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Life Jackets for Dogs!?

April 30th, 2005, 02:57 PM
I've seen these doggy life jackets a dew times at Petsmart and always thought that they were silly but are they!?

My old dog was an excellent swimmer but I never took her anywhere where there was strong current or waves... Up at "our" lake she would swim across the lake with us, about 30-40 minutes there and back!

My current dog was deathly afraid of water but I have been encouraging him and gently showing him that there is nothing to fear. He has swam a couple of feet which I am elated about :D ! But where he swims there is a slow current (he has handled that well so far).

Anyway, I was wondering if a life jacket would be beneficial for a dog that is not as comfortable around/in water!? Or is it just a waste of money? Does anybody use one or even consider it!? Dodger doesn't like wearing things but maybe it would make him feel safer in the water????

April 30th, 2005, 05:19 PM
I think the places that sell them are quite serious. Think about it. You are out on a boat - way out in the ocean, (plasuaible for me since my bf has a vacation home not far from Peggy's Cove near Halifax and it is right on the Atlantic Ocean.) The water is rough, a storm comes up, all manner of things can happen that you were not planning on Your dog may be a great swimmer - better than you in fact and you are a strong swimmer but you are no match for those waves and the cold Atlantic or other water. It is essential to have a life jacket, human or canine!!!

That is my take on the sale of those items. We used to bring our dog out on our boat (my dad;s boat really) and it was the size of a fishing boat tho not used for that. We made her a vest in case anything happened. No dog or cat can swim or tread water for hours on end - or days in end.

April 30th, 2005, 05:20 PM
If we ever take Odin near water, I will get getting him one. but then again, Bulldogs are horrible swimmers.

April 30th, 2005, 06:51 PM
Dalton doesn’t use one at the canal but he does on the lake. He is a strong swimmer but he may not remain conscious in a boating accident.

The real reason he wears one at the lake is to be more visible not so much to boats but to those jet skis. They move fast, they change direction on a dime and they come close to shore.

April 30th, 2005, 09:43 PM
The Outward Hound one is the BEST. I wouldn't get any other (they all seem cheaply made in comparison). Boo wears one because he swims out too far and the boats can't see his black head in the water. You can get some sizes pretty cheaply on ebay.

April 30th, 2005, 09:44 PM
You have to be careful though because they get lazier when they swim with them (which is fine for Boo because he won't swim without it...) Here's another to see how sexy it is when he's swimming...

May 1st, 2005, 01:05 AM
We put one on Ariel when we went canoeing last year. She was about 4 months old then and I doubt she would have the energy if she fell in the middle of the lake.

May 1st, 2005, 01:35 AM
The handles are handy too. We can pick up 96lb Boo with the handle of his life jacket-- even though it's getting small for him-- I'm going to have to get rid of it soon and buy the X-large one ($$$)..(I hope someone I know needs it so it doesn't get wasted-- I paid like $80 for it (unbelievable)- they've come down so much since then in the US but not in Canada :rolleyes: ).

The outward hound one has a HUGE velcro flap underneath (Boo's is probably a foot wide), two straps that clip on his side and another velcro wraparound for his neck with another strap and clip. It's really a crazy fit.

May 1st, 2005, 01:36 AM
Very cute pictures. I guess the handle is for scooping them out if they fall in?

May 1st, 2005, 06:04 AM
Prin I love the pics your dogs are stunning!

Friends of ours have a sail boat and they take their 3 dogs out all the time with their life jackets on, it's quite the site.

May 1st, 2005, 09:41 AM
Prin, if you move up to the next size I might be interested in buying it from you! Odin because of his girth only fits into large size things. It might be long, but that's ok because he's so darn wide!! According a website I found:

Large size for pets with a 26" - 35" girth and weight of 40 - 70 lbs.

Odin is about 30" around and 52 lbs.

May 1st, 2005, 10:21 AM
We don't use the lifejacket that often when we go to the cottage, we're such a short little boatride away from mainland. If we venture out further on the lake though we do strap our girl up. Also during winter time when we walk over to our island property she always has it on. Of course we don't go if the ice isn't thick enough but I still like having it on her, after all my hubby and I have survival suits just in case, so why not our furry kid then!?!

May 1st, 2005, 10:25 AM
We got the life jacket from Cabelas.

May 1st, 2005, 10:36 AM
Thank-you all very much, I will get Dodger a life jacket when he stops growing! Did you find your dogs didn't like it at first?

May 1st, 2005, 10:39 AM
My dog adjusted to it very quickly. She gets excited when she sees it now because it always means something fun!

May 1st, 2005, 12:39 PM
My doggie loved it because he didn't have to swim as hard... :) Plus anything paired with swimming is a good thing for these guys.