How to Measure a Dog for a Life Jacket

Outward Hound dog life jackets come in three different styles to keep your pup swimming safely whether they are a novice or experienced swimmer. If you’re wondering which size life vest is best for your dog, follow these guidelines for how to measure for a dog life jacket.

Remember: since dogs come in various sizes and body shapes, make sure to take any other unique traits (like large shoulders, beefy chests, or long torsos) into consideration for fit and buoyancy.

dog on beach wearing pink life jacket

How to Measure a Dog for a Life Jacket: Girth and Weight

Your dog’s girth chest circumference is going to be the most important measurement that will help you select the best-sized flotation device for your dog.

Using a measuring or tailor’s tape, measure the circumference of the widest part of your dog’s ribcage. Then, weigh your dog and consult the sizing chart with your dog’s weight.

If your doggie is on the higher end of a size, we recommend sizing up. All of our life jackets follow the same size guide.

corgi wearing a dog life jacket

Dog life vest sizing

Again, please consider your dog’s swimming ability and unique characteristics that may affect their swimming performance and floatation when choosing a PFD/life jacket.

Outward Hound life jackets come in the following sizes for small dogs to large dog breeds:

  • XS: 11-15 in; 5-15 lbs
  • SM: 16-20 in; 15-30 lbs
  • MD: 21-27 in; 30-55 lbs
  • LG: 28-32 in; 55-85 lbs
  • XL: 33-44 in; 85-100 lbs
dog life jacket size guide

Safety features of a dog life preserver

All of our life jackets feature adjustable straps and buckles for a secure fit, emergency grab handles, foam panels for maximum buoyancy, and bright colors for your dog to get their float on in style.

Life jackets are particularly essential for brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs, who need secure chest straps for extra buoyant support.

Granby & Dawson features

dog on a beach in a dog life jacket
  • velcro front neck closure to keep your dog’s head above water
  • top grab handles
  • quick-release buckles
  • ripstop material
  • adjustable strap fastenings
  • neoprene belly band
  • bright colors and reflective strips

Standley features

  • extra-rugged reinforced ripstop nylon to stand up to frequent, adventurous use
  • d-ring for leash attachment
  • reflective trim
  • bright green color for high visibility
  • top grab handles
  • quick-release buckles
  • Mesh bellyband allows for quick water drainage
  • unique sternum design and lightweight construction for enhanced performance and a wide range of motion
  • designed with the skilled swimmer in mind but suitable for dogs of all experience levels

The Best Dog Life Jacket

Your dog needs a life vest aqua adventure. Even if your pooch doesn’t go in the water when you take your dog swimming, to the pool, or kayaking, it’s important they have the right safety gear near bodies of water.

The best life jackets suit your dog’s swimming ability and can be adjusted to a proper fit to keep your dog safe. Paws aboard!