Dogs wearing PFDs can easily overheat. Keep an eye on him.
None of the PFDs interfered with the dogs ability to swim. Murphy seemed comfortable in every model.
Although most pet life jackets are passive devices, there is at least one automatically inflated life jacket available for pets (made by Critter’s Inflatable, LLC). An automatic flotation device is generally more expensive than a foam life jacket, but, like automatic PFDs designed for humans, they are less bulky to wear when not inflated, and when inflated may provide more buoyancy than foam devices. Automatic pet flotation devices are popular in the bulldog community, and also for water therapy where extra support may be needed under the head.
They sell PFDs in 5 sizes, ranging from teacup-tiny to huge. All have a carry strap on top (on the dog's back). Plus they sell lots of other good stuff for dogs. I've bought from them for years and their service is excellent.
Hey, how come we humans only have a choice of Child or Adult PFD sizes? Sheesh.
Pet Dog Life Jacket PFD's for Houseboats
Shop for Dog PFDs at REI - FREE SHIPPING With $50 minimum purchase
As with all our recommended PFDs, the chest strap on the Pet Saver is filled with buoyant material, to help keep the dog’s chin out of the water. This strap also has Velcro and buckle fasteners on the chest strap.In some ways, its easier to choose the correct PFD for a human than a dog. First of all, because there are no performance or design standards for pet PFDs, manufacturers do not have to provide buoyancy ratings. There is no universal system of sizes and types (because dogs come in so many shapes and sizes). Some makers size their jackets by the dogs weight, others by the dogs size. For instance, the Ruff Wear jacket we tested, a medium, is for dogs with a girth of 27 to 32 inches, and a minimum of 21 inches from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. A medium NRS is sized for 40- to 60-pound animals.Unlike humans, dogs instinctively know how to swim and most are very good at it. However, our canine friends cant tread water forever. If your dog falls overboard and becomes separated from the boat, it will eventually tire and could drown. A doggie life jacket can help. Pet PFDs not only keep the dog afloat, but function well as retrieving devices. Each has a handle on the top that you can use to snatch your critter with a boat hook and then grab and lift the dog into the boat.While the Coast Guard currently does not approve or rate any dog flotation devices on the market, Ruff Wear has applied years of research and development to our Float Coats. We’ve designed them to be the best dog life jackets available, modeling our sizing and flotation guidelines after those of Coast Guard-approved human personal flotation devices (PFD’s).The West Marine, OTE Boaters World, MTI, and Plastimo provided better buoyancy, in our estimation. The Critters Inflatable was the hands-down buoyancy winner, however. With its 25 pounds of buoyancy, it kept the dogs chin and back two to three inches out of the water. The Critters Inflatable was a little complicated to put on our dog, with its multiple clips and adjustable straps. But the device is made well and thoughtfully designed. It has wider straps and larger clips than the others, and its grab handle consists of two layers of vinyl straps instead of one. The Critters Inflatable, which comes in three sizes for dogs from 6 to 200 pounds, also has a metal ring to attach a leash. Most of the other PFDs have plastic clips.If it’s true that dog owners tend to look and think like their pets, then canines must be safety- conscious indeed. How else would you explain the sudden popularity of life jackets for dogs? PFDs, pet flotation devices — most often for dogs but also for cats and a few other animals — were among the hottest-selling items of boating equipment this year. Even as this boating season winds down, there is every indication that sales are still wagging the dog.