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Swimming is a great way to get your Rottweiler some exercise! Even though they aren’t exactly the best swimmers, that doesn’t stop them from bravely following their favorite person (that’s you) in the water!
But if you’re taking your Rottweiler swimming anywhere deeper than a kiddy pool, you should consider a life jacket.
Rottie’s have big muscular bodies that help them perform impressive feats of strength on land, but in the water, all those muscles tend to make them sink. That means Rottweilers have to work extra hard just to stay afloat. Most Rotties, regardless of gender, weigh at least 100 pounds which make the chances of you helping out a lot less likely.
Simply put, that’s a lot of dog to try and swim with and support.
We’re going to take a look at my 5 favorite life jackets to keep you and your Rottie safe along with everything you need to look for in the perfect dog life jacket.
But if you want to skip the reviews and just pick up a great life jacket for your Rottie, I recommend the Outward Hound Granby life jacket. It comes in several colors, has a whole pile of positive reviews, and is easy on the budget. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.
If you want to look ahead and see what else made the list you can see them here:
- Best Overall: Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
- Runner Up: Vivaglory Dog Life Jackets
- Best on a Budget: Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket
- Cutest Style: Queenmore Dog Life Jacket
- Cutest Style on a Budget: Frisco Shark Dog Life Jacket
Before we get into the individual reviews, let’s break down what to look for in a great life jacket!
What To Look For In A Life Jacket For Your Rottweiler
Okay, I’ve already mentioned that your Rottweiler is heavy which why a life jacket is a good idea in the first place.
So why would we need handles?
Even if you aren’t trying to bicep curl your Rottie, depending on where you’re swimming they may need a little help getting out of the water. If you’re swimming in an area with a shore, like a beach or a lake, the handles aren’t something you’ll make much use of.
But if instead, you need to help your Rottie back into a boat or the deck of a pool, solid handles can make this process much easier. Our best overall pick has two handles but if you don’t need them check out our budget option.
Buoyancy and Balance
In order to do its job, a life jacket will of course need to have good buoyancy but the overall balance of the jacket is also critical. Rottweilers are especially top-heavy and sometimes need extra help keeping their big heads out of the water!
A poorly balanced life jacket can actually make things worse by pushing your Rottweiler’s face forward and into the water. The life jackets on this list have a little extra padding on the front which can give extra buoyancy where Rotties need it most…their big heads!
Some life jackets will include a buoyancy rating as well but this is where things can quickly get confusing. That’s because your dog isn’t made of rocks and so doesn’t need their entire weight to be supported by the life jacket. Fat, for example, actually floats so it doesn’t count towards the total amount of weight that needs to be supported by a life jacket.
However, for most Rottweilers, as long as you’ve got the correct size chest you’ll be okay. Just be aware of buoyancy ratings and whether or not they’re considering the total weight of your Rottie or their weight after fat and water has been subtracted.
Comfort and Ease of Use
We don’t want anything complicated here and simple buckles are best. Not only are they easier to put on a happy and wiggly Rottweiler (who’s ready to get in the water) but they’re also easier to remove in case your pup gets caught on something.
There’s also the issue of comfort for your Rottie and if you’ve ever had to use an e-collar (AKA the cone of shame) then you know just how hard a dog will work to remove something they don’t want to wear. While comfort will depend on your individual Rottie’s preferences, the life vests on this list have high reviews in terms of comfort and ease of use.
Style and Color
Yes! Style is important and you want your Rottweiler to look good!
But picking the right color isn’t just for style- it’s also an important safety consideration. Brighter colors make your pup more visible which is critical if you’re swimming in areas with boats. This is even more important for Rotties since their black and tan coat can easily blend in if you’re swimming in deeper, darker water. Some life jackets also come with fluorescent panels that can further increase visibility not only in the water but also on land.
However, if you’re just swimming in a pool or small area then the color isn’t as much of a factor and it might be time for a shark fin!
Keep this in mind as you review any life jacket, including the ones on this list.
How To Size A Life Jacket For Your Rottweiler
We’re just going to go over this quickly since each manufacturer is going to have its own guidelines. In general, the primary measurement is the girth of your Rottweiler’s chest. Not only will this impact how the chest strap fits, but the entire size of the overall jacket.
Sizing is relatively straight forward but it’s important that you measure your Rottie’s chest at the deepest point, otherwise you’re going to end up with a life jacket that’s too small.
Finally, if your pup is between sizes it’s always a good idea to size up.
Best Life Jackets for Rottweiler
Now that you know exactly what to look for, let’s take a look at our favorites!
Best Overall: Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
- SIZING BASED ON GIRTH: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Whether your dog is short and stout or long and...
- SPLASH WITH SAFETY: The Outward Hound Granby Splash life jacket for dogs is designed with bright colors...
Our best overall pick has everything you need in a life jacket for just about any dog- including your Rottweiler.
Outward Hound has several life jackets, but our best overall pick is the Granby model which has thicker side panels for increased buoyancy. That’s perfect for Rottweilers that have a lot of heavy muscle and often need all the help they can get staying afloat.
The Granby also has two handles for helping pups aboard. Considering that your Rottie likely weighs at least 100 pounds, you’ll probably need two hands to give them a proper boost. It’s also got a good balance of buoyancy with extra padding on the front strap to keep your Rottie’s big head out of the water! You’ll also find reflective accents for extra visibility and all of the 5 color options are high-visibility.
That means this jacket has every one of the basic features we’d want to see at a price that won’t break the bank. It’s also got more than 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon at the time of writing including a handful from happy Rottie parents.
It’s hard to go wrong with this vest and it’s ready for just about anything you can throw at it. You can see more reviews and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: This vest is versatile and has a little bit of everything. It will work for just about any swimming situation.
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see a D-ring for connecting the leash! As it stands, you’ll have to stick with your Rottie’s collar if you need to use a leash.
Runner Up: Vivaglory Dog Life Jackets
- Measure Before Purchase: before choosing a size, please measure your dog's ribcage at the DEEPEST part;...
- Safety: Upgraded with ripstop 600D cloth, our patented design dog life jacket is more durable than normal...
Our runner-up is the Vivaglory dog life jacket which has many of the same features as our best overall but also comes in a total of 10 different colors! My favorite is yellow but they’ve got something for everyone including some interesting looking camo options.
I’m a big fan of the front float on this jacket and it’s a bit more robust than some of the others on this list. There’s also a single handle that’s oriented nose to tail which some folks may find easier to use. While most colors are bright enough to increase visibility, there are also several reflective accents added across the vest.
Overall, it’s a very close second to our best overall pick and you really can’t go wrong with either one. You can read more reviews and check out the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: The fact that there are 10 different color options! You should have no problem finding the perfect color to match your Rottie’s favorite collar!
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see some more padding added to this vest. While it will help Rotties stay afloat, it’s better for pups that already have some experience in the water.
Best on a Budget: Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket
This jacket from Frisco has a double handle style that’s similar to our best overall pick. You’ll also find that it has the same general design, including an extra bit of foam across the chest for increased bouncy on the front end. However, it doesn’t quite have the same level of extra padding that we find in Granby.
That being said, it still does a great job and is big enough to actually fit our burly chest Rotties.
Here’s what one Chewy reviewer had to say, “I bought this because it has handles on the back to help me steady my elderly Rottweiler mix and help him up the stairs. I’m leaving this review because I know how difficult it is to find products that fit dogs over 100lbs.”
But she’s not the only one that’s happy and this life jacket has over 500 five stars ratings currently!
It’s also very budget-friendly which is something I consistently see from the Frisco brand across a variety of products. Frisco is only available on Chewy and you can check out today’s price along with more reviews by clicking here.
What I Love About It: It’s got everything you need, including testimonials from happy Rottie parents, without breaking the bank.
What I Wish It Had: While it’s certainly not a deal-breaker, I’d love to see more colors available. As it stands, you don’t have many options to choose from!
Cutest Style: Queenmore Dog Life Jacket
- Waterproof & Secure Material: Make of high quality oxford cloth and polyethylene foam, an advanced...
- Features: Adjustable nylon straps, quick release buckles, heavy duty yet more comfortable magic sticker...
What could be cuter than giving your Rottie a little shark fin?
How about a mermaid tail!
This doggy life jacket from Queenmore gives you both options along with everything else you’d expect in a quality puppy floatation device. If you’re having trouble imaging your Rottie with a dorsal fin, check this video review from an Amazon reviewer with a happy Rottie swimming and showing off!
But this jacket is also functional with a large chest strap to keep your pup’s head up and an extra sturdy handle for giving them a boost. The weight chart also goes up to 121 pounds which should be enough for most Rottweilers, but always use your Rottie’s chest measurement and not just the weight to be safe.
The biggest downside is the color and if you watched the video above you can see just how much that Rottweiler blends into the water. While that’s not a big deal in many cases, higher visibility is never a bad thing when your dog is off-leash. So if there’s any chance your dog could wander offer where they shouldn’t, you might want to go with the bright pink mermaid tail or another option from this list.
You can see more reviews and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: Two words: shark fin! But if you’d prefer something softer mermaid tail would work too. But seriously, I love the style and these life jackets are both cute and functional as long as you’re not going into uncharted territory.
What I Wish It Had: While there is some reflective material, I’d love to see options for brighter colors just to play it safe. After all, it would still be very clear that your dog is a shark even if the life jacket came in yellow!
Cutest Style on a Budget: Frisco Shark Dog Life Jacket
I hope you like shark fins because we’ve got another shark dog style life jacket that will look adorable on a big Rottie!
Another life jacket from Frisco, the Chewy-only brand, this has the same great quality as our other jackets at a very affordable price. This jacket also uses a double handle style but they’re a bit closer together to make room for the fin!
Even though this specific jacket only has a handful of reviews, it looks like the sizing is the same as the other Frisco jacket which means it’s Rottie approved. The only downside is that Frisco doesn’t have a variety of cute styles so there’s no mermaid tail to fall back on!
Still, if you’re sold on the shark-style and don’t want to spend more than you have to, you can check out the latest price on Chewy by clicking here.
What I Love About It: What’s not to love? You can have your very own Rottweiler shark without breaking the bank!
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see more silly and cute aquatic styles but we’ll just have to stick with the shark fin for now!
While it’s not always easy to find life jackets and other Rottweilers accessories that are big enough for these burly pups, they are out there!
And even though Rotties can swim, having a life jacket can not only give you peace of mind but also make the experience even more fun!
What vest do you like the best? Are you going for a more traditional style or should people look out for the Rottweiler shark!?