best life jacket for pugs

Best Life Jacket For Pugs And 5 Others On The Market

As summer approaches more pet owners will be heading to the lake to enjoy popular water sports. We’ve researched the best life jacket for Pugs to help keep Fido safe while enjoying a ride on the boat, kayak, and etc.

What Is The Best Dog Life Jacket For Pugs?

The best canine life jacket is one that fits properly and keeps your dog safe while spending time around or in the water.

Every dog is unique and it’s up to you to find the best product that will keep them safe around the water.

Are Pugs Good Swimmers?

No, brachycephalic dogs will not fare well around water. That being said, if they fall into the water, they will swim purely out of natural instinct. Just like a human, their adrenaline will kick in and they will swim to survive.

This breed is not a strong swimmer, and won’t be able to swim very long by themselves. They should always have a life vest on when they are spending time around water.

Read this article to find out why Pugs can’t swim.

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Recommended Product

RUFFWEAR - Float Coat Dog Life Jacket for Swimming, Adjustable and Reflective, Blue Atoll, Medium
  • CANINE LIFE VEST: A life jacket designed just for dogs; Ideal for rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing, paddle boarding and swimming
  • EASY SWIMMING: Strategically placed closed-cell foam panels let your dog swim naturally and support an upright position; Strong, low-profile handle on the back to help dogs out of the water

Who Should Buy A Life Vest For Pugs?

Every pet owner who takes their dog with them out or near the water, or has a swimming pool in the backyard.

This top-heavy dog won’t be able to stay afloat very long without the right floatation device.

It is highly recommended that you NOT allow your Pug to go swimming or to monitor them closely, especially, if they are not wearing a life jacket.

Important Features to Consider

best life vest for pugs
There are several life vests for Pugs, it’s important to choose the right one.

Not all canine life jackets are created equally. It can be confusing to know which one is right for your dog. We’ve reviewed some of the top dog life jackets to help you find the right one for your pooch.

When shopping for a new doggy life jacket, here are the key safety and handling features you should keep in mind.

Sizing Information

One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a canine life vest is size. Most people have no clue how to properly measure their dog when it comes to fitting them properly for clothing or life jackets.

The first time I measured my Pug, I had no clue what to measure for. Most manufacturers will suggest measuring the length of their neck to come up with the girth.

However, if you measure the widest area around their rib cage, you’ll get your dog’s girth properly 98.5% of the time.

How Do I Measure My Dog’s Chest Girth?

It can be challenging the first time you do it, but the video below will help ensure you get it right.

You’ll need some soft measure tape (tailor’s tape) or a long string, treats, and your pooch.

Step One

Have your dog stand beside you while you wrap the measuring tape around the dog’s widest part of their rib cage.

Which is usually the chest area right behind their front legs. If you’re using string to measure your dog, make sure you mark your dog’s measurements with a marker.

Step Two

Once you have your dog’s measurements, refer to the sizing chart below or the manufacturer’s website to see what size life vest will best fit your dog.

Dog Life Vest Sizing Chart (by Brand)

We’ve put together an easy to see recommended girth range by manufacturers to help you find the right fit for your dog’s life jacket.

Ruffwear13-17 inches17-22 Inches22-27 Inches27-32 Inches32-36 Inches36-42 Inches
VivagloryN/A12-16 Inches16-20 Inches19-24 Inches24-30 Inches30-38 Inches
Paws Aboard10-14 Inches14-18 Inches18-27 Inches18-27 Inches27-38 Inches38+ Inches
Outward HoundN/A9-12 Inches12-14 Inches14-16 Inches16-19 Inches19.5+ Inches

Make sure you properly measure your dog and check the manufacturer’s website for more details.

High Quality

You get what you pay for! A life jacket should NEVER be purchased based on price alone.

A good life vest for Pugs is one that is made of high-quality material that doesn’t tear easily. It should also be chew resistant, in case your pup is a chewer.

The foam panels should have good buoyancy to help secure your dog’s head above the water.


Every doggie life vest is different and will have handles in different positions. Make sure the handles make it easy to lift your dog out of the water easily.

Opt for one that has a handle towards the back of the legs and one closer towards the shoulders.

This will prevent your dog’s head from tipping forward when you lift them out of the water.


Even though the days are longer in the summer, it’s important to ensure your dog’s life jacket has some sort of reflective material.

This will make it easy to see your pooch when it starts to get dark.


Dog life jackets come in several different colors. Opt for a bright colored life jacket to help enhance your dog’s visibility.

Your dog will be much safer around the water if they can see them. In addition, it will be easier for you to keep an eye on them if they are wearing a bright pink or neon yellow float coat.


Dogs come in all different kinds of sizes and shapes. Due to the short legs and neck of a Pug, opt for a float coat that offers buoyancy in the top section of the vest.

Buckles and Straps

There are so many different objects that can snag a life vest. Look for a doggie life jacket that is easy to take off in case of an emergency.

Leash Attachment Loop

The life jacket should have a secure D-Ring clip that makes it easy to attach your dog’s leash and control them around the water.

Now that you know what to look for, here are our recommendations:

5 Of The Best Life Jackets For Pugs

RUFFWEAR - Float Coat Dog Life Jacket for Swimming, Adjustable and Reflective, Blue Atoll, Medium
  • CANINE LIFE VEST: A life jacket designed just for dogs; Ideal for rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing, paddle boarding and swimming
  • EASY SWIMMING: Strategically placed closed-cell foam panels let your dog swim naturally and support an upright position; Strong, low-profile handle on the back to help dogs out of the water
Vivaglory Dog Life Jackets with Extra Padding for Dogs, Small - Blue
  • SAFETY: Upgraded with ripstop 600D oxford cloth, our patented design dog life jacket is more durable than normal ones. Built with extra padding, up to 50% more flotation keeping your pup safe in the...
  • Front Float and Reflective Trims: Removable front float assists in releasing your dog's neck pressure; Reflective detailing provides better nighttime safety and enhanced visibility in or out of the...
Outward Hound Dawson Dog Life Jacket, Medium, Red
  • MAXIMUM BUOYANCY - Side foam panels provide maximum buoyancy
  • WARMING INSULATION - Keeps dogs warm on cold swims
Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket, Fashionable Dog Life Vest for Swimming and Boating - Nautical Dog
  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE - Measuring Body Girth is critical for getting the best fit. Do not approximate or guess! Before placing your order, please measure your dog’s Body Girth at the widest point,...
  • KEEP YOUR FURRIEST MATE SAFE - Vibrant colors and reflective strips increase visibility of your playful pooch day and night. Our dog life vest is equipped with a top rescue handle for a quick and easy...
Outward Hound Granby Splash Ripstop Dog Life Jacket, XL, Orange, Model Number: 22022
  • SPLASH WITH SAFETY: Because dogs love to swim and we love to keep them safe, the Outward Hound Grandby Splash Life Jacket provides a comfortable, secure fit for tons of fun in the water.
  • PADDLE AND PLAY FRIENDLY: The Granby Splash dog life jacket is constructed with ripstop material that provides comfortable buoyancy in the water, and doesn’t restrict movement on land. A front neck...

#1 Ruffwear Float Coat For Dogs

The Ruffwear Dog Life Jacket is the most recommended product for both puppies and adult Pugs. This recommendation is based on the number of online reviews, material, and high-quality standards.

It is perfect for dogs that enjoy hanging with their human friends whether you’re swimming, kayaking, boating, paddle boarding, or just hanging out in the backyard by the pool.


  • Sizes: It comes in several different sizes from XX-Small to X-Large.
  • Easy Clip Buckles: The quick release side release buckles make it easy to take off/put on.
  • Fit: Adjust to fit different sizes and shapes with a telescoping neck closure.
  • Reflective Trim: Makes it easy to see your dog in low-light visibility and has a light loop attachment. (Beacon light not included)
  • Strong Handle: The low profile handle makes it easy to lift your dog out of the water.
  • Buoyancy: Closed Cell foam panels that keep your dog upright while swimming or floating.


  • Expensive: It is a little more on the expensive side, but it can save your dog’s life.

#2 Vivaglory Dog Lifesaver Preserver

The Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket has extra padding and provides up to 50% more floatation to keep your pup safe in the water. It comes in several different sizes which makes it great for puppies and adults.

This life vest contours to your dog’s body. You’ll feel secure knowing that it is constructed with a heavy-duty ripstop 600D oxford cloth that won’t tear easily.


  • Durability: Constructed with heavy-duty 600D oxford cloth.
  • Flotation: The extra padding provides 50% more floatation.
  • Reflective Trim: Makes it easy to see your dog in low visibility conditions and nighttime.
  • Multi-size: Available in sizes from XS to XL which makes it easy to fit all dogs of shapes and sizes.
  • Colors: It is available in 10 different colors.
  • Front Float: Helps keep your dogs head above the water while releasing the pressure in their neck.
  • Fasteners: Adjustable nylon straps and quick-release buttons that help make it safe and secure.


  • Sizing: Tends to fit a little small, so it’s advised to go one size bigger.

#3 Outward Hound Dawson Neoprene Canine Life Jacket

The Outward Hound Neoprene Dawson Summer Life Jacket is perfect for novice swimmers or just hanging out with the family in the backyard pool.

It is a high-quality doggie life jacket that offers maximum buoyance while keeping your pooch warm.


  • Sizes: It is available in XS – XL to fit all breeds regardless of size and shape.
  • Neoprene: Foam side panels that offer maximum buoyance and thermal insulation.
  • Quick Release Snaps: Make it easy to put on/take off.
  • Reflective Material: Make it easy to see your dog in low visibility conditions.
  • Adjustable Straps: Make it easy to get a proper fit on your pooch.
  • Secure Handles: Grab your dog quickly for easy rescue and restraint.
  • Colors: It comes in bright colors to make it a high visibility vest.


  • Straps: Some people with larger dogs have said that the straps come lose on their 100lb dog.

#4 Paws Aboard Nautical Dog Life Vest

The Paws Aboard Pet Life Jacket will keep your pooch safe while spending time on or around water. It is available in several different sizes which makes it perfect for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

The breathable mesh underbelly won’t collect water and will help dry your pet quickly. The Neoprene material will help keep your pup warm while swimming cooler water.


  • Sizes: it comes in several different sizes from XS – Large
  • Colors: The vest can be purchased in several bright colors that makes it highly visible.
  • Material: Flexible neoprene fabric adds buoyancy without chafing your pup’s legs.
  • Handles: The top rescue handle makes it easy to pull your dog out of the water.
  • Flotation Material: Helps reduce fatigue.
  • Underbelly: The breathable mesh underbelly will help protect your pooch from heat exhaustion.


  • Longevity: Perfect for people who don’t spend a lot of time at the lake. Won’t last long if you’re an avid lake goer.

#5 Outward Hound Granby RipStop Life Jacket

The Outward Hound Granby Ripstop Canine Life Jacket is a high-quality life vest that will keep your pup safe while enjoying time by the water.

The dual grab handles make it easy to grab your pooch in case of emergencies or to restrain them outside of the water.


  • Sizes: It is available in several different sizes to fit every dog regardless of shape and size.
  • Top Grab Handles: Make it easy for rescue and restraint.
  • Neck Float: Helps keep your dog’s head and nose above water.
  • Neoprene Belly Band: For added comfort and security for their chest and stomach.
  • Ripstop Material: Makes it buoyant in the water and comfortable on land.


  • Size: Some people have issues with the sizing running too small. Make sure you properly measure your dog’s girth before ordering.

#6 Frisco Dog Life Jacket For Pugs

Last but not least is the Frisco Dog Life Jacket. It is designed for safety and flexibility on both land and water. It is available in XS – XL sizes to fit every dog regardless of size and shape.


  • Colors: It is available in four sleek bright colors that make it highly visible.
  • Flotation Flap: Helps support your dog’s head above the water while releasing tension on the neck.
  • Buckles: Quick release side buckles make it easy to remove and put on.
  • Buoyancy: 20mm thick foam panels to help your dog float.
  • D-Ring: Makes it easy to attach your dog’s leash.


  • Discomfort: Some people have complained about their 180lb dog being irritated by the straps. This shouldn’t be an issue for a small dog like a Pug.

Final Word On Life Vests For Pugs

There are thousands of dogs that drown every year. Pugs are curious dogs that can get into trouble quickly, especially, when they are around water.

I’ve done my best to bring you some of the best dog life jackets to help protect your four-legged friend.

Now all you have to do is decide which one suits your pooch!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Pugs like water?

Some dogs do and some don’t. Most Pugs won’t mind being around water, but won’t want to get in and swim.

References And Further Reading

PetMD – Poolside Safety: Prevent Pet Drowning Deaths

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