Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket Review

Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by Ecorf

Not many of us have the courage to withstand that pitiably cute look that dogs give us when they know we want to go and have some fun without them. But we are put in a state of a dilemma because we are probably going out to kayak and you really want to take your dogs but you don’t know how they would fare on water. Well to abate your fears, dogs can be just as safe as humans on the water so you should have no fear letting your dogs explore the waters with you.

However, just like humans, dogs need life jackets too. Although it is true that dogs are instinctive swimmers, they still need some safety measures to stay safe in the water. In fact, studies show that these same dogs that are natural swimmers are involved in thousands of water-related incidents annually. 

Why Dogs Need Life Jackets

Now, you may be wondering why dogs, the natural swimmers that they are, would need life jackets. These are three wonderful reasons:

  • The reflective surface of dog life jackets make them easy to see in low-light conditions. There are some times when evening or bad weather creeps up on us while we’re still offshore. It is always nice to know that you can locate your dog in case of sudden incidents. 
  • Life jackets help dogs to stay afloat when they are too tired to swim. In some situations, a dog that is involved in some water incidents would be too tired to swim. And dogs aren’t as great at staying afloat as they are at swimming. The life jackets come in handy to help keep the dog afloat for as long as it takes to get help.
  • Dog life jackets come with a handle where you can attach a leash to help pull your dog close to you. This could come in handy in case of accidents when you don’t want your dog to float far away from you. 

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket Review

Now that you know why it is important to make your dog wear a life when you’re going offshore, let’s talk about the life jackets themselves.

Today, a good number of dog life jacket brands have established themselves to be among the best. However, the Ruffwear Float Coat Dog Life Jacket is regarded as the best by many. There are several reasons why this life jacket is as popular and widely used as it is.

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket

The Design

Ruffwear Float Coat Life Jacket is designed in a way that endears it to anyone that sees it. 

Firstly, it has a super-strong handle that is attached to the main body of the life jacket which makes it easy for pulling. This is something that can’t be said for many other life jackets. Even on some others that do have these handles, it looks like the handles were half-heartedly fixed to the life jacket as they aren’t as strong as the ones of the Ruffwear Float Coat life jackets.

Secondly, Ruffwear is making a show of how highly they hold the comfort of your dogs when they’re wearing Ruffwear life jackets. The neckline is modestly designed to fit comfortably on any dog that wears it. 

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket Review

Thirdly, the thoughtful design of making pockets where one can keep the buckles of the life jacket is applaudable. This prevents the buckles from getting caught or stuck on obstructions, such as tree branches and other protruding edges.

Finally, it comes in different bright colors and reflective trims that help to enhance the visibility of the life jacket in low-light situations. 

Construction Quality

There aren’t many life jackets that can compare to the Float Coat life jacket when it comes to its construction quality. This life jacket is made with tough nylon that is completely scratch and puncture resistant. Even after years of constant use, many users agree that it still looks and performs as if it was new. 

Also, the neckpiece of this life jacket is well built to last for as long as possible. This neckpiece is responsible for keeping the head of your dog afloat. 


Ruffwear Float Coat life jackets come in various sizes. Here is a short guide to knowing what size would fit your dog most perfectly.

Note that the measurement used here is that of dogs’ girths i.e. the widest part of their body of their rib cages. 

Girth Size Life Jacket Size
13 inches – 17 inches33 cm – 43 cm XXS
17 inches – 22 inches43 cm – 56 cm XS
22 inches – 27 inches56 cm – 69 cm S
27 inches – 32 inches69 cm – 81 cm M
32 inches – 36 inches81 cm – 91 cm L
36 inches – 42 inches91 cm – 107 cm XL


If you had a thousand guesses, you may not rightly guess that Ruffwear has a warranty of a lifetime on all their Float Coat life jackets. If this isn’t a big proof of the quality of this life jacket, I don’t know what else is. 


Many people would argue that the price tagged on Ruffwear Life Jacket is just a little bit expensive, but way more people agree that the life jacket is worth every single penny spent on it.


  • Attractive look
  • Brightly colored for easy sighting in low-light conditions
  • Reflective trim also eases sighting
  • Fits comfortably just about any dog size


  • Quite expensive

Things To Consider When Buying A Life Jacket

Before I go into the details of how this life jacket combines its features to make it the best among many others, these are some things that you really should consider before getting a dog life jacket.


You don’t want to not take your dog out for a nice time offshore just because it is too big or too small to fit into its life jacket. That is why some life jackets are adjustable to fit most dog breeds. 

However, some dog life jackets don’t just fit perfectly on some dog breeds, no matter how much you adjust it. That is why it is important to get a fitting life jacket for your dog.

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket Review


While some life jackets would struggle to keep some really big dogs afloat, it’s a piece of cake to some other life jackets. That is why it is important to get a life jacket that has really high buoyancy, even if it is way higher than what your dog really needs. After all, one can never be too careful when safety is in question.


I mentioned the importance of handles when I was talking about why dogs need life jackets. The thing is, not all life jackets have these handles. So, by all means, go for a life jacket that has a handle that makes it easy to keep your dog close to you.


I totally recommend that you use brightly colored life jackets so make your dog easy to spot in low-light conditions.

Getting Your Dog A Life Jacket That Fits

When you go to the store to get a life jacket, here’s how to measure your dog to know which one would fit most perfectly on your dog.

Start from the base of your dog’s neck and take a measurement down to where the body begins to make a downward turn just above its tail. After this, do the same thing for the space in between the back of its forelimbs to the front of its hindlimbs. Finally, measure its neck. 

Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket Review

Also, if your dog is trying out a life jacket for the first time, it is really important to make it a perfectly comfortable experience for it. This is because if your dog starts feeling uncomfortable wearing it, it may associate the discomfort with the life jackets, successfully making any future attempts to wear a life jacket futile. 

However, if you’re buying the life jacket from an online store, make sure you do a lot of research by checking the customer reviews of the life jackets, especially those of customers that have the same dog breed as you. 

Wrapping It All Up

There are quite a number of other dog life jackets that are still performing well. In fact, daresay that some of them could compete with the Ruffwear Float Coat Life Jacket in some ramifications. However, the popularity of this particular brand of life jacket makes it the option to choose for those that are looking to get one. 

And if you asked me, the Float Coat Life Jacket really deserves all the attention that it gets. The lifetime warranty that Ruffwear place on the jackets alone is enough to make it the first choice for a lot of people. Coupled with that, the life jacket combines intuitive designs and strong construction to make it excellently effective on the water. 

Although the cost could be quite expensive for a life jacket, you should rest assured that once you have it, you are going to be using it for a really long time.