Posts Tagged ‘dog life vest’

How to Choose the Best Dog Life Jacket

March 22, 2011

Measure for a Dog Life Jacket

Measure for a Dog Life Jacket

The most important thing about a dog life jacket is to get the right size for a good snug, comfy fit for your dog.  First weigh your dog, then take two measurements, girth and length (see diagram).  When you measure, make sure your dog is standing up.  Most dog life jackets are sized on girth measurement but beware as sizes do differ from different manufacturers.  Dog life vests are made for all size dogs and pups, including toy breeds.

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!

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

March 4, 2011
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