Keep Your Furry Friend Safe with the Best Life Jackets for Small Dogs

life jackets for small dogs

If you live an active lifestyle and want your dog to be able to go with you on your adventures, then you need to make sure that you do everything possible to keep them safe. Even if you think that your dog is a fairly decent swimmer, it’s a good idea to invest in a life jacket to make sure that he is safe when he is in the water.

This is especially true for smaller dogs, as they can have trouble in rough water. I put together this selection of the best life jackets for small dogs so that you can take your furry friend with you wherever you go without having to worry about its safety.

Comparison Chart

RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Small, Red
EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Yellow)
PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Small Dog Life Jacket Fit Adjustable Dog Life Vest for Small Dogs (Pink, S)
RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Small, Red
EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Yellow)
PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Small Dog Life Jacket Fit Adjustable Dog Life Vest for Small Dogs (Pink, S)
from $79.95
$20.71
$35.99
$54.98
$16.99
RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium
RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium
from $79.95
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
$20.71
Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Small, Red
Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Small, Red
$35.99
EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Yellow)
EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Yellow)
$54.98
PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Small Dog Life Jacket Fit Adjustable Dog Life Vest for Small Dogs (Pink, S)
PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Small Dog Life Jacket Fit Adjustable Dog Life Vest for Small Dogs (Pink, S)
$16.99

Best Life Jackets for Small Dogs Reviews

1. ​RUFFWEAR Float Coat

RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium

Review

One of the most important things that you will want to consider when buying a life jacket for your dog is how well it fits. Just like with humans, you want a secure fit so that you don’t have to worry about the life jacket slipping off of your dog’s body or making it difficult for them to be comfortable while in the water. This option from RUFFWEAR features a telescoping neck closure that can be easily adjusted so that you can clinch it close to your dog’s neck and keep him safe. Additionally, with the side straps and straps under the body, you will be able to keep your dog safe in its vest without it being too tight or too loose.

There’s additional flotation included underneath your dog’s stomach to help him stay afloat, which is ideal if you are worried about the safety of the water. Thanks to the handle on top of the vest, you can easily pull your dog out of the water if you think that he is in danger. There aren’t any buckles or straps that are exposed or hanging off of the vest itself, which means that your dog won’t snag on anything while it is swimming.

RUFFWEAR - K-9 Float Coat for Dogs, Buoyant, Secure, Reflective, Red Currant, Medium
  • BUILT TO LAST: The K-9 Float Coat is constructed from time-proven, abrasion-resistant materials to instill confidence that the jacket will be able to keep your dog safe in the water for years to come. The easy-to-clip sheltered buckles keep straps firmly in place while your dog is active.
  • STRATEGICALLY-PLACED CLOSED-CELL FOAM PANELS: Strategically-placed closed cell foam panels enable your dog to maintain their natural swimming position without them feeling restricted by the life jacket.
  • STRONG, LOW-PROFILE HANDLE: The K-9 Float Coat features a strong, low-profile handle that is optimally positioned on the top of the life jacket towards the front of your dog's back so that you can easily help them out of the water.
  • ADJUSTABLE NECK CLOSURE AND REFLECTIVE TRIM: The telescoping neck closure on the K-9 Float Coat is permanently attached and secure while still being adjustable to a wide range of dog sizes. The reflective trim helps you keep an eye on your dog, even in low-light visibility environments, and includes a light loop for attaching The Beacon light (not included) for additional visibility.
  • K-9 FLOAT COAT SIZING: The K-9 Float Coat is available in 6 sizes (see images for sizing chart): XX-Small: 13-17 inches (33-43 cm); X-Small: 17-22 inches (43-56 cm); Small: 22-27 inches (56-69 cm); Medium: 27-32 inches (69-81 cm); Large: 32-36 inches (81-91 cm); X-Large: 36-42 inches (91-107 cm). Choose the right size based on your dog's girth. Girth can be determined by measuring around the widest part of the rib cage. For in between sizes, choose the smallest size.
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PROS

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    ​Reflective trim makes it easy to see your dog, even during dusk
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    ​With so many sizes to choose from, you can easily find the right one for your smaller dog
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    ​Once you size it to your dog, it doesn’t have to be adjusted again unless they gain or lose weight

CONS

  • ​Can be difficult to cinch the neck tight enough on a small dog that it can’t slip its front paws through the hole
  • ​Leash loop isn’t sturdy enough to handle an overly excited dog

2. ​Outward Hound Life Jacket

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket

Review

If you worry about how you are going to lift your dog up and out of the water, then you are sure to love that this jacket comes with two handles securely attached to the back. There is a comfortable neoprene belly band that can be adjusted to ensure that your dog is snug in the life jacket, and the neck flaps and chest flaps are also completely adjustable for the best possible fit.

Thanks to the quick-release buckles, you can easily get this vest off of your dog when they are ready to get out of the water, and you can trust that the front neck float will help your pet keep its head up while swimming. No matter how strong of a swimmer your dog is, this is an important feature to consider so that when he gets tired, you won’t have to worry about his safety.

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
  • DUAL RESCUE HANDLES - This dog life jacket is constructed with dual grab handles for easy rescue & restraint
  • HIGH VISIBILITY - Never lose sight of your dog with bright orange coloring & reflective piping
  • PERFECT FIT - Belly buckles & chest straps ensure a safe & secure fit for any size dog
  • SAFE & DURABLE - Foam panels add buoyancy & secure neck float helps keep your dog's head above water
  • SIZED RIGHT - Choose from XS to XL and consult the sizing guide to order the best fitting dog life jacket for your furry friend
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PROS

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    ​The bright colors and reflective piping improve visibility
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    ​The vest can be put on the dog while he is leashed, which is great for safety
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    ​Easy to adjust due to straps, which is great for oddly shaped dogs

CONS

  • ​Sizing can be difficult and inaccurate
  • ​No flotation under your dog’s belly

3. ​Kurgo Surf N Turf Adjustable Life Jacket

Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Small, Red

Review

If you want to buy a jacket that will work not only as a life jacket while your dog is out swimming or in a boat, but also as a raincoat, then you’ll love this option from Kurgo. Leave the floatation layer in the life jacket if you are going to be taking your dog to the water and want him to be safe while swimming, or remove it, and you’ll have a great jacket that will keep your dog warm and dry on chilly or drizzly days. No matter what you plan on doing with your dog, you are sure to love the durable ripstop material that can stand up to all-day play and lifting your pet in and out of the water.

The lifetime warranty offered by Kurgo will protect you against any manufacturer defects, which is great if you want peace of mind when buying a life jacket. I love that this vest is made with bright fabric and reflective trim so that you can easily locate your dog in any weather. Additionally, the two metal D-rings that are for you to connect your leash are firmly attached to the vest so that you don’t need to worry about them popping off.

Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Jacket - Adjustable with Reflective Trim, Small, Red
  • DOUBLES AS DOG LIFE JACKET AND RAINCOAT: This 2 season coat can be used as a life vest to assist your dog when in water or on a boat, and as a raincoat by removing floatation layer
  • 2 CONTROL HANDLES: Dog jacket has 2 transverse handles for quick control to extract dog from water when needed; life vest for dogs is made of rugged ripstop material to withstand rough use
  • REFLECTIVE TRIM FOR VISIBILITY: Bright colored life vest is visible from farther distances and has reflective trim for night time visibility; has 2 metal D-rings for leash connections; includes attached bottle opener
  • SIZE & FIT: Size Small fits dogs with 18 to 25 inch girth, 12 to 23 inch neck; refer to Kurgo Size Chart for all size details
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY: Product comes with hassle-free Kurgo Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects when purchased new from authorized dealer
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PROS

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    ​Slim fit is attractive and not bulky
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    ​Can double as light coat due to thinner design
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    ​Two handles make it easy to lift your dog out of the water

CONS

  • ​No floatation under the belly of your dog
  • ​Not ideal for strong currents or rough water

​4. ​EzyDog Doggy Life Vest Jacket

EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Yellow)

Review

Unlike other dog life vests that only offer buoyancy and protection along the front part of your dog, this vest from EzyDog offers support along the entire body, which is ideal if you have any concerns at all about your dog being able to swim in the water and not be in danger. With 50% more floatation material included in this life vest than in other options on the market, you won’t have to worry about your dog’s safety, even if he isn’t a particularly great swimmer.

While the material feels very light-weight, it is actually incredibly durable and easy to clean, making it ideal for all types of water, as you can hose off any dirt or debris that your dog collects while swimming. I love that your dog will be protected against the dangers of catching cold while in the water, thanks to the full-body design. Additionally, unlike some other life jackets on the market, this one fits true to size, making it easy to find the right one for your dog.

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EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) - Adjustable Dog Life Jacket Preserver with Reflective Trim - Durable Grab Handle for Safety and Protection - 50% More Flotation Material (Medium, Yellow)
  • BEST HIGH-PERFORMANCE FLOTATION DEVICE DOG LIFE VEST JACKET: Combining advanced manufacturing techniques and the highest performance materials available, our DFD is designed, and extensively tested, to give your dog the most ergonomic and comfortable fit possible.
  • ADJUSTABLE DESIGN WITH 50% MORE FLOATION MATERIAL: Adjustable neoprene straps form an ergonomic, secure fit that keeps up with your dog. The EzyDog dog life vest flotation device uses superior durable construction and features up to 50% more flotation material than most other pet life jackets.
  • ERGONOMIC INTEGRATED GRAB HANDLE: The integrated grab handle in our dog life vest provides and easy and secure way to handle your dog and makes it quick and easy to guide your dog into and out of the water.
  • HIGHLY REFLECTIVE INTEGRATED TRIM: The highly reflective detailing designed into your EzyDog Doggy Flotation Device provide you with greater visibility and improved night time safety.
  • CUSTOM SIZING FOR A PERFECT FIT: MEDIUM (Medium) size fits dogs with a 15"-20" body length, a 25"-39" girth, and a weight of 40-60 pounds.
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PROS

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    ​The neoprene straps will disperse your dog’s weight evenly when you lift them out of the water
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    ​Forms to the body after being worn for a while
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    ​Provides great flotation for both small and large dogs
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    Padding under the neck helps your dog lift its head

CONS

  • ​Grab handle is not large enough to get a great grip on your dog in an emergency

​5. ​PETCEE Dog Life Jacket with Adjustable Fit

PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Small Dog Life Jacket Fit Adjustable Dog Life Vest for Small Dogs (Pink, S)

Review

This option from PETCEE proves that you don’t have to sacrifice your dog’s safety in or around the water to ensure that he is going to be comfortable when wearing the life jacket. Because it has three different straps that will wrap around your dog and hold the jacket in place, you can easily make any necessary adjustments to keep your dog comfortable when wearing this jacket without compromising safety and security.

No matter what color you chose, the D-ring on the back will make it easy to leash your dog, and it is sturdy enough to stand up to long hours of play in and out of the water. Thanks to the chin float, your small dog won’t struggle with keeping his head up and out of the water, which will give you peace of mind that he won’t run into problems when swimming. If there is an issue, the grab handle on the back of the life jacket is securely attached and wide enough so that you can grab it in an emergency and pull your dog quickly and easily to safety.

PETCEE Dog Life Preserver Small Dog Life Jacket Fit Adjustable Dog Life Vest for Small Dogs (Pink, S)
  • SIZE: S, Chest 16.1~18.9inch
  • ADVANTAGE: This front float of small dog life jacket assists in keeping dog's head above water
  • STYLE: Bright colors and unique designs, Handle on top for quick and easy grabbing. Adjustable nylon straps
  • CHARACTERISTIC: Heavy-duty yet more comfortable fastening system around the belly and neck to keep securely fastened
  • APPEARANCE: New reflective strips for maximum visibility
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PROS

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    ​Comes in fun styles and color patterns and all have reflective trimming
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    ​Offers quick release to get the jacket off of your dog when you are in a hurry

CONS

  • ​Some dogs do not like the chin float and will fight using it
  • ​Doesn’t offer the best flotation due to lower amount of flotation materials
  • ​Too short to offer any warmth to the dog when the water is cold

​The Verdict

Taking your dog to the beach, river, or lake is a lot of fun, but as a dog owner, you need to make sure that you are responsible for the health and safety of your pet, and one way to do that is by investing in a quality life jacket. I know that it can be difficult to choose between available models on the market, which is why I chose five great options for you to look at.

No matter whether you want a life jacket that will double as a rain jacket, one that offers complete body coverage, or one with chin support, you can find the perfect life jacket and keep your furry friend safe in the water with one of these amazing life jackets.

Related: Dog Boots for the Beach

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