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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Put Swim Safety First With A Dog Life Jacket

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

A dog life jacket can give you and your dog an extra sense of security when you're spending time in or around the water. Just like the life jackets made for humans, these lightweight, durable vests are designed to provide extra buoyancy, visibility and accessibility so that your dog can swim in comfort and safety.

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Of course the immediate reaction of most people is to assume that dogs don't need to worry about water safety. After all, they're naturally able to swim, right? Believe it or not, the answer is no. While many dogs have a natural ability to swim, not all do, and not all dogs have the same level of comfort and expertise in the water. If your dog is not a strong swimmer it can be easy for him to tire and potentially drown.

Even the strongest swimmers can tire out after a while. In fact, it can be especially easy for these dogs to end up in trouble as they don't know when to stop and will literally keep going until they drop. If you've ever taken your active Australian Shepherd for a run or a swim, or even put him to work, you know how true this can be. They live to please and don't always know their boundaries. Fortunately, a dog life jacket is a simple and effective way to provide extra safety for all dogs, regardless of their swimming ability.

Australian Shepherd in life jacket watches people on raft on lake.

amyinlondon /

Dog life vests are a great investment for your peace of mine.

There are many different styles and brands of dog floatation devices available but some of the most effective come from Outward Hound. This company offers three different styles: the Granby, the Dawson, and the Standley. Each one offers the same basic safety features but has particular features that make them best suited for all swimmers, novice swimmers and expert swimmers, respectively.

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket
Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket - See sizing chart on Amazon.

The basic design of this line of dog life jacket includes bright colored fabrics and reflective accents for high visibility, grab handles along the top to make it easy to retrieve and rescue your dog if he starts to flounder, a front neck float to help keep your dog's head above water and adjustable straps and a neoprene belly band for a comfortable and secure fit.

The Granby also includes foam panels on the side for extra buoyancy and all-over neoprene construction for added warmth in cold water, making it especially effective for novice swimmers. The Standley, designed for experienced swimmers, includes a mesh belly band for easy drainage and a more open design for maximum mobility. This is particularly important for active dogs so that they can move around comfortably in the water.

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Get Peace Of Mind With A Dog Life Jacket

Whether you're taking your dog boating, working on his water retrieving skills or just want him to be safe swimming in the family pool, a dog life jacket is the perfect solution.

You can easily find the perfect fit for your dog by measuring his girth, the circumference around the widest part of his body, and ordering the corresponding size of jacket. The jackets should fit snugly without being overly confining.

No matter what your dog's swimming ability is, he can never be too safe when it comes to the water, so why take chances when a life jacket can give you both peace of mind? Check out the available options and decide for yourself which one best suits your dog's needs. Then you can both get out in the water and have a great time with no worries.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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