The 8 Best LED Dog Vests
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in March of 2016. Whether you prefer walks in the park or around the block with your furry friend after the sun goes down, one of these LED dog vests can help maintain your safety. Our selection includes options with rechargeable batteries, as well as multiple colors of lights, easy-to-use flashing modes, and reflective striping that will boost your visibility and provide peace of mind. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
April 03, 2020:
These LED dog vests help ensure you’re visible at night when on walks with your canine companion, so you can stroll in the dark with confidence. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, including some that are also bright enough to help light your path, like the Headlight Harness. It generates a single beam of illumination that projects light for up to 100 feet, and a reflective light for easy visibility.
Today we added in the PoyPet No Pull, which comes in your choice of purple, pink, or black fabric, and is available in five sizes to ensure just about all breeds are covered. In addition to reflective material, it sports a buckle that incorporates LEDs, which illuminates in three colors in a steady mode or flashing or strobing ones. It replaces the Kurgo Active, which is unavailable at this time.
We also added in the Blazin’ Safety, a very bright option made up of four strips, with dozens of bulbs in all. It can shine in one of your choice of eight colors, or can cycle through them by flashing or fading. It attaches securely to your dog with buckles and Velcro, and will glow for up to 15 hours total per charge. You can purchase it with confidence, thanks to its lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
It's also a good idea to outfit yourself with an LED vest, so you can take nighttime walks – with or without your pooch – with peace of mind. They’re great for early morning or after-dark bikers and joggers. A high-quality headlamp can also help light your way while keeping your hands free for holding a leash or a child’s hand.
Disco Dog Vest Your pooch will strut like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” with the Disco Dog Vest, which features 256 vibrant RGB LEDs. What’s more, you can control it with your smartphone to change the colors or program it to display any message of your choice. This can even come in handy if your dog goes missing while wearing the vest. This low-voltage device runs on a lithium polymer 3.7-volt battery, and all of the electronics are isolated from the dog by an insulating layer of vinyl. The LED strip detaches from the vest, which allows you to machine wash the fabric. kickstarter.com
Lighting The Way To Safety
While it's true that the vest is important for nighttime use, it isn't dedicated to improving your dog's view in the dark.
As unwise and dangerous as it is to drive a car at night without the use of headlights, it's equally dangerous to walk your dog without some form of luminous protection to make you easy to spot by motorists and other pedestrians. Outfitting your dog with an LED-equipped vest capable of lighting up the path around you will improve your level of safety without sacrificing Fido's sense of style or comfort.
Geared to fit a four-legged companion, the LED dog vest conveniently straps around the animal's torso. It is usually constructed from lightweight materials, including nylon, and easily connects to a leash. The vest makes it possible for you and a four-legged friend to traverse streets and local parks together at night without losing track of one another. Depending on its design, the vest comes with a variety of useful features, such as adjustable light modes, reflective strips, and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for hours of extended use.
One possible misconception people might make at first is that the vest is strictly for a dog's benefit and his improved sense of vision. While it's true that the vest is important for nighttime use, it isn't dedicated to improving your dog's view in the dark. Consider for a moment that while the LED dog vest and its human-style equivalent are both engineered to protect the wearer from potential hazards, the dog doesn't need the vest to see properly himself.
Thanks to his tapetum lucidum, even low levels of light are reflected back through a dog's retina, increasing the amount of available light directed to individual photoreceptor cells in his eyes. In other words, a dog's night vision is considerably more acute than a human's, which places the focus of the LED vest on making him easy to spot by you and other bystanders. So, the next time you peer into your dog's eyes at night and see them shine like he's a demonically-possessed vampire creature from some old monster movie, consider his eyes from a scientific point of view. His LED vest will actually help you to see him better and not the other way around.
The LED vest embodies a form of human dependency on a dog for nighttime orientation. This is similar to the way the guide dog provides a sense of stability and companionship to his or her visually-impaired owner. While the vest's main purpose is not to help people overcome the difficulties caused by a medical condition, it does assist in the process of avoiding certain obstacles in the dark.
Knowing where one's dog is at all times, whether on a leash or not, is a necessity for anyone with an established and strong bond with their pet. In its simplest form, the vest improves a level of safety for both owner and dog. It also makes easier the process of picking up Fido's poop after dark, ensuring that it isn't left for the next unsuspecting pedestrian who happens to pass by.
Finally, the vest establishes a heightened sense of awareness for others who are out and about by themselves or with their own pets and sharing the neighborhood with you. They will be alerted to your presence sooner than they would be if you were using an ordinary leash and collar. It also doesn't hurt that the reflective nature of the vest just looks really cool.
Fitting Fido Appropriately
Sizing is one of the first considerations to make when choosing an LED vest for your pup. Depending on the brand, it is usually available in several sizes, so it's important to understand the unique shape of your particular breed and to measure the dog's overall girth. Additionally, a durable D-ring will provide a secure connection with a leash, making it easy to clip on and off in a pinch.
At the very least, the vest should offer a high degree of reflectivity, so that your pet can be easily spotted from any direction.
If you anticipate walking in extreme weather, make sure the vest's internal LED wiring is fully-insulated. A reinforced handle in the center of the vest will also make grabbing onto your pooch a lot easier when trying to get him out of harm's way quickly.
Some LED vests feature flexible fiber optic technology, which is bright enough to draw attention from up to half a mile away without sacrificing comfort. At the very least, the vest should offer a high degree of reflectivity, so that your pet can be easily spotted from any direction. This will ultimately maximize the range of visibility to motorists and pedestrians.
A Brief History Of LED Dog Vests
Outfitting dogs with accessories dates back to ancient Egyptian times when the dog was revered as a hunter, protector, and sacred member of the family. Both collars and leashes emerged as tools for training and decoration.
The LED vest is a relatively modern invention within the last decade or so.
Dog fashion became popular during the 15th century in Europe, thanks to King Louis XI. Louis adorned his beloved greyhound with jewels and scarlet robes, a trend that became so popular among European nobility that by the 19th century, well-to-do families were outfitting their pets with entire wardrobes for all types of activities.
The LED vest is a relatively modern invention within the last decade or so. It is considered one solution to the problem of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Michigan inventor Gary Kowalczyk designed one of the earliest LED vests for runners back in 2012. He also designed a similar vest specifically for dogs.
LED vests have come to serve both functional and decorative purposes for dogs of all sizes, working to keep them safe in the dark, but without losing that touch of fashion to which we've grown accustomed over the centuries.