It’s the best way to keep your wave-surfing pup safe.

By Mary Tomlinson
June 27, 2018
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Courtesy of Ruffwear

There's no greater joy in life than bringing your dog to the beach—endless stretches of sand to play fetch, holes to dig, and of course, splashing in the waves. But it's much easier to enjoy a sunny beach day knowing your furry friend will be safe in the water.

That's where a dog life vest comes in—that's right, you can buy a life vest for your ocean-loving pup. Even if your dog knows how to swim, it's a smart idea to outfit him or her with this safety tool. They're especially helpful if your dog is a breed that's not a natural swimmer, or if you'll encounter strong waves or deep waters.

Related: The Best Cities for Walking Your Dog

When buying a dog life jacket, look for bright colors, a snug fit, a top handle for easy grabbing, and floatation material underneath the dog's chin and under their belly for maximum buoyancy. Lucky for you, we scoured the web to find the best dog life vests for a safe and fun beach vacation with your pup.

Top Choice: Ruffwear K9 Float Coat

Courtesy of Ruffwear

Sturdy, comfortable, and secure, this dog floatation device from Ruffwear is an excellent choice for keeping your pup safe at the beach or lake. With six different size options in a sleek design, the jacket also features a reflective trim for easy spotting in the waves. The strong top handle facilitates grabbing your dog out of the water, and—bonus!—it comes in three lovely color options: Wave Orange, Blue Atoll, and Sockeye Red.

Runner Up: Kurgo Surf N Turf Dog Life Vest

Courtesy of Kurgo

In addition to being a top-notch life vest, this Kurgo product also works as a rain jacket or light coat with its three removable shells. All Kurgo products are backed with a lifetime warranty, making this vest a solid investment for those who take their furry friend to the beach often. Oh, and did we mention there's a bottle opener on the back of the vest? Sold.

Budget Buy: Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

Courtesy of Outward Hound

For those who only bring their pup to the beach a few times a year but want to keep him or her safe, the life vests from Outward Hound are excellent options—and have over 4,500 reviews on Amazon! The chest and neck straps make adjusting the life jacket to your dog's size a cinch, and the front float feature keeps their head above the water. Outward Hound offers dog life vests for light splashing, swimming, and a sport option, but we'd have a hard time resisting the clownfish design on this jacket.