Published on: 11/02/2019, updated on: 10/14/2021

The Best Dog Life Jacket: Help Your Pup Stay Afloat with These Top Picks

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Are you and your dog fans of water adventures, or are you considering giving it a try for the first time? Either way, safety is paramount, and there’s no better way to guarantee safety than to put your best friend in the best dog life jacket you can find.

Our Top Pick

There are lots of top-rated dog life jackets available, but you can’t go wrong with the Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket. It’s affordable, secure, and available in a variety of sizes for all dog breeds.

For more on these wonderful life jackets and other great options, check out our other options below:

  1. Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket
  2. Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Vest
  3. EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device (DFD)
  4. Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket
  5. Onemore Choice Camo Pet Life Preserver
  6. Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket

The Best Life Jackets for Dogs Reviewed

Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket – Best Overall and Most Affordable

Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket, Medium, Red

The Outward Hound brand is a big name in the pet industry, and the company doesn't disappoint with this affordable yet perfect lifejacket. You can get it for less than $20 in the perfect size for any dog breed.

Key Features

  • Available in various sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large
  • Adjustable chest straps and belly buckles to keep your dog securely strapped in
  • Dual grab handles to rescue easily or restrain your dog
  • Reflective piping to keep your dog visible no matter the lighting conditions

Asides from looking good, safety is a top priority with this vest, as can be seen in its front float feature that keeps your dog's head above water. Depending on your dog's sex, or your preference, you can get the Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket in either orange or pink.

This life vest has everything you can want from a life jacket for dogs and combines it all with high-grade materials. Most important is its affordability, which puts it far ahead of other best dog life jacket contenders.

There have been reports of inaccuracies with the sizing, though, which means you should try it on your dog in the store before buying.


  • Durable but also comfortable
  • Gives your dog a perfect fit thanks to its adjustable chest and neck flaps
  • Top handles to assist your dog in the water
  • Taking it off and putting it on is quick and easy
  • Super affordable


  • Only available in two colors

The Verdict

The Outward Hound is definitely the best dog life vest thanks to its affordability without compromising on top-quality.

Overall Rating - 4.8 stars

How To Size and Fit Your Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket – Best for Frequent Outdoor Adventurers

RUFFWEAR - Float Coat Dog Life Jacket for Swimming, Adjustable and Reflective, Sockeye Red, Small

The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat Dog Life Jacket could have been the overall best dog life jacket, if not for its super high price.

Key Features

  • Made with highly durable, abrasion-resistant materials
  • Strategically placed foam panels for optimal buoyancy
  • Top handle for lifting or guiding your dog in the water
  • Adjustable telescoping neck closure
  • Additional flotation on the belly side of the vest
  • Reflective trim in strategic locations of the vest
  • Available in various sizes for all dog types

Aside from its excellent quality, I appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into this life vests creation. Unlike other vests that force dogs to swim awkwardly, Ruffwear’s Float Coat has strategically placed foam panels that keep your dog afloat in its preferred swimming posture.

My only complaint is the high price. It costs more than five times what the Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket costs. If you are an outdoorsy dog parent that spends a lot of time in the water with your dog, spending extra for the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat won’t be a bad investment, though.


  • Durable materials
  • No exposed straps or buckles, which eliminates the risk of your dog getting snagged in a dangerous position
  • Available in a wide range of interesting colors
  • Strategically placed foam panels keep your dog in his natural swimming position
  • Ideal for dogs that regularly go boating, surfing, paddleboarding, rafting, kayaking, and swimming
  • Its design gives your dog a full range of motion while in the water
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  • Very expensive

The Verdict

The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is a pricey lifejacket, but the expense is a worthwhile investment for premium quality.

Overall Rating - 4.8 stars

Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Vest – Best Multipurpose Life Jacket

Kurgo Surf n' Turf Dog Life Jacket | Lifejacket for Dogs | Dog Water Life Vest | Kayak Life Jacket for Pets | Dog Rain Jacket | for Pool or Lake | Reflective | Machine Washable | Chili Red | 5 Sizes

If you want a lifejacket that does it all, the Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Vest isn’t a bad option. It perfectly delivers as a life vest, shell jacket, rain jacket, and light autumn coat.

Key Features

  • Multipurpose dog jacket serving as a life vest and raincoat
  • Most effective in shallow waters
  • Adjustable design for the perfect fit
  • Reflective trim for optimal visibility in all lighting conditions
  • Two control handles for lifting or guiding
  • Two metal D-rings for tethering your dog with a leash
  • Available in a variety of sizes, ranging from extra-small to extra-large

To use this jacket as a flotation device, simply leave on its flotation layer. To use it as a rain jacket or autumn coat, take the flotation layer out. It saves you money and the hassle of having multiple jackets by being a Swiss Army dog lifejacket.

I love that the jacket offers every necessary feature to enjoy the outdoors safely and conveniently with your dog. It does only come in only one color, though – red. This might be a small concern for you if you care about that sort of thing.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Versatile—can function as a life vest, rain jacket, and a light coat.
  • Perfect fitting thanks to its adjustable straps
  • Easy to wear and take off
  • Machine washable


  • Not suitable for deep or choppy water
  • No extra flotation to support your dog’s underside

The Verdict

Some products try to do too many things and end up failing at all of them. The Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket isn’t one of those products. If you need a multipurpose jacket for the outdoors and don’t intend on going into deep waters, Consider giving this product a try. You might also want to consider including a lightweight backpack during outdoor excursions with your up.

Overall Rating - 4.7 stars

EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device (DFD)

EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Red)

This top-rated dog life jacket is designed to keep your dog afloat and comfortable, regardless of it is at sea, on a lake, or in a pool.

Key Features

  • Reflective trim for optimal visibility
  • Adjustable neoprene straps for the perfect fit
  • Durable, ergonomic grab handle in the back
  • Nylon D-rings for attaching a leash
  • Available in a variety of sizes

Even though it is mid-priced, the EzyDog DFD offers extra flotation features that’ll keep your dog’s head above water and lets him have fun. The amount of care that went into making this lifejacket secure can be seen in all the floatation features, and they all serve the purpose which they were added for.

However, there’s no size for very small dog breeds.


  • Conveniently positioned grab handle
  • Strategically located, ultra-buoyant materials
  • Your dog can stay comfortable and fully active in the water
  • Available in various colors to suit your dog’s unique style— green camo, yellow, and red.


  • Not available for smaller dogs

The Verdict

A great product at a mid-range price that’s suitable for medium to large dogs in all types of water.

Overall Rating - 4.5 stars

The DFD - Dog Flotation Device

Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket - Best Life jacket for small dogs

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket, Neoprene Dog Life Vest for Swimming and Boating - Blue/Yellow

Looking for a life jacket that’s perfect for your little guy/gal? Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket is probably the best small dog life jacket you can get. It’s available in sizes that were made with small dogs in mind.

Key Features

  • Velcro straps provide a secure fit around the belly and neck
  • Adjustable nylon straps and quick-release buckle
  • Lightweight material for optimal comfort and mobility.
  • Durable top-grab handle
  • Available in six size options
  • Reflective strips for maximum visibility
  • D-ring leash attachment
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This life vest is made with quality materials that ensure buoyancy and the comfort of your dog. It also features multiple points of adjustment that give a snug fit and ensure the safety of your buddy. Your dog will have a full range of motion while in the water, and there are no worries about the lifejacket snagging on debris.

Keep in mind, though, while the Paws Aboard Neoprene Doggy Life Jacket is perfect for smaller dogs, it may not be able to do the same for larger dogs.


  • Fast and easy to put on and take off
  • Made with durable materials that are also lightweight and comfortable
  • Easy to adjust for the perfect fit
  • Drains and dries quickly, which makes cleaning and storage easy
  • Available in a wide range of color styles and patterns


  • The Velcro strap may be troublesome if your dog has longer hair
  • Not suitable for larger dogs

The Verdict

If your dog has a small build and weight, this lifejacket is a great option, but if your dog is a big fella, you might be better off with a different choice.

Overall Rating - 4.5 stars

Onemore Choice Camo Pet Life Preserver - Best for Hunting Dogs

Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket,Camouflage Dog Life Vest with Adjustable Buckles,Dog Safety Life Coat for Swimming, Boating, Hunting | (XS, S, M, L, XL) ...

If you need a lifejacket that lets your dog blend into the foliage, the Onemore Choice Camo Life Preserver was made for you and your dog.

Key Features

  • Effective camouflage pattern
  • Adjustable buckles for a perfect fit
  • Available in a variety of sizes, ranging from extra-small to extra-large.
  • Made with durable materials
  • Reflective trims to avoid hunters mistaking your dog for prey
  • Top handle for convenient handling of your dog
  • Two straps across your dog’s belly and one across the chest for a snug fit
  • D-ring on the back

Because of the camouflage design of the Onemore Choice Camo Life Preserver, it’s praiseworthy that its designers had the forethought to add reflective accents along the straps to avoid accidents with other hunters.

The lifejacket’s heavy-duty material also provides your dog with maximum protection against the elements and drowning. However, this life preserver is suitable for mostly shallow waters. There are also complaints of the handle and D-ring falling apart. This can be a problem if your dog is an aggressive puller.


  • The vest is suitable for swimming, boating, and hunting outings
  • Great for hunting dogs
  • Handle and D-ring attachment at the back gives you full control over your dog
  • Breathable mesh material across the belly to keep your dog comfortable
  • Available in other interesting colors and designs


  • D-ring is a bit weak
  • Not ideal for deep waters

The Verdict

This counts as the best dog life vest for hunting dogs that need to blend in. The jacket also has reflective trimming to prevent accidents involving other hunters.

Overall Rating - 4.5 stars

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket

Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket with Superior Buoyancy & Rescue Handle, Pink, M

This affordable life jacket comes with all the standard bells and whistles and adds some more to make it on our list of best dog life vests.

Key Features

  • Durable grab handle for pulling or controlling your dog with ease
  • D-ring attachment for your leash
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles for the perfect fit
  • Durable stitching that keeps the entire vest in one piece
  • Adjustable Velcro straps for convenient wearing and taking off
  • Available in five different sizes ranging from extra-small to large
  • Durable vinyl material and extra built-in padding for comfort

The Vivaglory vest has three points of contact that evenly distribute weight across your dog’s body for comfort and security. You can get it in one of five sizes, and its durable materials ensure it should stand the test of time.

On the downside, there is no extra-large size for big dogs. This option is only going to fit medium-sized dogs and under.


  • Adjustable straps provide a secure fit
  • Highly durable to ensure you can use it for years
  • Built-in extra padding for optimal buoyancy
  • Available in a variety of interesting colors
  • Quick-release buckles and Velcro straps let you get your dog in and out of the vest with ease
  • Dries quickly, which makes storage and cleaning easy
  • Affordable price that’s below that of most of the other vests on this list
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
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  • The straps can start to slack after a while
  • It’s not suitable for hard use

The Verdict

If you need a dog life vest occasionally, you can save money by going for the Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket, but if the vest is for frequent or hard use, you might be better off going for a more durable option.

Overall Rating - 4.4 stars

Dog Life Vest Buying Guide: Features of the Best Dog Life Vest

Dog life jackets aren’t all made equal. Some are more durable than others, while others are more comfortable. If this model isn’t quite what you’re looking for, we’ve got more pet-friendly, comfortable, and breathable options. Check out the best dog backpack reviews.

To get one that's a perfect fit for your dog, and provides safety without impeding everyone's fun, look out for the following features:


If your dog’s life vest isn’t the right size, it can prove to be more of a danger than a help when your dog is in the water. The vest should have adjustable straps that allow you to resize it as needed to fit your dog’s body without affecting his mobility.


The life jacket should have a sturdy handle at its back. With the handle, you can easily guide your dog in the water or pull it out. The vest can have more than one handle, and the handle may be in the form of a strap.


A D-ring at the back or front of the vest provides a place to attach a leash. This means the life jacket can double as a harness for your dog.

Reflective Trim

Your dog should be visible from afar, regardless of if it’s in or out of the water. Reflective trim on a life jacket will catch even the slightest light and glint in the dark so that you can easily see your dog in the worst lighting conditions.

Easy to Clean

The material of your dog’s vest should be easy to clean and quick to dry so that maintaining it won't be a problem. Some vests are machine washable, while others require special care. Go for the one that’s most convenient for you.


The higher the quality of the materials used to make a vest, the longer it will last. You need a vest that’s made to last for years so that you can get your money’s worth out of it. Not only that, a durable vest offers greater safety for your dog.

The last thing you want is a life vest that falls apart while your dog is in the water and far from land.


Heavier dogs require a vest with more buoyancy, but it’s not just about having enough buoyancy to keep your dog afloat. The buoyant materials must be installed in parts of the vest that keep your dog balanced with his head out of the water.


Yes, the life vest is meant for inside the water, but your dog will also be spending time out of the water while wearing the vest. As such, the vest should be light enough for your dog to run around in with ease. This way, you won’t have to bother about taking off the vest each time your dog steps out of the water.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of dog life jackets to choose from for your best friend, but if you want one that’s durable, keeps your dog safe while in the water, and comfortable to wear, be sure to pick one from our above list of best dog life vests.

Just remember that the best dog life jacket for your dog will depend on your dog’s size and the type of activities you’ll be participating in. However, this brand may not be the right choice if you want something with more suitable for cold and wet weather. In that case, you should consider other options such as dog jackets for winter to ensure that your pup is safe and cozy .

The Outward Hound Granby Life Jacket is ideal for most dogs and owners, not just because it’s affordable, but also because it’s pet-friendly, durable, and offers optimal safety.

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