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The 6 best dog life jackets of 2024

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When making your selection, you should consider the following points in particular:

✔️ Size: The fit is crucial for safety and comfort. Measure your dog's circumferencebut also look at the measurements of a dog life jacket to see if you think it will fit your dog's short or long torso. We've also marked our selection for small and large dogs in case you're really concerned about size.

✔️ Your dog’s swimming skills: If your dog isn't a natural swimmer (I'm looking at you, French bulldogs and boxers), you might want something like our inexpensive pick with plenty of extra buoyancy. But if your dog is a pretty good swimmer, like most retrievers, you could get something sportier that allows him free movement, like our best for boating. Our best overall pick makes all the difference—it has buoyancy without being bulky.

✔️ Visibility: Most dog life jackets come in high-visibility neon colors and have reflective strips, so you're probably pretty safe here. It reminds you why you're buying a dog life jacket in the first place – so you can see your pup in murky or choppy waters, or when the light fades during a storm or in the evening.

✔️ Rescue grip: We have only included dog life jackets that have one or two rescue handles on the back that you can use to grab your wet dog in an emergency and lift him out of the water or guide him to shore.

✔️ D-ring: We prefer dog life jackets that include one so your dog doesn't have to wear his harness under the life jacket. If you're on a boat, you can tie your dog securely to the boat at one end and his life jacket at the other end instead of putting his collar on so his neck won't be injured if he falls overboard. Boat-ed.com has more tips for safe boating with dogs.