Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Small Dog Life Vest Reviews: Be Safe and Look Good Doing it


EzyDog Small Dog Life Vest

Model wearing a EzyDog Micro Doggy Flotation Device

Just heard the tale of a little, beloved dog who went overboard – no one knows exactly how and no one noticed for a few minutes. Circling back and searching the waters, they found their little dog paddling gamely toward shore more than a mile away from it. Accidents happen. A good dog life vest can make this sort of moment a scary story rather than a tearful tragedy.

Here are a few of the popular dog life vests  for small dogs. Look for:

  • A handle up near the shoulders of the dog so when you grab it, you like the front our of the water first.
  • A narrow band around the front so the dog has plenty of room to paddle his front legs.
  • Enough buoyancy up front to keep his head up. Too much floatation behind can tip a little dog forward in the water.

EzyDog Small Dog Life Vest
EzyDog Micro Doggy Flotation Device (DFD)

Pardon me while I have a “too cute” + “well designed” moment. How thoughtfully this is done by EzyDog. Big handle up front, nice D-ring for a leash, wide padding for front floatation, two straps close together to give a snug but comfy fit on a little dog. Somes in two colors. If I had a tiny toy dog I wanted to keep safe in the water, I’d start here. Sizes XS, XXS and XXXS.

Jobe Dog Buoyancy Jacket

Jobe Progress Buoyancy Pet Jacket

Love the look of this item – the well-placed handle, the high leg cut out combined with a wide chest band. All very nice. But – it does not call itself a dog life vest or jacket. It is neoprene and neoprene varies in buoyancy.  I have written the company about it and we’ll see what they say.

Kong Small Dog Life Vest
KONG SPORT Aqua Pro Flotation Vest for Dogs

I love Kong products, in general, but am not a big fan of this dog life vest for your small dog. While I love the easy-to-see red handle placed well up front, the front end opening is too large, shifting the bulk of the floatation back on the dog’s body which makes tipping forward look like more of a risk. The down sloping neck support isn’t my favorite either. It appears to me to be a large dog life vest made smaller rather than a vest made specifically for small dogs, like the EzyDog product above. So, as much as it pains me to say it, buy all the Kong dog toys you want but skip this vest for now.

There are plenty of other small dog life vests to pick from on Amazon. Just keep the above criteria is mind and read the reviews carefully while you’re scrolling through your options.

Report back on whatever small dog life vest you select. I love getting first hand feed back!

Also see: Dog Life Jacket Reviews: How to Choose the Best


  1. I had used a life vest similar in design to the Kong one for my small sheltie when introducing him to swimming in a pool. We had constant problems with him tipping forward. If I didn’t continuously keep my hand on him to balance his position he wound up with his nose in the water!!

    Great blog, wish I’d read it before I’d tried to get him to enjoy swimming. I’ll have to try again with a better designed vest!

  2. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  3. We love to go sailing with our pup, so I’m definitely going to have to look into this. Do you know how comfortable they are for the dogs, and if dogs normally struggle to take them off?

    • Hi Shelly –

      Never had a dog get upset with one on as long as they can swing their front legs normally. When they can’t, they fall and they get understandably frustrated. But most dogs are fine after a minute or so of adapting. Is your dog a sensitive type?

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