Not every dog can swim, unfortunately. As much as I would love my Monte to be amazing on the boat like my best friend’s golden retriever, he’s just the worst swimmer ever. And there are many dogs that aren’t the best in the deep end. Some breeds just aren’t suited for swimming at all and canines with health issues, older dogs, and puppies are at an even greater risk while on the water.
Even breeds that are officially considered “water dogs” can sink like a rock if they get tired, if there’s a strong current or big waves. A dog’s survival in the water depends on a lot of different things, just like humans. So, if you’re questioning whether to strap a lifejacket on your pooch the next time you’re near the water, here are 6 reasons why you definitely should:
1. Swimming Ability
Breeds with large chests and small hindquarters such as bulldogs, boxers, and dachshunds have a really hard time staying above the water. Smaller breeds like Yorkies, Pekingese, or shih tzus are good in the water but they don’t have the stamina to stay up for long. Doberman Pinschers, Chihuahuas, Alaskan Malamutes, Greyhounds, chow chows, Siberian Huskies, basset hounds, and many others all don’t do well in the water either. There are quite a few breeds that are bred to be mer-dogs. They have water-resistant coats, webbed feet, and a tail that acts as a rudder. But even these breeds can still encounter natural circumstances that can cause them to drown.
2. Emergency or Accident
Dogs are not graceful like cats. They’re huge klutzes! So if you take your dog out on a boat or on a dock, there’s a high chance they might fall (or jump) right into the water! If they aren’t rescued right away, they might not have the energy to stay afloat while you figure out how to get them out. Life vests ensure that your dog’s head will be above water (even if they’re unconscious) while you’re coming up with a rescue plan.
It’s so easy to lose sight of your dog in the water! One big ocean wave and Lucky can drift off a couple feet away. Currents can also sweep your dog out of sight in the blink of an eye. There’s a reason life jackets are brightly colored. When someone goes overboard you need to be able to see them no matter where they are. A brightly colored life vest on your dog serves the same purpose and allows you to easily spot your pooch through all the seaweed, waves, branches, rocks, and even in the dark!
4. Convenient Handle
All dog life vests have a super convenient handle attached that makes it much easier to haul them back into the safety of your boat or onto a deck. If you can’t lift them out right away, you can use the handle to keep your dog close to you and the boat until you can get them closer to shore.
5. Peace of Mind
You want to be able to have fun with your pooch out on the water, without having to check on them every minute or freak out if you don’t see them for a fraction of a second. Having a life vest on your pet will just give you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the day, which is the whole point of going out in the first place! Leave your worries behind by knowing your dog will always be safe, even if he does encounter trouble out on the water.
6. They Look Adorable
This is definitely the most important reasons your dog should wear a life vest if I’m being honest. 😉 Dogs just look so cute in their lifejackets, how can you resist strapping one on?
There you have it! Six reasons why your dog should definitely be wearing a lifejacket. Now go out and get one before summer is over!