Looking for the Best Dog Life Jacket? Chances are your dog will love kayaking just as much as you do! When it comes to safety on the water, only the highest quality gear will do. This should also be the case when shopping for your favorite canine pal. There are a lot of options out there on the market, and making a decision can be a bit overwhelming. You want your best furry friend to be just as safe on the water as you are! However if you are like me you don’t want to over pay either. We have taken a look at all the top PFDs (PFDs = Personal Flotation Devices or just an odd way to say Life Jacket) for your pooch and made a list of our top 10 dog life jackets.
10 Best Dog Life Jackets
1 NRS CFD (Canine Flotation Device) Dog Life Jacket
NRS CFD (Canine Flotation Device) Dog Life Jacket tops our list of Best Dog Life Jackets. Its made with a tough Cordura shell, and available in five sizes to ensure a good fit for your four-legged friend. The CFD has a simple design with flotation on the back and chest, secured with three buckles. There are five adjustment points on the CFD to provide a snug fit that won’t slip or interfere with any of your dog’s favorite play time activities. The addition of a handle on top makes that quick grab super easy when fatigue or emergency arise and the reflective safety tape makes your pup easy to spot.
To top things off, there is an attachment ring for a leash or light and a zippered pocket for anything your adventure partner may need on the go. Not the cheapest option but not the most expensive either. This packs a great value in a durable dog life jacket.
2 Ruffwear Float Coat
Ruffwear Float Coat is a crowd favorite and, comes in at second on our top 10 dog life jacket review, with a high-tech design that includes strategically placed closed cell foam panels to allow for a natural swimming position. The Float Coat is made with abrasion-resistant materials and includes a strong, low-profile handle on the back to help your pal out of the water if needed. Two buckles on the belly as well as an adjustable neck collar create a great fit while reflective trim and a light loop make Spot easy to spot. The fit is amazing. Infact everything is amazing about this dog life jacket except the price. Price varies by size. If you want the best you are going to pay for it.
3 Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket
We dont have years of experience with this brand like we do with NRS, Ruff wear, and Astral however there Dog Life Jacket passed our tests with great marks and lands at third on our 10 best dog life jacket review. First was fit. They offer this in 5 sizes X Small – X Large. This is so important to get a good fit for your pooch. If it doesn’t fit well chances are its not going to work well and your dog will not like wearing it either. Second was features.
It has handles just where you want them and buckles are out of the way. Personally, I think Kurgo copied many of the great features on Ruffwears Float coat and made it a bit cheaper. Sure there are some differences and Ruffwears float coat is a better design the Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket is an excellent alternative at a lower price plus it touts a lifetime warranty.
4 Astral BirdDog Life Jacket
Astral BirdDog Life Jacket comes in at fourth on our list of best dog life jackets. It’s made with the same high quality materials as your own favorite Astral PFD, 500 Denier Cordura Nylon and PE Foam. Two buckles around the belly and a front center chest buckle keep the BirdDog in place and your buddy afloat, while the handle on the back and leash/light loop offer some added comfort for you.
The BirdDog is available in five sizes to make sure it will fit dogs of any shape and size. One thing a lot of people do not know about Astral is there on going commitment to build products as environmentally responsibly as they can. Astral has a long history of producing the very best designs focusing on fit, durability , function, and aesthetics. The Astral Bird dog holds trust on all accounts. By far one of the very life jackets for your pooch out there. Why is it at number 4 then? Price. Its one of the most expensive so the price brought it down on our top ten list. Besides that if you want the safest dog life jacket then this is it!
5 Outward Hound Life Jacket for Dogs
Outward Hound Dawson Swim Life Jacket for Dogs. Outward Hound like Ruffwear has been in the dog life jacket business for quite a while and they obviously know how to make a good dog life jacket at a very cheap price. giving this a whirl fit was not as good as some. The handles on top were not as usable (still ok but not quite as good) as the top four are (handles are easier to use running lengthwise not cross wise), buckles are not hidden and can get in the way. However for the price vs functionality this landed at five on our list of best dog life jackets.
6 HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket
HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket Vest Adjustable Belt for All Size Dogs We dont know a lot about the brand except they focus there energies on cases for laptops, ipads and phones. Obviously they decided to jump into the dog life jacket business. What ever else they make they have figured out how to make a dog life jacket very cheaply. This is one of the least expensive dog life jackets we found out there. Thats one of the biggest reasons this made our number six spot.
This life jacket has lots of color options and comes in 6 sizes! So you can make sure you are going to get a great fit. The handle is in a very useable spot, a reflective stripes, loop to clip in a leash and easily adjustable buckles. This is a great vest that has a lot of value in it for a very low price. Certainly a great dog life jacket.
7 Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket
Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket Size Adjustable Dog Lifesaver Safety Reflective Vest Pet Life Preserver was a new one for us. We had never heard of Vivaglory before doing this review. As far as we can tell it is an Amazon only brand. What is this important? Well if you have any warranty issues is the company going to be around to stand behind what they made? Hard to say. To that the dog life jacket seems to be made decently.
The design is very similar to the HAOCOO dog vest except the neck opening is not as well thought out as the HAOCOO. The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket neck opening has more of an upswept design and depending on your pooch could not be as comfortable. Still handle is great sizing is great and has reflective stripes as well as a spot for a leash. So it checks all the functionality boxes (except maybe fit). The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket
8 Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket
Outward Hound Dawson Swim Novice Swimmer Life Jacket for Dogs is a bit differently constructed from the others out there with foam and neoprene. The multi panel construction helps make a great fit and has a unique look. Neoprene also insulates which could be good or bad based on the air and water temp when you take your pooch for a swim.
One thing missing is a leash loop. Of course you can always use the handle. However its hard to clip a leash to the handle. You have to loop the leash around the handle in order to connect your leash. Not a biggie but could be an issue for some folks. The neck pad fit our pooch perfectly and seems like it would automatically adjust for a large size range. Comes in 5 sizes XS-XL. Reflective “elements”, handle, and buckles all seem to work fine. This is a great vest at a mid to upper price point.
9 WOpet Fashion Dog Life Jacket
WOpet Fashion Dog Life Jacket is just plain fun! This certainly focuses more on fun then anything. It comes in a mermaid or a shark style. Both are really fun and creative. Gotta give props to the designer on this. To that the WOpet dog life jacket is properly titled as a fashion life jacket and is less focused on safety. Points WOpet went light on is the handle is hard to use. It does not stick up for easy use. The neck area is cut in a way it will likely fit your dog however it not going to accommodate all shapes well as others do.
The buckles adjust easily and the foam forms well to your pooch considering it is not a multi panel construction like others are. Also only comes in 3 sizes a S, M and L. So not the best of size range to get the best fit possible. Still a great PFD and at mid $20 to mid $30 depending on size this is a great value for anyone wanting to dress your dog up a bit and have fun!
The Hobie Pet PFD uses tri segmented soft foam with a soft foam undercarriage to provide superior support for any dog. It also features two buckles around the belly and a chest strap and buckle that are all adjustable to ensure a good fit. Hobie has included a leash attachment, grab handles and side pockets for your convenience as well. Comes in a five size size
run XS – XL so you are going to get a great fit! This is an awesome jacket for your dog. Why is it in last place if it is so good? Good question. Mainly it was a late entry and we did not get as much time to test it as we did other dog life jackets. To be open I feel this should be up in the second or third place. It is a great value around $39 bucks great fit, great safety features, leash attachment. Nothing missing here and a great price.
Finding the best dog PFD is important so you feel safe when Fido is on board! We recommend trying on your pick with plenty of yummy treats to get your pooch excited about their new gear. Be sure to check the fit and adjustments to assure that the PFD doesn’t bind, slip, or limit wiggles and wags. For those whitewater pups, it is important to double-check that the handle and fit are strong enough to support a hand back into the raft in case someone doesn’t listen to their wife and sends Opie for a swim in Mule Creek Canyon.
How did we come up with the best life jacket for dogs? Well we focused on the four Fs; flotation, fit, fabric and frills.
First and foremost, when looking for the best life jacket for your furry friend, it is important to pay attention to the flotation. You want to make sure that it is made with high quality materials and that the placement does not impede movement or push their head down. Most of the best jackets for your hound are made with closed cell foam with a buoyancy rating to match the size of your pooch. It is best to refer to the fit chart specific to each company when considering the proper amount of buoyancy.
Flotation on the back and belly will keep your pup above water and the addition of a chest strap will help them keep their head up to avoid choking on water. You also want to make sure there are no floppy panels that will get in the way. Remember, you are looking for a life jacket made for performance!
Once you are confident in the amount and placement of the flotation, it’s time to check out the fit. A sleek, comfortable fit that allows freedom of movement without slipping is important to keep your pup swimming strong. The fit should be snug but comfortable, just like your own life jacket. Your dog shouldn’t be biting or scratching at it, this may be a sign that it is not comfortable for them. Straps and buckles should also be considered when looking at the fit. Straps that are easily adjustable and buckles that are easy to release are very helpful when dealing with a wiggly, excited friend, but you also want to make sure straps don’t slip and buckles are secure.
Fabric is the next important consideration when looking for the perfect pfd for your pal. Dogs can be tough on equipment so it’s important that high quality, durable materials are used. Cordura, known for being abrasion-resistant, is used by many of the companies. There is also often a liner made of softer, more comfortable material like nylon. This will help with the scratching and biting we are trying to avoid.
Last but certainly not least, the frills!! This is when we get to check out all the fun (and useful) details. Check for a top handle or handles on the side so you can lend a helping hand when your pooch gets tired or in case of an emergency. Some designs include a loop to attach a leash or light, making travel to and from your adventure easy as pie. Other things to consider are reflective strips for improved visibility in the water, pockets, and additional clip attachments. Make sure you consider the activities you plan to do and the needs of you and your furry friend when looking at these frills.
Whether taking a dip at the lake, paddling around on your Sit on Top Kayak, or running rapids in a raft, you want your best bud to be happy and safe. Getting the best one for your pooch is important. We hope this review of dog life jackets has helped. Now go out on the water and take your fuzzy pal with you !