Do Dogs need Life Vests?

Do Dogs need Life Vests?

 Irish Setter On Boat Painting

Have you ever wondered if dogs need a life vest?  For example, does a German Shepherd even like  to be in the water? When would a dog need a life vest? Some dog breeds can't get enough of water. As soon as they see the ocean, a lake, a rivers shore or the pool they are running in and out and even go for a swim. German Shepherds weren't bred specifically for swimming. They are however great athletes and do not lack in courage, so with the right exposure to water they can learn to like it and even be enticed to go for a swim. However what would happen in an emergency situation?

German Shepherd my ocean

Why I was working on the painting of the German Shepherd by the ocean, I wondered how people keep their dogs' safe while on a boat. After all, even if your dog is a great swimmer, dog's do tire just as people do and dogs who were known to be good swimmers have even drowned in the backyard pool just because for one reason or another they could not get out.

So I did some research to learn what you can do to keep your dog safe. The answer is buying the right Dog Life Vest and putting it on your dog regardless of how well as swimmer they are!

What to Look for In a Dog Life Vest

Size and Fit ~ Make sure to buy a life vest that fits your dog well. Measure your dog's girth and torso and make sure that the dog can easily move around while wearing it. 

Buoyancy ~ Check different brands. Each brand places floatation devices in different places. Look for one where floatation inserts are under the belly, under the neck, back, and the sides.  You want to make sure that your dog has to do very little to float.

Bright Color ~ Find a vest that can easily be spotted in the water. On lakes, boat traffic can be heavy so you want to make sure that your dog can easily be seen. Pick a vest that has reflectors on it. Not every boating accident happens during daytime and your pet should be easily spotted if a light is shown on the vest.

Handles ~ If you need to pull your dog out of the water remember that anything that gets wet weighs more! Make sure your vest has solid handles that can support your dog's weight.