life jacket for Golden Retriever

5 Best Life Jackets for Golden Retrievers – Safety First!

Golden Retrievers love being in the water. This isn’t surprising as they were bred to retrieve waterfowl, which includes hours of swimming on open waters. But as much as many Goldies are good swimmers, you shouldn’t take chances when it comes to their safety. You should always put your pet on a life jacket for Golden Retriever to help him stay afloat.

Like humans, Golden Retrievers can get tired of swimming. This can lead to drowning if your pet isn’t wearing a flotation device. So before the dreaded accident happens, you must consider getting one of these life jackets immediately:

 Our Top Pick! 
Outward Hound Granby
Splash Life Jacket
EzyDog Flotation
Device for Dogs
Vivaglory Neoprene
Dog Life Jacket
K9 Pursuits High Visibility
Dog Life Jacket
Kurgo Surf n’ Turf
Dog Life Jacket

Why your Golden Retriever needs a life jacket

Remember that even good swimmers can drown under unfavorable circumstances. So even if your Goldie grew up near bodies of water, it would benefit a lot from wearing a life jacket. The following are some of the reasons why you should get this flotation device:

  • It’s a lifesaver. Life jackets are called as such because it does one thing: save your dog’s life. It will keep your Goldie afloat in case it gets tired of swimming or gets washed away by a strong current.
  • Easier control for you. Dog life jackets have a large handle that lets you retrieve the dog from the water in an instant. It’s much better than pulling your dog’s limbs or wrestling with a panicking Golden Retriever.
  • Unseen water hazards. While the surface of the water may seem calm, there might be unseen hazards underneath that could harm your dog. Branches, foliage, and debris can injure your dog if you let it swim freely.
  • It provides warmth. During a chilly day, a life jacket will give your dog warmth to prevent hypothermia. Take note that a dog’s body temperature shouldn’t fall below 99F, or hypothermia may set in.
  • It makes swimming lessons easier. Contrary to common beliefs, dogs aren’t born with the ability to swim. Some of them need training, which will be easier with a dog life jacket on.

Life Jacket for Golden Retriever – My Top 5 Picks!


OUR TOP PICK: Outward Hound Granby Splash Life Jacket
life jacket for Golden Retriever

Product Name: Outward Hound Granby Splash Life Jacket

Product Description: If you’re looking for a life jacket for Golden Retriever, you should consider this one from Outward Hound. It has thick foam to provide excellent buoyancy even on strong currents. I also like the foam chin panel that keeps your dog’s head up while on the water. Aside from that, this has reflective accents to keep your pet visible on the water. And in case you need to retrieve your dog, the two rescue handles will come in handy. The Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket has adjustable side-release buckles that make it easy to put on and off. It’s also equipped with a neoprene belly band for added support and warmth. This has a long design, which is perfect for large canines like Golden Retrievers.

Offer price: $$$

Availability: InStock

  • Buoyancy
  • Fit and Size
  • Adjustments
  • Comfort
  • Value for Money


Meanwhile, its outer shell is made of polyester Ripstop that can take the beating of saltwater. It’s available in extra-small to extra-large sizes as well as five different colors.
I like this life jacket because you can put it on even if your dog is still leashed. You simply lay it at the back of your dog like a saddle, then fasten it on the side and bottom.


Elongated design for better coverage
Thick foam floater
Neoprene belly band


It runs a little small


EzyDog Flotation Device for Dogs

life jacket for Golden Retriever

Another dog life jacket I swear by is the EzyDog Flotation Device. Compared to its previous model, this one has 50% more flotation, so your dog is guaranteed safe on the water.

Moreover, this dog life jacket has adjustable neoprene straps that provide a tight fit. There’s also an ergonomic grab handle, so you can easily get your dog out of the water if need be. For added safety, this flotation device has a reflective integrated trim to keep your pet visible on the water even at night.

Aside from that, this has a contoured neck design that keeps the dog’s head above water without impeding its natural swimming patterns.

This life jacket fits all breeds and sizes, thanks to its wide range of sizes. EzyDog has been recognized as one of the best makers of dog flotation devices, and this one proves it time and again.

If your Golden Retriever is a bad swimmer, you should never get near the dock without this. It will allow your dog to swim naturally without the risk of drowning.

Overall, this life jacket suits dogs up to 60 lbs. in weight. It’s also available in red and yellow colors, whichever you find more visible on the water.

  • 50% more foam for better buoyancy
  • Reflective trim and grab handles
  • Contoured neck design
  • Bulky at first, but it will soon conform to your dog’s body

Vivaglory Neoprene Dog Life Jacket

life jacket for Golden Retriever

The Vivaglory Neoprene Dog is made with buoyant foam floaters with a neoprene frame. This will keep your dog afloat and warm at the same time.

Aside from that, this has a reflective polyester trim as well as quick-release buckles. The edges also have Velcro fasteners to ensure that the life jacket is properly fitted into your dog’s body.

This life jacket also comes with two ergonomic grab handles, so you can easily lift your dog off the water. There’s also a padded neck panel that keeps your dog head afloat without chafing its neck. This part is adjustable, too, for your convenience.

I have to tighten this a bit after my Golden Retriever gets wet, but it stays on quite nicely. The reflective trims are also very visible at night, and it runs through the back of the jacket.

For this price range, this dog life jacket is already a steal. You can get this in large and extra-large sizes to suit your Golden Retriever. You can also pick from colors pink, blue, red, and orange.

  • Reflective polyester trims
  • Two ergonomic grab handles
  • Padded neck panel
  • It runs a little big, so always take your dog’s measurements before buying.

K9 Pursuits High Visibility Dog Life Jacket

For Goldies weighing 39 to 45kg, I highly recommend the K9 Pursuit Dog Life Jacket. This has a high visibility (Hi-Vi) design packed with extra flotation. The reflective accents are extremely bright and easy to spot in the dark.

Aside from that, this has an adjustable chest band with neoprene for added warmth. On top, it has dual grab handles that let you lift your dog off the water easily.

Moreover, this uses quick-release buckles with an added D-ring on top, so you can attach a leash if need be. The K9 Pursuits Dog Life Jacket is also equipped with a padded neck panel to keep your Goldie’s face afloat without choking or intervening with their natural swimming movements.

Overall, this is a perfect life jacket if you’re taking your dog out at sea. I also like how well the foam is distributed all over my dog’s body without being too bulky.

However, I noticed that this is in a smaller range, though it fits my Goldie very well. It’s also a little thinner than I expected, so it’s a wee bit buoyant than the other options I reviewed here.

  • Dual grab handles
  • The adjustable neoprene chest band
  • Bright reflective accents
  • It runs a bit smaller than most

Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket

My last pick is the Kurgo Surf n’ Turf Dog Life Jacket. The best thing here is that this has a 2-season design. It means that it works as a flotation device and a raincoat if you remove the flotation layer. Whether your dog is hopping on the boat or walking on a rainy day, the Kurgo Surf n’ Turf will be a valuable purchase.

Aside from that, this has two control handles, placed vertically and horizontally, to give you better control of your dog. I also like the open chest design that allows natural movement as well as a neck paddling that keeps the dog’s face afloat.

The Kurgo Surf n’ Turf also has reflective trims for added visibility, as well as two D-rings where you can attach a leash. It’s easy to put on and off a dog, thanks to its multiple points of adjustments. This has a super forgiving fit, so getting the right size for your dog is quite easy.

Overall, you can get this dog life jacket in extra-small to extra-large sizes. All of it has a nylon outer shell that wicks away moisture, be it saltwater or freshwater.

  • Vibrant color and bright reflective trims
  • Forgiving fit
  • Two traverse handles
  • The bottom straps can be stitched better

How to choose a dog life jacket

When picking a dog life jacket, make sure that you consider the following aspects:


A life jacket for Golden Retriever should have enough foam material to keep your dog afloat. Since Golden Retrievers are large, it’s important to get one with thick padding. This guarantees that the life jacket will hold the dog’s weight with ample allowance.

✔️Size and fit

Another important consideration is the size and of the life jacket. Like buying clothes, the flotation device should fit your dog nicely. Always measure your dog’s body and compare it to the sizing chart of the brand. Most of the time, dog life jackets are adjustable and forgiving when it comes to fit.

If your Golden Retriever is still a puppy, expect that you’re going to purchase a replacement after a few months. These doggos grow fast, so its life jacket 6 months ago may not fit just as well.


A dog life jacket should have a neoprene belly band to give your dog warmth while on water. It will also ensure a snug fit even if the life jacket gets wet.

Aside from that, look for a nylon shell since it wicks moisture efficiently. It’s also easy to clean, and stains are easy to remove.


When it comes to dog life jackets, I always look for quick-release buckles and adjustable straps. This allows me to tailor-fit the jacket on my dog’s body. It also keeps the flotation device in place even as your dog swims.

✔️Safety features

Safety features like reflective trims and grab handles are essential when buying life jackets for your dog. Goldies are very adventurous, and they may try to get into the water at night. When this happens, the reflective trim will easily let you spot the doggo on the water.

On the other hand, grab handles give you control over your pet. You can easily grab it from the water or prevent it from jumping off the boat. Some are fitted with D-rings where you can attach the leash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can dogs wear a human life jacket?

A: Human life jackets aren’t designed for dogs, so you shouldn’t use them as an alternative flotation device. Using a human life jacket on your Golden Retriever may do more harm than good, especially if your dog panics. It’s best to get your dog a pet life jacket for guaranteed safety.

Q: Do dogs need life jackets in pools?

A: It’s not necessary to put a life jacket on your dog while swimming in the pool. However, if your pup is yet to learn how to swim, there’s nothing to lose if you’re going to get them one. It’s also a good decision to throw a life vest on your dog if you can’t supervise him in the pool.

Q: How do I get my dog used to a life jacket?

A: Almost all dogs will try to take off the life jacket the first time they wear it. The key here is associating the life jacket with treats and rewards. Putting it on your dog at home will also help in getting him used to the sensation of wearing one.

Final words

A life jacket for Golden Retriever will save your dog from various hazards in the water. It will also give you peace of mind that your pet is safe as you introduce them to water activities. Whether your dog is a good swimmer or not, there’s nothing to lose if you’re going to put him on a life jacket.

What do you think of these dog life jackets? Share your thoughts below!

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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