Doggie Lifejacket – Is Your Pup Prepared?

Taking your dog out kayaking with you can be such a great experience – for you and for your dog. However it is important that they are just as prepared as you are and safety of course is key.

The most important piece of gear for your dog will be his PFD. Whether your dog will be simply coming along for the ride, or whether he will be jumping in the water to do some swimming, he will need a lifejacket for support and safety.

Which Dog Lifejacket is Best?

There are several different brands for dog PFD’s to choose from including:

  • RuffWear
  • NRS
  • Astral Boyency
  • Paws Aboard
  • Guardian Gear

The price range of dog lifejackets can vary greatly as can the quality and comfort level. In my experience it is worth spending just a little bit more to get a lifejacket that has good features and that not only fits your dog comfortably but that also will last a long time. As long as your dog isn’t still growing, his PFD could last his entire lifetime if taken care of properly.

Dog PFD Fit

Your dogs PFD should fit snuggly. You want to be sure it stays on no matter what and that your dog can not wiggle out of it. When you take your dogs measurements make sure to measure the widest part of your dogs chest carefully.  Then be sure to read the size charts that are provided for the different models available.  

Many kayaking stores have a great selection of dog water gear including lifejackets, travel water bowls, harnesses, dog packs, toys and more.

I know some people do not like to put a PFD on their dog while canoeing or kayaking.  However it is extremely important for your dogs safety.  Your dog is equally as vulnerable as you are in an emergency situation. 

Anything could happen out on the water such as the dog could jump or fall out of the boat and hit his head, he could get swept away by a current or wave, he could get a cramp in his leg (yes that happens with dogs too), he could have trouble getting back into the kayak and begin to panic, he could have heart trouble, he could suffer from heat exhaustion or regular exhaustion. 

If your dog is wearing his PFD then every single one of these negative experiences can end positively. 

The Best of the Best in Dog Safety Gear

RuffWear Float Coats are among the most popular PFD’s for adventurous dogs and are known to be top quality and very comfortable. One of the biggest advantages of a RuffWear Float Coat is that it has strategically placed PVC-free buoyancy cells that will support your dog in its natural horizontal swimming position. This allows the dog to swim farther, play harder and be less fatigued. 

The RuffWear PFD’s have many great features that make them ideal for the kayaking dog.

 See our list of good online retailers to find which websites carry dog lifejackets and gear.