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While some dog breeds are natural swimmers — like retrievers and spaniels — others are less suited to the water. Either way, if you and your pup plan to spend time in or on the water, a dog life jacket is a wise investment. Even good swimmers can tire, have trouble staying buoyant, and struggle to keep their heads above water.

Some breeds, such as Bulldogs, have body types less suited to swimming and will need help staying afloat. If your dog accompanies you on a boat, a personal flotation device (PFD) is essential. To help you and your dog stay safe in the water, we’ve compiled a list of four of the best dog life jackets. Here are our top picks:

Tips for Choosing a Dog Life Jacket

Before we share our picks, let’s quickly break down what you should be looking for when choosing a dog life jacket. Although there are no standards for dog life jackets, there are some features you should look for:

  • Handle: A handle on the dog life jacket will make it easier for you to grab hold of your dog if necessary. It also makes it easier to teach your dog to swim. You can guide him in the water until he feels confident swimming on his own.
  • D-ring: The dog life jacket or vest should have a D-ring so you can attach a leash.
  • Dog life jacket vs. dog life vest: Decide whether you need a dog life jacket or a vest. Dog life jackets cover more of your dog and provide both buoyancy and visibility. They’re recommended for boating and other water activities. If your dog swims primarily in a pool, on the other hand, you might be OK with a life vest. A life vest is typically lighter, covers less of your dog, and is easier for casual swimming.
  • Color: Although dog life jackets come in all sorts of colors and prints, bright colors, or life jackets with a reflective strip, will make it easier to spot him in the water.
While some dog breeds are natural swimmers — like retrievers and spaniels — others are less suited to the water. Either way, if you and your pup plan to spend time in or on the water, a dog life jacket is a wise investment. Even good swimmers can tire, ha
While some dog breeds are natural swimmers — like retrievers and spaniels — others are less suited to the water. Either way, if you and your pup plan to spend time in or on the water, a dog life jacket is a wise investment. Even good swimmers can tire, ha

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