How to Choose the Best Life Jacket For Your Dog

Summer is right around the corner. And that means it’s time to take your pup outside and play for some fun in the sun! If you’re planning on hitting the beach, boating, or hangin’ poolside with your pooch, it’s important to outfit your best friend with a dog life jacket for safety. This post will help you prepare to gear up and dive into some fun.

All of our Outward Hound dog life jackets come in a variety of sizes, from extra small to extra large, and offer high visibility with bright colors and reflective strips. The best dog life vests are also adjustable and designed to be comfortable for your pup to wear. With grab handles on the top of our doggie flotation devices, rescues are easy.

Let’s take a look at the different types of dog life preservers offered and how to choose the right size for your furry friend. We get a lot of questions about the differences between our dog life vests, so we prepared a quick guide below to help you get started. A “flotation station,” if you will.


For more detailed explanations on how to keep your dog safe with each of these float coats, keep reading!


bulldog wearing yellow life jacket

The popular Granby Splash Life Jacket is great for all-around floatation use. Dogs who love to swim or are just getting started will love this life jacket.

It is constructed with ripstop material for buoyancy in the water and unrestricted movement on land. The front float neck closure helps keep your dog’s head above water and the neoprene belly band securely supports their chest and stomach.

The belly band fastening is adjustable and can support the girth of a bulldog to a petite shape of a terrier. It has dual grab handles making it easy for you to pull your dog out of the water. Belly buckles and chest straps keep the jacket secure on your pup, and Velcro tabs keep the adjustable straps from getting caught.



The Dawson Life Jacket is made with novice swimmers in mind, that’s why it has foam side panels made for maximum buoyancy. Even if your pup prefers to keep their paws aboard the boat, this life jacket will keep them safe in case of an accidental splash! This life vest is designed to keep them safely buoyant.

The life vest’s neoprene construction also keeps dogs warm on cold swims. Safety features on this life jacket include grab handles for easy rescue and restraint as well as the bright red color and reflective panels for visibility.


dog swimming in pool

The Standley Sport Life Jacket is the ideal flotation device for experienced swimmers. Its open design allows for a wide range of motion and top performance. It is made of extra rugged high-quality ripstop material with reflective trim that stands up to frequent use.

Also, it has a double handle and unique sternum support for repeated lifting. The bellyband is mesh — great for quick drainage when your dog is ready to hop out of the water. An added feature of the Standley Life Jacket is a D-ring leash attachment.

How to Choose the Right Size Dog Life Jacket

Are you wondering, what’s the right size life jacket for my dog? Measuring the girth of your dog will most accurately help you choose the right size dog life jacket. Grab a tape measure and take a look at the above sizing chart to see what size your pup should wear for the most secure fit.

A note about sizing: all pups are unique and special, especially yours! Sizing may differ from dog to dog. Make sure to take any other adorably unique traits (large shoulders, long torso, beefy chest, etc.) into consideration.

Safety First

Remember to always supervise your pet when swimming and make sure their life jacket is secured. Veterinarians recommend they are adjusted for a snug fit, but not so snug that your pup chafes or can’t move around freely.

Did you find the right one for your pup? Check out our guides for fitting each specific life jacket: GranbyDawsonStandley.

You can also find our dog life vests at Chewy, Amazon, or your local pet store!

Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of May 2022 to reflect the most pup-to-date information.