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Life jacket recommendations

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We’re planning on going on a canal boating weekend in a few weeks, and aware we need to invest in a life jacket for Ghillie.


does anyone have any recommendations for brands? They seems to range hugely in price and the one I see most regularly recommended is Ruffwear (top end of the price range, but I know their coats are excellent)


the main thing would be a back-handle so that we could haul him out should the worst happen and he goes overboard- he’s a right lump of a hound! It’s super unlikely as he’s likely to spend the entire weekend asleep in his bed, but just to be on the safe side


any advice or recommendations would be gratefully received :)

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Hi Lulah62,

I can’t recommend a life jacket, although have you asked the company that you are boating with? It’s a long shot but they might supply one. I’m assuming you’re in the UK? We recently took Buddy on a day barge trip on the Llangollen canal and we learnt two things: our dog is a landlubber. He hated every second of it (although this was not helped by our navigators frequently steering into the banks. It’s easy for me to criticise as I opted out of the steering in order to quaff prosecco). We ended up walking him half way back to the wharf over this landmark https://www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk/ thank heavens for all that prosecco.  Second lesson: our canals are a breeding ground for nasties! I swear that he didn’t go near the water or even get splashed but he picked up a skin infection - within three days he had a dozen blister-like things which quickly turned scabby. I never found out exactly what the infection was but I was £120 lighter leaving the vet with a week’s worth of antibiotics and some medicated shampoo. That’s more than his adoption fee!

Hopefully Ghillie has better sea-legs than Buddy, and a stronger constitution (to put things in perspective, Buddy won’t climb on his raised bed because it’s not stable enough), so don’t let my comments put you off, just beware that your trip might end up a bit more expensive than you planned.

Sorry that I can’t actually help you with the question you asked!

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

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@MerseyGrey Thanks for the heads up! It hadn’t occurred to me about the nasties and fragile hound skin! I hear you on vets bills that top their adoption fees too.. sigh


we’re sort of assuming he’ll be ok with the motion as he’s a regular train and car traveler, and as long as his bed is down he will sleep through anything, but we can cut the trip short if it’s not workable. Also, of course prosecco- I shan’t be doing any navigating either

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