Best Life Jacket for Pugs: Top Picks in 2023

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best life jackets for pugs

The term “doggy paddle” was inspired by our canines, but let’s face it—some dogs are stronger swimmers than others.

If your pug is like mine, they prefer floating to laborious swims. But even if your little one loves the water, it’s best to keep them safe.

Whether you want a safety precaution for trips or one to keep your pug afloat in deep water, I rounded up five of the best life jackets for pugs on the market.


Pug Life Jacket: Key Takeaways

1. Because life jackets are a safety device, proper fit is vital. Correct measurements and accurately securing your pug before any trips around water is essential.

2. Styles of the life jacket will depend upon what kind of water source your pug will be in or around.

3. DIY life jackets are not advisable since it could pose dangerous risks to your pug if you make one incorrectly.

4. Do not purchase a life jacket without a handle, as you will want direct access to them if they fall into water unexpectedly.

5. Make sure you cover all bases such as choosing high-quality material, durable straps, and buoyant floatation when you purchase.


Best life Jacket for Pugs: Quick Picks


Do Pugs Need a Life Jacket?

The short answer here is—absolutely. Pugs are not revered for being strong swimmers.

So, even if they can swim short distances unassisted, they tire quickly.

For their safety, you should always make sure they have a floatation vest in or around water, just in case!

1. Pugs Tire Easily

Pugs are not an athletically inclined breed. In fact, they’re quite lazy.

Even young pugs will have small bursts of energy followed by a nice nap to wrap up playtime.

While swimming, they will want to enjoy floating more than strenuous swimming.

Life jackets will help them preserve their energy while still enjoying the elements.

2. Pugs Have Breathing Troubles

As pug owners, we know our little ones are prone to breathing issues since they are a brachycephalic breed.

If they struggle too much in the water or tucker themselves out, it could cause serious problems.

Life jackets can let them relax without over-exerting themselves.

3. Pugs Are Small

Being such a small dog, you won’t want to lose your pug.

Especially if you are in a large body of water like a lake or river, you will want to have quick access to them.

If they fall off a boat or take an unsuspecting plunge, you could quickly lose your hold.


How to choose the Best Life Jackets for Pugs?

Not all life jackets are created equal. You will want to be sure to purchase according to what purpose the life jacket will serve.

Is it for a pool, a lake, a pond, or boat rides?

You’ll want to make a decision based on a few different factors.

  • Proper Fit

Probably the most critical factor when you purchase a life jacket is a proper fit.

If you have a jacket that is too big, they could easily slip out of it in the water, and it could wind up being a dangerous—or even tragic—situation.

Each life jacket will have a different sizing chart.

Measure your pug before you start shopping so that way you can check the numbers with each chart to make sure you are buying the right size.

  • Buoyancy

When it comes to buoyancy, some life jackets will be better designed for harsher water elements, such as deep or running water bodies.

Other designs can work for pools or even wading with enough buoyancy to keep them afloat, but not with as much precision.

When you buy a vest made for function over style, you will notice the price will go up considerably.

However, it’s in the best interest of your pug to pay the extra money and keep them as safe as possible on your outings.

  • Security Features

A life jacket that you buy should have a handle so you can quickly and efficiently have bodily control over your pug.

The handles will help you lift them out of the water or get a grip on them to pull them out.

Durable straps and fasteners are also crucial, so they don’t break at the wrong time.

D-ring attachments are standard among life jackets as well, so you can attach your pug’s leash directly to the vest if you need to.

  • Fabric

A durable fabric will be one of the most essential aspects of keeping the life jacket intact.

Going with a product that has flimsy material or poor stitching can lead to breaks or tears in the exterior after only a few uses.

Oxford cloth, nylon webbing, and double stitching are great keywords to look for when purchasing your pug’s life jacket.

  • Durability 

Durability shouldn’t be an area scrimped over in your search.

Having a life jacket with strong, efficient security straps that won’t unravel and having clasps that won’t break is essential.

Plus, it won’t be worth saving a few bucks if the life jacket buckles after only a few uses.

Since this is a security device that could save your pug’s life, you want something that will last without worrying that it won’t perform the way it should.


5 Best Life Jackets for Pugs

1.Overall Favorite: Vivaglory New Sports Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

Overall, the Vivaglory New Sport Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket is my favorite.

It’s ideal in most water environments and is an affordable option.

This vest has all the bells and whistles you need for light to moderate water conditions.

I love that it isn’t too bulky on the body, so Sid can still move around without feeling too restricted.

It’s made from durable 600D Oxford cloth and passed the CA65 test for optimal safety.

It has a convenient handle and D-ring attachment for control.

There are ten color choices to pick from, all of which are bright and visible.

The product has a 90-day warranty, so if anything goes wrong, you can work with the company to set things straight.

Be sure to measure accordingly to avoid any returns.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


2.Best Value: Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket

If you want to save on a few dollars, but hope to buy a life jacket that lasts an appropriate length of time, the Outward Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket may be what you’re looking for.

It’s a fully adjustable, simple to wear design that is bright and easy to spot.

There is a safety handle on this vest, but no D-ring attachment. If you’re looking for that feature, another selection on the list may be better for your pug.

There are three safety straps—two buckles on the left side, one adjusts, and buckles around the neck. There is also a Velcro portion to secure the front.

There is a neck float portion for extra protection for the face, keeping your pug above water, so their face isn’t submerged.

In addition to the highly visible color, it also has reflective straps to help your pooch stay in sight.

While this life jacket is a great value, it isn’t quite as durable as other selections.

However, it’s the safest selection I could find for the price.


  • Extra floatation protection for the face
  • Affordable
  • Easy fit
  • No D-ring attachment
  • Not as durable as some others

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


3. Cutest Design: ASENKU Dog Life Jacket

If you and your pug are taking a relaxing day by the poolside, the ASENKU Dog Life Jacket is an adorable design to pick.

After all, who doesn’t want to see a squished face pug shark swimming in the water?

This life jacket is better for light use, like boating and supervised pool swims.

It is made of a waterproof ripstop nylon material with a cotton foam inside for floatation.

It drains well after use, allowing it to dry quickly. However, you should never machine wash this life jacket. Doing so could cause the design to come undone.

There are two safety straps to secure the vest under the belly and one that adjusts around the neck.

Sid fit nicely in the design, which wasn’t too heavy on him.

There is a safety handle as well as a D-ring attachment for optimal security and leash connection.


  • Adorable design
  • Perfect for pools and boats
  • Easy to put on
  • Not for running or deep water
  • Cannot machine wash

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


4. Best for Boating: Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket Vest

This Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket Vest is ideal for boat rides on lakes or ponds.

This vest is incredibly well-made with high-quality, quick-drying neoprene material and extremely efficient straps and buckles.

You can tell just by touching it that the whole design is very hard-wearing and well-made.

There are eight different color selections, and each one is highly visible with reflective straps to keep your pug in sight.

The underneath portion fitting around the belly is a very breathable mesh, which is perfect for helping dry out the device, so it doesn’t stay damp and uncomfortable.

It fits a pug’s body securely, cradling them so they can move freely on land and water.

Just be sure to measure your pug appropriately to avoid any returns.

When this is wet, it is a lot heavier than some other jackets, but it does dry out quickly.


  • Excellent fit
  • Great for boat rides
  • Mesh bottom for quick drying
  • Soaks up water, so it is heavy

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


5. Premium Choice: RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Jacket

When it comes to ultimate safety, the RUFFWEAR Float Coat Dog Life Jacket has everything you’ll need.

While it is a pricier vest, it has your pug’s wellbeing in mind in even rougher water and weather.

If you’re going to be kayaking on the river, or out in super deep water, this is one of the best you can get.

It also offers a lot of comfort, since it is so padded. It cups your pug’s underbelly, so it doesn’t rub or wear down the skin.

The neck portion has a telescope design that has a fully adjustable strap mostly enclosed, keeping it out of the way.

It has closed-cell panels that help your dog float while maintaining natural movement in the water.

All three-color selections are bright with reflective seams for optimal visibility in dusk environments.

While I didn’t notice any downfalls with this design myself, some larger breeds are said to have a slight issue floating appropriately.

This was not a problem for Sid, though.


  • Durable in rougher waters
  • Fully adjustable
  • Comfortable
  • Pricy

>> Check Price on Amazon <<


Tips for Keeping Your Pug Safe in a Life Jacket

1. Positively introduce the life jacket.

When acclimating your pug to their life jacket, a slow introduction works best.

You will want them to warm up to the idea of having it on and not try to paw it off or wiggle out.

Reinforce the concept with treats and try to let them wear it several times before taking them to water.

2. Make sure your pug is wearing the life jacket correctly.

The safety of the life jacket is the most important part. Ensure the life jacket fits snugly and secure so they won’t slip out while in the water.

3. Make sure the life jacket you have is adequate for activities.

Life jackets are not created equal. Choose functionality over looks, especially if your pug will be in deep or running water sources.

Some jackets provide more buoyancy for these activities, while less expensive options are typically better for pools and wading.

4. Be careful when using attachments.

Most life jackets come with D-ring attachments to secure your pug to a leash if you need to.

However, this can be pretty dangerous if, for example, they were able to fall into the water while tethered.



How Long Do Pug Life Jackets Last?

With proper care, high-quality life jackets can last several years.

However, if you get a life jacket with less favorable quality, they may only last upwards of a year.


Hopefully, you found a suitable life jacket for your pug. There are some really terrific style choices and highly durable pieces on this list.

While the  Vivaglory New Sport Style Ripstop Dog Life Jacket is my personal favorite due to its versatility and middle-of-the-road price, another pick may be a better fit for you and your pug’s needs.

In any matter, your pug should be able to enjoy the water safely in no time.