Zen and the Art of Dog

The Five Best Dog Life Jackets

Picture this- you have a dog like one of ours who is afraid of the water. But you still want to have adventures with them. What can you do?

Or, you have a dog that LOVES adventure, maybe a little too much. Your dog is super excited and wants to roam faaaar and wide.

In either of these cases it’s a great idea to consider a dog life jacket.

What to look for in a dog life jacket?

There are quite a few options on the market for dog life jackets and float coats.

Ideally your dog’s life jacket has these qualities:

  • Bright colors or a shark fin so you can see them from a good distance away/ if they’re under water.
  • Made with stretchable fabric, like neoprene, that doesn’t interfere with their romping or dog paddling.
  • Offers a range of sizes because, as we all know, no two dogs are shaped the same.
  • Can be used in other situations, such as in the rain or snow.
  • Includes a handle for easy handling of your pup.

Here are the best life jackets that we’ve reviewed!

The Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket – The Best Small Dog Life Jacket


  • Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your dog is short and stout or long and lanky, there’s a dog life jacket fit for them. The XS is especially suitable for small dogs, such as a bull dog life jacket.
  • The Outward Hound life jacket is designed with bright colors and reflective accents to provide better visibility while swimming. A front neck float helps keep your dog’s head above water whether they are a novice or experienced swimmer.
  • The Outward Hound is constructed with ripstop material that provides maximum buoyancy in the water with minimal movement restriction on land. Adjustable straps and side release buckles provide a secure fit and neoprene belly band supports their chest and belly while getting their float on!
  • A top grab handle makes it easy to restrain and lift your dog out of the water and provides easy access for a rescue should they get into trouble.


  • Reviewers report that the handles may not be suitable to haul a large or extra large dog out of the water. It is still perfect for a small dog, however.

Get it here!

The Queenmore Dog Life Jacket – The Best Shark Fin Dog Life Jacket


  • Made of high quality oxford cloth and polyethylene foam.
  • Adjustable nylon straps, quick release buckles, heavy duty yet more comfortable magic sticker fastening system around the belly and neck to keep securely fastened.
  • Durable Grabbing Handle: Strong, low-profile handle on top for quick and easy grabbing. Durable D-ring hook for leash on back is convenient for a leash to control your dog from running away.
  • Reflective accents and bright safety colors to enhance visibility when your beloved pets swim under water. Also, the secure float foam can support your dog while they’re swimming.
  • The shark fin adds visibility while also being quirky.


  • Not made from neoprene. However, while other jackets may be more flexible, reviewers aren’t complaining about the flexibility of this jacket.

Get it here!

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket – The Best Neoprene Dog Life Jacket


  • Neoprene material and sports-style design gives your beloved dog a stylish look and does not hinder his/her natural movement.
  • Designed with three adjustable straps and side-release buckles for easy to get on and off; Heavy-duty yet more comfortable fastening system around the belly to keep securely fastened; Extra built-in flotation layers to enable strong buoyancy.
  • Top side reflective trims add safety in low-light conditions; this dog life jacket comes in five bright colors, which helps you find your dog.
  • This dog life jacket gives your dog additional safety and endurance in the water.


  • Reviewers are very happy with this life jacket; they report no dislikes.

You can find it here!

Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket – Doubles as a Rain Coat For All Season Use


  • This 2 season coat can be used as a life vest to assist your dog when in water or on a boat, and as a raincoat by removing the flotation layer.
  • Dog jacket has 2 transverse handles for quick control to extract dog from water when needed; life vest for dogs is made of rugged ripstop material to withstand rough use.
  • Bright colored life vest is visible from farther distances and has reflective trim for night time visibility; has 2 metal D-rings for leash connections; includes attached bottle opener.


  • Some reviewers report that the flotation isn’t what the expected.
  • It’s not made from neoprene or similar material so it may not be flexible enough for your pup.

Get it here!

Ruffwear K9 Float Coat – The Best Overall Dog Life Jacket


  • Ideal for rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing, paddle boarding and swimming.
  • Strategically placed closed-cell foam panels let your dog swim naturally and support an upright position; Strong, low-profile handle on the back to help dogs out of the water.
  • Telescoping neck closure adjusts to fit different shapes and attaches securely in place; Easy-to-clip buckles firmly hold straps.
  • Water-compatible webbing maintains stability in wet environments.
  • Low-light visibility for additional safety; Integrated light loop for attaching The Beacon light (sold separately).


  • Reviewers love this life jacket- however, several report it may not be the best option if you have an extra small breed dog.


When it comes to features, the Ruffwear k9 float coat runs the gamut. With tons of safety features the float coat is the best dog life jacket on the market right now.

However, a close second is the Vivaglory dog life jacket. While it doesn’t offer the same range of features as the Ruffwear, it does the basics well and reviewers love it.

Depending on what you want from your dog life jacket, the others are great options as well.

Anyway, the summer won’t last forever so get out there and enjoy!

Looking for something else? Check out our reviews of the best retractable leashes here!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.