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Dog life jackets: what advantages do they offer?

by D F
Life jackets for dogs are becoming more and more popular these days. Many dog owners are enthusiastic about the safety vests and can no longer imagine a trip to the cool water without the dog life jackets. However, the topic is not entirely uncontroversial and there are divided opinions on the safety vests for dogs. But what advantages do the Vests actually offer and in which situations are they particularly important? How do I even know that my four-legged friend needs a life jacket and what exactly distinguishes a high-quality, safe vest? These and many other basic questions about the use, the features, and additional functions as well as different sizes and fits of the vests for smaller or larger dogs are answered in the following article.rat terrier characteristics In addition, you will learn in which water sports a dog life jacket is particularly essential and what you should pay attention to in the current trend sport of stand-up paddling with your four-legged friend!

When is a dog life jacket useful?

Basically, the use of life jackets for all dogs in any activities on and in the water is very advisable. Unfortunately, we often forget that our fur noses can also suffer cramps and circulatory problems. The danger of this exists especially on warm, summery days when the dog’s body has been warmed by the sun and the four-legged friend then wants to whizz too fast into the cool water. If a fur nose in the water has a circulatory collapse or a surprising spasm, a dangerous situation for the dog and owner can arise without a safety vest. Wearing a dog life jacket is also particularly important if the animal needs it for health reasons or is generally a rather unsafe or cautious swimmer. Of course, there are also a variety of dogs that can swim less well due to their physique. These include, for example, dachshunds, because of their long back and short legs, as well as French bulldogs. In addition, the use of a life jacket is very important in all water sports, such as stand-up paddling, kayaking or canoeing, boat tours, etc. But even on a simple trip to the bathing lake, the beach, or other waters, you should always keep in mind that there can always be surprising (under) currents. In such a case, a life jacket offers your dog the necessary portion of safety on and especially in the water.

How do I know if my dog needs a life jacket?

Swimming, it is basically similar to us humans in dogs, some four-legged friends can simply swim better than others. In part, as already mentioned, this may be due to physical predispositions. However, there are also a few clues that make it relatively easy to see that a dog life jacket would be helpful for your fur nose. On the one hand, you can check your dog’s swimming behavior. For example, if your dog “splashes” wildly with his front paws in the water, this may seem like bathing fun at first glance, but in fact, it is a warning signal and can be a sign that he can hardly swim or feels very unsafe. Here, a dog life jacket can be used wonderfully to practice swimming and to ensure the animal’s safety in the cool water. On the other hand, it may be that the back of your fur nose sags when trying to swim. This happens not only in dogs with a particularly long back, such as dachshunds. In such a case, a life jacket can also provide an effective remedy and provide the necessary buoyancy of the back so that the dog is kept safely afloat. For dogs with one or more of the following characteristics, wearing a dog life jacket is enormously important: old or weak anxious and rather cautious overweight exuberant and curious little swimming experience bad swimmer health-related complaints (e.g. joint complaints or similar) For all water sports, it is always advisable to put on a dog life jacket with as much self-buoyancy as possible for your four-legged friend. Be it in the trend sport of stand-up paddling, on the boat or canoe tour, a dog can fall unexpectedly into the water at any time and not only in waves or strong currents have a hard time swimming back to its owners. In addition, a safety vest can help a dog enormously in the reconstruction of the muscles, for example after an operation.

What distinguishes a good dog life jacket?

Now you may have already made a rough assessment while reading about whether your dog might need a safety vest or not. In the former case, you probably now have the question of how you can recognize a good dog life jacket and what you should pay attention to when choosing one. What should a high-quality dog life jacket look like, and what functions and characteristics does it have to have?

The most important features of a good dog life jacket are the following:

Fit: The right fit is very important, on the one hand, so that the dog is not restricted in his movement and on the other hand so that the life jacket can really help in emergency situations. Buoyancy: Buoyancy also plays an important role in safety. In an emergency, your four-legged friend should be able to be carried by the buoyancy of the vest. Before buying a dog life jacket, you should check the manufacturer’s specifications carefully to find the right life jacket for the weight of your dog. Handle: A good safety vest for dogs should always have a handle. But beware! Again, there are differences in the quality of the handles. Try to find a dog life jacket with a sturdy material, where the handle is also high-quality processed so that it does not run the risk of tearing when lifting your dog. Colour: The color scheme of the life jacket can also be very important, depending on the application. Always try to choose a color that is clearly visible in the water, so that you can always recognize your four-legged friend in the best possible way. Reflectors: Similar to the color scheme, equipment with reflectors can also be useful. These increase the visibility of your dog once again and thus also provide the necessary safety in an emergency. Through reflectors and a bright color scheme, for example, boaters and other water sports enthusiasts can better recognize your fur nose in an emergency. There are now a variety of dog life jackets on the market, which have numerous different characteristics. In use, however, it is always an advantage if a safety vest largely meets the points just listed. Tip: Also make sure that the straps can be attached to the dog life jacket or stowed in the life jacket to adjust it. Otherwise, the cords can hang down on the safety vest and thus become disturbing on the one hand and even dangerous depending on the situation!

How do I find the right safety vest for my dog?

Since every dog is different, it is very important to find a really suitable life jacket, especially for your four-legged friend. We advise you to always read the manufacturer’s information and size charts very carefully and then measure your dog as precisely as possible. Trying on a dog life jacket is the best way to find the perfect vest for your fur nose. Because with the safety vests, in addition to the correct fit, the associated general feel-good factor of the dog in the vest is considered an essential point when buying. Tip: You don’t know how to measure your dog correctly? Then take a look at our helpful YouTube video on the topic to determine the exact dimensions for the right dog life jacket for your four-legged friend!

Why is a correct fit so important?

You already know a lot about life jackets for dogs and have learned what distinguishes a really good vest and what you should consider when choosing all this. In this section, we want to dedicate ourselves again specifically to the topic of the correct size and fit of a dog life jacket. Choosing the right size is actually one of the most important points when buying a dog safety vest. Only if the vest really fits perfectly to the dog’s body, it can really carry and protect your four-legged friend during a bathing trip, ambitious swimming but especially in dangerous emergency situations. In addition, the size of the vest has a direct influence on the wearing comfort for your pet. If the life jacket does not fit properly, it may restrict your dog within his freedom of movement and, in the worst case, even makes it difficult for your four-legged friend to swim or steer with the back of his body. This must not be the case under any circumstances, because then your dog can benefit little from the life jacket.

Dog life jackets for small and large dogs

For smaller four-legged friends, it is particularly important to measure the dog correctly in order to avoid buying a life jacket that is too long. If a dog safety vest is too long for your pet, it can massively restrict the freedom of movement and thus your dog is not only little protected in emergency situations, but generally hindered in wearing the vest. A striking color scheme, as well as the occupation with reflectors, is just as important for life jackets for smaller dogs as it is for larger animals. However, a bright signal color or a sensibly sewn-on reflector may be able to additionally protect our small four-legged friends in dangerous situations, as they generally have lower visibility due to their smaller size. Even with larger fur noses, there are important points to consider when choosing the correct dog life jacket. young puppy rat terrier the most important aspect here is also the total length of the life jacket. This must not be too long so that your animal is not restricted in its musculoskeletal system. In addition, the buoyancy of the safety vest is decisive for large dogs, as the vest must ultimately be able to carry the dog in the water. In addition, the general quality of the dog life jacket again plays a decisive role in larger animals, as the grip, in particular, must be extremely stable in heavier dogs.

Water sports with dogs: What do I have to consider?

More and more often we see pictures of dogs accompanying their owners in all water sports. Basically, sports on the water as well as on land are a great opportunity for joint leisure activities of dog and owner. However, a special degree of caution is required on and in or on the water as soon as an animal accompanies us! In principle, your own safety and the safety of your four-legged friend should come first in any joint sporting activity – whether on land or in the water. During joint activities on or in the cool water, the safety of your dog can only really be guaranteed with the help of the dog life jacket. Even experienced swimmers among the four-legged friends can get massive difficulties in turbulent waters, strong currents or high waves and a fun trip can unfortunately quickly become a dangerous emergency situation for everyone. Here, a life jacket can actually save lives in an emergency! Tip: For all water sports, it is highly recommended to get your animal used to the respective sport and the associated equipment or vehicle slowly and without pressure on land.

Trend sport Stand-up paddling: Does my dog need a life jacket?

The water sport stand-up paddling is gaining more and more popular nowadays and has long been one of the most popular sports on the water. Many people like to take their favorite four-legged friends on the paddle board and experience adventures on the water together. However, so that this outdoor activity is not risky and dangerous for you and your four-legged friend, your fur nose should always wear a suitable dog life jacket. Dein Hund kann von dem Paddle Board jederzeit freiwillig oder unfreiwillig in das Wasser springen oder stürzen. In einem solchen Fall musst du dein Tier wieder auf das Board heben können und dies kann bei einem nassen und dadurch schwereren sowie gegebenenfalls panischen Hund zur wahren Herausforderung und heiklem Balanceakt auf dem Stand-up-Paddle Board werden! In einem solchen Fall dient der stabile Tragegriff einer Hundeschwimmweste als extrem hilfreiches Feature, um deinen Vierbeiner sicher wieder auf das Board zu heben. On the other hand, as an experienced paddler, you can also plunge into the water and especially in such a case panic quickly breaks out when you yourself, your dog and possibly luggage and paddles drift around in the water. In such a situation, which can not necessarily occur rarely in stand-up paddling, a dog life jacket provides much more safety for everyone involved and makes it easier to keep a cool head despite shock. Many four-legged friends lose their orientation when they fall into the water when they get their heads under the water surface. This often happens in a simple case from the paddle board and if your fur nose then swims around disoriented, it can become really dangerous. For all the reasons just mentioned, the dog life jacket is a real must-have when stand-up paddling!

What needs to be considered when standing up paddling with a dog?

You already know that when it comes to stand-up paddling, also called SUP, it is best to equip your fluffy companion with a suitable safety vest. However, there are other important aspects and valuable hints in the trendy water sport that you should definitely consider before you get on the paddle board with your four-legged friend. In the case of SUP with a dog, the following two points must be observed in particular: general state of health of the animal, which should be discussed with a veterinarian in case of doubt familiarity with water sports, only when you feel completely safe on the SUP, your dog should accompany you If you slowly feel safe and comfortable on the board and have familiarized yourself with different situations on the water, you can slowly introduce your four-legged friend to the common activity. In general, it is important to keep in mind that accidents can happen to any of us at any time. That’s why you should be as prepared as possible for the worst-case scenario. Basic safety instructions include putting on the halteleine during stand-up paddling, here there are lines for your ankle or for your stomach. The line creates a connection between you and your paddle board and thus prevents the loss of the board in the event of a fall, this can be incredibly helpful in an emergency situation, if at least your paddle board is still within easy reach. In addition, you should always remember that your four-legged friend, just like you, can suffer heat stroke in the blazing sun. Try to give your dog regular breaks for cooling off as well as an adequate water supply. It is also advisable to make stops on land in between. Here you should definitely take off the dog life jacket from your fur nose, otherwise the heat will accumulate underneath. If you both feel safe enough to get on the SUP board together, you should continue to proceed calmly and carefully and, for example, start paddling sitting or kneeling instead of standing directly at the beginning. Always keep in mind that stand-up paddling is a true full-body workout not only for you, but also for your fur nose, and a dog under such a strain can be exhausted quite quickly at the beginning. So always take enough breaks and always keep an eye on the general condition of your four-legged friend. Tip: In the blog post “SUP – Stand up Paddling with Dog” you will find numerous valuable tips on how to slowly introduce your dog to stand-up paddling.

Which paddle board is right for me and my dog?

Even in stand-up paddling, the right equipment is crucial for success in the sport. Here you will find a few hints on how to choose a board that is suitable for you. First of all, it is important that the paddle board is suitable for the weight of you and your dog. Try to keep a buffer, because it is safer if the board can always carry a little more than your body weight as well as the weight of the dog plus luggage and equipment. Tip: There are partly SUP boards, which have a so-called Dog Pad. On the one hand, this protects your board from scratches and cracks through your dog’s claws. On the other hand, your fur nose is also offered a generous, non-slip surface on which it gets an extra portion of support.

Our conclusion on dog life jackets

Safety in the water is just as important an issue for us humans as it is for our fur nose. Unfortunately, we often forget that not every dog likes or can swim and that many animals can swim less well than other conspecifics for various individual reasons. A high-quality dog life jacket creates the optimal solution for all those four-legged friends to enjoy the cool water safely. Especially when it comes to water sports, a safety vest for dogs is essential in principle. An unpredictable mishap on the water can happen to every experienced athlete and our fluffy companions should always be secured and protected in the best possible way even in potential emergency situations and in an emergency, a dog life jacket can actually save lives!

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