quality Life Jacket

Now you have a better idea of which life jackets are high quality and what to look for in your dog’s life vest, it is time to make your purchase. You will want to consider the sizing directions above before choosing your dog’s size, and also want to ensure you are getting a jacket that fits your dog’s needs and activity level. 

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