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Why Your Dog Might Need a Life Preserver

Do dogs need a Life Jacket

Different dogs have different feelings about being in the water. While some won’t go near it, others love it. If your dog falls in the latter category, you might want to invest in a dog life preserver or life jacket.

At this point, some of you may be thinking,

Wait a minute, my dog knows how to swim. Why does he/she need a life preserver?

And it’s true, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to water safety for dogs. You need to consider a lot of factors, including:

  • The breed of your dog
  • Your dog’s size
  • How well your dog can swim
  • The conditions of the water

Here are some pointers on figuring out whether or not your dog needs a life preserver.

Don’t Dogs Know How to Swim Naturally?

A lot of people think that all canines know how to swim naturally. However, the truth is a bit more complicated.

Sure, lots of canines can swim if you drop them in the water. This doesn’t mean you’ll see them out in the open sea doggy-paddling with the dolphins, though. Many dogs can only swim for short distances.

Then there are dogs that can’t swim or just don’t like the water. Some dog breeds are notoriously water-averse. If your dog doesn’t have a lot of body fat, they can find it hard to float. Smaller dogs or ones with shorter legs can get tired quicker when they swim.

If you have a smaller dog that doesn’t mind the water, it might be a good idea to get them a life preserver. It’ll ensure that they stay afloat and have fun.

Dog life jackets are also recommended if your dog is older, has joint problems or is recovering from a surgery. In fact, they can actually serve as a fitness aid of sorts, since swimming is a great low-impact exercise for canines. Dog life preservers can keep your pooches safe while enabling them to stay healthy and active.

If My Dog Loves the Water, Do They Need a Canine Life Jacket?

If you have a dog that loves the water and can swim easily, great! Some dog breeds actually have webbed feet (i.e. tissue between their toes that keeps them closer together). These include:

  • German Shepherds
  • German Shorthaired Pointers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Newfoundlands
  • Irish Water Spaniels
  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Portuguese Water Dogs
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
  • Toy Poodles
  • Vizslas
  • Weimaraners

These dog breeds are naturally predisposed to be good swimmers (people often breed them for water sports). If you have one of these types of dog, they may not need a life preserver most of the time.

Still, there are times when you might want to put a life preserver on them. If water conditions get rough enough, even dogs that swim great can get in deep trouble. Life jackets can come in handy when you encounter:

  • Deep water
  • Large bodies of water
  • Strong waves
  • Rough currents

Also, it’s a smart idea to bring life jackets along when you and your dog go boating. After all, humans wear life preservers while they’re in a boat. Why should dogs be any different?

Dogs are like people in this regard: Regardless of whether they love or hate water, they can freak out when they fall into it unexpectedly. If they go overboard and panic, it could prove fatal.

Dog life preservers are an easy and effective way to provide water safety for your pooches. Even if they panic, life jackets give them time to get their wits about them. Also, dog life jackets have special safety handles, which allow you to lift your dog up if they fall overboard.

Keep Your Dogs Safe In the Water

You won’t often get into situations where your dog might drown. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that it could happen when:

  • You go boating with your dog
  • Your dog’s swimming in rough currents or deeper water
  • Your dog might end up swimming for longer stretches of time
  • Your dog isn’t a great swimmer

It’s a lot of fun to take your dogs on adventures. When you do, dog life preservers can help keep them safe and happy.

Janet Tran

The author Janet Tran

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