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The best dog life jackets to keep your pup safe

You’ve probably seen dogs who happily jump into the water to fetch a toy, or maybe you have a pup who seems just as comfortable in the water as on land. It can be difficult to see how such athletic dogs can end up in need of rescuing, but it can happen in an instant.

Do dogs need life jackets? Yes. Even comfortable canine swimmers can take an unexpected fall into the water. Life jackets give dogs added buoyancy, which carries them to the surface faster and makes swimming less tiring over long distances.

Wearing a life jacket, whether in an emergency or not, can help your pup save energy and keep her head above water. Many even make it easier for you to help her if need be. Here are four of the best dog life jackets to help keep your fur baby safe, whether you’re boating, fishing, or just playing by the lake.

Kong Sport AquaPro Dog Flotation Vest

Your pup will be ready to hit the beach in style (and safety!) with Kong’s AquaPro Dog Flotation Vest. Three layers of foam help your pup stay afloat and in the most natural swimming position for a dog, so you won’t have to worry about her getting tired or sore. With safety as a top concern, Kong fashioned this vest with reflective straps for visibility, a pocket to hold a safety light, and an extra-long rescue handle on top. Three clasps and padded fasteners on the neck, back, and stomach, respectively, help keep your pup both secure and comfy — a win-win in one jacket!

Queenmore Ripstop Dog Safety Vest

For a life jacket that’s as adorable as it is effective, Queenmore’s Ripstop model is a smart choice. Not only does your pup get to be the cutest little shark you’ve ever seen, but she’ll also find swimming much easier. There are flotation devices at the neck, back, and belly when your pup is wearing this, so she’ll be supported from all angles. With strong yet breathable fabrics such as polyethylene foam, mesh, and oxford cloth, this vest will last and be easy to clean for years — so you’ll ready for your next trip to the ocean in no time!

Frisco Neoprene Dog Life Jacket

For a sleek and snug life jacket with everything it needs to keep your dog safe for all-day water play, look no further. This jacket by Frisco uses both neoprene and 30 millimeters of foam not only to help your dog stay topside but to keep her warm as well. To ensure the best fit, the straps are adjustable and have side buckles for easy fastening. The D-ring attachment in front can also be used as a leash attachment, so you won’t have to swap harnesses while walking to and from the water.

Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket

As Amazon’s number-one bestseller in canine life jackets, Outward Hound’s version of the classic safety vest simplifies finding a life jacket that’s just right for your pup. You need to know only your dog’s girth to get the right size, which means there’s a perfect fit for animals of any height, weight, and length. In addition to flotation attachments all around the vest, similar to other models, this life jacket includes a front float to help your pup keep her head above the surface. Outward Hound’s life jackets also have reflective material as well as reinforced safety handles at the top of the vest, so you can have peace of mind knowing your fur baby is safe and snug while she enjoys the water.

These four life vests are just a few of the high-quality options available online and in pet stores today, but they are popular for a reason! Durable material, quality buoyancy, and rescue accessories (such as the handle on top) are the most important features to consider, but whatever you choose, make sure to properly measure your dog following the life jacket instructions. Proper sizing is even more important when you’re dealing with safety, so be sure to get a good fit and hit the beach!

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Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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