Thursday, April 23, 2015

Around Water with Your Dog? Consider a Dog Life Jacket (Review)

This is a long story. It's a story about how I came to be the owner of a beautiful yellow and black float coat, or life jacket. People life jackets don't work for us dogs but we do need to be protected.

Here I am in the cabin of the fishing boat holding on for dear life!
A couple of years ago I was invited to go salmon fishing in Haida Gwaii, Canada. I quickly became a fan of ocean smells and beach combing. So I figured fishing from a boat would be right up my alley. I hopped aboard the boat and got settled on a cushion in the cabin. And then the journey started. We went out of the harbor and it got choppy. I was nervous. I had no life jacket and I wanted to GET OFF THE ROCKING BOAT! I held on for dear life.

We went through the narrows and found a fairly quiet place to fish. I relaxed and wanted to go out on the fantail and help. But no.... I was told to stay in the cabin because I had no life jacket. So I did. After eight long hours of fishing we headed in to pick up crab pots. That was exciting but I wasn't allowed too near them.
Here are those snappy crabs.

We reached the harbor with all the great fish and crab smells and I finally got to get off the boat and trot up the dock. DRY LAND! I would have kissed the grass if I didn't need to go potty so badly!

So that was my first adventure on a boat without a life jacket. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest, I'm around water a lot. We go to the ocean. we walk out on docks, we wade in the Columbia River. All without a life jacket.

This got my owner thinking.
(That can be dangerous)
My owner started thinking I might need a life jacket when she was visiting Gig Harbor. She saw a dog life jacket in a marine supply store there. Since I wanted to go on a sailboat some day and spend more time on the docks, I looked around the Internet for a spiffy float coat. AND I FOUND ONE!

I found a great website called The Dog Outdoors. I must have spent an hour looking at everything. They had dog packs, travel gear, harnesses, collars and a special dog bike leash. They had everything for the active dog, which is ME!

I like to think I could go on all sorts of adventures if I had the right gear. I read the page about dog flotation devices and found one I thought would suit me. I clicked on EzyDog jackets and read EVERYTHING. They had a sizing chart and even videos that showed how to put the life jacket on and how some dogs were swimming in theirs. I have never been swimming and am not sure I want to. I mainly want the jacket for safety (just in case).

Here's the video I watched:

I learned a lot but what I really liked was how the yellow and black jacket would compliment my beautiful black and tan coat. I'd be the envy of all dogs at the yacht club, right?

So we sent for the jacket. It arrived pretty quickly and I was so excited to get it. I tore open the package and there it was. My beautiful yellow life jacket!
I can't wait to try it on!
I tried it on and it seemed really big. In fact, I could hardly walk around with it on.

So my owner got ahold of the nice people at The Dog Outdoors and they said we could exchange it for a size medium.

Turns out my measurements were ok for a medium or a large. That's why I ended up with a jacket too large. They have a size chart. Look at it more carefully than I did.

As soon as they got the return, they sent out my new jacket. I tried it on and it fit great! I could walk around. And, I kind of fantasized that I could swim in it (Maybe).

I have to say my experience with The Dog Outdoors was a very good one. They are a small company, founded by a young couple in Texas. They have their own dogs. They also invented a special leash for those who want to bike ride with their dogs. Sometimes I just look through the website enjoying the videos and the travel and outdoor gear. I'm looking forward to hiking a lot this summer and, if I am lucky, I'll get a ride on a sailboat.
Here I am with a well-fitting jacket all ready for a summer of
sailing, exploring the beach and hanging out at the yacht club!
I highly recommend The Dog Outdoors. My experience was a good one and so far I like the quality of the product. Check them out!

Note: As is common in the pet blogging industry, the writer was provided with this product for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, Cinnamon believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

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Thanks for your comment. Love, Cinnamon