As the summer season approaches we dust off our sun hats, look for those missing sunglasses and search for our swimming gear while our fur baby looks on with bemusement. During this time of year, it’s only natural to spend a lot more time outdoors with your dog. You may enjoy hiking adventures through the mountains, or forest walks or even trips to the beach with your dog. The only problem is the summer heat.
Unfortunately, dogs cannot cool as quickly as humans and can overheat rapidly. Thankfully in more recent years, the dog cooling vest has been developed to keep your fur baby cool on those long hot days of summer. There are different styles like the evaporative vests and others have inside pockets to store the ice cubes.
In this article, we have selected our top five choices in dog cooling vests.
Dog Cooling Vests
|SGODA Dog Cooling Vest||Our Rating 4.4|
|Canada Pooch | Chill Seeker Dog Cooling Vest||Our Rating 4.3|
|Hurtta Collection, Cooling Vest||Our Rating 4.3|
|DOGZSTUFF Dog Cooling Vest||Our Rating 4.3|
|CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest & Cooling Collar||Our Rating 4.3|
Article Summary: 5 Best Cooling Vests for Dogs
|What Is A Dog Cooling Vest?|
|The Dangers of Summer Heat
|Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer|
|Buyers Guide for Dog Cooling Vests|
|Top Picks for Best Dog Cooling Vests|
Top Picks: Best 5 Dog Cooling Vests
No 1. SGODA Dog Cooling Vest
SGODA Dog Cooling Vest makes our top selection for dog cooling vests. This vest comes in a large range of sizes from xx-small to xx-large so there should be a size available to suit your dog. If you have an active dog it’s worth noting that this vest should not hinder or restrict your dog’s movements as it is soft and lightweight.
There are 3 layers of cooling fabric with a breathable material that’s made from nylon. The vest also protects your dog from UV sun rays and sunburn too. The gray color of the best acts as a reflective shield from the sun and the green strip gives higher visibility.
With this cooling vest, the neck size is adjustable and has 2 zippers with adjustable sizes. There are also 2 zinc alloy D-rings on the back so that you can easily attach your leash and under the belly, there is an elastic drawstring that allows you to adjust and secure the cooling vest for a comfortable fit. This helps keep the vest secure and comfortably in place while your dog can perform his normal activities. And there is velcro to secure keep the vest on the dog along with a 3M reflective strap for extra visibility.
The good news is that it is simple to use by first soaking the vest in cold water and wringing it out before placing it on your dog. Your dog will be kept cool wearing the vest as there will be a cooling effect with the temperature dropping when the liquid changes to vapor.
It’s important to accurately measure your dog so that you have the right size fit.
- Large range of sizes from xx-small to xx-large
- Soft and lightweight with 3 layers of fabric
- Neck size adjustable with 2 zippers
- 2 zinc alloy D-rings on the back
Well made & good quality
Works well in keeping dogs cool
Adjustable with zippers, velcro and drawstring
Some users had issues with sizing so make sure you measure your dog accurately before ordering
No 2. Canada Pooch | Chill Seeker Dog Cooling Vest
Canada Pooch | Chill Seeker Dog Cooling Vest makes our top selections. The company that makes this product is in Toronto, Canada, and is an established dog apparel retailer. None of their products contain any animal products such as fur, down, or leather.
The cooling vest is available in a wide range of sizes from size 8 to size 32. It is made of water-retaining fabric that keeps your dog cool during those hot summer days. It has mesh layers that allow the air to circulate and this causes the evaporation cooling effect to occur. The shell and lining of this vest are 100& polyester and the interior of the vest is made from rayon 50% and polyester 50% and the vest does not contain any chemical coolants.
And the good news on the cleaning front is that it is machine washable on a cold cycle.
Your dog can still wear his normal collar or harness as there is a leash portal allowing for easy connections. It’s simple to put this vest on your dog and it can be adjusted as there are fully adjustable buckles.
One downside is that the neck size is not adjustable so make sure you measure accurately before purchase. To ensure the correct size vest fits your dog it will be necessary to accurately measure your dog both the back length of your dog along with the chest girth.
To measure the back length you will need to measure from the base of the neck, where the dog collar sits, to the base of the tail. Then you’ll need to measure the dog’s chest so measure around the largest part which is just behind the forelimbs.
- Wide range of sizes available
- The vest shell is 100% polyester and the lining is 50% polyester and 50% rayon.
- Leash portal and adjustable buckles for fitting
- Machine washable
Hurtta Collection, Cooling Vest comes in a range of sizes from xx-small to xx-large and with a choice of color of either blue or lilac.
Like all other cooling vests, it’s important to accurately measure your dog to obtain a vest that fits snugly. With the right size, you should have approx an inch or so wriggle room so that you can slip your hand under. If there is too much space then the vest will not work as well.
This vest does not cover the entire back of your dog but covers the vital heart region and chest to ensure your dog does not overheat. If you have a very active dog this could suit his needs better than a full-length back cover.
The material used in its construction is double the absorption capacity of terry cloths. You should have an inch or so and should be able to slip your hand under. Another nice feature is that the color of the vest changes as it dries out so you will be able to notice when it’s time to re-soak the vest.
- Large range of sizes available from xx-small to xx-large
- Colors available: Blue or Lilac
- Just covers the heart and chest region
- The material used is double the absorption capacity of terry cloths.
Works well on cooling
Works well for active dogs as just heart and chest region covered
Easy to see when the vest is drying out as the color changes from darker to lighter shade.
Does not cover the entire back of the dog so open to sun exposure on the back
No 4. DOGZSTUFF Dog Cooling Vest
DOGZSTUFF Dog Cooling Vest is a lightweight cooling vest made with evaporative cool microfiber technology. It has a broad range of sizes from x-small to large and also comes with a choice of colors, either dark blue or rose red. Like all other cooling vests, you wet the vest, wring it out and then place it on your dog.
It is lightweight and comfortable to wear. The company says that it’s as comfortable a wearing a soft t-shirt. This means that you could easily place a harness over this vest rather than under when compared to other cooling vests. The fabric is both light and thin. This vest covers the entire back so it will protect against sun exposure and UV rays.
There are adjustable velcro straps on either side that can be tightened for a snug fit and as this company provides a guarantee so you can’t really go wrong with this one
- Lightweight with microfiber technology – as light as a t-shirt
- The vest covers the entire back of the dog
- There are adjustable straps on either side
Lightweight and harness can be worn over this cooling vest as it is very thin and light
Covers the entire back so will protect against sun exposure
Some users had issues with the vest drying out faster than expected.
N0 5. CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest & Cooling Collar
CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest & Cooling Collar was developed with veterinarians to keep your dog cool especially in those vital parts of the body, under the neck, and the chest.
This product does not contain any cooling chemicals or gels and it is made of neoprene. It has a unique design with a plastic-type pocket on the inside to hold the ice which consists of a strip of cubes (like ice-packs). You place the cubes inside this pocket and they act as a cooling agent. There is a velcro strap to close and secure them.
It’s a unique cooling product that does not contain any buckles or latches that can sometimes pinch your dog. The collar and vest are adjustable with velcro ensuring a comfortable and snug fit. And the good news, if you have an active dog, is that it will not hinder or restrict his movements and both collar and vest are machine washable on cold.
- Cooling Vest & Collar
- No buckles or latches
- Adjustable with velcro
- Machine washable
What Is A Dog Cooling Vest?
A Dog Cooling Vest is a garment worn by a dog that helps reduce body temperature. It works by keeping cold air close to your dog’s body and keeps warm air out.
Some people refer to these dog cooling vests as evaporating vests as they work the same way as human skin does to keep us cool by sweating. The vest uses the same principle as it has a special layer of fabric that absorbs the water and heat from the dog’s body. This evaporated water has the effect of cooling the air around your dog’s body and then distributes cooled air throughout.
It’s worth noting that dog cooling vests work best where the water is evaporated quickly. This means that in hot and humid conditions the cooling vest will not work as well if you were using it in hot and dry conditions.
The Dangers of Summer Heat
Summer can be a fun time for everyone including our fur babies. It can be a chance for you and your dog to bond over long walks in the countryside or hikes and camping trips. It’s great to be out in nature and to enjoy the benefits of the sun, however, the summer can also bring danger and we have highlighted some of the major conditions that could affect you and your fur baby.
Always ensure that you and your dog are adequately hydrated before setting out on any summer adventures. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in and there is not enough water or fluids in the body to perform its normal functions.
There are many reasons why a dog could become dehydrated over the summer.
- Dog not drinking enough water
- Overexertion in hot weather
- Vomiting and diarrhea can also be caused by dehydration. If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach and he eats something that doesn’t agree it can lead to an upset tummy and sometimes diarrhea. In hot conditions and with a failure to drink water your dog could dehydrate quite rapidly.
Unfortunately, dogs can dehydrate rapidly, and once dehydrated it’s not as easy for them to recover as humans do. Just a small 5% reduction in a dog’s body fluids can result in dehydration.
Tell-tale signs that your dog is dehydrated include:
- Dog’s eyes and mouth will look lethargic
- The nose will become dry and sometimes almost flaky
- Gums become very dry and almost sticky like.
- The dog’s skin will become loose. We covered the topic of how to check for dehydration in a previous article.
Dehydration is a very serious condition in dogs and you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
2. Hyperthermia or Over-Heating
The normal body temperature for a dog is in the range between 99.5°F and 102.5°F. Hyperthermia occurs when your dog’s body temperature exceeds this range.
The Main Causes of Hyperthermia in dogs include:
- Dehydration in dogs. If your dog is dehydrated this can lead to hyperthermia.
- Too much exercise especially on warm or hot days. Some dogs will want to play and play no matter what. If you have a dog with a battery that never runs out then you must be careful not to over-exercise them, especially during hot days. It’s in some dogs’ DNA to be active all the time.
- In a hot confined space where there is very little air circulation. One classic example of this is when dogs are left in cars during the summer. Never ever leave your dog in a car even if it’s just for a moment to drop into the store or garage. Every year thousands of dogs are left to suffer and die in cars. In summer the inside temperature of vehicles can soar and your dog could rapidly succumb to overheating and even die.
- Health issues in the dog or age-related
- Certain drugs can trigger overheating but your veterinarian can advise you on this.
According to MSD Veterinary Manual hyperthermia or more specifically malignant hyperthermia can occur in dogs where there is an abnormal increase in body temperature and this is followed by a stiffness in the muscles or muscle rigidity. This then can result in irregular heartbeat, breathing can be affected and buildup of fluid in the lungs and ultimately lead to kidney failure and death.
The breeds of dogs mostly affected by this condition include Greyhounds, Lab Retrievers, Saint Bernards, Springer Spaniels, Bichon Frises, Golden Retrievers, and Border Collies.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
Cooling vests are a great addition to your arsenal to help prevent your dog from overheating in the summer sun but these vests should not be the only thing you do this summer. To follow are some helpful tips to keep your dog cool in the summer sun
Stay Out of the Hot Sun
It might sound obvious but take steps to ensure your dog does not overheat in the first place by staying out of the hot sun as much as you can. It’s not easy or practical to completely avoid those sun rays and we are not suggesting you only venture out in the dark with your dog. Perhaps you may change your walking route to a more shaded part of the neighborhood or else avoid the sun at its midday peak and early afternoon when the sun is at its hottest.
Lots of Water & Rest Breaks
If you are out walking with your dog make sure to take plenty of water breaks so make sure to bring a water bottle with you. There are convenient drinking bottles specifically designed for dogs which can be very useful when there are no other water sources available.
It’s also important not to over-exert your dog in the heat. Some dogs will naturally run till they are exhausted. You should avoid this on very hot days as your dog could quickly overheat. Once a dog overheats it is much harder to cool down than humans and veterinarian help will be required.
Avoid Hot Pavements
As you may know during hot days the pavements can be very hot to the touch. On very hot days you have to be careful not to walk your dog on really hot surfaces as this will cause discomfort and could actually burn the paw pads. If the pavement is too hot to the touch then please don’t walk on it. There are booties available for dogs but make sure they are well ventilated. Dogs sweat through their paw pads and if there is no ventilation this will exacerbate the problem.
If you are lucky enough to have a nearby water source it’s a great way to cool down. A quick dip in a pool can really help lower your dog’s body temperature and a great way to have some fun too. Some dogs love to splash and jump but if you have a water-resistant pooch then even a paddle or light soaking can help too.
Buyers Guide for Dog Cooling Vests
What To Consider
Some dogs don’t like wearing clothes and ensuring a properly fitted cooling vest will mean a more comfortable experience for your dog. An ill-fitting cooling vest will not function as well.
Each cooling vest can sometimes have different measuring requirements so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Don’t just base it on your dog’s weight as there are different styles and shapes of vests.
Cooling Effect Should Last
There’s no point investing in a cooling vest that will dry out in a few minutes. A dog cooling vest should last at least 15/20 minutes in hot conditions. After this time period, you can quickly re-soak again or if you are out then a spray bottle can buy you more time. As we mentioned earlier cooling vests work best in hot and dry conditions where the evaporation effect happens faster than hot and humid conditions.
Some cooling vests cover the back of your dog and reflect the sun’s heat and UV rays. This can also have a cooling effect and also reduces the likelihood of your dog getting burned by the sun. Certain breeds are more prone to sunburn especially some short-haired breeds and dogs with light and white-colored hair.
Works with Harness/Leash
Ensure that the cooling vest has a portal or opening so that you can still use a harness or leash.
Some dog cooling vests have extra safety features like a reflective strip for extra visibility. In addition, good secure closing features like durable buckles and velcro straps give are another requirement.
Our overall top pick for the best cooling vest for dogs is the SGODA Dog Cooling Vest. This vest comes in a large range of sizes with 3 layers of fabric that are soft and lightweight to keep your dog cool this summer.