The Best Dog Life Vests

Not all dogs know how to swim, and certain breeds may have trouble learning, due to body composition. And even the most experienced swimmer can get tired in the water. So how do you safely take your pup with you the next time you venture to the lake or go for a boat ride? With a doggy life vest, of course. Made for just about any breed out there, a dog life vest can help keep your pooch afloat, whether he’s a beginner or seasoned swimmer.

We checked out numerous dog life vests on Amazon to find the best ones available for your favorite furry friend. We looked at those made with ripstop nylon, neoprene fabric, and a blend of other materials. Other factors we made note of were color, style, and added features.

Best Dog Life Vest Overall
Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
For safe and fun water sports, this bright orange dog life vest is made from ripstop fabric and features a neoprene belly band.

We chose the Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket as the overall best dog life vest because it’s offered in sizes from extra small to extra large, and sports a bright orange color for easy visibility. Keeping your pooch safe while she’s near or in the water is crucial to having a good time.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Life Vests

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Dog Life Vest OverallOutward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket4.5
Best Neoprene Dog Life Vest
VIVAGLORY Dog Life Jackets Neoprene Dog Life Vest4.5
Best Budget Dog Life VestHAOCOO Dog Life Jacket Vest4.5
Best Reflective Dog Life VestVivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jackets4.7
Best Lightweight Dog Life VestOutward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Dog Life Vest Overall: Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket

The Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket is made using a ripstop fabric, which is a woven material that’s specially reinforced to resist tearing or ripping. Strong and durable, the life vest features a neoprene belly band for both comfort and warmth in cold water. The vest also features a padded chin float so your pup has support under her neck to help keep her head above water. Securely fit the life vest to your pooch using the adjustable straps. Once the straps are the correct length, snap the buckles in place.

Keeping your dog safe in the water requires a vest to have certain features. The Outward Hound life vest is a bright orange color to make it easier to spot your dog in the water. The vest has reflective piping, which helps keep her visible as well. There are two large rescue handles on top of the vest should you need to hoist your pup out of the water or grab her to hold her in place.

Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Two handles for lifting
  • Includes neck float
  • Reflective strips
  • Chest straps with buckles

Best Neoprene Dog Life Vest: VIVAGLORY Dog Life Jackets Neoprene Dog Life Vest

Best Neoprene Dog Life Vest
VIVAGLORY Dog Life Jackets Neoprene Dog Life Vest
More comfortable, less bulky, and super buoyant, this neoprene dog life vest sports bright colors to make your pooch highly visible.

Neoprene is less bulky than other materials. It also holds in warmth and remains flexible in a wide range of temperatures. The best neoprene dog life vest on Amazon is the VIVAGLORY Dog Life Jackets Neoprene Dog Life Vest. With side panels of extra padding, this dog life vest creates super buoyancy in the water to keep your furry friend afloat. And because it’s less restrictive, softer, and more comfortable than other materials, your dog will be able to move around easier.

The neoprene dog life vest is available in bright colors, such as yellow, orange, and blue, with a graphic design that’s reflective, helping to keep your pup visible and easily spotted in the water. Available in sizes from extra small to extra large, the vest comes with adjustable straps so you can custom fit the vest to your pup. It’s easy to put on and take off via the quick-snap buckles. And the neck area has a padded float to help keep your dog’s head above water.

Keep your dog close to you – whether in the water or out – just clip a leash to the attached D-ring. And if you need to grab her quickly or lift her out of the water, the large handle on top of the vest can help you with that.

VIVAGLORY Dog Life Jackets Neoprene Dog Life Vest Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Large handle for lifting
  • D-ring to attach leash
  • Reflective graphic on sides
  • 90-day warranty
  • Padded neck support
  • Adjustable straps

Best Budget Dog Life Vest: HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket Vest

Best Budget Dog Life Vest
HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket Vest
Made from a blend of polyester, ripstop, and cotton, this dog life vest also features mesh so the water drains through the vest more easily.

The best budget dog life vest is the HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket Vest. It’s made from a blend of polyester, Oxford nylon, ripstop fabric, and cotton foam. The belly band is crafted with a mesh fabric to allow water to properly drain and not weigh your pup down. It also dries faster. Available in a wide range of sizes, the vest features adjustable straps to help create a better fit and easy-to-use buckles to keep it in place. The neck area is also adjustable, and padded as well, to help your pooch keep his head above water.

This dog life vest is designed in bright colors so you can easily spot your pooch. But the reflective strips on the straps also work to increase visibility. Whether your dog is in the water or out of the water, the D-ring allows you to attach a leash so you have control of him. And if you need to lift him out of the water, hold onto him, or help him onto a boat, the life vest has a large grab handle on top.

HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket Vest Key Features:

  • Available in a variety of colors and sizes
  • Reflective strips
  • Adjustable straps with buckles
  • D-ring to attach leash
  • Large handle for lifting

Best Reflective Dog Life Vest: Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jackets

Best Reflective Dog Life Vest
Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jackets
To keep eyes on your pooch while he’s in the water, this dog life vest comes in bright colors and features a wide reflective trim on the straps.

Keeping an eye on your dog when she’s having fun can help prevent a future problem. Knowing where, in the water or on the beach, your dog is is important to keeping her safe. The best reflective dog life vest we found is the Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jackets. Made from super bright colors, such as blue, yellow, orange, and green, and lined with reflective strips on the straps, this dog life vest is easy to spot at a distance.

Available in multiple sizes, the Vivaglory life vest for dogs is made with a ripstop fabric, which makes the vest strong and durable. The vest features three adjustable straps – two on the chest and one on the neck, allowing you to ensure the vest fits your dog well. The neck area is also padded, like the rest of the vest, which enables your pooch to keep her head above water. The large handle on top helps you pull your dog out of the water or hang on to her. But there is also a D-ring for attaching a leash to give you another option for keeping her close.

Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jackets Key Features:

  • Comes in a variety of colors and sizes
  • Large handle for lifting
  • Adjustable straps with buckles
  • D-ring to attach leash
  • Reflective trim on straps
  • 90-day warranty

Best Lightweight Dog Life Vest: Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket

Best Lightweight Dog Life Vest
Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket
The neoprene material creates a lightweight life vest for dogs, and the bright red-orange color offers high visibility.

The last thing you want a dog life vest to do is to weigh your pup down. Most life vests are naturally lighter in weight, because they’re designed to float. But when you need an extra light vest, check out the Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket as the best lightweight dog life vest. Made from neoprene fabric, the vest features side panels filled with foam. So not only is the life vest very light in weight, but it’s also super buoyant.

Available in a range of sizes, the adjustable straps, with quick-release buckles, help you to custom fit the vest to your pooch. The neoprene material helps keep him warm in cold water. The material is made to be flexible in a range of temperatures, so the vest will fit comfortably, even when your doggo is swimming. The red-orange color aids in visibility, and the foam-padded chin rest helps his head remain above water. The vest has two large handles for you to easily lift your dog or hang on to him as needed.

Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket Key Features:

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Side foam panels
  • Adjustable straps with buckles
  • Reflective piping
  • Two handles for lifting

Who Should Buy a Dog Life Vest

A dog life vest is meant for dogs who love to swim, frequent bodies of water such as the lake or ocean, or take boat rides. If your pooch is an inexperienced swimmer, a dog life vest is recommended for pools as well. It’s a myth that all dogs instinctively know how to swim. Some breeds, especially short-nosed dogs, have more difficulty in the water due to the shape of their body. And many dogs don’t even like water or want to get wet, so never force your pooch into a body of water.

Best Dog Life Vest Overall
Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
For safe and fun water sports, this bright orange dog life vest is made from ripstop fabric and features a neoprene belly band.

Important Features to Consider

A dog life vest should be comfortable, but keep your dog buoyant in the water. Here’s what to consider when selecting a dog life vest:

  • The type of material the vest is made from. Consider the material the life vest is made from. Most life vests for dogs are constructed using a ripstop or neoprene fabric. The ripstop fabric is a specially-woven material designed to resist tearing and ripping. Neoprene is a type of rubber that is lightweight, form-fitting, and comfortable. If your pooch is going to be swimming in the ocean or going for a boat ride – where typically the water is cold, then neoprene is your better choice, since it will help keep your pup warm.
  • Sizing and fit. A life vest is only going to work if it fits your dog properly. Check with the manufacturer of the life vest you’re interested in. Follow the directions for measuring your dog’s body to find the right size. Use the company’s sizing chart to then determine which size vest you need for your pup. The most important measurement is around the widest part of your dog’s chest. Life vests come with adjustable straps, which help customize the fit of the vest once you have found the most appropriate size.
  • Color and style. The color and style of the life vest you choose may be mostly preferential taste, but keep in mind the color of the vest for visibility in the water. Many dog life vests are available in bright colors, but some are either muted colors or sport different designs and patterns. If you’re looking for a novelty vest, there are shark fin and mermaid styles available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dogs need to wear a life vest?

Just like children, dogs should wear a life vest to remain safe in the water. Any number of tragedies could occur and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whether you’re throwing a ball into the water or out on a boat for the day, outfitting your pup in a life vest could save her life. Even if she’s a strong swimmer, a life vest can help reduce fatigue and lessen the risk of your dog being too tired to get out of the water. And a life vest can help should your dog fall overboard or become injured in the water.

What size life vest does my dog need?

Check with the manufacturer of the life vest you’re interested in. Many companies give the proper way to measure your dog for their particular vest. The most important part of the body to measure is the girth – the widest part of your dog’s chest. This is where the life vest will secure itself to your dog’s body, and you want this part to fit correctly.

Can you put a human life jacket on a dog?

It is not recommended to use a life jacket made for humans on a dog, unless it’s an emergency. A life vest needs to fit the recipient well so it does its job well. Matters of life and death should not be taken lightly, and using a life vest made specifically for dogs is really the only way to ensure your pup is as safe as he can be.

How much is a dog life jacket? Dog life jackets range in price anywhere from $15 to $100 depending on the type of vest you get. The average life vest goes for $20 to $25, and is made from a ripstop or neoprene fabric. The price of a dog life vest goes up based on any additional features, such as handles, light attachments, and neck padding. Pricier dog life vests are designed to give your dog optimum movement with very little restriction.

Other Dog Life Vests We Reviewed

Best Dog Life Vest Overall
Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
For safe and fun water sports, this bright orange dog life vest is made from ripstop fabric and features a neoprene belly band.

We looked at 20 other dog life vests. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog life vests list, they’re still great options for your pup. The information you need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Ripstop Dog Life Vests

ASENKU Dog Life Jacket Ripstop Pet Floatation Vest

ASENKU Dog Life Jacket Ripstop Pet Floatation Vest

A blend of polyester and nylon, with a cotton inner lining, this dog life vest dries quickly and drains effectively. Available in a shark fin or mermaid design, the straps are adjustable and have quick-release buckles.

Key Features:

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Large handle for lifting
  • D-ring for attaching leash

Cost: $25

Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket Mermaid

Camo Pet Life Preserver Jacket Mermaid

Made from a blend of polyester, ripstop, and Oxford fabric, this dog life vest uses cotton foam and mesh fabric, which boosts buoyancy and contributes to proper water drainage.

Key Features:

  • Comes in multiple sizes and styles
  • Handle on top, with ring for leash attachment
  • Adjustable straps with buckles

Cost: $20

Dog Life Jackets Ripstop Pet Floatation Life Vest

Dog Life Jackets Ripstop Pet Floatation Life Vest

Made from a blend of polyester, ripstop, and Oxford fabric, this dog life vest uses cotton foam and mesh fabric to create buoyancy. The material allows for proper water drainage as well.

Key Features:

  • Comes in a mermaid or shark design in a variety of sizes
  • Adjustable straps with buckles
  • D-ring for attaching a leash

Cost: $23

Kurgo Dog Water Life Jacket

Kurgo Dog Water Life Jacket

The Kurgo bright red life vest for dogs features ripstop material, reflective strips, and two D-rings. Custom-fit the vest with the adjustable straps and easy-to-use buckles.

Key Features:

  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Two different handles for lifting and control
  • Converts into raincoat

Cost: $41

Queenmore Dog Life Jacket Ripstop Life Vest

Queenmore Dog Life Jacket Ripstop Life Vest

Choose from either a mermaid or shark style, this life vest is made with Oxford fabric and polyethylene foam.

Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Adjustable nylon straps with quick-release buckles
  • Handle for holding and D-ring for leash attachment

Cost: $24

Vivaglory Dog Life Jackets with Extra Padding

Vivaglory Dog Life Jackets with Extra Padding

Designed in bright colors with reflective trim, this dog life vest features a large handle for lifting your pooch and a D-ring for attaching a leash.

Key Features:

  • Comes in a variety of colors and sizes
  • Made from ripstop Oxford fabric
  • Adjustable nylon straps with buckles

Cost: $20

Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket Safety Vest

Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket Safety Vest

Made from Oxford ripstop fabric, this life vest for dogs features a wider neck to ensure more natural movement when swimming. The large handle on top enables you to lift your pup when needed, and the D-ring allows you to attach a leash.

Key Features:

  • Comes in multiple bright colors and a variety of sizes
  • Adjustable straps with buckles
  • 90-day warranty

Cost: $29

Neoprene Dog Life Vests

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket Vest

Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket Vest

Made with a neoprene fabric, the Paws Aboard life vest for dogs features a large handle on top for lifting or holding your dog. The D-ring allows you to attach a leash.

Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes, colors, and patterns
  • Reflective strips on adjustable straps, with buckles
  • Mesh belly band

Cost: $33

PlayaPup Dog Life Jacket

PlayaPup Dog Life Jacket

Constructed with a neoprene material and made buoyant with EVA foam, this life vest for dogs features a reflective design for increased visibility. Use the adjustable straps with buckles to create a better fit.

Key Features:

  • Available in an array of colors and sizes
  • Mesh belly band
  • Large handle and D-ring for safety

Cost: $15

Snik-S Dog Life Jacket for Short Nose Dog

Snik-S Dog Life Jacket for Short Nose Dog

Made from a blend of materials, this dog life vest features neoprene side panels for optimum buoyancy while keeping your pup comfortable.

Key Features:

  • Comes in a variety of sizes and a couple of different styles
  • Small handle plus D-ring for safety
  • Adjustable straps with quick-release buckles

Cost: $20

Shark or Mermaid Style Dog Life Vests

A-MORE Dog Life Jackets

A-MORE Dog Life Jackets

Choose from a shark or mermaid look, or opt for a solid color for fun in the water. This life jacket features a Velcro closure on the belly with adjustable straps for a better fit.

Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes and different styles
  • Large safety handle
  • D-ring for leash attachment

Cost: $27

AOFITEE Dog Life Jacket Pet Safety Vest

AOFITEE Dog Life Jacket Pet Safety Vest

Available as a shark or mermaid style, properly fit the life vest using the adjustable straps with quick-snap buckles.

Key Features:

  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Handle on top for lifting
  • D-ring for leash attachment

Cost: $24

SwimWays Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest w/Fin

SwimWays Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest w/Fin

Designed with a shark fin style, this sky blue life vest has adjustable straps with quick-snap buckles.

Key Features:

  • Comes in small and medium
  • Handle on top
  • D-ring for leash attachment

Cost: $27

Other Dog Life Vests

EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket

EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device Dog Life Vest Jacket

The EzyDog life vest features durable polyester material and a contoured neckline for a more comfortable fit. The vest also has reflective piping for better visibility.

Key Features:

  • Available in a variety of sizes and a few different colors
  • Adjustable neoprene straps with buckles
  • Large handle on top with D-ring

Cost: $67

He&Ha pet Dog Life Jacket Chin Float

He&Ha pet Dog Life Jacket Chin Float

This life jacket for dogs includes a chin float to help your pooch keep his head above water. The straps are adjustable to ensure a proper fit.

Key Features:

  • Bright orange color, available in a few sizes
  • Large handle and D-ring for safety
  • Reflective trim

Cost: $26

Outward Hound Standley Sport Experienced Swimmer Life Jacket

Outward Hound Standley Sport Experienced Swimmer Life Jacket

The Outward Hound life jacket for dogs features a breathable design so your pup can swim freely and move around easier.

Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Double handles on top for lifting
  • Mesh belly band

Cost: $37

Pawz Pet Products Doggy Life Jacket

Pawz Pet Products Doggy Life Jacket

Outfit your pooch in a life vest when you hit the water, and ensure the vest is snug with the adjustable straps and quick-release buckles.

Key Features:

  • Available in a variety of sizes and a few different styles
  • Handle on top for lifting
  • Reflective strips

Cost: $25

PETCEE Dog Life Jacket

PETCEE Dog Life Jacket

Made from Oxford cloth and featuring reflective strips for high visibility, this dog life vest has a chin float to support your pup’s head and neck.

Key Features:

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Large handle on top with D-ring
  • Adjustable nylon straps with quick-snap buckles

Cost: $17

RUFFWEAR – Float Coat Dog Life Jacket

RUFFWEAR – Float Coat Dog Life Jacket

A life jacket for dogs that features adjustable straps with covered buckles. The vest also includes an attached loop for hooking on a beacon light and a D-ring for leash attachment.

Key Features:

  • Available in multiple sizes and a few colors
  • Handle on top for lifting
  • Reflective trim

Cost: $80

Woo Woo Pets Dog Life Jacket

Woo Woo Pets Dog Life Jacket

The Woo Woo Pets life jacket has a padded neck area and features a reflective strip for higher visibility.

Key Features:

  • Comes in an array of colors and sizes
  • Large handle on top for lifting
  • D-ring for leash attachment

Cost: $17

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