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Ruffwear K9 Float Coat

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1 Review

Manufacturer: Ruff Wear / Animals Equipment Type: Dog Equipment

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      09.11.2009 20:08
      Very helpful



      Bouyancy Aid for Dogs

      What Is It?
      It's a buoyancy aid for dogs!

      Now I can hear you saying what would a dog want with a buoyancy aid when they can swim pretty well. Well my answer is exactly the same as the reason why I wear a buoyancy aid. To keep me afloat when I need it most.

      Who Makes the Float Coat?
      Ruff Wear started out as a one person, one dog operation but now employs 20 people. They are an American company and their website is definitely worth a look at if you love dogs. Their product range is designed with the same care and attention to detail that you would expect from a manufacturer of garments for mountaineers.

      What's the coat made of?
      The coat is made of 1680-denier ballistic nylon, which provides good strength to weight ratio with a material that has proven to stand up to the test. The coat also has a high luminescence reflective trim on the sides as well as to the top, which aids visibility at night. The dual colour panels contrast against neutral backgrounds making sure your dog stands out. There are also side release buckles; hidden D-ring attachment point and assistance handle on the top.

      My Experience
      I love to go out canoeing on lochs and rivers and of course I wear my buoyancy aid when I do this so it just seemed natural that when my 4-legged friend Nemo came along that he would wear one as well. Knowing that he would be guaranteed to float if the worst happened and we capsized I could then concentrate on looking after myself and not worry too much about him.

      I bought him a K9 Float Coat when he was still a puppy so I've had to wait a while until he has grown into it. He proved to me that he could swim on his first walk near the river when he launched himself straight into it much to my horror. This little episode did not put him off the water thankfully and so it was a couple of months later that I decided to try him in his float coat.

      Assisted by Nemo my Cocker Spaniel he put the flat coat through some rigorous testing.

      Test 1 - Ergonomic Fit
      I bought the Small Size. He's still got some growing to do but I think that it will fit well. They have really long straps but I'll be able to trim these once he's stopped growing. Quite a few buckles to get fastened, which I didn't find easy, first time around as Nemo squirmed around trying to grab the straps!!

      Test 2 - The Assistance Handle
      First trip in the canoe and he seemed quite happy watching the world going past. He then decided to test the float coat out as he launched himself at the paddle straight into the water!! I reached out and got hold of the handle and lifted him straight up, his little legs were still swimming away as he landed back in the canoe. I was surprised how easy it was, perfectly balanced so the dog didn't tip.

      Test 3 - The Swimming Test
      Nemo swims really well but put him in the float coat and he becomes a torpedo. The makers, Ruff Wear, claim that the K-9 Float Coat is designed to keep your dog in a natural horizontal swimming position. This certainly seems to be the case here.

      Test 4 - The Durability Test
      The coat appears to be very well made, almost as well as my own buoyancy aid and I can see that Nemo will have many years use out of it. As I've only used it a couple of times I can't really comment further.

      Test 5 - Value for Money
      I paid £45 for the float coat, which does seem to be quite expensive but the way I see it is that Nemo should get years of use out of this. If it lasts 5 years then that's only £9 a year for peace of mind!

      The coat comes in 6 sizes the smallest being for a dog whose girth is 30-48 cm right up to the largest size 89-122cm. I bought the small size which is perfect for a Cocker Spaniel.

      The jacket comes in 2 colour schemes - red & black or orange & black.


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