Considering the number of dogs and cats that one sees on boats, it’s no surprise that some manufacturers have begun to offer a full range of PFDs for pets.

While it’s tempting to dismiss the very idea of pet PFDs – don’t dogs float? They invented the dog paddle, didn’t they? – the reality is that like humans, pets can also tire quickly in cold water, or suffer from medical complications that could prevent them from swimming to shore.

Most pet life jackets are designed with some fort of foam flotation that wraps around the animal’s torso and neck. Apart from providing upright flotation, they also help retain body heat in cold water. As with humans, the fit is critical – check to ensure that the device is capable of holding the animal’s head clear of the water.

It’s also a good idea to select a pet PFD that incorporates a grab handle – a sensible and useful feature that makes it a snap to hoist the animal back into the boat.

Pets rely on us to ensure their safety. Investing in a proper PFD for them only makes sense. Besides, given the wide range of colors and styles available, it’s the ultimate fashion accessory!

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