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Canine PFD?

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Anybody go canoeing w/ their dog(s)? Maggie and I will be going on our first canoe trip in a few months and I'm starting to research PFDs for her (and me too perhaps), so any and all help there would be appreciated.


Suggestions on prep work are also welcome!

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Outward Hound makes a very affordable PFD (about $15 through catalog or internet) which I have not checked out but only seen in pictures. It looks like it might be very nice. You can also get a nice one from Cabela's but it's a bit more pricey (around $40) and this is what my DH got for our two.


Make sure to order/purchase well in advance so you can try it on your dog to make sure you got the right size. With Border Collies tending to be shaped much more differently than your average dog of similar barrel girth, you may find you need a size larger (we did to get the length) than a sizing chart indicates by barrel girth, or a size smaller if the sizing chart goes by length. I think most PFDs seem to be made for fatter dogs (therefore shorter for the same barrel girth or much bigger around for the same length).


I have a lovely picture of Celt's littermate sister happy on her family's boat in her bright red PFD. I'm looking forward to getting out on the water with our two soon!


Best wishes!

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Where do you plan to canoe?


We have been taking Fergie canoeing since she was a pup - and she's 10-1/2 now. Neither she nor we wear PFDs. Then again, we can all swim and we canoe in quiet lakes and rivers. OK, you can feel there is a bit of a current, and sometimes there's some wind. But we hug the shore anyhow. We do have rescue-style pillows for us. But we figure Ferg would be on shore before we could grab them.


Now, if we did whitewater or real open water, we'd get PFDs and wear them. But where we canoe, we're in more danger of scraping bottom than in overturning over our heads.

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When there was only Jazz and Zachary, we often took them in the canoe with us. Both the dogs have PFD's. We canoed on large lakes often more than 1-2 km. from shore so even though Jazz can swim, we didn't want to take any chance that he might tire and drown. That happened to a friend's Bernese mountain dog :rolleyes: Zachary, of course, is smaller so even close to shore, he had his jacket on. I did wonder how well they would work, and tested Jazz by throwing sticks into the water. It definitely kept him nicely upright. The PFD's we have are very adjustable so I didn't have too much difficulty getting a good fit on either of them.

Personally, I don't go on the watere without a PFD either for myself or the dogs. For me, it's like wearing a seatbelt...I'm not comfortable unless I'm 'vested'

Have fun...our boys loved the canoe rides

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