Features August 2012 Issue

Water Flotation Devices (for Dogs!)

Life jackets for dogs are available at most pet supply and sporting good shops, but one size definitely does not fit all. A proper fit is critical to helping ensure the safety of your pet.

A well-fitting life jacket must help a dog keep her head above water.

“When you put a life jacket on your dog, it should fit snug around the belly and chest so that when he’s floating, his head is above water,” explains Cynthia Jones, DVM. “If it’s too big, you’ll see the jacket come up and be floating with the dog resting in the bottom. When that happens, the dog has to really paddle to keep her head up. It’s important that it fit snug across the chest and around the belly.”

A well-fitted life jacket can also be used to pull a dog out of the water, if need be. This can be a huge help, whether rescuing a dog who fell over the side of a boat or who is simply exhausted from swimming.

A good fit, reiterates Jones, trumps brand name. “I haven’t come across any brands that I think are bad; just ones that are a bad fit on the dog.”

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