We became big fans of EzyDog when we started using their chest plate harness and Sparky leash which you can read about here. This duo changed everything when it came to walking Kirby and is the only ones we use. I am still amazed at the difference!
Now we are not only big fans, we absolutely heart Ezydog! If you have been reading my blog then you know Kirby loves the water – he swims, he dunks, he fetches, he is a fish! He had a life vest when he was a puppy and had outgrown it. Last summer I knew he needed a new one but really never had the time to look for one since it would take some searching as the one he had made him exhausted trying to stay upright in the water since it continiously wanted to flip him onto his side. Often times we had to help him when all he could do was flail his legs in the air.
We made do without one by keeping him attached to a long tie-off in the water so we could pull him back if he swam too far away (Have I mentioned how fast he can swim?) or showed sign of exhaustion. So how did we know if he was becoming tired? As he was swimming his body would sink lower and lower until he was swimming completely underwater. The problem with Kirby is he doesn’t give up. If someone is in the water he wants to be in the water too.
This summer I began my research knowing it was time to remedy this unsafe practice. Someone always stayed with him in the water to scoop him up if necessary but accidents can and do happen. The thought of something happening to the Kirbster when it could have been prevented was not an option I could live with.
I kept going back to the EzyDog life vest because of the great reviews I kept coming across. Knowing our frustration with Kirby consistently fighting to stay upright in his old life vest, what really caught my attention was their claim:
Our unique Ultra-buoyancy Foam is strategically positioned within the vest to keep your dog in a natural swimming position at all times. Unlike other vests, the Doggy Flotation Device does not hinder your dogs' natural movement
Deciding this was the vest I wanted to try, my next decision was the size. It comes in two styles, the Doggy Floation Vest for dogs over 15 lbs and the Micro Doggie Flotation Device (DFD) for dogs under 15 lbs. Kirby is 15 pounds so I didn't know which one to choose. I sent an email and received an amazing response!
Not only were they confident the Micro DFD was the right size for Kirby, they wanted to send us a vest to review free of charge. Turns out they follow Kirby on Pinterest and FaceBook!
The Micro DFD turned out to be a perfect fit both lengthwise (Kirby has a long body) and around his chubby girth using the adjustable straps. I like there is no velcro to snag his fur. An added feature is the D-ring in case you want to clip on a leash while using the vest.
These life vests are available in four beautiful colors: Green Camo, Pink Camo, Yellow, and Red.
I chose the yellow so he can always be seen from a distance. It also has reflective trim for night time viewing. These vests are top quality with stylish pockets on the back. Please tell me what can possibly be cuter than Kirby in his life vest?
When I took it out of the package it was very stiff so I rolled it this way and that way a few times to loosen it up. I placed it on him adjusting the straps snuggly around his girth and somewhat loose around his neck. We now leave the neck part alone and simply slide the vest over his head and snap the straps. Two seconds and he is ready to go!
The real test came when we took him to the lake. Would it keep him too high above the water hampering his ability to swim? Would he constantly have to fight to remain upright? Would he fight to remove it because it was uncomfortable?
Success! He never tipped over and, because he didn’t have to fight to remain upright, he had so much energy that he was able to keep up with Grits, a lab four times his size. Kirby reminded me of a duck as he effortlessly glided through the water turning this way and that.
I hate I missed an opportune camera moment when Kirby was swimming to the shore with a toy in his mouth. He became entangled in the tree limbs placed in the water for fish beds. He calmly stopped paddling and was just floating in the water waiting for one of us to pull him out. Somehow he knew the vest was holding him up. Grits was sent in to retrieve him but, alas, only retrieved the toy from Kirby’s mouth. One of the guys waded in and picked him up using the Ergonomic Grab Handle sewn into the top. Kirby showed no discomfort being lifted in this manner.
We wanted to know the buoyancy factor in the event a dog fell off a moving boat into the water. Kirby wouldn’t jump off the dock since the water was so low so we lowered him halfway down and then dropped him. I can't find the video we took but I’m happy to say he immediately popped back up to the top in an upright position and swam away in Grits direction not even fazed by the dunking.
Just look how happy he is! In fact, I was surprised he didn’t accomplish lift-off as fast as that tail was wagging! Another point is how easy it is to clean. At the end of the day I just rinsed it off and hung it to dry.
At first it seems a hefty price at $32.00 to $73.00 (based on your dog's size) until you compare the benefits. So if you're looking for a quality life vest that has a great buoyancy factor, lets your dog swim in a natural manner, and looks quite stylish, believe me when I say you want the EzyDog Life Vest!