When I tell people Trevor has a life jacket, the response usually is “what…a life jacket?” Then the conversation usually degrades to some chuckles and a statement about how dogs don’t need them. I politely remind them that Trevor is my child and you wouldn’t let your kid go splashing without one, right? If the analogy of dog=kid doesn’t work, I usually come up with this… “Have you ever tried swimming in a wool sweater? That’s what it’s like for a Sheltie!”
Regardless of the breed (or coat on that breed), all dogs who swim should wear a life jacket. It just makes it easier and safer for them. I had bought the one you can get at your local pet store and it doesn’t work well. How do I know? I put Trevor in the water wearing one and the coat floated on the surface, and he began to sink – opening up a gap between him and the vest. (OK, he isn’t the best swimmer, but the vest clearly wasn’t comfortable and didn’t keep him up.) All the buoyant material was above his back, so his body weight was pushing down on those two belly straps. Not a great design.
Enter the K9 Float Coat.
Brilliantly designed and ergonomic cut, much of the flotation cells are under and along the sides of the dog’s ribcage. These buoyancy cells help keep your dog upright and level – making swimming easier. The cut also allows complete shoulder freedom, but supports the dog’s head and neck. Its made from brightly colored 1680-denier ballistic nylon to give visibility in low light situations – contrasting against neutral backgrounds and making sure your pup stands out. High luminescence reflective trim is added to the sides as well as to the top. It looks pretty darn cool.
Take note of some of the finer details: Side release buckles for easy on/off and helps keep that long Sheltie hair out of the clips. A hidden D-ring attachment point for your leash. A low profile assistance handle for help in getting your dog out of the water – very handy!
K-9 Float Coat by Ruffwear – A very enthusiastic four paws up!