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Many people think all dogs can swim. However, that is not true. Dogs can usually dog paddle and keep themselves afloat for various lengths of time, however certain breeds are less buoyant than others, and some dogs with a dense body type will not float for long. This article reviews several life vests for dogs. The end result will include a best life vest for Boxers and other brachiocephalic (short snouts) dogs.
Top 5 Life Vests For Your Boxer (2022 Reviews)
Top 5 Picks
This full-featured, premium life jacket provides more safety for your dog than any other life jacket. Made from 100% neoprene, gives it 50% more buoyancy than other life jackets. It is a perfect choice for dogs just learning to swim, as well as brachycephalic dogs and other dogs that are not as able to control their body temperature and may become too cold. This life jacket is not missing any features; however it is rather expensive so that is the only negative feature of this life jacket. See full review.
This is a great life jacket for brachiocephalic dogs and others that have trouble regulating their body temperature. Some other breeds that are hairless or have very little body fat may also fall into this category. The Outward Hound Dawson life vest is good for these dogs because it is made of 50% neoprene which offers a lot of insulation and is very comfortable. It is also constructed to carry the majority of floatation panels up in the front of the vest. The main feature that is missing from this life jacket is a D-ring. See full review.
The Vivaglory life jacket is fully featured with extra padding and buoyancy to keep your dog safe and comfortable in the water. It also has easy to grab handles, a D-ring to attach a leash, and a removable front float to keep your dog’s head above water. It fits most dogs as sizes range from XX-Small to X-large. The Velcro can however, sometimes pull the hair on long-haired dogs. See full review.
The Kurgo Surf N Turf life jacket is made of durable ripstop material and can double as a raincoat by unzipping the floatation shell. It also features a D-ring for leash attachment, and 2 handles for quick removal from the water. Comes in sizes ranging from X-small to X-large, and 2 bright colors, red or yellow. It also has reflective trim for easy nighttime visibility. See full review.
PETLESSO dog life jacket with its inflatable air bag provides more security for your dog at a very affordable price. The extra buoyancy from the air bag helps your dog to float higher in the water and to keep her head above water. Also features a D-ring, handle, and great visibility. Does not restrict your dog’s mobility on land. See full review.
1. EzyDog Premium Doggy Flotation Device (DFD) – Best Overall Dog Life Jacket
The EzyDog Premium flotation device is constructed with 50% more buoyant materials than other life jackets. This makes it an ideal choice for any dog that is just learning to swim as well as dogs that do not easily float due to low body fat or a dense body type. The buoyancy is distributed throughout the vest, so your dog doesn’t feel like she is sinking.
As Boxers often fall into the non-swimmer category, this is a great vest to get your boxer into the water without fear of her drowning. Swimming is a great exercise and Boxers are also in the category of brachycephalic dogs that are naturally active. It is important to find activities for them that can be supervised by you so you can be sure they don’t get overheated or overly chilled.
This life jacket is made of 100% neoprene, so it is extremely comfortable for your dog in addition to being very safe for her. It comes in bright red, and bright yellow, 2 colors that provide great visibility. In addition, it is equipped with a reflective trim, so visibility will not be a problem.
The EzyDog life jacket also features an ergonomic handle which makes it an easy task to quickly get your dog out of the water when necessary. Fitting your dog should not be a problem either as the life jacket comes in sizes ranging from X-small to X-Large. It is also very adjustable so you can achieve the best fit possible for your dog.
It also has a D-ring for leash attachment.
2. Outward Hound Dawson Swim Dog Life Jacket – Best Dog Life Vest for Brachiocephalic Dogs
The Outward Hound Dawson life jacket is made of 50% Neoprene, which is very comfortable material and helps keep your Boxer, or other brachycephalic dog warm. This is essential for all brachycephalic dogs due to their difficulty regulating their body temperature. This life jacket is also equipped with thermal insulation.
The 2 handles on the back of the life jacket allow you to get a good grip on your dog so you can pull her out of the water quickly if you need to. This is especially helpful, and necessary if you need to pull your large dog into a boat from the water.
These life jackets are on the short side, meaning they don’t go as far down your dog’s back as others might. However, it is more important to have the majority of the floatation panels in the front of the life jacket to keep your dog’s head out of the water.
Unfortunately, this life jacket does not have a D-ring. However, you could hook a ring on one of the handles and connect her leash there. If you need the leash when your dog is on land, bring her collar for use on land. However, don’t leave the collar on her while she is in the water. Her collar could accidently get hooked on something which could cause her harm.
- Neoprene side panels for more buoyancy
- Great for brachycephalic dogs to keep them warm due to insulation
- Adjustable straps and sizes ranging from XS to XL provide a great fit for your dog
- Does not have a D-ring for leash attachment
3. Vivaglory Dog Life Jackets with Extra Padding – Most Safety Featured Life Jacket
The Vivaglory Life Jacket is a highly rated life jacket that comes at a lower price than many of them. It is made of durable ripstop material and designed for maximum buoyancy and comfort for your dog.
This life jacket has plenty of padding to keep your dog comfortable and more buoyant than many life jackets.
The Vivaglory Life Jacket is easy to put on your dog and easily adjusted to get a perfect fit. It also features a D-ring for attaching a leash, 8 different bright colors for easy visibility along with reflective strips.
This life jacket is sized to fit most dogs with sizes ranging from XX-small to X-large. If also features easy to grab handles to quickly get your dog out of the water, and quick-release buckles.
It also features a removable front float to assist in keeping your dog’s head above water.
- Plenty of padding for buoyancy and comfort
- Fits most dogs with sizes ranging from XXS to XL
- Features removable front float to keep your dog’s head above water
- Some reviewers complained of velcro pulling hair of long-haired dogs
4. Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket – Best Dog Life Jacket for Good Swimmers
The Kurgo Surf N Turf Jacket is recommended for dogs that are already good swimmers. The life jacket is made of a durable ripstop material. If is a durable life jacket that doubles as a raincoat when your dog is on land.
The life jacket comes in sizes ranging from X-small to X-Large. It also has a choice of 2 bright colors, yellow or red with reflective trim for nighttime visibility. The life jacket also features a D-ring for leash attachment.
It features 2 handles to quickly get your dog out of the water. This is especially important when boating with your dog. It can be difficult to pull your heavy, wet, dog out of the water and into a boat.
The life jacket is easily kept clean as it is machine washable. Does not interfere with range of motion on land.
5. PETLESO Dog Life Jacket – Most Affordable Without Sacrificing Safety
The PETLESSO dog life jacket features an extra layer of security with its inflatable air bag. This adds buoyancy and better supports your dog’s head above the water for more safety. The life jacket also features a D-ring for leash attachment and a handle for more control and safety.
It is made of durable ripstop Nylon, and a terylene lining and does not restrict your dog’s mobility when on land. Adjustable straps provide for a great fit. Comes in a highly visible bright green color with reflective strips.
Buyer’s Guide – Life Vests for Boxers (and other Bracheocephalic Dog Breeds)
It is recommended that dogs wear a life jacket when boating, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, and even around swimming pools. Even if your dog is a great swimmer and loves the water, she will be safer with a life jacket. Without a life jacket she is as likely as you to drown in boating or other accidents in water.
Your dog may tire out more quickly without a life jacket and have difficulty keeping her head above water. Some dog breeds are not great swimmers and have an even greater need for a good life jacket. Some dogs just can’t stay afloat all that long and require help to keep them safe in the water.
Dogs with short snouts or flat faces, such as pugs, boxers, and bulldogs, and many more breeds are brachycephalic dogs. These dogs are prone to breathing difficulties due to their short snouts. Pugs, bulldogs, and French bulldogs are the most extreme of the brachycephalic dogs.
However, all dog breeds with this condition need to be monitored. They need to stop activity and rest if they appear to be short of breath. It is also important to prevent these dogs from getting too hot or too cold.
Regulation of Body Temperature
Another condition that is common among brachycephalic dogs is difficulty with regulation of body temperature. Your Boxer needs a life jacket if you want to get her involved in any water activities.
Adding to the difficulty of regulating their body temperature in water is their very short coat and lean body mass. Boxers are among the breeds that have little fat, which makes it more difficult for them to float. Your Boxer could suffer from shortness of breath or inability to regulate her body temperature while involved in water activities. She could rapidly lose energy and be unable to keep her head above water without a good life jacket.
A well-fitting life jacket can provide plenty of buoyancy, insulation, and ability to keep her head from going under water.
What Should I Look for in a Life Jacket for my Boxer?
Some of these features are what you should look for in a life jacket for any dog. However, some of them are even more important for your Boxer or other brachycephalic dog. The most important feature you need to look for in a life jacket is buoyancy. Especially for a Boxer, you need to look for extra buoyancy. The more buoyancy in the life jacket the higher in the water she will be able to hold her head.
Dogs with bulky, large heads and short noses need help keeping their heads above water while swimming. Another feature that will help keep your Boxer’s head above water is a removable flap. The flap also helps to hold her head above water. It is especially helpful for boxers and other brachycephalic dogs to have more buoyancy in front of the life jacket. This is especially true if your dog is just learning to swim.
Warmth could be another important factor in your selection of a life jacket for your boxer. This depends upon the water temperature and weather of where you plan to be in the water with your dog. If the water is going to be cold, you will need a well-insulated life jacket that can keep her warm. Due to her short coat and her brachycephalic condition, she may become too cold. This can affect her ability to remain in the water safely.
If this is a concern for your boxer, then a neoprene life jacket would be an excellent choice. Your dog’s comfort should always be a concern. Life jackets with neoprene padding in the lining are very comfortable and increase the buoyancy.
Look for a Reflective Life Jacket with High Visibility
You are also going to want a life jacket with high visibility. If your dog is a boxer, then chances are she is also brown. A brown dog will not be that easy to see if she has strayed a little too far from you.
Life jackets come in a variety of bright colors such as orange, pink, green and others. Also, look for a life jacket with a reflective strip so that will be visible to you in the dark.
Another feature to look for on your boxer’s life jacket is a D-ring. This provides the ability to connect a leash to the life vest. This is a very convenient feature to have, especially when she is out of the water. You may want to take her for a walk to allow her to sniff around. The D-ring will come in very handy for walking her.
Sturdy handles built into the jacket will be essential. This is especially true if you need to quickly remove your dog from the water. Be certain the handles and life jacket can hold your dog’s weight. Be certain the handles and life jacket can hold your dog’s weight.
The Fit of the Life Jacket is Another Very Important Feature to Insist Upon
If the life jacket doesn’t fit your dog correctly, it will not function as it should. A life jacket that doesn’t fit your dog correctly can be almost as bad as no life jacket at all. It is very important to measure your dog at the deepest part of her chest. Also get her correct weight as many life jackets include weight as part of the size. If she is in between sizes, be sure to go up a size, don’t get one that is too small.
Boxers have long bodies and long legs along with deep chests. Be sure your measurements are accurate before purchasing a life jacket. It would be a good idea to take your boxer into a store so she can try on life jackets. This way you can be sure of the fit before you buy one. If you find a life jacket that fits her correctly, then you could purchase the life jacket from the store. However, you might want to buy the life jacket online if you find the same one is cheaper online. This way you know what size and brand will fit your dog and that you can save some money.
I hope this review of life jackets for dogs has helped to answer some questions for you. Also, I hope it has helped you in your decision of what life jacket would be best for your dog.
Have you ever considered a hands-free leash for your dog? Here is a review of 5 highly-rated hands-free leashes.
Do you have other life jackets that you feel should have been included? Please feel free to comment below and provide information on the life jackets that you believe to be good selections.
If you frequently travel with your dog, you may want to check out these convenient travel bags for dogs.
Thank you for reading this review!