If you live near the water – or take your dog boating or swimming — investing in a good quality life jacket is a must. Each year, thousands of dogs drown just in swimming pools. In rough water conditions, even strong canine swimmers can become fatigued or disoriented and unable to get to shore or to climb into the boat.
Even though most dogs can swim to some degree naturally, your dog’s survival can be hampered by any of the following:
- Rough water can disable your dog or pull him or her under.
- Strong currents can pull your dog away from shore or away from your boat.
- Distractions – like birds and wildlife – can lure your dog overboard or into too deep water.
- Waves can make your dog difficult to spot.
- It can be difficult to catch and lift a struggling dog into a boat.
A high quality life jacket can not only keep your dog afloat, but it can also add to your pet’s visibility in the water and aid his or her rescue. In choosing the best life jacket for your dog, look for:
- Strong HANDLES that provide a secure grip for pulling your dog out of the water.
- The right SIZE for your dog’s WEIGHT. Check weight restrictions carefully. A life jacket that is not sized for your pet’s weight may not keep your dog afloat.
- The right FIT. Try the life jacket on AT THE STORE and make sure that the fit is secure and that your dog STAYS IN the jacket, even when lifting by the handles. At the same time, also make sure that the jacket provides sufficient openings for easy elimination (pooping and peeing).
We bet this boater’s glad that his dog was wearing a life jacket.
Fortunately this story has a happy ending – but it shows you how quickly dogs can go overboard. (In this case, the dog’s life jacket saved his life.)
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