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Any husky owner can agree that our fluffy companions love nothing more than to exercise by our sides. Swimming is a great way for you and your dog to spend a hot day together, as it is a full-body and low impact exercise that is plenty of fun!
Although they may have the build and drive for it, swimming just doesn’t come naturally to huskies. Whether your husky is just learning how to swim or you’re going into rougher waters, it’s a great idea to give your husky the added safety of a life jacket.
There are plenty of life jackets on the market for medium and large dogs, and they certainly aren’t all made equal. We’ll go over 5 of our best picks for your husky to stay safe and stylish.
If you want to skip ahead, you can check out our choices here:
- Best Overall: Vivaglory Neoprene Life Vest for Large Dogs with Dual Rescue Handles
- Best for Pools and Beginners: Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
- Sportiest Design: Paws Aboard Neoprene Dog Life Vest for Swimming and Boating
- Best Budget Pick: Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest
- Cutest Design: ASENKU Dog Shark Life Jacket
Otherwise, we’ll go over the traits that make a life jacket husky-approved, discuss sizing your husky’s jacket, and take a closer look at each pick.
What to Look for in a Life Jacket for Huskies
With countless life jackets available for medium-sized breeds, it can be overwhelming at times to narrow down your options. Of course you should seek out general quality in terms of stitching and materials, but what about husky-specific requirements? There are a few key things to look out for.
Buoyancy and Balance
What good is a life jacket if it doesn’t float? There are plenty of life jackets on the market for dogs, but many of these are too buoyant or not buoyant enough. More importantly, if your dog’s jacket isn’t buoyant in the right places, it can be uncomfortable and even counterproductive.
While human life jackets are highly regulated and must explicitly state how buoyant they are, dog life jackets have no such regulation. In other words, one life jacket can be twice as buoyant as another with no indication on the box! To help your dog (and your wallet) you should prioritize products which are high-quality and balanced rather than cheap or pretty.
D-Rings and Attachment Points
Whether you’re swimming in a pool or a pond, there’s a distinct possibility your husky will stumble upon something fun that you need to remove them from.
Perhaps they may spot a distant animal to chase after, or maybe they are a little too drawn to some interesting vegetation. They might even just want to stay in the water forever.
You can sit and holler your husky’s name all day long, but let’s be real– for as sweet as huskies are, they’re 1. stubborn. and 2. fast. As you may be able to imagine, this combination can spell disaster pretty easily any time your husky is off-leash.
Although your husky can wear their collar or harness along with a life jacket, most owners find this inconvenient. For a start, getting these fabrics dry after a long swim can be a pain in the rear, and more often than not your pup’s design collar will wind up smelling like mildew. Plus, they can rub up uncomfortably against a life jacket or even slide off.
Having a leash on is a good idea, even for the rare well-behaved husky. It’s easy for good swimmers to get caught up in a dangerous rip tide or to be in the path of a negligent boat operator.
With all this in mind, it just makes more sense to seek out a life jacket with a d-ring or other good attachment point in the first place.
While an attached leash is likely enough to keep your husky in sight, the addition of a handle can be a surprisingly valuable tool. With a weight range of 35-60 pounds depending on breeding and gender, lifting a soaking wet husky out of the water is no easy feat, even for the fittest of us. Couple that with a squirmy breed that doesn’t like to be restrained or an exhausted ragdoll, and you have a recipe for chaos and annoyance.
A nice, sturdy handle can also quite literally be a lifesaver to pull your husky away from potential danger. Instead of tugging your husky by the leg or collar, it’s better to be able to pull them away by their core.
Adjustability and Fit
As far as dogs go, huskies are a pretty moderately sized and proportioned breed. Unlike dogs with a barrel chest like a boxer or a beefy neck like a bulldog, most life jackets will fit the average husky alright right out of the box. Of course, “alright” isn’t good enough for something like a life jacket. For your dog to be safe and properly supported, their life jacket needs to fit them very well.
That said, every husky has their own unique body shape, and even an individual husky’s dimensions can change pretty dramatically over time. Buying a life jacket with many high-quality points of adjustment will not only save you money but also ensure that you can give your dog the snug fit it deserves.
For as much as husky owners may loathe their dog’s coat when their biannual shed comes around, a husky’s double-coat is more than just pretty. Beneath the dirt and water-repellent guard hairs, a husky’s dense undercoat is able to trap air against their body. This moderately warm barrier around your husky is able to keep them warm or cool depending on the weather (as long as you don’t shave it, of course!).
So why would you need to worry about your husky staying warm, right? It’s true that huskies are famous for their ability to keep warm in the snow, but when a husky’s coat gets wet, all of this great temperature regulation goes away.
A husky that has just gone swimming has a big coat full of cold water, and even during seemingly moderate days hypothermia is a distinct possibility.
Thankfully, there are plenty of fabrics and designs that do a great job at keeping your pup nice and insulated in and out of the water. When it comes to picking out a life jacket for your husky, these should be emphasized.
Visibility and Color
With their big round eyes and long, fluffy coat, huskies are a strikingly beautiful breed that are likely to catch attention wherever they go. That said, even the largest and fluffiest of huskies are easy to lose track of in the water, especially at night.
A good life jacket should always be visible for a variety of reasons. It’s always vital for you to know where your husky is, but it’s often more important that boaters and strangers know there’s a furry friend in the water.
This added visibility can be in the form of bright colors, reflective fabric, or even a shark fin! As long as anyone can spot your husky at a distance, their life jacket has done its job.
How to Size a Husky’s Life Jacket
As previously stated, huskies are moderately sized and proportioned breeds that tend to fit well in harnesses and life jackets with much less adjustment than other breeds. Husky owners will often internally debate whether they should get their dog a medium, large, or extra large. The same dog can be all these sizes from product to product, after all!
Although many brands may use dog weight or breed for simplicity, measuring your dog with these methods is more likely to be inconvenient in the long run. Instead, many manufacturers note that the most accurate way to size your dog’s jacket is to pull out the tape measure.
Measure your husky’s neck and chest at their broadest points to properly size them and examine the manufacturer’s listed sizings to decide which to buy.
Best Life Jackets for Huskies
Best Overall: Vivaglory Neoprene Life Vest for Large Dogs with Dual Rescue Handles
✅ High-quality neoprene
✅ Two sturdy handles
✅ Excellent buoyancy
✅ Highly visible design
Unlike many other life jackets on the market, the Vivaglory Neoprene life vest is made exclusively from neoprene fabric. Neoprene is a high quality fabric that is used primarily in human wet suits as it is flexible, water-proof, buoyant, and insulating. As a result, this life jacket is comfortable, stylish, and will keep your husky warm in cooler waters.
Neoprene is somewhat buoyant on its own due to how it is made, but this jacket goes above and beyond in terms of incorporating extra flotation so that it is helpful at keeping your dog afloat but not restrictive.
Another great feature of this product is that it has not one but two handles. This makes it easier for you to pick your husky up with both hands and helps distribute their weight more evenly.
Not only are there 6 bright colors to pick from, but these vests all come equipped with reflective trims on their top and side. In other words, this jacket provides excellent visibility and is a good option for low-light conditions. You can read more reviews and check out today's price here.
Best for Pools and Beginners: Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
✅ 20,000+ 5 star reviews
✅ Removable chin float
✅ High-quality fabric and design
✅ Multiple handle design
❌ No D ring
This jacket has topped many of our lists for good reason– it’s superbly designed with excellent fabric quality, a unique two-handle design, and has over 20,000 5-star reviews on its belt. So why, you may be wondering, isn’t it at the top of this list?
It all comes down to one single issue: the lack of a d-ring. While this isn’t an issue with slower or more obedient breeds such as bulldogs, a husky can run wild without a leash. Although you can use a collar and leash, a headstrong dog like a husky really does better with a harness.
That said, this lack of a d-ring isn’t really an issue in a controlled environment, such as teaching your dog to swim in a backyard pool. In fact, the front float head support is great to help a novice swimmer keep their head out of the water and can be removed for more experienced swimmers.
If you’re looking for a great jacket for a novice swimmer, check out the Outward Hound Jacket here!
Sportiest Design: Paws Aboard Neoprene Dog Life Vest for Swimming and Boating
✅ Comfortable, sporty design
✅ High-quality neoprene fabric
✅ Cute, Visible Style
❌ Moderate buoyancy
Your dog may not be able to be a life guard, but they can still look like one! The cute and simple look to this jacket is one of the immediate things that sticks out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not practical too. With reflective tape and bright colors, it’s easy to see from afar.
More importantly, the design of this jacket emphasizes comfort and sportiness over anything else, with a breathable mesh underbelly to provide a snug yet comfortable fit. The rest of the jacket is made up of neoprene fabric, which as you may know by now, is flexible and easy to move in.
That said, you may want to look elsewhere if your dog is a new swimmer or if you’re going to spend extended time in the water.
As reviewers have noted, the Paws Aboard vest isn’t as buoyant as other jackets on this list. It still gets the job done for intermediate swimmers or brief swims, but it won’t help with endurance or do the work for your dog.
For a sporty and stylish jacket that will keep your pup safe in a pinch, check out this jacket here!
Best Budget Pick: Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest
✅ Highly visible
✅ Very adjustable
✅ Well-balanced and buoyant
❌ Thin handle
❌ Not as Warm
This jacket may be easy on the wallet, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad quality. The Vivaglory ripstop life vest features many of the same features that make its neoprene counterpart stand out. For a start, it’s very visible, with 10 bright colors to choose from and reflective trim. Additionally, this jacket is very adjustable with multiple points of adjustment to snugly and comfortably fit your dog. Finally, it is highly buoyant and helps dogs stay afloat.
Why the difference in price then? Rather than neoprene, this jacket is made out of Ripstop fabric. Ripstop fabrics, typically made of nylon, are those that are woven in a way that makes them highly resistant to tearing and often water-resistant. This means that the material the Vivaglory Ripstop dog life vest is made of is naturally very durable, but it doesn’t provide the same warmth or insulation that its neoprene counterpart does.
Additionally, this jacket only has one handle which is not as sturdy as those found in our top pick. Even with these issues, the Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Vest is an excellent pick, especially for those on a budget. To learn more and see today’s prices, check it out here!
Cutest Design: ASENKU Dog Shark Life Jacket
✅ Adorable and visible design
✅ Sturdy Fabric
✅ Buoyant for Large Dogs
❌ Strange sizing
Talk about CUTE! With this jacket, your husky will be one shark (or mermaid!) you won’t mind swimming with. With its tall fin and bright color options, this design is clearly as visible as it is adorable. In a word, this jacket is sturdy, meaning it can handle a bit of roughhousing from a husky without getting too much wear and tear.
Like the above jacket, it is made primarily of ripstop fabric, but this life vest also incorporates mesh and polyester inner fabric to make it cool and quick-drying. Fastening is achieved with both a velcro underbelly and quick release buckles for a secure yet comfortable fit.
With plenty of flotation fabric dispersed throughout the neck and body, this jacket is buoyant enough for dogs of all sizes. Unfortunately, many reviewers have reported that the sizing on this jacket is often inaccurate. In particular, many have claimed that it is too large to fit their dogs. But if you’re willing to make some adjustments and try out a few sizes, this unique jacket will surely grab the attention of everyone who sees it.
To learn more and see today’s prices, check it this jacket here!
Although huskies are not naturally predisposed toward swimming, this breed can quickly learn to adore playing in the water. Having a life jacket for your husky will go a long way in keeping it safe while it learns to swim or let your dog safely accompany you on trips.
With our five picks above, you can help make sure your husky’s time spent in and around water is fun and safe!