Whether you are an avid boater and want to take your French Bulldog out on the water, or you simply want to make sure they are able to enjoy the water safely when visiting the beach, getting the right life jacket for your Frenchie is vitally important.
Despite what you might have heard, this breed cannot swim, so you need a French Bulldog life jacket to make them 100% safe from drowning.
In the list below you can see the best French Bulldog life vests as rated by Frenchie owners in one of the most popular Facebook groups. We personally use the shark fin design with Claude but will be upgrading to the RuffWear French bulldog swimming vest next summer, and I will tell you why below.
French Bulldog Life Jacket – 5 of the best!
There are lots of swim jackets available online, each with their own designs and safety features, ranging in price from $10 to over $50. Deciding which one to buy can be tricky so I asked other Frenchie owners what they use.
Here are the top recommendations for French Bulldog life jackets. They are ranked by what swim jackets current owners and using, and how safe and secure they are for your swimming Frenchie.
1. RuffWear Float Coat Dog Life Jacket
While this is the most expensive of the best French Bulldog life jackets, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. 65% of owners I polled are using this product, and there are many good reasons why.
It’s a highly adjustable swimming vest with a telescoping neck, easy-clip buckles, and is made from durable, waterproof webbing. The closed cell foam panels are strategically placed around the vest, helping to keep your Frenchie floating upright without risk of them flipping over or sinking at the front.
Available in 4 different, bright colours: Blue Atoll, Dandelion Yellow, Sockeye Red and Wave Orange, each with different, contrastingly coloured reflective trim so your Frenchie is easy to spot in the water.
The jacket also has a low-profile, but easily grabbable handle on the back, allowing you to easily pull your French Bulldog out of the water at any time.
It also comes with an integrated light loop, allowing you to attach beacon lights for added visibility (sold separately).
It can retail for more than $75 so it is far more expensive when compared to the other French Bulldog life vests on this list. However, if you value safety and quality then it’s the number one choice for me.
To see what other owners have said, check out the Amazon reviews to see how other people with Frenchies have found this life jacket.
2. Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket
This is often rated as the number 1 best-selling French bulldog swimming vest on the Internet, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an affordable alternative that snugly fits your dog and is designed to help hold your Frenchie’s head above the water.
While it has fewer colour options than some of the other French Bulldog swim jackets on this list, the quality of this swimming vest and lower price point makes it an excellent choice.
If you are a Frenchie owner who wants a swim jacket for occasional use but still has the benefits of a higher-end product without the drawbacks of the cheaper models, it’s a great choice.
Made from durable neoprene it’s well insulated and a perfect buoyancy aid for smaller dogs. It comes in orange or pink, these bright colours and reflective accents making your Frenchie easy to spot in the water. It also has a grab-handle on the back for extra security and comfort when pulling your Frenchie out of the water.
Some dog owners have found that the seams ripped or tore after continuous use. Because of this, this jacket is better recommended for French Bulldogs who only swim occasionally, rather than for daily use. There is also no D-ring for easy leash attachment.
3. Vivaglory Ripstop Dog Life Jacket with Enhanced Buoyancy
“Measure Twice, Buy Once” is Vivaglory’s slogan for their swimming, boating and canoeing dog life jacket, which is great advice for anyone buying any French Bulldog life jacket.
One of the most common complaints about all dog life jackets is that they do not fit their dog properly. This often comes down to differences in weight, breed, gender or just varying from dog to dog. Because of this, Vivaglory have made sure that their sizing guide is detailed and accurate.
Coming in a range of colours, including yellow, blue, camo, pink, green and yellow, this highly reflective life jacket comes with a 90-day quality guarantee for any kind of design or material flaw (excluding chewing or abuse from your dog).
It fastens snugly around their belly and neck, with extra padding to allow added buoyancy without restricting any of your dogs’ movements, allowing them to swim without issue.
Some people found it didn’t support their Frenchie properly in the water, especially front-heavy dogs like our beloved breed can be. Because of their 90-day guarantee, it is best to test out the jacket when you first get it, to see whether your dog is able to properly swim in it.
4. Queenmore Dog Ripstop Life Jacket with Shark Fin
While larger, heavier dogs may not benefit from its buoyancy, this lifejacket is well designed for smaller breeds such as Frenchies. It’s also very popular because it looks so cute – you might have seen videos on Facebook of this French Bulldog life jacket with shark fin.
Coming in two very cute novelty styles, Grey Shark (with the famous dorsal fin) and Pink Fish (with a mermaid tail), this Frenchie swimming vest is made with high quality oxford cloth and polyethylene foam and comes with a breathable mesh.
Easily cleanable, fast drying and well insulated for colder water and preventing chills, the jacket also features a magic sticker fastening system around the belly and neck; allowing for customisable adjustment for all kinds of shapes and sizes of dog.
It also features a grabbable handle, D-ring hook for a leash and has reflective accents so you can easily spot your Frenchie in the water.
As mentioned above, people with larger and heavier breeds have said that this jacket doesn’t provide enough floatation support for their dog, meaning that it is best for smaller breeds of dog such as French Bulldogs.
But, the dorsal fin of the shark design tends to flop, rather than remaining rigid. If you want a sturdier fin for novelty over safety, other shark-style jackets are available.
5. Haocoo’s Dog Safety Life Jacket
This is a real budget option and I’ve only included for those where money could be an issue. I’d be wary of a product so cheap, but having said that, it does have very good reviews as a French Bulldog life vest for swimming.
The life jacket comes in 7 different sizes and 11 different colours and designs. That means you can be sure your Frenchie has the best fit and look to suit your style on the water.
Made with high-grade polyester oxford and nylon fabric, including a breathable mesh and pearl cotton foam, this Frenchie life jacket is ripstop and is quick drying, comfortable and provides quick and easy drainage.
As with all of our recommended jackets, the bright colours also come with reflective stripes for added visibility and comes with an adjustable belt and D-ring for easy leash attachment.
This swimming life jacket doesn’t just come in different colours and patterns, it also has four different novelty-style designs, including a Crocodile, a Mermaid or Fish Tail, Lobster Tail and a Shark. While some of these are only available in certain sizes, each design is brightly coloured for safety, allowing you to easily see your dog when they are swimming in open water.
As with a lot of these jackets, it isn’t one size fits all and sometimes people find that the sizing is wrong. Because of this, it is best to make sure that you have properly measured your Frenchie and check the reviews for owners of similar dogs to you to see how they got on with the sizing.
The buoyancy aid isn’t the best for larger or heavier dogs, meaning that it is best bought for lighter, smaller breeds.
French Bulldog life vest buying guide
Before you get started choosing which French Bulldog life jacket to buy, there are some important factors to take into account. Take a look through these notes before you buy so you can be sure you are getting a high-quality product that fits your Frenchie. Durable materials and reliable safety features are an absolute must, so, when deciding on a life vest, keep in mind these factors:
- Durability: Even if you only take your French Bulldog swimming occasionally, you don’t want to risk their safety with easily torn materials. A lot of lifejackets are designed to be used again and again without any loss of performance in its materials or seams. Check to see whether your new life preserver comes with any kind of return policy or quality guarantee.
- Adjustability: Every Frenchie is different, even if they are the same breed. While sizes can range in terms of standard fit, from XXS to XXL, make sure that there is adjustability in the neck and belly so that it fits snugly onto your dog without restricting their movements.
- Measure your Frenchie: All of the life jackets we have linked below come with a sizing chart. Measure your dog both sitting and standing, including its girth (areas around the widest part of the ribcage and neck), back length, and their weight. If your Frenchie is close to the maximum of one size, getting the next size up is recommended so that they have a comfortable, adjustable fit. Some people have difficulty in finding the right fit, with sizing varying from dog to dog in terms of gender, weight and breed. It is best to read through the reviews to see what people with similar dogs to you have posted about how they found the product.
- Buoyancy: Certain life jackets for sale online are only really useful for visibility, with no buoyancy aid. Proper dog life jackets come with waterproof webbing, buoyant foam and are designed to keep your dog above water and allow it to swim without sinking.
Do French Bulldog’s need life jackets?
Due to their stout physique and short faces, Frenchies’ struggle to keep their head above water, let alone swim. Because of this, most Frenchie’s cannot swim at all without the aid of a lifejacket or a buoyancy aid and are in real danger of sinking without some kind of additional support.
While there are some pictures of French Bulldogs swimming without aid of a life jacket, the general rule of thumb is that French Bulldogs cannot swim (read more). Like babies and small children, it is really easy for a Frenchie to drown in even in the shallowest of waters.
So, even if you have a rare Frenchie who can swim on their own, it is better safe than sorry. Getting one of these best French Bulldog life jackets is essential peace of mind and safety. It means you can enjoy your time in the water without having to constantly worry about your Frenchie’s well-being.
No matter what kind of life jacket you choose for your French Bulldog, it is always best to exercise caution and to keep an eye on your Frenchie when they are swimming, especially when first wearing their life jacket and if they are relatively new to swimming.
While life jackets are a great way of helping your Frenchie swim, always make sure you know where they are at all times when in the water. That ways you can be sure to know if or when they are in need of help or if there are any potential dangers in the water around them.
What we did with Claude was let him test his out first in a paddling pool. It lets you get them used to wearing the swimming vest and can cool your Frenchie down in summer.
Best paddling pool for Frenchies (view on Amazon)
It’s portable, comes in various sizes, doesn’t need inflating so won’t pop with claw scratches, and is slip resistant. You can use it for your kids too. A paddling pool is a great way to help your Frenchie cool down on those hot summer days, and they will love paddling about and splashing in the water.
My top recommendation in the list of swimming life vests above is the RuffWear Float Coat, but if you are looking for a less expensive option then my next best recommendation is Outward Hound. Both have exceptional customer reviews.
This wasn’t a comprehensive list, however, and it is always best to shop around and compare each product between a range of features (including review scores, materials, benefits and additional features).