How to Fit a Dog PFD

How to Fit a Dog PFD

AQ Staff
3 minute read

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Hey there, I’m Rylan from AQ Outdoors, and this article is about how to choose and fit a PFD for your dog, and all the great features that come with a dog PFD.

Why Get a Dog PFD

It's simple – they keep our dogs afloat, ensuring they stay safe and secure no matter the water conditions. These are the same reasons we recommend any person on the water to have a PFD: even if you’re a strong swimmer, that extra buoyancy can save you energy and help you stay safe if you face adverse conditions on the water, or have to deal with an emergency. At AQ Outdoors, we carry a variety of different PFD brands that fit dogs of all shapes and sizes.

How to Size a Dog PFD

There's two main measurements you need when you’re looking to fit a PFD for your dog. The first being the circumference around the largest part of your dog's rib cage. The second is the circumference around their neck. These two measurements determine which size of PFD you need.

Keep in mind that the sizing will be different between brands. So, just because Rover fits a medium of one brand, doesn’t mean he’ll fit the medium of a different brand. That’s why it’s important to base the sizing off your dog’s specific measurements.

Features of a Dog PFD

For this section we’ll go over the features of the CFD dog PFD from NRS. There are four general things you'll find:

1. The first is the neck cuff. This is an adjustable cuff that slides over their head and goes around their neck. Some dog PFDs will have an adjustable piece, but some will have a clip. 

2. Then there’s the body harness, which is the main way the PFD stays on your dog. For the CFD, it wraps around the ribcage of your dog and attaches with two points.

3. Next up is the foam flotation. The CFD has 1” thick foam with seven different panels that wrap around your dog. This placement and shape of the paneling varies for each brand, but this is a very robust system that adds a greater level of protection and flotation while you're out on the water.

4. Lastly, we have the grab handle. You're gonna see this on most dog PFDs and is great if your dog accidentally or deliberately goes for a swim. You can just pick them up and plop them back into your boat.

Finally, a couple of other CFD features worth noting are the high vis markings, which is great for paddling in early mornings, twilight or at night, and the easy leash connection if you need to chuck 'em back on a leash from walking to and from your car.

AT AQ Outdoors we carry two dog PFDs: the CFD mentioned in this article, and the Rover from Level Six. If you have any further questions, or want to outfit your entire family (and dog!) in comfortable, durable PFDs that will last for years, feel free to contact us below or visit us in store.

NRS CFD Dog Life Jacket

NRS CFD Dog Life Jacket


The 2022 NRS CFD Dog Life Jacket provides additional safety for any dog that spends time near the water. The NRS Canine Flotation Device, aka CFD, will keep your best friend afloat. This dog life jacket comes in multiple sizes to… Read More

Level Six Rover Floater Dog PFD

Level Six Rover Floater Dog PFD


The Level Six Rover Floater Dog PFD is designed to be a floatation aid for your best friend while on the water. The Rover Floater has a secure, not-restrictive fit, a convenient handle, and adjustable straps. With the Level Six… Read More

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Calgary:  (p) 403 288-9283  (e)

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