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Old 31-07-2018, 12:25   #16
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

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Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
Thank you, I'll look around for Ruffwear.
You don't have to do a whole lot of looking around - they have a website

https://ruffwear.com/

https://ruffwear.com/collections/lif...coat-life-vest
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Old 31-07-2018, 12:42   #17
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

Try googling '10 best dog lifejackets'. You'll find them listed from best to worst.

When we crossed the Tasman, I had a safety-harness/lifting-harness made to fit our dog with all stainless steel buckles. Worked like a charm when he got flipped mid-Tasman as we could never have turned the boat around to sail back for him. Now we have a commercial harness/lifejacket made by D-Fa in NZ - they manufacture harnesses for SAR dogs so they can be safely and comfortably lowered by helo strop in a harness that doesn't restrict their mobility. The one with buoyancy does have plastic buckles so not recommended as a lifting harness but seems plenty strong for boatwork.
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Old 31-07-2018, 13:46   #18
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

I would never purchase anything with a critical fit over the internet, to lazy to send it back and wait for the next one. I found out I do have a local dealer for Ruffwear here but currently they only have medium in which might work.
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Old 31-07-2018, 14:17   #19
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

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Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
I would never purchase anything with a critical fit over the internet, to lazy to send it back and wait for the next one. I found out I do have a local dealer for Ruffwear here but currently they only have medium in which might work.

I agree purchase over the internet can be a bit risky, but I have found that Ruffwear's measuring system is pretty accurate (I have a float coat of theirs, plus a barncoat and a raincoat... for my 100# female lab mix... I know, I know...) the times I have paid attention and used it carefully.


As a bonus, the float coats hold their value quite well it seems, twice I've had no trouble selling a vest that my dog outgrew on eBay.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:09   #20
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

Agree with Ruffwear. We bought ours over the internet using their sizing guide for our Jack Russell Terrier. Love the handle. Easy to get him on and off the dinghy (if he doesn't jump himself). He took a spill in the ICW the first day we took him off the jacklines. Super easy to grab him with a boat hook.

I looked at many reviews before deciding. No regrets.
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Old 31-07-2018, 15:12   #21
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

we have 2 dogs 15lbs. the neoprene life jackets from west marine work well for us. they are flexible and the dogs don't seem to mind wearing them.
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Old 31-07-2018, 16:32   #22
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

our naughty dog doesn't like putting on jackets, and struggles a lot (yes, he will also walk on the table and take your dinner if you aren't watching...hmm), so I got him a top closing coat (zipper along the top and two leg holes below) for $10, split it down the underside between the leg holes, inserted closed cell foam pads between the layers, then sewed it back up.
Then I added strong points fore and aft (and both sides of the zip) on top, and a snap-on handle.
Works great, and is easy to put on - stand him on top and lift both sides by the top rings and he cant get away while it is zipped up!
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Old 31-07-2018, 17:03   #23
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

Question - how well does your dog swim when fitted with doggy PFD of choice?

Does the PFD aid or hinder their swimming ability?
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Old 31-07-2018, 20:39   #24
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

I have had many dog vests, as my Jack Russel sailed around the world with me and I was always looking for one that worked and was comfortable.
Ruffwear was the best for me. Rough, tuff, easy on and off, reflective tape.

I recommend Ruffwear.

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Old 31-07-2018, 23:24   #25
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

Whatever brand you buy (and I appreciate learning about Ruffwear here, thanks) be sure you do a test lift of your dog to make sure that the handle keeps your dog level when lifted. Some vests have the handles too far forward or back and the dog's weight will shift in the vest, making lifting them impossible. This is especially the case with larger dogs.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:10   #26
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

I had a dog and investigated life jackets for her at the time. A fellow boater gave me some advice, which was excellent, and I'll share it here with you.

The old keyhole style lifejackets work wonderfully on dogs, worn backwards. Their head goes through the hole, and the bulky part is on their back. They keep the dogs head high (to breath), the bulk does not interfere with their kicking feet, and gives plenty of extra buoyancy.

It may look a bit silly, but it really works. My dog wore and swam with one of these all the time in comfort and safety. I think they are not popular because they do not make $$$ in retail.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:34   #27
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

Add my vote for Ruffwear, for life jackets and everything else Click image for larger version

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Old 11-08-2018, 09:32   #28
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

So I bought Ruffwear based on the recommendations here. Some other brands I inspected looked like they would do the job, others looked down right flimsy. I will now attach an ACR Hemilight 3 flashing PFD light as recommended in one of the posts above. I do a fair bit of cruising at night so a light will definitely be an a valuable asset.
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Old 14-09-2018, 05:20   #29
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

Is there a dog pfd suitable for offshore? Inflation to keep the head above water, a light?
all I have seen so far seem ok for flat water, but not the ocean. Any ideas?
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Old 14-09-2018, 07:24   #30
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Re: Better and worse dog life jackets

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Is there a dog pfd suitable for offshore? Inflation to keep the head above water, a light?
all I have seen so far seem ok for flat water, but not the ocean. Any ideas?
I would think that the Ruffwear would be perfect for what you are looking for. I does have a light option you can purchase or I guess you could put an EPIRB. I would steer away form something with a float under the muzzle as that may interfere with normal breathing and or cause your pooch to fight the pressure and tire more easily. This particular brand does allow for a more natural horizontal swimming position with the flotation more concentrated upwards for bouyancy.
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