Welcome to ThinkVail – shop our list of the best life vests for dogs featuring canine flotation devices from NRS, Hurtta, EzyDog, Paws Aboard, Outward Hound, Ruffwear, Vivaglory & more.
Boating on the Colorado River or any mountain river, is lots of fun but it can be cold and very swift, especially in the spring, so if you’re taking your dog with you, you must have a canine life vest or dog flotation device (DFD) to keep them safe.
Summer is here in the mountains and that means it’s time to pull out the kayak, raft and paddle board from the closet. Nothing compares to a beautiful day out on the water in the high country with friends, family and your favorite canine companion.
And while some dogs are natural swimmers like retrievers and spaniels, others are less suited to the water, like basset hounds, bulldogs and pugs and have a hard time staying afloat in water. In addition, canines that are very lean with little body fat, senior dogs and dogs with health or mobility problems will all benefit from a good doggie life vest. So no matter the breed, your dog should always wear a life jacket when boating because even good swimmers can tire, and struggle in a fast-running river, or cold, snow-fed streams and lakes.
A good, sturdy handle makes it easy to grab hold of your dog and guide or lift them right out of the water back onto the boat if needed.
Convenient for attaching a leash or light or any canine essential.
Pockets are nice to store doo-doo bags, medicine, treats or other needs
Decide whether you want/need full coverage or low profile. More coverage means more buoyancy, and is best for poor swimmers.
Bright colors and reflective trim makes your dog easier to spot in the water and on land. Ideal for dogs that like to roam.
It’s most important that your dog’s life vest be sized correctly. When wearing a DFD, your dog should be comfortable, should be able to sit and lie down easily, and should be able to go to the bathroom. To ensure the best fit, measure your dog’s chest girth (measurement around the widest part of the rib cage) as well as the length of their back and their weight. Each manufacturer will have their own size guide, choose the best size based on your dog’s girth, length and weight. If your dog’s measurement is close to the maximum of any size, sizing up is recommended for a more comfortable, yet still snug fit.
NRS is a rock star in the rafting and kayaking world. They have been making high quality gear for river guides and backcountry river expeditions since 1972. This heavy-duty Cordura doggie life vest is made with the same attention to detail and craftsmanship and will not disappoint.
Constructed from world’s heaviest 1000-denier Cordura shell to be tough and take a beating if needed.
Plastic buckles secure the vest with three adjustment straps at the waist and neck for comfort and great fit.
Grab handle makes getting your pet back into the boat easy.
Rugged leash ring allows you to attach a leash or a strobe light
Reflective safety tape for extra visibility
Zippered pocket stows your leash, snacks or poop bags.
Available in sizes from small to X-large
#2 Best Life Vests for Dogs – Hurtta Life Savior PFD
Hurtta canine products are smart, rugged, comfortable and stylish. All of these features are showcased in the Hurtta Savior PFD for dogs. This is the perfect tool to keep dogs safe whether you’re rafting, paddle boarding, fishing or enjoying any other activity on the water.
Back padding design to keeps dog upright and in swimming position, while extra padding across the chest keeps the dog’s head out of the water.
Lightweight design allows for freedom of movement for your dog, whether on land or water.
Sturdy handle gives better control of your dog, even larger dogs in water rescues.
Available colors: Orange / Yellow / Purple
Low profile, streamlined life jacket for dogs.
#3 Best Life Vests for Dogs – RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Jacket
For more than 25 years Ruffwear has been designing innovative canine performance gear for outdoor adventures. Their products enhance any outdoor activity and this stylish, heavy-duty doggie float coat is no exception.
Strategically placed closed-cell foam panels allows your dog to swim naturally and supports them in an upright position, while in the water.
Strong, low-profile handle on the back makes it easy to lift your dog out of the water
Telescoping neck closure adjusts to fit different shapes and attaches securely.
Easy-to-clip buckles firmly hold straps
Heavy duty webbing maintains stability in wet environments
Reflective trim offers low-light visibility
Integrated light loop for attaching a light
Available Colors: Blue / Red / Yellow / Orange
The ultimate in canine flotation and water safety.
Bright colors make dogs easy-to-see even at a distance
If a dog flips over, it returns the dog to that natural swimming position.
Available in 6 sizes for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
#4 Best Life Vests for Dogs – Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
Outward Hound is a company made up of passionate pet lovers who love their pets and spend as much time as they can with them. They want the same for you and your pet, so they create amazing products that keep you and your four-legged friend out doors and adventuring longer. The Granby Splash dog life vest will keep your dog safe and having fun all day long
Constructed from ripstop material for comfort and buoyancy in the water,
offers freedom of movement while swimming as well as running on land
Front neck float helps keep the dog’s head above water
Neoprene belly band securely supports their chest and stomach.
Available x-small to X-Large to fit all shapes, sizes and breed of dogs.
Dual grab handles making it easy for you to pull your dog out of any emergency.
Adjustable Velcro strap and buckles keeps jacket securely on your dog while they are in the water.
Ideal for the seasoned water dog or the young dog’s first swim.
Available colors: Orange / Pink.
X-small thru X-large sizes available.
#5 Best Life Vests for Dogs – Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket
The Paws Aboard is a great choice of canine life jacket for every type of boating activity and water adventure. Dogs will find this DFD (dog flotation device) comfortable and easy to wear. Ideal for the beach, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and hot springs.
Neoprene jacket is made of quick-dry, breathable fabrics for all-day comfort.
DFD is light weight and incredibly buoyant.
Breathable mesh underbelly strap enabling quick water drainage and drying.
Greater comfort and skin health ensue.
Fashionable stylish silhouette
Adjustable collar, Velcro panels and adjustable buckles create a custom fit optimized.
Available in XXS – X large
Available in a variety of color combinations and patterns
#6 Best Life Vests for Dogs – EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device
EzyDog is the leader in active dog gear that encompasses the rugged outdoor lifestyle dogs love along with the comfort and style that dog owners demand. Combining the latest in sports technology and durability, EzyDog offers a canine life vest that goes above and beyond and looks great doing it.
Adjustable neoprene straps form an ergonomic, secure fit that is easy to fasten or remove.
Integrated, center-weighted grab handle makes it easy to scoop them up from the water.
Highly reflective trim provides maximum visibility and improved nighttime safety.
Boasts 50% more ultra-buoyant material for maximum flotation
Sturdy nylon D-ring to attach a leash or light
Recognized as one of the top canine PFDs on the market
Does not hinder or restrict natural movement.
Fits most breeds and sizes
Available colors: Green Camo / Red / Yellow
#7 Best Life Vests for Dogs – Camo Pet Life Preserver
The camo pet life vest is perfect when only camouflage will do, so it’s ideal for hunting dogs hard at work. If you’re looking for something a little lighter and fun, they also offer a whimsical mermaid and shark life vest design which will keep you and your friends laughing all day!
Life vest is constructed with soft polyester oxford core, a middle layer of flexible nylon fabric and a breathable mesh outer layer.
Foam neoprene side panels are buoyant and naturally insulating to keep dogs warm in the water.
Ultra durable Velcro straps and adjustable quick release buckles.
Available in 5 different sizes: XS – XL
Reflective accents along the straps, keeps your dog visible at night, dusk and dawn and other times of low visibility.
Top handle allows you to quickly and easily maneuver your pet out of the water or away from danger.
D-ring is the perfect place to attach a leash or light.
Lightweight mesh fiber is comfortable and dries quickly
Durable and long-lasting
Available colors: Brown Camo / Pink Mermaid / Gray Shark
Adjustable sizing and available in 5 size; x-small- X-large
#8 Best Life Vests for Dogs – Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest
Founded in 2006, Vivaglory designs and manufactures high quality pet products with help from their team of dedicated, passionate, innovative professionals. This durable ripstop doggie life vest is one of their bestsellers and with its affordable price and smart features, it’s easy to see why.
Good-looking, sports-style design will look great on your dog.
Will not hinder your dog’s natural movement.
Strategically positioned neck design provides more space and making this vest more comfortable for your dog.
Strong ripstop 600D oxford cloth is very durable.
Heavy-duty and convenient fastening system around the belly and neck keep the life vest securely fastened
Bright colors and Reflective trims enhance visibility in and out of water and low-light conditions
Available in 10 color choices
Available in a variety of sizes from XS to XL fits dogs of most shapes and sizes.
Utilizes up to 50% more flotation material
Center weighted grab handle makes it easy to pick your dog out of the water.
Quick-release buckle ensures a custom fit for your dog.
We hope you found this article about the best dog vests helpful.
We have touched on some of our favorite canine life vests but we would love to know your favorite, please tell us about your experience in the comments below.
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