I have read the posts here and wanted to elaborate on life vests. The Whole Dog Journal rated them in one of their issues during the spring. There are a lot of things to look at before buying one. It turns out the one I had decided on was rated one of the worst - thankfully I got the issue in time.
We have a boat and Mason goes with us all the time. Mason cannot swim and even with the life jacket isn't comfortable over his head. It was important to me to make sure that we got a good jacket since we are out very deep in the boat.
Marcia & Mason