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Pet Life Jacket Buying Guide

 

By Steve Kopitz

 

 

Pets can be a lot like humans.  If we go overboard into the water we know that we can’t keep paddling around and treading water forever so we always have a life jacket on the boat or, when in the water, a jacket on ourselves.  While we may rest at the sand bar or the beach and let our dogs roam around or keep them on their regular leash, if we take our best friends with us on to the boat, we should ensure their safety like any other passenger.

 

 

Dog wearing a life jacket

 

 

Pet Life Jackets are available and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the size of the pup.  Make sure to get the right size and that it fits comfortably – one too big might harm them more in the water as it would bulk up over them, one too small would be too uncomfortable and constricting.  One type of life vest available is split into two sections.  One part is for their neck while the other is for their body.  This would be a good choice for the owner with a bigger dog like a lab or husky.  A smaller, one piece, might be better for smaller dogs like pugs or Chihuahuas.  The one piece life jackets do come in large enough sizes for a larger dog and wears like a sweater and usually has a buckle or two to ensure that it stays on.

 

 

Types of Dog Life Jackets

 

 

Another good component of the pet life vest is the handle.  Usually on top, this will allow you to guide the dog, or if something is happening and you need them not to stray, you can hold on tightly and firmly.

 

Life jackets are very important because if the dog were to tire they would have the assurance of being able to float until rescued.

 

Dog leashes for the water are different than your normal walking leash.  They are often built with a sturdier rope or leash because they are prone to get wet a lot more and are able to stay wet without compromising the strength.  Many dog leashes accommodate the boating lifestyle and have handles similar to those that are on the end of tow ropes.

 

When it comes to buying gear for your pets so they can safely join you on the water remember to buy according to the dog’s size and shape so that it’s not constricting and also not too bulky for them to easily shake out of.  Also, you know your dog – make sure you purchase a life vest that won’t freak them out and then they spend the day trying to shake the life jacket off.

 

Happy Boating!