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Whether for an afternoon or the duration of cottage season, spending time at the lake is one of the great joys of Canadian summers. Depending on your activity of choice, be it boating, swimming, or fishing, you'll want to make sure you pack everything you need to stay safe on the water, which, for many lake-bound folks, includes packing for the family dog.
The perfect companions for an outdoor adventure, many dogs look forward to the lake just as much as you do. Nevertheless, no matter how impressive their innate swimming skills may be, that doesn't always guarantee their safety.
If your dog has yet to master the ever-elusive doggy paddle, then a canine life jacket may be the insurance you need to guarantee a stress-free summer. One highly-rated life jacket designed to keep your four-legged friend afloat is the pet swimming preserver from GabeFish.
SHOP IT: Amazon, from $28
What is it?
GabeFish's dog life jacket is designed to keep pets safe in and around the water. It's crafted from a thick padded material and boasts reflective stripes so you can keep an eye on your dog throughout the day.
The swimming preserver considers your dog's back length, neck and chest circumference for a comfortable, chafe-free fit. With sizing starting from XXS, the smallest of life jackets are designed for pets weighing up to four pounds, while the largest size, XXL, is recommended for dogs weighing between 88 and 110lbs.
What people are saying
The GabeFish canine life jacket has earned an average rating of 4.4 stars on Amazon, with many shoppers commenting on how easy it is to adjust the fitting.
"[It's a] perfect fit," says one user. "[My dog] didn't seem at all bothered by it. She accidentally took a little dip in the water once off a kayak and floated perfectly. Handle on top is not noticeable until you need it."
"My little 5lb chihuahua goes everywhere with us. So when we decided to go tubing, she needed a life jacket," writes another shopper. "This is adorable, light, not bulky. She could walk just fine, and she was safe. And the price was amazing for the product."
One thing to note before you order the GabeFish life jacket is to consider the length of your dog's hair. Some shoppers have commented that the velcro tends to stick to the stomach hair of long-haired pups. "Dogs with long hair may get tangled with the velcro, stomach part of the jacket," explains one shopper. "I cut off that part of the jacket and kept the two straps and clips intact. It works great!"
SHOP IT: Amazon, from $28
For lake-bound dog owners who have short-haired pups like French Bulldogs, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas, the reviews are in your favour. However, if your dog has long hair, the comments suggest this could pose a problem.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.