Life jackets for dogs are an absolute necessity if you and your dogs enjoy activities that include boating or water sports. And for that matter, if you just happen to live near water canals, lakes, reservoirs, rivers or streams!
Even though dogs know how to swim and many love to swim, they will get tired if
they are in the water for very long or find themselves trying to swim in a strong current or undertow.
Your dogs may be natural water hounds and love doing their retriever thing from the lake shore, but there is a reason they make life jackets for dogs and that is to guard against the unforeseen random events that can occur even with the best dog swimmers.
Note: Don't miss the video on water rescue dogs.
You've no doubt heard the saying - if anything can go wrong, it will! So bear in mind, the majority of accidents usually happen when we're least expecting them.
It's not uncommon for dogs to go along on boating trips during family
vacations to wilderness areas. We love to take our dogs on adventures
and have them share in the fun.
We just have to remember that safety comes first when we are in unknown waters.
So if Rover is joining the party, he has to have a life jacket along with everyone else. Having got that out of the way and before you board the boat, check its weight limitations so that you don't overload it.
If you are in an area where the water is cold, wear clothing to protect yourself against hypothermia as an extra safety measure.
In the event of an accident, you will be more able to help others if you are not getting overly cold yourself. And when it comes to Rover, life jackets for dogs also provide some insulation for them so that they don't use all of their energy to stay warm in the water.
Another important tip is not to tether your dog inside the boat. If your boat should capsize, Rover's chances of survival would be very slim tied to an overturned boat.
Camping trips to idyllic settings beside a shallow stream may seem like a safe place to let your dog have a paddle. But you could be fooled.
Beware Hidden Strong Currents
Even innocent looking waters can have patches of dangerous undertow and a dog with a wet coat will have little buoyancy to fight a strong current. A dog life jacket or vest in this situation would for sure be his best lifeline!
If you like the more rugged sports of rafting or canoeing that often take you into rough waters and you want to take Rover along, please do it
s l o w l y.
Even if your dog has lots of stamina for land based fun, water sports are an altogether different matter. So you'll want to ease into these trips until you get to know his limitations.
Strong Swimmer or Not
Being that river rides are so much more challenging, there is no way that even the strongest dog swimmers can go along without dog life jackets. It's just not an option.
You can't afford the risk of being distracted when you're dealing with the ever changing conditions and hazards on a river.
Even the most experienced navigator can have an upset - nuff said!
Here are some of the features you should look for in good quality life jackets for dogs:
Measuring your pet for a dog life jacket is an important part of the
buying process if you want to have a better chance of getting the vest
to fit the first time.
Take a look at the diagram below which shows the main areas to measure. You can then compare these numbers to the manufacturer's sizing.
Also. take into consideration the shape of your dog and the main areas where you want the jacket measurements to be a closer fit.
Once you get the jacket, check how it supports the head area while keeping the torso more or less horizontal in the water. And, most importantly make sure your dog looks calm, comfortable and stable while swimming in the jacket.
Did you notice the cute dog at the top of this page? Here is where you can get a dog life jacket like the one he is wearing.
It's a reflective, adjustable vest with
enhanced buoyancy and a rescue handle. Made by Vivaglory with Ripstop
material, the jacket comes in many colors and is designed with swimming
boating and canoeing in mind.
Next time you go to the waterfront for some fun, you'll be glad you planned for Rover's safety by taking along a life jacket for your dog.
Take a look at this video of water rescue dogs in Italy and notice that even these very strong swimmers who can pull more than 40 times their weight while making a rescue....are still wearing life jackets for dogs! So awesome.