Life Jackets that Can Save Your Dog’s Life
During these times of self-isolation, we aren’t the only one in our home feeling more than a touch of cabin fever. At some homes, not only do you have kids trying to get outside. But your dogs would love to do nothing but lay around soaking in the sun.
You may be lucky enough to live near water, possibly a lake or the beach. Isolated as we are, we just might be tempted to head out to the lakeside beach. Kayaking or even taking a boat out into open waters.
Most of the time our dogs come with us. I never thought about whether or not we should be putting them into life jackets. Being that I have all this time on my hands I did some research. I discovered that they should have a good doggy life jacket.
But, Why Does Your Dog Need Life Jacket?
First of all, not all dogs can swim. And the why you should use a dog life jacket is because your job is to keep your dog safe. Every parent should know that the only way to protect their children when boating or swimming is put a life jacket on them. Even if they are strong swimmers and even if they complain about having to wear it. As parents, we have the responsibility to keep our dogs safe just in case of a worst-case scenario.
Even if your dog is a great swimmer, wearing a life jacket will help make your dog more visible in case you’re separated on the water.
Some dogs just aren’t built to be swimmers. Dogs who have low body fat, older or out-of-shape dogs might lack the strength needed to doggy paddling.
When Would I Need a Dog Life Vest or a Dog Life Jacket?
First, it’s a good idea to assess how and if your dog can swim. And then try to figure out worst-case scenario might be in any situation.
But, if there’s a chance that you may be unable to respond to an emergency quickly enough. You just might want to keep your dog safe with a life jacket.
If you’re boating, it’s always a good idea for all dogs and humans, for that matter, to wear a life jacket. 80% of all boating fatalities are caused by drowning. And in 83% of those cases, the victim wasn’t wearing a life jacket, most of those people knew how to swim. With boating accidents, there are other really dangerous factors like hypothermia, fatigue or injuries to contend with.
What If My Dog Is A Strong Swimmer?
Despite common belief, not all dogs naturally know how to swim. Even if your dogs were bred for the water, accidents happen, so they can benefit from wearing a dog life vest.
What If your dog falls overboard or a canoe suddenly capsizes, the panic of the moment, can quickly overwhelm even the strongest swimmers. If the dog is injured in the fall, you can see why relying on a dog’s own swimming abilities might not be enough.
Even the best swimmers can suffer from fatigue in open water. A Great life jacket can help keep a dog’s head up above the water and can also allow a dog to use less energy.
How Do I Buy A Dog Life Vest or Jacket ?
Getting a dog life jacket is the first step, but if it doesn’t fit well, it might not do much good. To make your dog’s life vest fits correctly, you’ll need to take some measurements.
First: Weigh your dog to make sure that she is within the weight range for a given size and brand of life jacket.
Secondly: Measure your dog’s length from the neck to the base of the tail.
Finally: Measure your dog’s girth around the widest part of the neck and the widest part of the chest.
When you order your dog’s life jacket, make certain that your dog’s measurements stay within the manufacturer’s recommendations.
When your life jacket arrives, just be sure your dog is comfortable and can easily breathe.
Before using the life jacket in the water, have your dog run around a bit to check and see that the life jacket stays in place and that your dog seems comfortable and happy.
Some Feature Your Dog’s Life Jacket Should Have
Since most dog life jackets look alike, here are a few things to look for when are looking to purchase the best dog life vest:
- Choose a bright color that will help keep your dog as visible as possible.
- A strong top handle you can grab onto to lift your dog out of the water. Or to use just when loading and unloading from a boat.
- See if it has a D-ring or leash attachment, this will enable you to use the vest out of the water.
- Reflective strips will also increase visibility in finding your dog, especially at dawn, dusk, or nighttime.
- If your dog isn’t a strong swimmer look for a vest with an attachable front flotation pad. The vest will keep your dog’s head out of the water.
- Finally, look for life jackets that have extra flotation material around the sides and middle. To make sure of as much extra buoyancy as possible.