What Is A Small Dog Life Jacket?

This is a jacket that helps pets to swim better and ensures their safety in the water. It works the same way as a sea vest for people: keeps a dog afloat thanks to being inflated. Dog life jackets are essential for dogs that cannot swim (bulldogs and other breeds with the large chest) or find it hard due to their weight or age.

Compare The Best Small Dog Life Jackets

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Best Choice
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket review
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
  • Buckles: 3
  • Material: Neoprene + foam
  • Weight of dog: Up to 10 pounds
  • Dimensions, inches: 9.2 x 11 x 5.2

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Also great
Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Small Dog Life Jacket Safety Vest review
Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Small Dog Life Jacket Safety Vest
  • Buckles: 2
  • Material: Ripstop 600D oxford cloth + foam + neoprene
  • Weight of dog: Up to 15 pounds
  • Dimensions, inches: -

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Also great
RUFFWEAR – Float Coat Small Dog Life Jacket review
RUFFWEAR – Float Coat Small Dog Life Jacket
  • Buckles: 3
  • Material: Neoprene + buoy material
  • Weight of dog: XXS - up to 10 pounds; XS - up to 20 pounds
  • Dimensions, inches: 11.8 x 13 x 2.5

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Also great
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket (DFD) review
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket (DFD)
  • Buckles: 3
  • Material: Neoprene + foam
  • Weight of dog: 15-25 pounds
  • Dimensions, inches: 17 x 14 x 2

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Also great
Swimways Sea Squirts Small Dog Life Vest review
Swimways Sea Squirts Small Dog Life Vest
  • Buckles: 3
  • Material: Heavy duty fabric + foam + neoprene
  • Weight of dog: Up to 10 pounds
  • Dimensions, inches: 7.8 x 16 x 13.8

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Top-5 Small Dog Life Jackets

To write our small dog life jacket reviews, we have analyzed five top-rated models according to several criteria including their size, material, functionality, price/quality ratio and so on.

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket

Review

This life jacket would be great for small dogs that only start learning to swim. Featuring three adjustable release buckles, it’s easy to put on and wraps the dog tightly. The front float helps pups to keep head above the water. Velcro tabs and foam keep the pet afloat and help to avoid obstacles.

Our opinion

A great choice for teaching your dog to swim, not mentioning its optimal price/quality.

PROS

  • Has rescue handles;
  • Optimal price/quality balance.

CONS

  • No attachment for leash.
Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Small Dog Life Jacket

Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Small Dog Life Jacket Safety Vest

Review

According to the manufacturer, this sport-style jacket has 50% more flotation material than other models. It has a reflective film and a rescue handle to help your pet in case of an emergency. It would be great for small dogs up to 15 pounds if they already have some swimming skills.

Our opinion

A great option for small dogs that can swim a bit – it’s basic and doesn’t have some extras like the front float.

PROS

  • Easy to put on;
  • Lightweight but floats well.

CONS

  • Dimensions are inaccurate.
RUFFWEAR - Float Coat Small Dog Life Jacket

RUFFWEAR – Float Coat Small Dog Life Jacket for Swimming, Adjustable and Reflective

Review

This canine life vest would be great for any activity in the water. It contains a lot of floating material and keeps the dog on the water surface helping to return to the initial position in case of floating over. It fits tightly and securely allowing for movement freedom.

Our opinion

A great choice for kayaking, boating, and swimming – it has no downsides except for the high price.

PROS

  • A lot of floating material;
  • Allows for total freedom of movement.

CONS

  • Very expensive;
  • Lack of reflective material – lines are hardly visible.
EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Small Dog Life Vest Jacket (DFD)

EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Small Dog Life Vest Jacket (DFD)

Review

This is the best small dog life jacket from the price/quality standpoint. It’s made of long-lasting and safe materials, and yet costs less than the above-mentioned model. It features a D-ring for attaching the leash and a rescue handle. ExyDog life vest would be perfect for any type of activity: it holds the body and neck well and helps pets learn swimming faster.

Our opinion

A great option for those who want a superb life vest for their dog without overpaying. It ensures total freedom of movement and is suitable for pets who only start swimming or already have some experience.

PROS

  • Lightweight;
  • Contains a lot of floating material;
  • Hold the dog’s neck above the water well.

CONS

  • Lack of reflective stripes.
Swimways Sea Squirts Small Dog Life Vest

Swimways Sea Squirts Small Dog Life Vest w/ Fin for Doggie Swimming Safety

Review

If a bare-bones solution is enough for your pet, opt for the model from Swimways: it features 3 convenient buckles and a few floating materials that’s enough to keep your dog above the water. The model is made of heavy-duty fabric to last for years, just like the neoprene buckles. It goes without mentioning how cute this life vest with shark fin looks on small pups.

Our opinion

We recommend this life vest to teach your dog to swim and boost its water confidence. It contains less floating material than its counterparts, though will keep a puppy afloat.

PROS

  • Provides total freedom of movement;
  • Non-expensive.

CONS

  • No reflective stripes;
  • A little bulky around the small dog’s neck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Do Dogs Need Life Vests? Can’t They Swim?

A: Some breeds of dogs, especially the ones with a large well-developed chest, find it harder to swim. Besides, old and pregnant dogs run out of energy faster and need something to support them on the water. Some dogs are simply afraid of water and swimming, and a life vest can boost their confidence.

Q: How Should A Dog Life Vest Fit?

A: Measure dog’s neck girth and chest girth – a canine life vest should fit dog’s body closely but not too tightly (there must be about 1 inch of free space between the dog’s body and the vest) to ensure free movement.

Q: Are Dog Life Vests Just For Boat Trips?

A: No, canine life vests can be used for any water activities, be that kayaking, fishing, swimming in a pool, lake or sea. For deep water and dogs that cannot swim at all, select life vests with more flotation material and belly support.

Conclusion & Our Recommendations

So, what’s the best dog life jacket for your canine friend? Although even non-expensive models around $12 will do their job, we would highly recommend buying a life vest with a heavy-duty material. If you don’t mind spending $70 on your pet, RUFFWEAR Float Coat Small Dog Life Jacket will be the best choice.
However, you can also find high-quality jackets in the price range within $25-45. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Small Dog Life Vest Jacket also works well and will prove useful for any puppy regardless of its swimming skills and water confidence. What you should mind is the life vest dimensions: make sure that the model will fit your dog’s body tightly and yet ensure free movement.

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