Safety in Water – Dog Life Jackets
Most people erroneously believe that all dogs know how to swim. This is a common misconception among many dog owners. Many factors can cause your dog to stop swimming including loss of breath or exhaustion. A dog can fall into the water unexpectedly, or be hampered by waves, splashing, undertows or strong currents. Even strong swimmers can become exhausted in fast-moving water. Some breeds of dogs have low body fat and have difficulty staying afloat and maintaining their body temperature. Dogs can get easily fatigued if they are elderly, overweight or out of condition.
Wearing a life jacket on your dog may be the difference between life and death. Dog Life Jackets can help save your dog’s life in an emergency, and will help to keep him warm when in the water. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Choosing the Best Life Jacket for your Dog
Dog life vests are offered with a variety of features, including reflective strips for greater visibility, and built-in handles so that you can lift your dog out of the water in an emergency. Top handles are essential if your dog likes to ride in your boat or swimming pool where they may not have easy access to a ladder or ramp. Choosing the best material for your needs is also a consideration. Dog life jackets are offered in a variety of colors and designs — there is nothing wrong with showing off your dog’s sense of style!
Should I Buy a Nylon or Neoprene Dog Life Jacket?
Most dog life jackets are made from either Nylon or Neoprene. There are pros and cons to both.
Nylon life vests are lightweight and generally less expensive than neoprene. However, the downside of nylon is that it offers very little warmth. Nylon is more stiff than neoprene and does not stretch, so if your dog has a unique body shape or is out of proportion, neoprene may be a better option.
Neoprene is the most common type of material used in life preservers for people, and is a favorite of water boarders and surfers. Neoprene is more expensive than nylon and is heavier when wet. However, neoprene offers a snugger, more comfortable fit because it stretches to fit the contours of your dog’s body shape. Life vests made of neoprene also offer some warmth in the water. If you have one of the sight hound breeds or a dog with low body fat, you will want to buy a neoprene life vest to help regulate your dog’s body temperature.
Additional Considerations for Selecting the Best Life Jacket for your Dog
A dog life jacket should offer high visibility when in the water. Dark colors may not be as visible in natural water compared to vibrant colors like Neon Yellow or Neon Orange. Blue, Green, and Brown life jackets will be okay for dogs that spend time in and around swimming pools, but are not the best option for dogs who swim in lakes, rivers and streams. Reflective strips will also increase visibility and will help in low light conditions or overcast days.
A dog life jacket should have a reinforced handle on top for easy grabbing and lifting. Straps should be adjustable for a secure fit, and the life jacket should have quick-release buckles. A velcro-fastening system is handy and makes it easy to take the life jacket on and off your dog.
It is also important to make sure your dog’s life jacket is fitted properly. Dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so be sure to get accurate measurements for the best fit. A life jacket that isn’t fitted properly will hinder your dog, and will not provide the best protection in the water.
There is nothing more fun in warm weather than watching your dog romp and play in the water. Stay safe, and be sure to find him a life jacket that fits well and gives him freedom of movement. Have fun with your dog!
ShopForPuppy.com carries major brands of dog life jackets, including Nature Labs, Outward Hound, Paws Aboard and Pawz Pet Products. We are proud to support rescues and dogs in need through our charitable donation program. A portion of revenue from each sale is donated to Rescue. For an additional 10% off all dog life jackets, use the Coupon Code “LifeJacket-10” during checkout at ShopForPuppy.com. This coupon expires on June 30, 2015, so don’t delay.