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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Keeping Your Dog Safe During Boating
and Open Water Swimming

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
Dad Dresses Tanner for Safety

© Carrie Boyko
Secure My Neck and
I'll Be Ready to Fetch
Labor Day weekend is often a time for family water fun. Even with all my kids gone, I'm able to enjoy a boating adventure with Tanner. He's eager to try out his new Doggles Flotation vest provided to us by my new friends, Kamila and Anna, at Pure Pup Shop

Although our lake is largely free of gators and other hazards, you just never know what danger may lurk below the surface. And then there's the What If Tanner were to jump or fall overboard? Yikes!

© Carrie Boyko
Chin Guard Success
Ready to Fetch Again
There are a number of reasons I chose this particular vest over others I have seen on the market. When considering the possibility of a dog overboard, I realized that more may be needed that just a vest to keep him at the surface. A chin support on this model is particularly special as it offers flotation for the dog's head if he loses consciousness during a fall. Genious!

We let Tanner test the vest with and without the chin support to see what would happen. He seemed completely oblivious to it's presence either way, so leaving it in place would seem like your safest option. However, it's nice to have the choice to remove it. It zips on and off, assuring a secure position, and also has a Velcro adjustment. 

© Carrie Boyko
Nice Jump, Tanner
On top of all that, the chest adjustment includes velcro and a webbing strap, much like those on water safety vests for humans. The vest itself is thick and made of heavy nylon fabric. When I compared it to our family's PFD III's, the Coast Guard's required safe rating for boating vests, I felt like Tanner had all the bells and whistles on this baby. Here's more...

© Carrie Boyko
Up and Out--Very Easy
Having a long body, I expected that the vest would only come half way down his length, maybe covering his rib cage if I was lucky. Surprisingly, the vest is longer, nearly reaching his tailbone on top, and slightly shorter for male dog comfort in the tummy area.

© Carrie Boyko
 Swimming Ease Means Extra Energy for Fun
I've seen the quick lift handle on many little dog vests before, but was surprised to see one on a water safety vest, especially for a 70 lb. dog. We did test it out by lifting Tanner from the lake to the swim platform at the back of the boat, and found it quite sturdy, as it is stitched well and connected to reinforced webbing that creates the strapping around the body. 

© Carrie Boyko
Energy for Tug of War too!
The straps that secure at the belly area have excellent adjustments that don't slip. It may take a couple of extra minutes to fit the vest to your dog securely, but that is time well spent. I was extremely impressed by the stomach overlap, to assure less water resistance during swimming. 

Another safety feature I was impressed with was the extra-flat clasps, less likely to get broken when Fido is climbing in or out of your boat. The belly area often scrapes along the gunnel or swim platform, and I have known them to crack during this maneuver; I feel these flatter clasps will be less apt to catch on these surfaces, causing them to break.

© courtesy
Let's talk a little bit about Pure Pup Shop. This adorable website boasts a nice assortment of dog supplies in a clean, easy to shop format. I'm not a big brick-and-mortar shopper; I love the Internet for its lack of crowds and gas savings. When you visit here, you'll notice some special features that I fell in love with:

  • Being a fan of all things blog, I always notice when an online retailer's blog is more than just another way to promote their products. It was good to see reader's dogs and other fun stuff there. Check it out at Pure Pup Blog.
  • Wish Lists are simple to create after you register, and make a wonderful way to let your friends and family know what's important to you. Use their search function to seek out what you're looking for, or read on...
  • What can you put on a Wish List? Pure Pup Shop carries all sorts of goodies for your furry friends such as clothing, harnesses, leashes, collars, beds, bowls, storage, grooming items, travel needs, a Kitty Korner and problem solvers. We can all use a few of these.
  • Small businesses often earn kudos from me, as they are the largest growing segment of our economy. What is sometimes lacking is an Internet presence through social media. Not so much with Pure Pup Shop. They seem to 'get it' and have got a Facebook page, Twitter handle, and the blog all actively rolling along. To me, that's a signal that Pure Pup Shop will be with us for the long haul. Way to go Kamila and Anna! Let's see if we can give these ladies a boost. 
© Carrie Boyko
Tanner Enjoys Fetching Fun
in His Doggles Flotation Vest
Now that I've shared some of my favorite things about this new site I've discovered, Pure Pup Shop has offered a free Flotation Vest by Doggles, just like you see on Tanner, for your pup. I'll run this giveaway through midnight on Thursday, September 15 to give you plenty of time to enter this great giveaway. I'll announce the winner late afternoon on Friday, September 16th, so be sure to stop in here after 4 PM for the winner's announcement post.

Whether you'll be boating year-round like my family, or simply giving the vest to your pup or one you love as a holiday gift for use next Spring, he'll be glad to have it during his next splash in the wet stuff. Tanner seemed to enjoy the lift his new vest offered, and took a little extra time bringing his fetch toy back. I think he was simply enjoying the refreshing dip in his new Doggles flotation vest. I suppose Oliver will be looking into a version for his tiny 10 lb. frame very soon. 

Not into entering giveaways? That's okay! You can pick up your pup a flotation vest, or simply shop the rest of Pure Pup's products at their online store. They're even offering a 10% discount to my readers through September 30, so now's your chance to save. Just enter the discount code at checkout: "ADOG". Sit back and enjoy a leisurely shopping expedition without the hassle of long drives or long lines. Maybe you'd just like to grab a latte and relax with your laptop at Starbucks. Whatever works; enjoy the  journey through Pure Pup Shop.

© Carrie Boyko
Looks Like Tanner Needs Some Doggles Next
I'm getting mostly good feedback from you all on the Rafflecopter entry method for giveaways, so I'll use it again here, but please do let me know if you encounter any issues. You can reach me at If you don't see the Rafflecopter widget below, simply click the title of this post to refresh and the widget will appear. Have fun entering, and we'll see you soon to announce the winner.

Full Disclosure: provided Tanner with a Doggles Flotation vest to test. We have not been compensated to offer our opinion, and the thoughts included here are our own.

Safety disclaimer from  Please always supervise your pets while using this flotation device.  Canine flotation devices are not regulated by any authority, and therefore cannot be classified as a life saving device. Not intended to save a life.


All God's Creatures Pet Services said...

While visiting Lake Superior, we discovered that one of our Boxers likes to dive for ROCKS! Kids would throw rocks into the lake, and our doggie would run in the lake, plunge his head down into the water, and look for "the" rock.

Crazy dog! ♥


Kolchak Puggle said...

AWESOME! we have been looking for a lifejacket for Koly and I haven't much liked anything I have found so far, due to the fact that he seemed to sink down into the jacket and his chin would sink under. We would love to try this Doggles Floatations Vest. Can't wait to go check out Pure Pup!

shilohsmom said...

Shiloh can't swim, but he loves to get in the water and wade up to his belly. There is a ditch behind our house that floods and turns into a stream when it rains, that he likes to play in. When we go to Florida, he'll get in the water, but he prefers the calmer bay area over the main beach, as he's not too fond of crashing waves. He also goes to lakes and rivers and wades in the "kiddie" area. LOL! I want to teach him how to swim, while wearing a life jacket. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

shilohsmom said...

Visited Pure Pup's shop and I love the silver dog food storage cans. Very nice! shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

CRichman said...

Bullet loves to swim, but he is only 6lbs so he gets tired easily. This would be perfect!

Alfie | Alfie's Blog said...

Thanks for a great blog post - shame we live in the UK so we can't join the giveaway... I will tell my humans to buy me one of those next year when we will hopefully go sailing. I love water so might be tempted to jump in - we don't have any alligators to worry about but it can be a long swim back to a fast boat!

alfie | Alfie's Blog said...

Oh, one more thing. Tried to find you on google+ but I can't seem to find either Carrie Boyko or all things dog blog? :-)

shilohsmom said...

The quilted car seat cover on sounds great for those trips to the dog park! shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

Lauren said...

Oh, now this is what I've been looking for! Thanks for sharing, Carrie!

s said...

PurePup's Slurpabowls look like a handy thing to have! shioh_acres at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

Looks like a great product! Tanner looks as handsome & fun loving as ever :)

Sara said...

my dog raster likes to play fetch in the ocean sometimes i worry about him and the currents

sara (at) theniffs (dot) com

katie mitchell said...

I go swimming with Roxy, play in the sprinklers with her, she has a life jacket and i would love Molly to have 1 as well, she hasnt gin swimming ye but next summer i hope to take them both swimming.

Ashley Clark said...

Whenever we go home to NY Lola loves following her "uncle duke" around and he loves swimming. Lola finally figured it out but still makes me nervous sometime. I'd love something to help keep her safe while she's out there so she can stay wet and I can stay dry!!

Ashley Clark said...

I love the bumper dog beds... ours are always rolling out!

Dawn said...

Maya loves to go swimming. She generally doesn't wear a life vest for regular swimming but she definitely wears one one the boat!

shilohsmom said...

I like the ECO Easy Walk Harness. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

Tia said...

My mom would love to take my dog swimming but the dog is petrified! Maybe if she had this life vest she wouldn't be so afraid.

shilohsmom said...

I like the Big Sky Blanket at PurePupShop. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

shilohsmom said...

I keep finding things I like at PurePupShop! Today it's the Sonoma double feeder. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

jen said...

I have so be longing for a life jacket for the Newfs! Even though they are suppose to be water rescue dogs by nature, I would feel much better if they had a flotation device!

shilohsmom said...

Love the Tuckered out Bed and especially like that it's made in the USA! shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

Debby and Kirby said...

Kirby LOVES to go swimming at the lake. We were lucky this year to have the chance to visit a poochie pool party where he got to swim in a real pool! I swear he's half fish! We stay close and keep him attached to a tie off when he's swimming because he will swim too far from us. We also make him take breaks because he will swim until he is exhausted. This vest would be an awesome addition to his swim activities!.

Linda Kish said...

Three of our dogs love to swim in the pool. It would be great to let more in but we ran out of vests.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

shilohsmom said...

The Doggles sunglasses at PurePupShop are too cute! shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

Ashley Clark said...

I love the doggie sun glasses!! those are so perfect!

Denise McDonough said...

I have a basset hound and it is known they cant swim :) So i would love this to bring her in the beach with us!

shilohsmom said...

I like the organic bumper bed. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

Ashley Clark said...

I also love the portable dog dishes... super cute

rachaellea said...


shilohsmom said...

I like the large travel bowl. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

shilohsmom said...

The Retro Aqua Dog Bowl is nice too! shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

shilohsmom said...

I like the Doggles travel bowls. shiloh_acres at yahoo dot com

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