While life jackets can be a lifesaver for many dogs in many situations, not all dogs need one. How do you know if it would be helpful for yours?
The different reasons for dogs wearing life jackets
Let’s start by talking about dogs with medical conditions, joint issues, or just bad swimming techniques who need the extra help of a life vest. There are also dogs doing hydrotherapy as part of their rehabilitation, where life jackets are regularly used. These dogs can benefit from a life jacket that helps them keep in a proper swimming position and let them safely enjoy some low impact exercise.
How about a healthy, young dog? They can benefit from a life vest the same way as any person who can swim. If you take your dog on a boat or kayak, they can unexpectedly fall in the water, and the cold water can cause shock to their body. Accidents can also happen when dogs are jumping in the water or playing around it and hit their heads and lose consciousness. It’s also possible for a good swimmer to enjoy their water time too much and not stop when their muscles get tired. This can cause muscle cramps that can be fatal if the owner cannot get to the dog quickly.
Many people think that life jackets are just fancy gadgets, and our dogs (and wolves) lived happily without them in the past. While this is true, we also have to keep in mind that our dogs’ lives changed so much lately. We take them on longer trips on the water on a SUP or kayak; we train them in dock diving, we take them to dog beaches where we play fetch with them all day. These are very different situations from a dog (or wolf) just enjoying some time around the water by themselves. These changes in their lifestyle require new solutions from our side to help our dogs safely accompany us on all these adventures.
The life vest on the photos is the Non-stop Dogwear Safe Life Jacket since that’s the only life jacket we reviewed so far. You can check out how we liked it and where to buy in our review. The collars on the photos are either the black Polar Collar from Non-stop Dogwear or the Bol-dog collar.