Dog’s Life Jackets | Dog Overboard

Now that summer is just around the corner, for many of us that means camping or going to the cabin.  Heading out to the lake for the summer, so we can hit the beach, go swimming and of course taking out our boat.  Maybe we even decided to take them with us kayaking or canoeing for the day.  When deciding to take the family out in the boat for the day, its always important that everyone has their own life jacket.  More times than not, we take our dog with us in the boat.  That means that our dog’s need a life jacket as well.  Dog’s life jackets are as important as us wearing our own life jacket.

dog boat jacket

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It is irresponsible to put your dog in the boat, canoe, or kayak without a life jacket on.  One quick stop or fast turn while in the boat, could have our dog ending up falling into the water.

Now yes, some dogs are good swimmers, but not all dogs like to swim.  So protecting them from drowning is the number one goal.  Even if our dog is the best swimmer out there, our dog still may get tired.  If they end up in the water for a longer period of time, this can easily happen.

There are thousands of dog deaths every year from drowning.  Nobody wants to be responsible for having a great day in the sun on the water turn out to have disastrous consequences.

dog life jacket

Where to buy

Now that we know our dogs need a life jacket, where do we go to purchase one?  There are many places we can choose to buy a life jacket from.

Me, being a major online shopper, I first go to online to check out their selection.  Ordering is just so easy, you place your order and within just a few days it appears at your front door.  Very convenient and simple.

Some people are not big online shoppers, and prefer to go directly to a store to make their purchase.  A few of the shopping locations that they maybe successful finding a dog life jacket is places like:

Canadian Tire, Pet store, or you may find them at a boating store in your area.  I even believe Walmart may carry a small selection of life jackets for your pet.

Where to purchase your dog’s life jacket from will come down to your personal choice of shopping location.  As long as you find the right jacket that you are looking for, that is all that is important.

What to look for

Your dog will be in this life jacket for hours, so making sure the material isn’t too hot is also something to watch out for.

The fit of the jacket, is one of the most critical things when selecting the right jacket.  Just like for humans, when we pick a life jacket, it has to fit snugly, but not to loose.  The jacket needs to hug your dog tightly so that they can’t squirm out of it.

Whenever we have to put anything on our dogs, the ease in which that product goes on is important.  Dogs can sometimes be a bit tough to sit long enough for this to get done.  Having a life jacket that goes on with ease, just makes things that much easier.

Nobody wants to be fighting with their dog, to put the jacket on quickly and properly.

KONG Sport AquaFloat Dog Flotation Vest Dog's Life

KONG AquaFloat Dog Flotation Vest $38.25

Picking the proper size

Getting a proper fit for your dog’s life jacket, follows the same concept as for yourself.  We need to know the weight, height and girth of the dog, so we can match the size of the jacket with the dog.

A jacket that is to tight, will be uncomfortable for your dog, just as it would be for you.  Having the jacket fit well, but not sloppy is critical.  A sloppy fit, can lead to your dog easily wiggling out of the jacket.  This would defeat the whole purpose of putting on the jacket in the first place.

Many of the good quality life jackets have adjusting straps around the neck and main trunk area of your dog.  Most jackets have a front float, to ensure your dogs head stays above the water.

Outward Hound Granby RipStop Dog Life Jacket-Dog's

Outward Hound Granby RipStop Dog Life Jacket

The straps go completely around your dog’s body, so it helps for comfort and support.  Having wider straps rather than narrow is a bonus.  We don’t want the straps digging into your dogs body, as that won’t make your dog very uncomfortable.

Adjusting these straps will be how you determine if the jacket you purchased is the right fit or not. You do have to be careful, with the straps, as we don’t want them to get in the way and cause your dog to get stuck or hung up on something in the boat.

For larger dogs, the life jackets are usually much longer than for a small dog.  As I mentioned, they can also have 2 handles grabs on the larger jackets instead of 1 on the small ones.  This makes getting the dog back in the boat that much easier.

Keep our dogs safe

Dogs are members of our family and it is important that we protect them, just like we would anyone else in the family.

We would not put our children in deep water, or a boat, kayak or canoe without a life jacket, so why would it be OK for our dogs.

The answer is it’s not OK.  Whether you plan on putting your dog in the water or not, making sure your dog has a life jacket on at all times while in and around water.

It only takes a flash for something to happen quickly and before we know it, our dog may end up overboard.  Not having a life jacket on our dog just one time, could end up with tragic consequences.

Dog life jacket

Life jackets are not the cheapest purchase that we make for our dog, but they are up there as one of the most important ones.

Spending the money on a good life jacket for our pets, ensures that we are doing everything in our power to protect them.  Thinking that nothing bad will happen and that it’s not necessary to get your dog a life jacket is the wrong way of thinking.

Owning a dog is an honor and a huge responsibility.  We can not and should not take it lightly. Having our dogs around for as long as we can is the best outcome we can hope for in our dogs life.

Making sure we are doing everything possible to not be the cause of our pets accidental death.

Purchasing our dog’s life jackets is our responsibility, so make sure that you do your part in protecting your dog.

dog sunset


I hope you enjoyed my post and if you have any questions or want to leave a comment below please do.

8 thoughts on “Dog’s Life Jackets | Dog Overboard”

  1. Well thought out and said. Most people would t even think about their pet in this situation but really it’s very smart to be prepared. We go out of our way to treat our pets with the utmost kindness so why should the camping experience be any different. Thanks for thinking of something I may never have.

    • Thank you Padget, for sharing your comments. You are right, why would we not include our dogs in the camping experience. It’s just as much fun for them as it is for us. Dogs are family members too. Thanks

  2. Such great advice. We have one dog who hates water, loves snow. The other, born to swim (giant webbed paws) but doesn’t know how. I’d be most worried about him.

    • Thanks you so much for for the comments on the post.
      I know of our 2 dogs, only the little guy likes the water. The other one is like your dog, would much prefer the snow.
      They are so funny hey.
      Thanks again

  3. Hi Coraline

    When I saw the first image, I quickly jumped to an image in my head of the sweatshirt on a bulldog and had a bit of a chuckle. Clothes on dogs…but if they’re useful, especially for working dogs, I thought cool.

    Actually, this has always made sense to me, to be able to hoist your pup out of the water, to the next cliff, or down to safety is just a smart idea.

    Still not convinced about a sweatshirt for a bulldog, but on one with a smart second or third use…brilliant.

    Are there options with storage or baggage like side-saddles? If you’re going camping or hiking, and need a lot of gear, that would be really handy.



    • Hi Dave,

      Thank you for your comments. I agree with you, I find it way easier to pull my boys out of the water with a life jacket on.

      Yes they do make dog backpacks they are great if you are heading on a hike or just going camping. Anytime we take our dogs on longer walks, there is always so much extra stuff to take for the dogs, so using the backpack is very handy.

      I have put a link here for you to check out the backpacks, you won’t be disappointed. They are super cool.

      Cheers Dave!


  4. Your article about life jackets for dogs was so awesome. I love my dog so much and she goes with me every where i go. i should think about getting one of these for i can keep my girl out of the water and she don’t know when to stop. .Wish you had a link in the content to get one instead of on the side i think you would of got more hits.


    • Hi Tman

      Thanks for you comments on my post. I went back in and put some easier links in the content. The pics were linking, but I think you were right that I needed to make them more noticeable.

      Everyone always seems to forget about our dogs needing to wear a life jacket for protection. They can get tired out there in the water too.
      I appreciate all your help.



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