Always ready to paddle.
Always ready to paddle.

Who’s your favorite paddling partner? Wait, don’t answer that…we have a feeling we might know the answer. It’s not your friends or family, who too often have an excuse for why they can’t make it down to the water with you – no, it’s someone who’s always game for a trip outside. Someone who can’t say no to jumping onto a kayak, canoe or paddleboard and usually into the water too. Unless your dog has a fear of water, “man’s best friend” makes a great paddling partner and, just like any paddler, they need to be safe around the water. The best place to start is with a Dog PFD (personal flotation device).

What is the Benefit of a Dog PFD?

Adventuring outside gets tiring.
Adventuring outside gets tiring.

Unlike with people, there are no laws stating that dogs are required to have a life jacket when they hit the water. However, there are a number of benefits to outfitting your dog with a quality PFD that will protect the safe-being of your furry companion and as a result bring you peace of mind.

Whether it’s a distraction like waterfowl or just the allure of water, it’s hard for any dog to resist jumping overboard and doing some dog-paddling. It’s even harder for them to realize how tiring it can be. A dog PFD gives canines something to fall back on – to just sit back and float – if they need it. A quality one also includes reflective cloth for increased visibility and a handle that makes it easy and painless to pull them back on board your paddle craft, when they’re ready to of course.

What Are My Options?

NRS Dog Life Jacket.

We offer a wide variety of outdoor gear for you pooch, including two different dog PFDs at The first is the low profile Dog Life Jacket from NRS which comes at a lower price and with 1000 denier cordura material, providing buoyancy of up to 2.7-7.9 lbs. The second is the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat which would be considered the premium option of the two. It offers 4-14.5 lbs of buoyancy and is made with a thicker, ballistic nylon material.

While both have received glowing reviews, we though this recent customer feedback on the float coat was worth sharing:

Dog PFD - Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat
Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat

“Although my dogs are great swimmers (Labradors) I bought this coat for kayaking with my dog.  This coat fits all 3 of my dogs from 63 to 80 lbs with minor adjustments for each dog.  However my 13 year old dog is scared of the vest, but once I get it on her she runs around happy like a puppy.  I can pick her up by the handle to put on the kayak and it holds her without hurting her (like the cheap vests would).   I let the dog get wet first and also dunk the vest in water to keep it a bit cooler on the dog.  I highly recommend the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat.  Great for aging dogs or just for safety.” – Susan L

So what are you waiting for? Grab your puppy a dog PFD for your next outing – we’re sure that he or she will appreciate it!