Most dog owners will be looking forward to the summer when they can take their pet out for long walks in the country or family trips to the beach. However, many dog owners aren’t always aware of the impact that the sun and heat can have on their pet. High heat can be uncomfortable for dogs and even lead to heatstroke and dehydration.
A dog cooling vest is a great way to help your dog stay cool in the summer. All you have to do is wet the vest, attach to your dog and let the cooling tech and materials decrease the dog’s body temperature. This simple solution means they can run around and play with constant protection. But, you do need to keep an eye on the temperature and dampness of the vest and still provide enough drinking water. It is also possible that any compression in the vest may help to calm dogs if they get too hot.
What do you need to look for when choosing the best dog cooling vest?
There are a number of important factors to consider here. They include:
The Cooling Tech
These products tend to have materials that absorb water with ease and use this damp material to draw out body heat. This then evaporates the water and cools the dog down. Those materials need to be practical and durable. There are also some products that use heat reflecting strips to reduce the heat further.
The fit of the vest is also important. Think of this product in the same way that you would any other vest or harness. You need to have a secure fit so dogs can’t slip out of it or get it caught on bushes. This means adjustable straps and strong buckles. Most brands will list the sizes and dimensions of their products. Measure your dog and find the best match.
Comfort isn’t just about staying cool. The material needs to feel good against their body without being too rough or heavy. The edges should be soft and well finished to prevent any irritation.
Ease of Use
Finally, think about some of the more practical elements of the vest from the perspective of an owner. Does it have strong rings in the right places to attach a lead? How long will it take to put this on, or is it a step-through design? Is it easy to clean after a long day out?
5 of the Best Dog Cooling Vests to Consider
1. Ruffwear - Swamp Cooler, Cooling Vest for Dogs
This first option uses a series of layers to help retain water and enhance the evaporation process. There is an inner layer that offers comfort and transfers heat, a middle layer that holds the water and a wicking outer layer. This means that it should stay cool for longer and speed up the cooling process.
This option comes in a graphite grey with a small blue strip with a reflective element. It isn’t the most attractive but does come in sizes from XXS to XL. The secure buckles inside may not be the easiest to use but should ensure a good fit.
2. SGODA Dog Cooling Vest Harness Cooler Jacket
Again, there aren’t many color options here – although there is a strong neon trim around the legs and neck in orange or green. There is a similar 3 layer approach to the vest that ensures that dogs are cool, comfortable and secure. This one also seems to be a little more practical with the obvious D ring at the back for a leash.
There are some lower-rated reviews for dog owners that couldn’t quite get the right size. There is the risk here that this vest may get a little baggy and heavy on smaller dogs. There are also warnings not to let dogs wear this when it is dry because of that weight.
3. Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest
This next option is a snug, thick vest that promises to have twice the absorption capacity of a terry cloth coat. Users are impressed with the amount of water that it holds and the impact on cooling. It comes in blue or purple so there are more choices to suit the personality of your pet. Some also note that the color begins to change noticeably as it dries out.
Dog owners will be pleased to see that there are lots of sizes from XXS to XXL. However, the downside here is that the attachment loop for a leash is only available on the smaller sizes. It also doesn’t have the same reflective neon trim for added efficiency or visibility.
4. FrontPet Dog Cooling Vest
This vest is instantly appealing to owners that want a simple way to cool their pet. Some models, like the one above, focus on the chest area. This one is different as is stretches right down the back with panels on the sides. This means adjustable straps and buckles on the outside that are accessible. When wet, this model is also lighter than some of the competition, so may be more comfortable.
The main problem here is that there is one size for “medium to large dogs”. It is important that dog owners measure their pet first. Some also say that the larger size of the panels means that it is more difficult to ring this out properly.
5. RUFFWEAR - Jet Stream High-Performance Cooling Vest
For our last option, we go back to Ruffwear and a model that is a lot more colorful and attractive. This comes in Blue Lagoon or Salamander Orange with a two-tone approach and different panels on the back and chest.
A downside here is that the panel on the top is thinner than expected and doesn’t hold water for as long. In fact, some compared this to the Swamp Cooler above and were disappointed. Another key difference here is that this model uses a zippered closure for a more secure, streamlined fit. This has its pros and cons depending on the patience of your dog.