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11 Best Dog Life Jackets

A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Published on
Saturday 3 December 2022
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
11 Best Dog Life Jackets
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If you and your furry friend like going kayaking, surfboarding, or boating together, you must be aware of how excited dogs can get. A life jacket is a must to keep them safe in the water, and in this article, we will take you through some of the best dog life jackets with their features, pros, and cons. 

11 Best Life Jackets For Dogs

There are many great options when you search for dog life jackets. Still, we have selected the best out of them based on criteria like size, material, visibility, availability of a D-ring, flotation, and a good fit. Here’s a summary of the best life jacket for dogs:

Product NameHighlightsRating
Frisco Shark Dog Life JacketLarge size, Good visibility, Adjustable straps4.8
Ruffwear, Float Coat Dog Life Jacket D-ring, Small size, Good visibility 
Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life VestAdjustable neck, Good visibility, Ripstop material
EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD)Telescopic neck for comfort, For all sizes

Queenmore Dog Life Jacket50% more floatation, Ultra buoyancy feature 
Fragralley High Visibility Small Dog Life Jacket Quirky, Ideal for small breeds, With reflective trim 
Outward Hound Dawson SwimHelpful for water sports, D-ring available 
Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life JacketAvailable in multiple sizes, Good for active dogs 

Outward Hound Granby SplashRescue handle and D-ring, Good visibility 
Outward Hound Standley SportsHigh visibility, suitable for beginners 
Pawz Pet Products Doggy Life JacketGood for domestic environment, Easy grab handle
Best Dog Life Jackets

1. Frisco Shark Dog Life Jacket

If you are looking to get quirky with your doggie life vests, the Frisco Shark Dog Life Jacket is the thing you want to buy. It has 20mm thick foam panels that keep the dog comfortable while buckled in, and there are buttons and hook-fasteners for easy adjustment. 

The front flotation flap is useful to keep the head out of the water.  It has an easy grab-handle and D-ring for a leash. The buoyancy balance keeps the dog afloat when they are trying to swim around. Shark dog jackets are adorable, but they may not fit well when trying them out for the first time. The sizes are not perfect, and you have to be careful when buying the jacket for larger dogs. 


  • Thick foam panels for flotation
  • Grab handle, and D-ring for guiding the dog
  • Buttons and fasteners for adjustments 


  • The shape does not fit easily 
  • Does not fit well for larger sizes 

2. RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Jacket

Ruffwear Float Coat is true to its name and is rated one of the best dog life jackets on the market. It has PVC-free foam padding, and it helps the dog maintain balance in the water in all orientations. A water-compatible webbing will not let the jacket stretch out in the water after long hours. 

The product has a telescopic neck so that it can fit your dog easily and can adjust to all body sizes. It comes with adjustable buckles and a rescue handle to attach the leash. The only drawback of this product is that it is one of the most expensive options and might be difficult when you are trying to stick to a budget. 


  • A telescopic neck keeps the dog comfortable 
  • It can be helpful to dogs of all sizes 
  • PVC-free foam padding for flotation support


  • One of the more expensive options 

3. Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest

The Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest is the ideal doggie life jacket for growing dogs. The material comes with extra padding that makes the inside of the jacket soft and comfortable. The product has a rescue handle for lifting the dog. 

This life vest has an adjustable neck and floating balance so that the dog has no trouble maintaining buoyancy and won’t flip over in the water. It does not restrict the dog’s movement in any way and allows them to swim comfortably. The adjustable straps can be good for all sizes.

The jacket takes some time for the dog to adjust. Also, since there is no D-ring, you cannot use a leash when you are at the beach. 


  • Adjustable neck for the comfort of the dog
  • Available in bright colors for good visibility 
  • Floating balance for safety


  • Dog might take some time to adjust to it
  • No D ring for leash 

4. EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD)

Available in various sizes for all types of dogs, the EzyDog Premium Floatation device is the best life preserver for dogs. The product has much more flotation stuff than other brands, and your doggie can float without fear. Its integrated grab handle will help you guide your dog out of water. 

It has buckles for customizing the jacket’s size, and bright colors are available for visibility. There is also a contoured neck floatation allowing the dog to stay comfortable when they are swimming for long hours. 

This jacket is not very appropriate for compact but muscular dogs such as bulldogs, and you need to be careful with the right size. Another problem is that the floatation part is a bit high up, so your dog’s nose might end up too close to the water for comfort.


  • Extra flotation material 
  • Grab-handle
  • Reflective trim for visibility


  • Not ideal for very small dogs or puppies 
  • Flotation is too high up

5. Queenmore Dog Life Jacket

The Queenmore Shark Dog Life Jacket is a stylish life jacket for dogs. It has an outer mesh and nylon fabric and uses ripstop oxford cloth filled with polyethylene foam, so it has a high buoyancy and keeps your dogs safe in the water. 

The product has a shark-fin design with a rescue handle and D-ring to help guide the dog on water and land. There are strong nylon straps as handles for pulling heavier dogs. The life jacket is available in various sizes and is customizable in size. 

The polyethylene material can get uncomfortable for the dogs in the heat if they wear the jacket for long hours. Secondly, the buckle is not stitched on properly; if your pup pulls away, it might rip. 


  • High flotation capacity
  • It comes with a rescue handle and D-ring 
  • Bright color for better visibility 


  • The polyethylene material is uncomfortable in hot weather
  • The buckle might rip

6. Fragralley High Visibility Small Dog Life Jacket

The Fragralley High Visibility Small Dog Life Jacket is perfect for keeping little dogs safe, and the life jacket features reflective strips for added safety. It has a comfortable design that will make your pet feel at ease, and the life jacket also includes a grab handle with a D-ring on the back, so you can easily lift your pet out of the water.

Its superior buoyancy due to the EPE pearl cotton material helps to maintain balance during water sports. Most importantly, the inner lining of cotton and the ripstop fabric is comfortable for your pet. The jacket does not come with neck support and might get uncomfortable for larger dogs. Also, be careful when finding the right sizes because buying one larger size might be better.


  • Available in small, medium, and large sizes 
  • High visibility feature with added stripes 
  • Suitable for outdoor activities 


  • Does not have neck support
  • The size runs smaller than labeled

7. Outward Hound Dawson

The Outward Hound Swim Dog Jacket is ideal for dogs who are going into the water for the first time because of its neoprene side panels and neck support. The product has excellent buoyancy, and it helps the dog maintain its position in the water. It has adjustable straps to fit dogs of many sizes and a rescue handle for pulling up in case of trouble. This life jacket comes in a bright red color and reflective trim. The soft inner layers will keep the dog safe and warm as it is swimming. 

The jacket does not have a D-ring, so there is no place to attach a leash. The rescue handle on the jacket may have to be adjusted to the size of your dog. 


  • Neck support and high buoyancy
  • High visibility with bright colors 
  • Great for beginners and can support dogs of different sizes 


  • D-ring is not attached
  • The rescue handle may have to be readjusted 

8. Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket

The Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket is one of the best dog life jackets for athletic dogs. It has a streamlined floatation with perpendicular handles, making it easy to help the dogs out of water. The ripstop material has a neoprene liner, making the inside comfortable even when wet from the outside. The jacket has a D-ring for the leash and comes in bright colors. There are three adjustment points to buckle the jacket and keep it steady. 

You should ensure the right measurement for larger dogs so that the fitting would be perfect because there are fitting issues. Another thing to note is that the neck opening is a bit large, so it might not be comfortable for smaller dogs.


  • Ideal for water sports and swimming 
  • Attached are D-ring and double rescue handles
  • Streamlined flotation for balance
  • Ripstop waterproof material


  • Finding the right size might be difficult for bigger dogs 
  • The neck opening is a bit too large

9. Outward Hound Granby Splash

The Outward Hound Granby Splash life jacket is the best extra large dog life jacket on our list. It features a bright orange color making your dog easy to spot in the water. The Granby Splash fits comfortably, and this allows your dog to move freely. There is a neck-flap and belly band for fitting snugly. The jacket includes a handle, and it also has a dual grab on the top. Both make it easy to lift your dog from inside the water. 

One problem with this life jacket is that there are few colors available, and since some dogs are picky about colors, it may not suit some of them. Moreover, the jacket does not come with a D-ring for the leash, so you can’t walk your dog with the life jacket on.


  • Perfect size for large dogs
  • Orange color for good visibility 
  • Adjustable straps for a secure fit


  • No other color options
  • D ring is not available

10. Outward Hound Standley Sport

The Outward Hound Standley Sport Green Performance Jacket (Small) is one of our list’s best small dog life jackets. It is designed for small breeds (5-15 lbs) who have special needs and are not natural swimmers, so they might struggle in even shallow water. 

This is an adjustable life jacket made from durable polyester fabric and comes with a D-ring and durable handle. It has a front float chest panel that keeps the pup’s weight evenly distributed so that the dog stays in place as it learns to swim. 

One problem with the product is that there is no space for a collar in it. Some dog owners also felt that straps started to become loose after some time.


  • Ideal size for smaller breeds
  • D ring and handle present
  • Bright colored for good visibility 


  • It cannot be used with a collar
  • Straps don’t stay tight

11. Pawz Pet Products Doggy Life Jacket

The Pawz Pet Products Life Jacket fits all sizes due to its adjustable straps. The product has an effective design with nylon straps and handles on top, allowing for easy grabbing. This life jacket is ideal for mid-sized dogs with a heavy-duty hook and loop fastener system. 

The jacket comes with easy-release buckles, which makes it easy for the dogs to wear. It is also of a bright color allowing for visibility. The lock system of this product is most noticeable due to the secure strap around the dog’s belly.  

The jacket lacks a D-ring and additional rescue handles. Since there is one single handle, carrying your dog in strong waters might be a problem. 


  • Reasonable price
  • Adjustable straps
  • Heavy duty design for durability


  • It lacks a D-ring and leash features 
  • Could have had one more handle

Why Do Dogs Need a Life Jacket?

All dogs are not natural swimmers, this is a myth. However, most dogs can become good swimmers with practice, but for practice, you need to put on a life jacket. Smaller dogs like Corgis, Bulldogs, and Pugs cannot swim well, so they may be in danger if they fall into a water body, so they definitely cannot go in the water without a life jacket.

Some dogs can easily get spooked if they fall into the water suddenly. They might panic if dogs fall in the water when it is very cold, and the current is too fast. Even if your dog can swim, it might fall, get knocked unconscious by your paddleboard or boat, or become too exhausted to swim. Life jackets will help keep it safe.

This is why having a doggie life jacket is crucial. As their parent, you must ensure that your dog has the lifejacket on at all times to be safe in an emergency. Just like a seatbelt or helmet, a dog lifejacket is a precaution. It is not useful every time, but it can save your dog’s life in an accident. 

How to Choose The Best Life Jacket For Your Dog?

As a first-time buyer of life jackets for dogs, you might be confused and need a few pointers to help you make the right choice. Here are a few important things you should keep in mind. 


Checking for the size of your dog’s life jacket is important, and it is the first thing to consider before purchasing one. Thankfully, most life jackets are available as per doggie sizes, and some jackets are adjustable with straps or other mechanisms to adjust the size as per your dog. 


A D-Ring allows you to attach the leash to the life jacket. This feature will be most important when you have to pull your dog back from the water on the beach. It can also be useful when your dog falls off the surfboard and there are strong currents. 


A good life jacket for dogs should be made from water-resistant, lightweight materials such as PVC and nylon. The flotation material should be enough to keep your dog safe at the surface but not so much as to restrict movements. 


Dog life jackets with a handle are useful when your dog starts to sink, and you want to pull it up by hand. Some dogs can become very unpredictable in the water, so their excitement or fear can cause them harm. The safer thing to do is to keep a handle on their jacket so you can grab and pull if needed. 


The visibility of a dog life jacket will help you keep track of your pup wherever they go, so you should go for the bright colors and reflective strips that are easy to spot in the water. There are quite a few options for dog jacket colors, but orange ones are considered the best. 


A good life jacket for dogs should have balanced flotation. This means that it should have a buoyancy that keeps your dog upright so that it will not drown in the water. Ensure there is enough flotation balance throughout their body, so they do not flip in the water. 

Proper Fit

Buying a dog’s life jacket can be difficult if you do not know its measurements, so ensure you measure your dog’s weight, chest, neck, and total length. This will help you pick the right fit for the life jacket, and you will buy the best jacket for your dog. 

How to Put a Life Jacket On Your Dog?

You can follow a few easy steps when putting on your dog’s life jacket. Here is what you have to do:

  • Unbuckle all the straps 
  • Put your dog in a standing position and place the life jacket on their back
  • Make sure that the life jacket is at the center of your dog’s back so that the balance points are in the right places
  • Keep a space of about 3 inches between the jacket and the tail to 
  • Buckle all the belts and straps so that the jacket stays in place; make sure that you are not strapping the jacket too tight 
  • Once you have strapped the jacket, allow your dog to move around and check if they are comfortable

Once you see your dog walking or running around with the jacket on, you can assume that they are ready to go for a swim. 

Best Dog Life Jackets: FAQs

We all have many questions about buying products for our fur babies. Here are answers to some common questions about life jackets for dogs.

Do dogs have to wear life jackets on boats?

Yes, because if the dog falls overboard and gets hit by the boat, it might lose consciousness, or it could fall overboard and become too weak and tired to swim. For safety reasons, always keep your dog’s life vest on when you are on a boat.

How tight should a dog’s life jacket be?

It is important to buckle a safety vest properly, close all the clips, and keep it in place. However, it should not be so tight that your dog cannot move around comfortably. They should be able to move their limbs and tail properly when in the water. 

How do I measure my dog for a life jacket?

The two measurements needed for a dog’s life jacket are girth and length. Wrap a measuring tape around your dog’s chest, just behind the front legs, to measure girth. For length, please start at the base of your dog’s neck and measure down to the base of its tail.

Can a dog drown with a life jacket?

It is nearly impossible for a dog to drown if its life jacket is on. It can only happen if, due to strong currents, the jacket tears or its straps rip apart, so it is best to always put your dog’s life jacket on when you take your dog out to the water. 

Can dogs wear human life jackets?

Some people think using a human life jacket on a dog can be a good idea, but it is not always the case. There may be problems with sizes, fitting, and features, so it is best to get your dog its own life jacket when you are going around the water. 

Your dog’s safety is one of your biggest responsibilities. Investing in the best dog life jacket is the best way you can help them enjoy a nice trip near the water. 

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