Dog Life Jackets?


Honored Member
Well, summers here, :msncool:the boat is going onto the lake today. Buddy's first summer on the lake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...Buddy kinda does run outa breath sometimes, vets x 3 say his heart/lungs :msnheart:are "fine, just fine!" so i guess he is "fine".
Anyway, I been searching online at all the variety of dog life vests, :msniwonder:wanna put one on him when he is in the water, he won't hafta wear it all day, just when he is in the water. I think. Depends on how safe he seems on the boat. Might hafta wear it in the boat, not sure.

ANYBODY GOT ANY THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN on any brand of dog life vests? Any features you liked, didn't like on your dog's life vest? :dogph34r: We've never ever bought one before, don't wanna buy the wrong kind if we can help it.:dognowink:

So many have just straps under their belly,looks uncomfortable to me...maybe it's not...

Seems like the float should be UNDER their belly? but it is usually up across their back...? Hmmm. Anyway, i hope someone has ever used one, and can tell me --scratch that one off your list, or this here one is good kind...HELP!!


Honored Member
Staff member
I really, really like the ones usually found in hunting supply stores. They are usually very well made, and they are made for dogs that are going to be in the water all day--retrievers might spend hours on end in the water, and you want a lifejacket that doesn't get waterlogged and become more of a deadweight than a safety tool. I found some that I just love at Gander Mountain, but I can't remember the brand...much less expensive than pet store lifejackets, too. I think they fasten at the chest and at the belly, but there's others that slip over the head and fasten at the belly. I'll try to find a link.

I think lifejackets are great, especially if you aren't 100% sure of your dog's swimming ability. Mud will swim out only until her paws don't touch ground anymore, then she swims back, lol. A lifejacket would help her a bunch. Zeke on the other hand is a natural born fish, as is Rusty lol. But lifejackets are still a good precaution. If dog were to hurt a paw or leg or something and have difficulty swimming, but they aren't close to the boat, a lifejacket would really come in handy. lifejacket&merchID=4005&r=view lifejacket&merchID=4005&r=view

I like the camo one personally simply because it's made of a different material(the in-store one is, not sure about the online one).


I love the way this one is made. It has no buckles, but it can't really get hung on anything because it's pretty snug so I wouldn't be terribly concerned about it getting hung on things. It's not near as bulky as regular lifejackets either. Possibly my favorite--if you don't mind the camo, lol!

As for the floatation being on the belly rather than the back, have you ever tried to shove a pool floatie(or a swim noodle) under water and sit on it? It ends up being really hard to stay on, or you kind of fall/roll off of it because it's designed to FLOAT. It's not made to stay under water. If the floatation was under their belly it'd be really hard to swim with. (I'd imagine, anyway... :dogwub: )


New Member
I just bought the ones for petsmart for my guys. Koda would fetch his bumper until he drowned, and Qwill likes to randomly swim into the middle of our pond and then swim in circles for a while before he comes back to shore. It gives me peace of mind to know that god-forbid if something should happen they have a little something extra to keep them afloat until i can jump in a get them outta there.

If i had the money to spend i would drop it on some of these: Ruff Wear Products for Dogs On The Go i haven't used them tho.

the most annoying thing about my lifejackets from petsmart is that i broke the plastic d-rings out of all of them. Also, mine have an extra flap on the chest piece that is supposed to give the dog's head extra buyoency, it's more annoying than anything else. I have one jacket that doesn't have that and i like it better.


Honored Member

I really am gonna have to get one, turns out, Buddy is not keen on going in the water after all. Maybe cuz a week or two ago, he (unexpectedly) jumped into the River while chasing a goose, and went down under completely. That seemed to shake him up, definately shook me up!

Craig has been working for weeks, designing and building his own custom, awesome, doggie boat ramp for Buddy. We practiced with Buddy going up and down in the yard, no problem!!!! Buddy loved it, like, "Why would i get treats for this, this is easy!" kinda thing.

Well, we docked in knee high water, and tried to get Buddy down the ramp into the water, or even over the side, nope!!! we had treats...... his favorite toys.....EVEN A DUCK WENT BY!!!! and Buddy was like Nope! Can't do it! NOpe, nope nope!! So we quit trying to coax him into the water for now, and just made sure he had good time in the boat anyway. (He did.)

We figure we will get Buddy's best dog-friend, Maggie, to come along, Maggie loves the water. We're thinking he'll follow Maggie into the water.

So i reeally wanna life vest on him, to prevent any more traumatic water experiences, like the river thing there...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR QUICK RESPONSES! cuz i am now in sort of a hurry to get one!!!


Honored Member
Staff member
No problem. :) Maggie might be just the thing to get him willing to go in. Good luck and have fun!


Well-Known Member
I have an "Outward Hound" lifejacket for my dog. I like that it has a handle if you need to help your dog up and it is adjustable to get a correct fit. My dog is still not very confident in the water but has made huge improvements since I got the lifejacket for him!!