Why, When and Where is a Dog Life Jacket Needed?

Dougie Wearing His OutwardHound Dog Life Jacket

Dougie Wearing His OutwardHound Dog Life Jacket

(Written by our guest blogger, Juliette Morgan.)

All dogs can swim, true or false?  False!  Many dogs can’t swim, and may be afraid of water.  Even if a dog can swim, they may not be able to swim in certain instances, such as falling in water accidentally and panicking, if sea or river conditions are rough or if they’ve fallen in a swimming pool and tire of swimming if they can’t get out of the pool by themselves.  It is a fact that many dogs die every year by drowning, mainly in accidents like falling overboard from boats or quays, chasing after wildlife and falling in dangerous waters and swimming pool accidents, usually at their own home.

Kitting your dog out with a dog life jacket prevents drowning.  The dog life vest acts just like a life vest we would use, providing buoyancy to keep the head above water, and aids swimming to safety. Unlike us, throwing a life buoy to a dog is no use if they fall in water but with the grab handle on the back of a dog life jacket, a dog can be rescued more easily. 

Boat owners who take their best friend aboard should most certainly ensure their dog wears a doggie life jacket whenever the dog has deck access and in addition should work out a dog overboard procedure to follow if this happens. Pool owners should ensure their dog can’t access the pool alone or if this is not possible, consider a dog life jacket.  People who walk their dogs near rivers, play and swim on beaches would also be safer to give their dog this valuable protection.

Unfortunately dog drowning accidents don’t just happen in the summer at the beach when the sun is shining.  Frozen lakes, icy rivers, wind and strong waves in the sea make for far more dangerous conditions.  Dogs often drown by falling through ice when out walking, getting trapped and hyperthermia setting in quickly, resulting in drowning.

Certain dogs are more at risk in or near water than others – senior or sick dogs who may not have the strength of fit dogs.  Small pups/dogs and short haired dogs have less natural buoyancy.  Short muzzled dogs too can be at risk because they have difficulty keeping their head above water and therefore they may ingest more water and if it is salt water, it can be fatal if the dog swallows too much.  Again a dog life vest solves all these issues, gives you peace of mind and lets you get on with having fun with your dog at the beach or aboard the ocean waves.

So protect your dog.  All year round, whenever in or close to water, a dog life vest is best.

Juliette Morgan

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4 Responses to “Why, When and Where is a Dog Life Jacket Needed?”

  1. georgia little pea Says:

    Hi Juliette, good to see you here.

    I only recently learnt that flat nosed dogs have problems swimming. Georgia has a bulldog friend named Pinky who loves to swim. It was Pinky’s owner who told us that she was special because bulldogs usually can’t swim. Pinky tried to teach Georgia, who’s hopeless at it, despite having a rather long nose :p

    2 Christmases ago, Rufus fell into the water while walking too close to the edge of a seawall. He can’t swim at all. Lucky it was low tide so we could go in and rescue him. One of your life jackets would definitely have been handy that day!

  2. ILoveDogs Says:

    I used to think all dogs could swim until I got Becky Ann. Several years ago, I saved Becky Ann from the shelter I used to work at (the vet was going to put her to sleep because he knew I liked her and he was being spiteful). Becky Ann was a shepherd/greyhound/?????? mix. I loved her to death but she wasn’t very bright and was the only dog I have ever had who couldn’t swim. Even with a life jacket, she looked ridiculous in the water because she kept trying to touch the bottom with her hind legs. But at least I didn’t have to worry about her drowning with the life jacket on.

  3. A Dog Life Vest Is Essential When Your Travel Destination Includes Water | Pet Auto Safety Says:

    […] out this very informative post by one of our guest bloggers in the UK – Why, When and Where is a Dog Life Jacket Needed? By Juliette Morgan.  Juliette Morgan is very knowledgeable!  If you are in the UK, visit her […]

  4. Chad Lewis Says:

    I would like to get my schnauzer mix Chihuahua a raincoat and a life vest for when we go boating.

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