Not all doggy life jackets are made equal and as this is a safety item, you would naturally want to get the safest. Here is a list of essential features you should look for:
- Bright high visibility colour with reflective strips (so that your dog can be clearly seen in a situation like dog overboard)
- Grab handle(s) on the back (to assist rescue, also useful if you want to lift your dog onto a boat)
- Adjustable straps (to get a snug and comfy fit)
- Five star user reviews (this safety product may have to save your dog’s life)
- Proper sizing information (avoid manufacturers who just size on weight only – the girth measurement should be stated to get the best fit)
Dog life jackets are made in some eye-catching designs, like pink polka dot, blue floral, nautical designs and sporty designs, so there is plenty of choice out there. Designer dog life jackets usually have extra features such as breathable mesh under belly (prevents chafing), which on a really hot day can make for better comfort for your dog. This is something to consider if your dog is going to be wearing the dog life vest for long periods at a time, especially on hot days.
When you first get your dog life jacket, adjust the straps for a snug fit. This is important as you don’t want your dog being able to wriggle out of it. It is a good idea to let your dog wear the dog life vest a bit before going in or near water. Some dogs do not like wearing anything and you may have to coax your dog somewhat! Try putting the garment on your dog and immediately taking your dog for a walk, this usually works well, as your dog will associate putting the doggy life jacket on with a nice time!