Thursday, July 30, 2015

Product Review: Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket

The Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket is a personal flotation device sold by Petco. It features reflective stripes for visibility, a supportive mesh belly panel, and a handle on top for helping dogs out of the pool. It comes in two colors and six sizes to fit dogs with chests 11-44" around.
Photo by Erin Koski

Years ago when I had my cocker spaniel, personal flotation devices for dogs tended to consist of a somewhat contoured float thing with straps that went around the dog. The one we had did have a handle on top, but the design meant the dog's entire weight was suspended from two straps running under their body. Not exactly comfortable.

We've come a long way since then, and now even bottom-of-the-line doggy life jackets have supportive belly panels. This one also has two straps that buckle around the dog's middle, and another that goes around the front of their chest.

This is a bottom-of-the-line life jacket. The first thing I noticed about it was that the material seems very thin and flimsy. It should be just fine for occasional use, but for an active dog that's going to wearing it frequently, I would go with something higher quality. It's pretty thin, which means a nice low profile, but also less buoyancy. It's fine for smaller dogs, but I would hesitate to use it on a truly large dog, especially a poor swimmer. Still, it's a nice value. That extra bit of velcro on the side is actually for a strap on the other side that keeps the whole thing wrapped up neatly for storage.

Pros: Inexpensive, probably the lowest-priced PFD (personal flotation devices) for dogs right now. Supportive belly panel. Bright color provides excellent visibility. Not very bulky, low profile and close fit.

Cons: Sizes run small. Thin material means less flotation, so a bigger vest is better anyway. Xena is wearing a size large in this picture, which should actually be a little big for her according to the provided measurements. I'm not convinced this is the most durable material, and I don't think the handle is sturdy enough to lift a large dog either.

Bottom Line: Petco's Paws Aboard Doggy Life Jacket is an inexpensive way to keep a small or medium dog safe around a pool or on a boat. It's a good value for a dog that needs to get some confidence in the water. I would not recommend it for a large dog due to its limited buoyancy, or for major adventures for durability concerns.

No comments:

Post a Comment