Dog Had Seizure in Water: Are Dog Life Jackets Necessary?

With summer around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about how to keep your dog safe this swimming season. Many dogs love splashing around in the water or having their paws aboard a boat, especially on hot summer days. However, it is critical to keep in mind that some breeds have trouble swimming and require flotation aids like dog life vests.

If you take your dog to beach or boating on the lake, consider getting a dog life jacket flotation device to ensure their safety. If your pooch goes to the deep end, you’ll be glad they are wearing something buoyant that keeps your dog’s head above water.

Bulldogs, pugs, dachshunds, and Pekingese, for example, all have small, limited-buoyancy bodies and short legs that can make swimming and difficult. Even the most accomplished of swimmers can make mistakes, which is why water safety should be a priority for all pet owners. Dog parents often ask themselves, “Are dog life jackets necessary?”

Properly fitting dog life jackets have saved lives. It saved the life of Tyler.

are dog life jackets necessary
pc: @oakley.gsd

Flotation Aid Saves Tyler’s Life

Tyler’s pawrent owns a veterinarian practice and shared her story to illustrate how even the most experienced of dog owners can be helpless in the face of disaster.

“I regularly kayak on Mountain Island Lake and would bring my dog, Tyler with me. Tyler loved the water, and would often ride in the back of the kayak. She always loved jumping out to swim during our trips.

Tyler was a great swimmer, but she always wore a doggie life jacket because I worried about her tiring in the water. I never imagined that jacket would actually save her life.

We were out on the water enjoying a warm sunny day. Tyler was getting anxious in the kayak and wanted to jump out. So, I let her jump into the water. I noticed she seemed a little disoriented and was swimming away from me. Once she got about 20 feet away from me, I called her to come back. It was then that she had the first seizure of her life.

Tyler was floating in the water, unconscious and jerking about 20 feet from me. There would not have been enough time for me to get to her if it hadn’t been for her life jacket. She would have sunk like a stone and drowned. I was absolutely shaking in horror at the situation.

The following day, an MRI was performed and found a brain tumor which eventually took her life. My dog had her very first seizure at 12 years of age in the middle of a lake.

I am so thankful that she did not drown in the water and will forever be grateful she was wearing a life jacket, which enabled us to spend a precious extra amount of time with her. The lake life is amazing and our dogs love the water – life jackets can save their lives!”

are dog life jackets necessary

Play It Safe. Wear a Dog Life Vest.

Tyler’s story is an important reminder that while your pup might swim on a regular basis, you never know when something unexpected will happen.

These stories, while scary, help us remember to stay safe out there while we keep making memories going on new adventures with our pups.

How to Find the Best Dog Life Jacket for Your Pup

outward hound granby dog life jacket in camo

The best dog life jackets have key safety features you’ll want to look out for, including:

  • Grab handles to easily pull your dog out of the water in case of emergency, or to guide them when first learning to swim
  • Adjustable straps, chest strap, and neoprene belly band fastening to ensure a secure fit
  • High-quality ripstop material over the foam panels to prevent tears
  • A d-ring so you can clip a leash attachment to your dog
  • Bright colors and reflective strips for increased visibility

Many life jackets, like the Outward Hound Granby dog life jacket, come in a range of sizes from extra small to extra large. Measure your dog’s girth and look for a life preserver that will fit your dog as securely as possible to get the most out of its safety features.

Now go out and have a safe and dog smile-filled summer!

Outward Hound makes no guarantee regarding the information contained herein. This is a floatation aid intended for use on a conscious dog in calm waters.