Dog Swimming Vests

Summer is coming! With higher temperatures water sports are a great leisure option. Make the sea, lake or swimming pool safe places for you and your dog. Let’s equip your dog so he can come with you at any time.


If you plan to spend time with your dog in the water, then your dog should wear a life jacket. Basically a life jacket is a risk mitigation for our four-legged loved friends.

Swimming is a great exercise for dogs in Summer. However, it is a demanding physical exercise for them. So if you plan to spend long days at the seaside, rivers, or kayaking in a lake, it makes sense to get one swimming vest for your dog.

For medium and large dogs, a life jacket is almost a must have. Just imagine you are swimming with your dog, and he is having trouble to remain afloat. Unless you are a good swimmer and are in good condition, you will be in really trouble if you need to pull your dog until the shore or the boat.

Even if they are great swimmers, they need to be seen by boats, water skiing, etc… wearing a bright color life jacket prevents many accidents over time. We want all to be safe and enjoy the water!

Before deciding on what model is more convenient for your dog, let’s check 6 relevant features that all good life vests have. Features have been ordered from most important to less, although my recommendation is that you get one life jacket that has all of them 🙂


Depending on your dog swimming skills and fitness condition more or less buoyancy level may be necessary. If your dog is a great swimmer, buoyancy should be less, so he can perform in water. Life vests should allow your dog to reduce the swimming pace and effort, even to be able to relax in the water.

Since life jacket material is the same, one way to decide which level of buoyancy we want to provide to our dog, is to pick a larger size if they need an extra buoyancy level. So, for instance, if your dog is a wire fox terrier, you can choose between the S and M sizes according example below.


Besides overall buoyancy, the best life vests need to ensure the head of the dog remains afloat, even if they are hardly able to swim. We need to look for products that guarantee this.

Imagine your dog gets suddenly exhausted, and cannot swim anymore. Or he gets fitted by a boat or paddle, and loses consciousness. Of course, we want to avoid these situations, but they could be deadly for your dog, if not wearing a good life jacket, that keeps his head and nose afloat, above water level, so he does not drown.


Swim is a sport, above all for dogs. If you are going to a lake or to the sea, best is to equip your dog with a life vest. He can then wear it, and move freely at the beach or in the water.

When they are swimming, the life jacket needs to ensure it does not disturb your dogs legs movements. It is important to pick the right size. Utmost important to pick the right vest is to measure your dog’s chest girth.

Life jackets need to allow dogs to move freely. Their legs cannot be disturbed or get trapped at all by any strip.

In order to perfectly fit the life jacket to your dog, it needs to have appropriate anchors and straps. Once fitted, life jacket should get fixed to the back of your dog.

One additional feature of wearing a good fitted life vest, is that it also provides warmth to your dog. This is also relevant, since some dogs fur is more waterproof than others, and dogs can get really cold in a short period.


When dogs swim, only their heads can be seen. If the dog is small or medium size, and dark, it can be difficult to be seen. As owners, we need to easily know where our dog is in the water, for his safety and other´s safety.

Making our dog easily visible at water is good for him and for us. The life jacket should have a bright color, and attach reflective tape patches.


The life jacket needs to have a robust lifting handle that does not get teared when lifting our dog to the boat or outside the swimming pool. Having a life jacket without this, is somewhat useless in many circumstan

ces. It makes really difficult to manage your dog.

Eventually, if your dog is a great swimmer, and his life vest is equipped with a robust strap, it can even serve as a rescue dog in case, you are getting tired.

Also, a resilient D-ring for the leash is key, so you can control your dog easily at the water if necessary.

As it happens at any park, if your dog likes to meet people, they may swim as a torpedo towards a stranger… If this person is not used to dogs, or even, swimming dogs, this will likely not be a good experience. In case, you do not have a good call back command with your dog, you may need to swim on-leash with him.


Obviously, we need to look for a life vest that is well manufactured, with quality materials. A life vests should be sturdy and do its service for years. If it loses previous mentioned features then we will need to get a new one.

Just imagine, what nonsense would be to have a life jacket that cannot be seen, a dog that cannot be raised because there is no strap, a life jacket that falls from your dog or bothers his swimming… Please look for reviews and user opinions before making your choice. Happy clients are always ready to advocate for great products they use.

Get ready to have the best summer with your dog this year. For your peace of mind and for his comfort and security, it is time to pick some good life vest. Happy water time.

Take care of yourself and your dogs,




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