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Life jackets / Buoyancy aids


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Gain the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve taken every reasonable precaution to protect your dog against the obvious risks associated with water-based activities.

Increase the chances of your dog (or cat) surviving an incident by using a life jacket.

Whilst most dogs are at least reasonably strong swimmers, there are innumerable reasons why the dog may need further help to survive. What led to the dog being in the water? If he was knocked in, or perhaps rough seas threw him in, then your dog may be injured or in shock. Either of these reasons can hugely compromise the dog’s ability to swim effectively. Also, the cold temperatures of the UK’s waters will quickly erode the dog’s energy levels – particularly in relation to older dogs – leaving the animal exposed to the merciless sea.

In a crisis, besides adding to your dog’s buoyancy the life jacket will also dramatically increase heat-retention; together these two factors may substantially increase the time available to effect a rescue. The life jacket’s integral grab handle will make your dog an easier target for securing by hand or boathook whilst, if the calamity happens at night, the luminescent quality of the jacket will enable your dog to be more easily spotted in the dark, heaving seas.

Perhaps the other most obvious benefit of a life jacket is for those dogs which are using hydrotherapy – or other water-based treatment – as an aid to recovery. A jacket maximises the benefit of such treatment to the dog.

Be prepared for the unexpected – buy your dog a life jacket now! Or you can hope the worst won’t happen…


In the only-known survey of pet flotation devices, Whole Dog Journal has awarded this style of dog life jacket “Four Paws” – their top rating.

The design of these life jackets enables fast size adjustment of a resilient product ensuring a flexible, comfortable fit, protecting your dog from both cold and heat.

The outer features of our dog life jackets.

The outer features of our dog life jackets.

Buoyancy is provided by three high-density expanded polyethelene (EPE) panels fitted along the jacket’s length. Two additional EPE panels are located under the dog’s head, raising it above the body and keeping it clear of the water level.

The jackets are designed to float your dog in a horizontal swimming position. The dog’s own body shape, with most weight distributed at the rear end, allows the body to tilt, further raising the head above the level of the body and clear of the water level. Unlike many other kinds of buoyancy aids on the market these jackets provide an even level of flotation along the dog’s back, offering enhanced comfort and support.

The high luminosity orange fabric offers high visibility whilst additional reflective strips enable identification in poor visibility conditions.

The inner features of our dog life jackets.

The inner features of our dog life jackets.

The jackets combine three different deniers of fabric with velcro panels and plastic snap-click fastenings to offer the optimum combination of security and comfort. The sophisticated, breathable panels which fit around the dog’s tummy use a combination of neoprene and terylene, designed to shed water quickly, thus avoiding distressing over-heating and chafing and ensuring a comfortable experience for your dog.

Chest and neck straps are fully adjustable and feature tough self-fastening velcro panels. Located over the velcro panels, the quick-release snap-click fastenings create an extra layer of security, giving you the peace of mind of knowing your dog is safely secured within a double-closure.

The D-ring, conveniently fitted just in front of the grab handle, can be used to attach a leash or length of string, enabling your dog to be secured on deck (even better than being able to haul your dog out of the water is stopping him getting in in the first place!) or on a river-side walk chasing a stick thrown into the water whilst you have the reassurance that – if necessary – you can tow him back to the bank.

A bemused-looking lab takes time off from our Gloucester Boat Show stand to go up in the world. (Relax - it's a model!)

A bemused-looking lab takes time off from our Gloucester Boat Show stand to go up in the world. (Relax – it’s a model!)

To make sure a poo-bag is always to hand, the jacket has a cute little flapped pocket – big enough for a small stock of emergency bags!

The life jacket can be worn with a collar or over a harness (if you plan to use it over a harness, remember to allow for the harness when you’re measuring your dog’s chest).

After-care: These resilient life jackets can be either hand rinsed in cool tap water or machine washed in a normal 40 degree wash, then tumble or hang dry.

To view a movie showing just how simple it is to fit one of our jackets to your dog please click here

Spares pack included!

Every jacket is supplied with two replacement fasteners! One two-part fastener is conveniently attached as a permanent docking station on the jacket – so where the jacket goes, a spare fastener goes with it!

And we supply a second replacement fastener too! You’ll probably never need to use either one of your spare fasteners – but it’ll be worth its weight in gold if your do! Relax knowing that you’ve got a spare readily to hand. (No need to go hunting for a DIY store!)

Out of sight – but not out of mind

Section through a 'Classic' life jacket panel.

Section through a ‘Classic’ life jacket panel.

Most dog life jackets contain one slab of buoyancy material in each panel. The photo above shows a section through one of our jackets, showing the three layers of buoyancy material contained in each of our jacket panels. One of these three layers is stitched into the seams of the panels, ensuring that the buoyancy material remains spread over the entire jacket.

The remaining two layers ‘float’ within the panel, not only creating naturally champhered, comfortable, panel edges but also, by use, increasingly taking on the shape of the dog. In this way our jackets will offer your dog both effective long-term buoyancy and comfort. You’ll probably never see this sophisticated panelling system – but you’ll be very comfortable knowing it’s there!


Choosing the best size of ‘Classic’ life jacket for your dog

If everything goes to plan, at the end of this process, you’re going to receive a dog life jacket in the post. I’d like us both to be delighted when you open the package and find that you’ve ordered the correct size! Please spend a few minutes to measure your dog and look at the fitting table lower down on this page. Ordering the correct jacket size will avoid the delay, inconvenience and expense which will result if you need to exchange the jacket for another size.

You may be one of those lucky people whose dog will unarguably fit into only one size of jacket. It’s far more probable that you’ll be one of the majority of people who need to make a choice between two jackets.

For an approximate idea of the sizes of jackets which are generally suitable for your dog’s breed, click on this link and a pop-up window will show you a comprehensive range of dog breeds and the sizes of our life jackets which suit the various breeds. If you have a cross-breed, you’ll have a reasonable idea of how your dog compares in size to the breeds listed; looking at the list should give you a general idea of which size/s of life jacket may suit your dog.

How and where to measure your dog.

How and where to measure your dog.

First, measure around your dog’s chest. This is the most important measurement – if the jacket doesn’t fit around your dog, it’s not going to fit! As shown in the illustration alongside, from behind the front legs, measure all the way around the widest part of its rib cage and over its back. Remember to add an inch or two if you’re planning to use a harness under the life jacket; also, bear in mind if your dog has a heavy seasonal coat, or whether its size may increase. Whilst you’ve got your dog and a tape measure to hand, also measure the length of its back – from the shoulder blades to the base of the tail.

With a note of you dog’s chest measurement to hand, now look at the ‘Essential’ part of the table below. You’ll see that your dog’s chest measurement will have either determined the appropriate size of life jacket or reduced the possibilities to a choice of two sizes. If, for example, your dog’s chest measured 16″ you’ll see from the table that the suitable life jacket is a ‘Toy’ size. If the chest measured 18″, then both ‘Toy’ and ‘Small’ are suitable sizes.

If your dog’s chest is smaller than the range indicated in the table then you’ll be able to fit the jacket on the dog but you won’t be able to secure the jacket firmly around your dog’s body. In addition there will be excessive room at the front where the jacket fastens around the dog’s neck. Also, the jacket may protrude unnecessarily at the rear, making sitting uncomfortable. You should probably be considering the next size down.

If your dog’s chest size is bigger than the range indicated in the table then the two ends of the snap-click fastening clips won’t reach each other – the jacket just won’t fit on the dog. You most definitely need to be considering the next size up.

Where the table indicates that two sizes of life jackets may suit your dog, the better size will become evident when you look at the ‘Desirable’ (maximum weight) and ‘Preferable’ (minimum length) part of the table.

Please remember: the chest measurement is all-important.

Is your dog’s chest bigger than 48″ (120cms)?

The extension straps.

The extension straps.

It’s doubtful that you’ll find a jacket larger than our ‘Giant’ size (we don’t know of any!). Because of this, for use with dogs that exceed the chest size of the jacket we now supply our ‘Giant’ jackets with two chest extension straps (see the photo alongside). With the adjustable extension straps attached to the jacket’s chest straps, the jacket’s straps are extended by 24″ (60cms); the ‘Giant’ jacket can then be fitted to dogs with chest measurements of up to a truly massive 72″ (180cms) – big enough for a small horse! If you think you need them, let us know when you order and we’ll enclose a pair.

But please note: If use of the extension straps is required, then the two neoprene chest panels of the jacket will not reach each other and so will not velcro together; inevitably as a result, the jacket is not so securely fitted to the dog as it would be if the panels did overlap and could be velcro’ed together. Also, if use of the extension panels is required then almost inevitably the weight of the dog will exceed the weight which the jacket is designed to totally support. In these situations, the jacket will offer partial buoyancy but not total support. Obviously, this isn’t an issue when the jacket and extension straps are used in supported, monitored situations. However, the jacket and extension straps must not be soley relied upon in life-threatening situations.

The basic philosophy behind supplying the extension straps is that there are times when anything is better than nothing!

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes; you may need to depart from the guidelines above if your dog is particularly thick- or thin-set. Only you know that! But remember – the chest size is paramount!

Still not sure?

You may still be unsure of the correct size of jacket to buy – we do understand that there are some amazing combinations of cross-breeds out there!

In which case, why not send us an email? Include the measurements of the dog’s chest and length and, if possible, weight. Please also mention the dog’s breed/s to give us an idea of the jackets which would be suitable (knowing the breed/s also gives us a clue should you get your cms and inches confused!). If you could attach a photo of your dog this would be an additional help, particularly in borderline cases where it’s difficult to choose the better of two sizes. We’ll happily advise you of the size we think you need. This simple exchange of emails must be preferable to the hassle involved for everyone if you order the wrong size of life jacket! (We’ll exchange it, but it is a hassle worth avoiding if possible!)

Please note: every manufacturer’s sizes will vary – one manufacturer’s small is another manufacturer’s medium. The table above is for use with our ‘Classic’ range of life jackets only! You use it to calculate the correct size of someone else’s life jackets at your peril. (And your dog’s!)

Suitable breeds

Breeds which are typically suitable for each size of dog life jacket

Before even beginning to think about the cross-breeds, with the potentially huge range of dog sizes within any particular breed it just isn’t possible to assemble a table guaranteed to determine which particular size of jacket will suit a particular dog. This page merely attempts to give you an idea of the jacket sizes which will be of most interest to you.

You’ll see that there is often a choice of at least two potential jackets. Even where only one jacket is shown as being ‘probably’ appropriate please don’t use this table as any more than a guide. To be sure which jacket is best for your dog it’s time to get the measuring tape out and look at the graphic table on the ‘Sizing’ page.

And we’re sure you don’t need reminding that puppies grow!

Dog’s breed: Life jacket/s suitable for the dog’s chest size:
Dog’s breed: Life jacket/s suitable for the dog’s chest size:
Micro Tiny Toy Small Medium Large X-Large Giant
Chihuahua Micro Tiny
Pomeranian Micro Tiny
Papillon Micro Tiny
Havanese Micro Tiny
Maltese Micro Tiny
Yorkshire Terrier Micro Tiny Toy
Chinese Crested Micro Tiny Toy
Toy Fox Terrier Toy
Toy Poodle Toy Small
Toy Manchester Terrier Toy Small
Pekingese Toy Small
Toy English Spaniel Toy Small
French Bulldog Toy Small
Miniature Dachshund Toy Small
Brussels Griffon Toy Small
Hungarian Puli Toy Small
Miniature Pinscher Toy Small
Silky Terrier Toy Small
Dandie Dinmont Terrier Toy Small
Jack Russell Terrier Toy Small
Standard Manchester Terrier Small
Miniature Bull Terrier Small
Australian Terrier Small
King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Small
Cairn Terrier Small
Lhasa Apso Small
Shih Tzu Small
Bichon Frise Small
Scottish Terrier Small
Skye Terrier Small
West Highland White Terrier Small
Norfolk Terrier Small
Norwich Terrier Small
Sealyham Terrier Small
Boston Terrier Small
Italian Greyhound Small
Miniature Schnauzer Small
Pug Small
Miniature Poodle Small
Standard Dachshund Small
Parson Russell Terrier Small
Lakeland Terrier Small
Patterdale Terrier Small
Fox Terrier Small
Welsh Terrier Small
Border Terrier Small
Bedlington Terrier Small
Irish Terrier Small Medium
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Small Medium
Shetland Sheepdog Small Medium
Whippet Small Medium
Beagle Small Medium
Welsh Corgi Small Medium
Cocker Spaniel Small Medium
Border Collie Small Medium
Wheaten Terrier Medium
Samoyed Medium
Chinese Shar-Pei Medium
Border Collie Medium
Saluki Medium
American Eskimo Dog Medium
American Bulldog Medium
Kerry Blue Terrier Medium
Pharaoh Hound Medium
American Pit Bull Terrier Medium
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Medium
Brittany Spaniel Medium
Keeshund Medium
Wire Haired Pointing Griffon Medium
Bull Terrier Medium
Basset Hound Medium
Irish Water Spaniel Medium
American Water Spaniel Medium
Vizsla Medium
Standard Schnauzer Medium
Sussex Spaniel Medium
English Springer Spaniel Medium
Chow Chow Medium
Clumber Spaniel Medium
English Foxhound Medium
American Foxhound Medium
Australian Cattle Dog Medium
Australian Shepherd Medium
Norwegian Elkhound Medium
Smooth Coated Collie Medium
Rough Coated Collie Medium
Springer Spaniel Medium
Siberian Husky Medium Large
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Medium Large
Dalmatian Medium Large
Portuguese Water Dog Medium Large
Boxer Medium Large
Alaskan Malamute Medium Large
Flat Coated Retriever Medium Large
English Bulldog Medium Large
Airedale Terrier Large
Pointer Large
Standard Poodle Large
English Setter Large
Irish Setter Large
Catahoula Leopard Dog Large
Labrador Retriever Large
Bearded Collie Large
Rhodesian Ridgeback Large X-Large
Akita X-Large
Golden Retriever X-Large
Giant Schnauzer X-Large
Ibizan Hound X-Large
Afghan Hound X-Large
Doberman Pinscher X-Large
Rottweiler X-Large
German Shepherd X-Large Giant
Weimaraner X-Large Giant
Greyhound X-Large Giant
Borzoi X-Large Giant
Bullmastiff Giant
Black and Tan Coonhound Giant
Belgian Sheepdog Giant
Belgian Malinois Giant
Belgian Tervuren Giant
Scottish Deerhound Giant
Old English Sheepdog Giant
Great Pyrenean Mountain Dog Giant
Otterhound Giant
Bernese Mountain Dog Giant
Neapolitan Mastiff Giant
Irish Wolfhound Giant
Russian Black Terrier Giant
Newfoundland Giant
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Giant
Bloodhound Giant
Saint Bernard Giant
Mastiff Giant
Great Dane Giant


Micro size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Tiny size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Toy size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Small size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Medium size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Large size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Extra-large size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

Giant size Up-buoy Classic life jacket.

In their life jackets

Just hanging around!

Just hanging around!

All dogged up!

Customers’ dogs – and cats! – all dogged up (or catted up, I suppose) in their life jackets and ready to face the worst the elements can throw at them!

Illustrated on the pages linked below are all eight sizes of our ‘Up-buoy Classic’ range of life jackets. If you’re not sure which size is most suitable for your dog (or cat), perhaps the photos on these pages will help you.

On the ‘Small’ jackets page there’s a link to a video of a customer’s pooch riding the waves, so you can really see one of our life jackets in action!

If you’ve taken a photo – or even a video! – of your dog in one of our life jackets and are happy to share it with the world please email it me!

Just do it!

Just do it!










Elaine Davis of Macclesfield bought two of our dog life jackets and has given permission for us to publish the (unsolicited!) email she subsequently sent.

Hi Ian,

Received life jackets, thank you.

I was thrilled with them. I had purchased 2 last Thursday from ********* (our asterisks, don’t want to offend anybody!) but when I saw yours for sale they looked so much better quality. Hence, I returned ********* ones when I received yours. Yours were far better quality than I had seen anywhere.

I liked the fact that I had the option to exchange them should they not fit. You were very helpful and although the sizing was a difficult choice it was put in such a way that I found it very, very useful. Congratulations on your sizing list. It must have taken hours to figure out but it’s so accurate. (If the jacket’s too long on the back your pooch can’t sit down properly.) Not only quality jackets but brilliant service from you.

The jackets are just quality through and through. They are even good for these dark wet nights so our pooches are seen in the dark and also insulated from the cold! I took them out tonight in them and they look great. You sure could see them in the dark. They look so trendy.

I’m a very satisfied customer… although Molly dog is not impressed with hers she’s got no choice, she’s wearing it in the house for a few minutes at a time to get her used to it. She will get used to it cos it’s so light. And Ellie pup loves hers.

They are fabulous.

We are just starting to go canoeing so I know they will be safe and warm. They are our children to my husband and me so I want the best, and I got it. Thanks to you.