Dog PFDs - your recommendations?

It’s been a few years since folks weighed in here on dog PFDs.

What are your favorites? I’m looking for something for a Italian Spinone - short hair, dude gets HOT! A good swimmer but he’s just learning the kayak, so I’d like something that I can easily grab and hoist him in. I’m looking most at the Stolhquist Pup Float if anyone has experience with it.


NRS excellent quality last many years.

I had 6 jackets on him till I found one that fit and liked the construction of. Giacomo is short and wide. Amazon prime let me return jackets no charge. Great strong handle to grab.

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Picture of pup please

Happy to oblige :slight_smile: He’ll look even better in the kayak.
Giacomo is a cutie. I wonder about the shoulder coverage in that tho - my Joe is super athletic and any kind of shoulder hindrance is gonna annoy him. Maybe I’ll do the Amazon try-on.


I bought a couple of NRS PFDs for my two small (25 lb) dogs and they served well.

But the canine PFDs made by Ruffwear that I have seen look quite a bit nicer.

No dog more athletic than Giacomo. He does not look it but he’s the definition of insanity. Runs a million miles an hour jumps like a Gazelle. Instead of walk around a couch he flies up on and off. Flies off a bench on a raised patio 4’ of the ground lands and in run mode immediately. Swims good with and with jacket. Takes waves over his head and motors on at the beach. Wanted him to get use to the water both ways. Giacomo’s going in the SOT this week. Stocky but no fat on his ribs.


Recently picked up the Stohlquist for my daughter’s mutant beagle. I really liked the easy on/off, strong single lift handle, and open ‘shoulders’. Seems much less cumbersome than many I’ve seen. Haven’t had it long so I can’t speak to durability, though I’ve had good service out of Stohquist gear.

Ruffwear . But our Carolina Dog has a very deep chest and a lot of tuck so there is a gap between dog and jacket near the tail. It works however and there is no contact of buckle and skin. The neck strap is fully adjustable with hidden buckle. Our dog loves getting it on. Dog Life Jackets & Life Vests | Ruffwear

Problem with my guy when you measure his chest the jacket is so long. Get the right length his chest was to big. I was going to trade him back in :laughing:

I have used PFDs on dogs for several decades. OUtward Hound comes to mind. All are satisfactory if they fit and have a strap on the back to pick up a dog and haul them back in the boat.

My dogs have taken some serious swims in white water.
The situation that was difficult was sailing at Lake Tahoe. We were in over 100 feet of water about 2 miles from shore when my Border Collie rolled off the cabin into the water. She was paddling behind the boat but the winds were pretty light. Too fast for her to catch up, and too slow to come about and pick her up. I told her to “go home” and she turned around and paddled away from the boat. We came about and picked her up no problem.

We could have dropped all sails, but still would have been blown around.

Ruffwear for my short backed,
“thick” Blue Heeler. Fits her chest, but not too long in the belly. Very strong handle for hauling a wet, heavy dog back aboard. On our 4th summer, good as new (except for slightly faded), and we have put a lot of miles on it.


Currently use Outward Hound. Keeps him afloat and has a sturdy handle to drag him back into the boat. I love the Velcro and strap config for the body as it keeps the vest snug.


Color coordinated :laughing:

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Outward Hound


World Famous!

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I was lucky & found this at Tractor Supply for $20. The dog doesn’t really mind using it. He knows when it’s time to put it on :slight_smile:
He is not a natural swimmer so I’m glad he wears it. (and it reminds me to wear mine)


I guess this is a better picture…

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I have three small dogs that boat they see the PFD they all get excited. We usually don’t take them all. Two older ones or one young bull.