Make Water Sports More Fun and Safer This Year
Healthy Dogs | May 1, 2021
If your dog is anything like my dog, Ellie, activities in the water are a must throughout the year! Not only is swimming a great, low-impact exercise for dogs, but there are so many other ways to incorporate your pup into water activities in a safe way. During the summer, Ellie tags along whenever I go paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. Although Ellie’s participation looks slightly different during each activity, one commonality amongst them all is that she always wears her life jacket.
You may be wondering, life jackets for dogs? Absolutely! This is a must-have safety item that should not be overlooked if you’re planning any water adventures with your dog. Similar to humans, even the stronger swimmers can get fatigued, experience hypothermia, or get caught in a current. Plus, a brightly colored life jacket will make your dog easier to spot in an emergency.
Some dogs should wear life jackets at all times even if they are swimming from the shore. Flat-faced breeds, also known as brachycephalic breeds, are susceptible to inhaling water or having difficulty breathing when swimming. Senior dogs, dogs with short legs and long bodies, dogs with low body fat, and dogs with any type of mobility issue will also benefit from a life jacket. The right life jacket will make the water safer, but also more enjoyable for your dog.
When introducing a life jacket to your dog, preparation is key for an easy transition. Practice putting on the life jacket in different situations for short periods of time and reward your dog when they are able to accept the life jacket calmly.
This year, Mud Bay will be offering a choice between the Ruffwear Float Coat and the Bay Dog Monterey Bay Life Jacket. Both options are high-quality, low-profile life jackets that are designed to fit dogs of all sizes.
The Bay Dog Monterey Bay Life Jacket in bright Nautical Yellow ensures your dog’s high visibility. This jacket has a UV-resistant coating, full torso support, and salt-water-resistant hardware! The fit on this life jacket is based on three measurements: your dog’s neck, chest, and length.
Ruffwear is known for their durable outdoor gear for dogs and the Float Coat delivers! This life jacket has a purposely positioned handle and telescoping neck closure, to provide your dog with optimal safety while playing in the water. The Float Coat can be fitted with just your dog’s girth measurement.
Many life jackets only need one measurement: the girth. Here’s Ellie in Ruffwear’s Float Coat at Mud Bay, and you can see that you only need to measure your dog’s body right around their armpits to find the right size. A flexible tape measure will be your best friend to get an accurate measurement. This type of life jacket doesn’t require as many measurements because the neck and chest area both adjust to fit many dogs. The slim profile design also reduces the spots where it has to fit.
Other life jackets recommend fit based off three measurements: your dog’s neck, chest, and length. Once you have those measurements, you can choose the size that best fits your dog’s overall measurements and make adjustments as necessary for a snug fit.
No matter where you buy your life jacket, please keep these features in mind before making a purchase:
Like clothing for humans, life jacket sizes can vary by manufacturer, so please compare your dog’s measurements with the manufacturer’s size chart before choosing one. Or, you can visit Mud Bay, where we’d be happy to help fit your dog, as well as answer any questions you might have. Mud Bay will also gladly accept returns of any item that doesn’t meet your expectations.
Whether you decide to take your dog for a swim, boating, or any other water activity, don’t forget to outfit them in their own life jacket – Ellie will be sporting hers all season! Hope to see you on the water!